Privacy Policy

At the Brotherhood of St Laurence (BSL) we are committed to protecting the privacy and confidentiality of:

  • All BSL customers, clients, supporters and donors
  • All BSL employees and volunteers
  • All contractors and consultants engaged by the BSL
  • Representatives and agents of the BSL
  • BSL trainees, work experience and tertiary students, and youth camp participants.

This policy outlines rights and our policy on the handling of your personal information.

How we collect and use personal information

We primarily collect personal information about our clients and supporters for the purposes of conducting our usual activities and operations, including securing donations or support, conducting research, developing and delivering services to, and advocating for, individuals and families, with our ultimate aim being the alleviation and prevention of poverty.

We may collect information about you in a number of circumstances, including when you:

  • apply to receive our assistance or services
  • provide feedback or request information from us
  • apply for a job or volunteer position
  • make a donation, or
  • join a mailing or contact list.

The types of personal information that we collect will depend on the circumstances and may include information about your name, contact details, interests, family and other relationships, as well as any other personal information provided by you in forms and documents. We also record details of our interactions with you, including any contact we have with you in person, by email, online or on the telephone. At all times, it is your choice how much information you would like to provide. 

Through recruitment

If you apply for a position with us, we may also collect information about your qualifications, experience, character and screening check results (including health, reference, background, directorship, financial probity, identity, eligibility to work, vocational suitability and criminal record checks).

At appointment to a position

If you then take on a position with us, we may also collect information about your current or former employment or engagement including information about your training, disciplining, resignation, termination, terms and conditions, staff benefits, emergency contact details, performance, conduct, use of our IT and communications resources, payroll matters, union or professional/trade association membership, recreation, drug/alcohol tests, leave and taxation, banking or superannuation affairs.

We are required or authorised to collect your personal information under various laws including the Fair Work Act, Superannuation Guarantee (Administration) Act and Income Tax Assessment Act.

When a financial donation is made

When a financial donation is made, we may collect credit card numbers and/or bank account details along with contact information (name, address, email address and telephone numbers). We collect this data to process donations and provide receipts. Please clearly indicate to us if you prefer your donation to be anonymous. We also use the information to keep our supporters informed about our work.

In the provision of a service delivery

We may collect personal information directly from you or in some cases from third parties including your representatives and carers, other not-for-profit organisations, government agencies, information service providers or from public sources.

If we collect sensitive information about you, such as information about health, religion, ethnic origin or criminal record, we will do so only where you consent, provide the information to us voluntarily or where we are otherwise authorised by law. In our health services areas, such as aged services, the collection of sensitive information takes place so that our clients’ needs are properly understood.

How we hold personal information

We hold personal information electronically and in hard copy form, both at our own premises and with the assistance of our service providers. We take a range of steps to protect the security of personal information. This may include, among other things, techniques such as firewalls, access controls, user authentication, encryption, intrusion detection and site monitoring.

How we use and disclose personal information

We use personal information to:

  • provide support and assistance to our clients
  • assess prospective client applications
  • process donations and receipts
  • identify individuals
  • maintain and update our records
  • to continuously evaluate, develop and improve our programs and services
  • to assess the effectiveness of our services and programs
  • to plan for future programs and services
  • conduct research
  • manage and train our people
  • respond to lawful information requests from government agencies, courts or lawyers
  • protect our lawful interests, and
  • respond to your queries or concerns. 

We may not be able to do these things without your personal information. For example, we may not be able to communicate with you, respond to your enquiries or consider you for positions with us.

We may use your personal information to provide you with ongoing promotional materials and marketing communications about our events, programs, services and fundraising initiatives by telephone, email, online or by other means. When we contact you seeking your support, we are trying to raise public awareness of our programs as well as to provide our supporters with current information on social justice issues of the day. Please remember that you are under no obligation to respond unless you would like to and are able. You can ask us at any time not to contact you for these purposes anymore.

We may exchange your personal information with your representatives and our third party service providers who perform tasks on our behalf, for example data processing and storage services, payment processing, banking, professional services (including legal, accounting and business consulting), research, tele-services, payroll, staff benefits, training, website or technology services, and mailing services that send our letters. If you are a client, then we may sometimes disclose personal information to government agencies for purposes such as informing decisions about funding and medical care. In doing so, we will take into account the provisions of relevant laws such as the Aged Care Act. If you have applied for a position with us, we may exchange your personal information with your referees, police, Centrelink, recruitment consultants, academic institutions, screening check providers, health service providers, professional and trade associations, previous employers and law enforcement agencies.

Some of the third parties described above may be located in other countries such the USA. By agreeing to this Privacy Policy, you accept that we will not be accountable for them under the Privacy Act and you may not be able to seek redress under the Privacy Act for their conduct. Please note that in many cases those parties will be subject to other privacy and confidentiality obligations requiring them to protect personal information. 

Our website and email

We do not collect personal information about you when you visit BSL websites, unless you choose to provide such information.

Through the use of ‘cookies’ we anonymously track your visit in order to compile statistical information about the use of our website. If you prefer not to allow the use of  'cookies', you should be able to adjust your browser to turn them off or notify you when ‘cookies’ are being used. Our website may use Google Analytics from time to time. For more about how Google collects and processes data, please see Google’s privacy policy at

The Website contains links to other sites. We are not responsible for the content and the privacy practices of other websites and encourages you to examine each site's privacy policy and make your own decisions regarding the accuracy, reliability and correctness of material and information found.

Application of and changes to this privacy policy

We are subject to a range of privacy laws. Nothing in this Privacy Policy is intended to limit our obligations or permitted handling of personal information under those laws. For example, under the Privacy Act, we may rely on certain exemptions including in relation to employee records.

Changes may be made to this policy from time to time. We will give notice of these changes on our website and intranet.

Accessing, updating and further information

We will, at your request, provide you with access to any information which we hold about you in compliance with the Australian Privacy Principles. To gain access to this information you should contact us (see details below) and ask for an ‘access to personal information form’. You can update or seek the correction of the information we have collected about you and let us know of your preferences for how we communicate with you by contacting us. If we deny any request for access or'correction, we will provide our reasons. Where we decide not to make a requested correction to your personal information and you disagree, you may ask us to make a note of your requested correction with the information.

If you have any queries or concerns about the way that we handle your personal information, please let us know and we will endeavour to promptly resolve your enquiry or concern. We may request additional details from you regarding your concerns, and we may need to engage or consult with other parties in order to investigate and deal with your issue. We will keep records of your request and any resolution.


Contact: Privacy Officer
Telephone(03) 9483 1317

For Employees and Volunteers
: Privacy Officer - HR Services Manager
Telephone(03) 9483 1108

If you do not wish to send your comments using email you can send them in writing to the following postal address:

Privacy Officer
Brotherhood of St Laurence
67 Brunswick Street
Fitzroy, Victoria 3065

Resolution of privacy concerns

For information about privacy generally, or if your concerns are not resolved to your satisfaction, you may contact the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner at and on 1300 363 992.

Related documents and legislation

  • Privacy Act 1988
  • Australian Privacy Principles 2014
Find out more about the work of the Brotherhood
Brotherhood Books
Brotherhood of St Laurence Communtiy Stores
Hippy Australia
Given the Chance

The Brotherhood of St Laurence acknowledges and recognises the Traditional Owners of the land upon which we live and work, and we pay our respects to their Elders both past and present.