Tips for writing a complaint

Here are some tips for writing a complaint. These may also be useful if you are using the complaint form (DOCX , 79 KB)

A complaint letter needs to be addressed to the President of Anti-Discrimination NSW.

You should include the following information:

Names of the people involved

  • Your name, address, email address and telephone number.
  • The name, address and telephone number of the person/organisation you wish to complain about. If you are complaining about a particular person in a company or organisation, also tell us their position, work address and phone number (if you can).
  • Who was involved and if you can, their names, positions, and work addresses. If the events happened at work, we need to know:
    • your position or job
    • the correct name and address of your employer (you can get this from your pay slip or pay office, or from the Australian Taxation Office)
    •  the name and position of your supervisor or manager
    •  how long you have been employed there
    • if there are six or more employees working for your employer.

Information about the incident

  • What happened and what you did about it at the time. Include the name and position or job title of any person you reported the unfair treatment to, such as your manager, co-worker, HR officer or your union if you are a member.
  • Where it happened. Was it your workplace, registered club, trade union, rented accommodation, shop, service or public place?
  • When it happened. As closely as you can remember – the day, month, year of each time you were treated unfairly.

The type of discrimination

  • The kind of discrimination you think it is:
    •  disability (includes infectious diseases), race, sex (includes pregnancy and breastfeeding), age, carers, homosexual, transgender, or marital or domestic status discrimination
    •  sexual harassment
    • racial, religious, homosexual, transgender or HIV/AIDS vilification.
  • Why you think you were treated unfairly because of discrimination, including any evidence you have to support this. For example:
    • the names of any witnesses who would be willing to give us information about the discrimination
    • a statement from a witness
    • a photograph
    • a note you made at the time
    • a copy of any poster, notice, letter, or anything else you feel is unfair to you
    • a copy of anything that shows how someone else in a similar position to you has been treated differently to the way you were treated
    • anything else that supports what you say, such as emails or letters.

Your proposed resolution

  • How you would like the problem to be resolved. If possible, include what you would like to sort out the complaint. This is called a settlement proposal. This will help us to decide how to deal with your complaint. Because we are impartial, we are unable to help you decide on a settlement proposal. 
  • If you are unable to decide on a settlement proposal, you should seek independent legal advice from your own lawyer or a community legal centre. 
  • You can ask for any reasonable solution, such as:
    •  getting your job back – or a transfer, promotion, or extra training at work
    • getting whatever you were previously refused – for example, accommodation, a loan if you applied for one, admission to a course, and so on
    • an apology
    • changes to policies and procedures to make sure the discrimination does not happen again to anyone else, for example introducing an equal opportunity policy in the workplace
    • education programs in the workplace or organisation involved, so that everyone there, including managers, knows what discrimination is, how to prevent it, and what to do if it happens to them or to anyone else
    • compensation (money) paid for any money you have lost (such as wages), or for damages or hurt feelings
    • a donation to a charity of your choice
    • anything else that might need to be done to make up for the unfair treatment.
Last updated:

23 Feb 2024

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