We are the New South Wales state government body that administers the Anti-Discrimination Act 1977 (the Act). We strive to eliminate discrimination in New South Wales by:
We are open Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm, and have experienced enquiries officers ready to take your call.
We highly recommend that you speak to an enquiries officer before lodging a complaint. They can explain the complaints process and the information required, so, if you do decide to lodge a complaint, we can process it as quickly as possible.
You can contact us by:
If you need an interpreter, call the Telephone Interpreter Service (TIS National) on 131 450.
If you are deaf and/or find it hard hearing or speaking with people who use a phone, the National Relay Service (NRS) can help you.
We use an informal process called conciliation to support both parties to:
Our service is free, impartial, and confidential.
An ADNSW staff member, called a Conciliation Officer, helps the participants explore ways and options to resolve the issue.
As part of the process, we may conduct a conciliation conference. This is an informal meeting of the participants held by phone, video or in person. If it suits the participants, conciliation can be done without a conference or meeting, with the Conciliation Officer sharing information between the participants.
We help resolve complaints under the Anti-Discrimination Act 1977.
If you are making a complaint about discrimination under the Anti-Discrimination Act 1977, the incident or behaviour must have happened:
Our complaint case studies explain the types of complaints we help resolve.
If your complaint is about an issue that we are unable to help with, such as a crime or consumer rights (not related to discrimination), we may be able to refer you to another organisation that can assist.
We cannot decide whether there is a breach of the law. This is the role of the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal, which can hear and decide cases. The Tribunal makes decisions as to whether discrimination, sexual harassment, vilification, or victimisation has occurred.
If you are thinking about making a complaint, there are some important things you should know:
We resolve most complaints within five months, but some complaints will be fast-tracked if they require urgent action, for example: if someone is about to lose their job.
You can fill in our complaint form or write a letter to the President of Anti-Discrimination NSW.
Our complaint form is available:
If you wish to write a letter, please follow these tips.
You can write your complaint in your language, and we will have it translated into English for free. If writing your complaint is not possible, you can contact us to discuss other ways to submit your complaint.
We accept complaints made on your behalf by a parent, guardian or carer, or organisations such as unions and other representative bodies. Your representative must name you as the complainant and make it clear that you agree to lodging the complaint.
To help us understand your complaint, you should include the following:
You should also provide us with copies of any relevant documents.
If you are worried about making a complaint, you can contact us confidentially to talk about our service and your options.
If you just want to report an incident and are not looking for an outcome or resolution, you can use our online community reporting tool.
We will assess your complaint to see if we can accept it – which we can only do if your complaint is covered by the Anti-Discrimination Act 1977.
We may contact you if we need more information to decide whether to accept your complaint.
If we don’t accept your complaint, we will tell you why and give you information about other organisations that may be able to help.
You can withdraw your complaint at any time.
You can ask for any reasonable solution, such as:
You may wish to read our complaint case studies to see the real-life outcomes achieved.
Please note that Anti-Discrimination NSW does not issue fines and cannot make a determination that discrimination has occurred.
We are committed to providing a quality service that is impartial, accessible and accountable.
We will treat you fairly, with courtesy and in an ethical way. We will handle your matter confidentially and according to the law.
We take a flexible approach to meet the different needs of different members of the NSW community. Our Conciliation Officers use strategies to address any disadvantage experienced by anyone in the process and make sure that the process used is tailored to the needs of the participants to keep them safe.
Please contact our Enquiries Line on 1800 670 812
19 Feb 2024
We acknowledge Aboriginal people as the First Nations Peoples of NSW and pay our respects to Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the ongoing connection Aboriginal people have to this land and recognise Aboriginal people as the original custodians of this land.