Not-for-profit Law
Legal help for community organisations

Discrimination laws

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Discrimination laws may apply to your organisation.

In Australia, discrimination laws exist at both federal, and state and territory level.

Federal discrimination laws

At a federal level, the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) administers the following laws:

The AHRC can investigate and conciliate complaints of discrimination under these laws.

Other resources - Federal

See below for information on the discrimination laws in each state and territory. 

Discrimination laws in Victoria 

Discrimination laws may apply to your organisation. In Australia, discrimination laws exist at both federal, and state and territory level.
 
Information about the Federal laws is above.
 
In Victoria, the Equal Opportunity Act 2010 (Vic) (Equal Opportunity Act) also protects certain personal attributes from discrimination in a number of circumstances. The personal attributes which are protected under the Equal Opportunity Act include age, disability, employment activity, political belief, sex and race. Your organisation needs to know about the personal attributes, the situations covered by the Equal Opportunity Act, and also the exceptions that may apply.
 

Human rights

Victoria also has a Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities. For more information on how your community organisation can assist with protecting and promoting human rights see Not-for-profit Law’s fact sheet below. This fact sheet includes information on the following issues:

  • the particular human rights protected by the Charter
  • assessing whether the Charter applies to your organisation
  • complying with Charter obligations, and
  • what happens when an organisation breaches the Charter

PDF icon Charter of human rights and responsibilities (VIC).pdf

Other resources - Victoria

Discrimination laws in NSW

Discrimination laws may apply to your organisation. In Australia, discrimination laws exist at both federal, and state and territory level.

Information about the Federal laws is above.

In New South Wales, the Anti-Discrimination Act 1977 (NSW) (Anti-Discrimination Act) also protects certain personal attributes from discrimination in a number of circumstances. The personal attributes which are protected under the Anti-Discrimination Act include age, disability, sex, race, age and homosexuality. Your organisation needs to know about the personal attributes, the situations covered by the Anti-Discrimination Act, and also the exception and exemptions that may apply.

Other resources - NSW

Discrimination laws in Queensland

Discrimination laws may apply to your organisation. In Australia, discrimination laws exist at both federal, and state and territory level.

Information about the Federal laws is above.

In Queensland, the Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 (QLD) (Anti-Discrimination Act) also protects certain personal attributes from discrimination in a number of circumstances, including work and the provision of services. The Anti-Discrimination Act also makes sexual harassment and vilification unlawful.

Your organisation needs to know about the personal attributes, the situations covered by the Anti-Discrimination Act, and also the exceptions that may apply.  The Queensland Human Rights Commission administers the Anti-Discrimination Act.

Human rights

If your organisation provides services on behalf of the Queensland government, you may also need to comply with the Human Rights Act 2019 (Qld) (Human Rights Act) when making decisions about individuals.

For more information about when you may need to comply with the Human Rights Act, see the Queensland Human Rights Commission fact sheet.

Other resources - Queensland

Discrimination laws in South Australia

Discrimination laws may apply to your organisation. In Australia, discrimination laws exist at both federal, and state and territory level.

Information about the Federal laws is above.

In South Australia, the Equal Opportunity Act 1984 (SA) (Equal Opportunity Act) also protects certain personal attributes from discrimination in a number of circumstances. The personal attributes which are protected under the Equal Opportunity Act include age, association with a child, disability, gender identity, pregnancy, race and religious appearance or dress.  Your organisation needs to know about the personal attributes, the situations covered by the Equal Opportunity Act, and also the exception and exemptions that may apply.

Other resources - South Australia

Discrimination laws in the Northern Territory

Discrimination laws may apply to your organisation. In Australia, discrimination laws exist at both federal, and state and territory level.

Information about the Federal laws is above.

In the Northern Territory, the Anti-Discrimination Act 1992 (NT) (Anti-Discrimination Act) also protects certain personal attributes from discrimination in a number of circumstances.  The personal attributes which are protected under the Anti-Discrimination Act include race, sex, sexuality, age, religious belief and pregnancy. Your organisation needs to know about the personal attributes, the situations covered by the Anti-Discrimination Act, and also the exception and exemptions that may apply.

Other resources - Northern Territory

Discrimination laws in the ACT

Discrimination laws may apply to your organisation. In Australia, discrimination laws exist at both federal, and state and territory level.

Information about the Federal laws is above.

In the ACT, the Discrimination Act 1991 (ACT) (Discrimination Act) also protects certain personal attributes from discrimination in a number of circumstances. . The personal attributes which are protected under the Discrimination Act include age, breastfeeding, disability, gender identity, political conviction, pregnancy and race. Your organisation needs to know about the personal attributes, the situations covered by the Anti-Discrimination Act, and also the exception and exemptions that may apply.

Human rights

The Human Rights Act 2004 (ACT) provides for a number of rights including protection from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, privacy and reputation, freedom of thought, conscience, religion and belief and freedom of expression. 

Other resources - ACT

Discrimination laws in Tasmania

Discrimination laws may apply to your organisation. In Australia, discrimination laws exist at both federal, and state and territory level.

Information about the Federal laws is above.

In Tasmania, the Anti-Discrimination Act 1998 (Tas) (Anti-Discrimination Act) also protects certain personal attributes from discrimination in a number of circumstances. The personal attributes which are protected under the Anti-Discrimination Act include race, age, sexual orientation, gender, pregnancy and disability. Your organisation needs to know about the personal attributes, the situations covered by the Anti-Discrimination Act, and also the exception and exemptions that are available.

Other resources - Tasmania

Last Updated: 26 April 2021