What happens with my complaint?

Once the Australian Human Rights Commission or Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission receives your complaint, it will:

  • assign a Case Investigations Officer who will be the contact point for sharing communication between the office, the discriminator and yourself
  • provide a copy of your complaint to the discriminator and request them to reply, either verbally or in writing
  • share the discriminator’s response with you and ask you for comments.

See the Process Flow Charts in Part 4 for what you can expect.


What if the discriminator doesn’t respond?

Sometimes the discriminator doesn’t provide a reply and/or doesn’t want to participate in the process. In such a case, the Case Investigations Officer usually will not force that person or organisation to participate as the process is regarded as voluntary.

If this happens, you need to speak to a lawyer who can advise you about taking the case further to either VCAT or the Federal Court.


What happens at a Conciliation Conference?

A Conciliation Conference is the first likely step for a discrimination case.

This is an informal meeting where you and the discriminator talk about what happened and try to come to some agreement about what should happen next.

You can expect that often there will be no agreement about the facts of what occurred, and you may hear annoying and stressful things from the discriminator.

However the purpose of the conference is to work out a resolution, so it is important to know what outcome you are after. About 7 out of 10 complaints are resolved by conciliation.

It is unlikely that you will get everything you want and you may have to compromise. However this is your decision.