Mercy Community Services

To support and empower those who are poor, vulnerable, marginalised or in a position of disadvantage

Privacy Policy

Mercy Community Services (MCS) is committed to ensuring everybody’s privacy rights are upheld. The Privacy Act 1988 gives guidance as to how MCS needs to do this, through the Australian Privacy Principles.

What is personal information and why do we need it?

Personal information is any information or opinion, recorded in written/material form or not, about an individual who can be reasonably identified.

At MCS, we often need a lot of personal information to deliver our services and we might collect it through conversations, phone calls, filling out forms and/or receiving documents from other people. This can include your contact details, some general details about you, information about your history and life experiences, information about your health, mental health and/or disabilities. Most of this information will be factual but some might be opinion, whether from MCS or from somebody else.

What do we do with your personal information?

When you receive services from us, we will record information and opinions about your progress, your routines, your challenges, your achievements and any other information that’s important for the way we work with you.

So that we can do our best to support you, we might need to share your personal information with other agencies, guardians, families or government departments. We’ll make sure you know about, and consent to, us sharing this information – unless it’s not safe or reasonable to do so.

Sometimes there is particular information we need to be able to provide a service to you. If a MCS staff member requests information that you don’t think they need to know, talk to them about your concerns. They’ll listen to you and clarify why they need the information. However, we may be unable to deliver services unless we have all the information we need.

How do we store your personal information?

Any paper records we have about you will be stored in our offices in locked cabinets. We will store your electronic information in our secure environment which is accessible to MCS employees, contractors, volunteers and students on placement hosted by MCS. These servers are based in Australia so your information does not go overseas.

MCS undertakes to ensure that only those who work directly with you, or have responsibility for the people working with you, have access to your information. Sometimes our support service teams, like IT or our Quality Improvement team, will have access to your information. Every employee at MCS signs a Privacy and Confidentiality Agreement when they start with us, requiring them to keep any client or organisational information private.

If you want to know more about how your information is being stored, talk to a MCS staff member who can explain further.

How can you correct/update your personal information?

If there are changes to your personal information, or you become aware that the information we have is not correct, speak to a MCS staff member or contact us and ask us to change this.

How can you access your personal information?

You have a right to your personal information and you can access it by following the steps below:

  1. Prepare a written request. There is a MCS form you can use for this.To get a copy of this form, speak to a MCS staff member or call the Privacy Officer on (07) 3866 4160. If you would prefer not to fill out a form we will need the following information from you.
    • Proof of who you are and how the information requested is relevant to you
    • What information you are after
    • Why you are requesting the information
    • When you need the information by
    You can ask someone to help you with this if you like.
  2. Send this request into the MCS Privacy Officer, via:
    Email: privacy@mercycs.org.au
    Mail:
    ATTN: Privacy Officer
    Mercy Community Services
    PO Box 508, Lutwyche Q 4030
  3. You’ll receive a letter to let you know that your request has been received within five working days. If you don’t get this letter something may have gone wrong and you should contact the Privacy Officer on (07) 3866 4160.
  4. You’ll receive an outcome letter from your request within 28 days

How to make a complaint

If you believe there has been a breach of your privacy rights, you have the right to make a complaint. You can do this by following the below steps:

  1. Write down your complaint. Tell us who you are, what has happened and what you’re unhappy about. You might like to ask someone to help you with this.
  2. Send your complaint into the MCS Privacy Officer via:
    Email: privacy@mercycs.org.au
    Mail:
    ATTN: Privacy Officer
    Mercy Community Services
    PO Box 508, Lutwyche Q 4030
  3. You’ll be contacted within five working days regarding how this complaint will be managed.
  4. If you’re unhappy with the way MCS deals with your complaint, you can contact the Australian Information Commissioner to submit a further complaint. You can contact them by:
    • Visiting their website – www.oaic.gov.au
    • Calling them on 1300 363 992
    • Emailing them at enquiries@oaic.gov.au
    • Faxing them on (02) 9284 9666, or
    • Posting your complaint to them at GPO Box 5218, Sydney, NSW, 2001.