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Privacy Policy

Meli is committed to protecting your privacy and we recognise the importance of protecting the right to privacy of the individuals with whom we engage. 

Meli is bound by the Australian Privacy Principles in the Privacy Act 1998, the Information Privacy Principles in the Information Privacy Act 2000 (Vic) and the Health Privacy Principles in the Health Records Act 2001 (Vic) (Privacy Legislation) which regulate how Meli may collect, use, disclose and store personal information, and how individuals may access and correct personal information held about them.

The below Q&A will provide you information regarding our Privacy Policy.

Privacy Q&A

Personal information is any information which identifies an individual and information from which an individual’s identity can be reasonably determined.

Meli may need to collect sensitive information which is necessary for us to conduct our service and activities.

Sensitive information may include:

  • racial or ethnic origin
  • political opinions, association or membership including trade unions,
  • gender identity
  • religious beliefs or affiliations
  • sexual preferences or practices
  • criminal record.

As part of administration our services, we may collect health information (such as medical history), which means information, or an opinion about the health or a disability of an individual, or individual’s wishes about the provision of health services.

If health information from a third-party (such as your doctor) is collected, we will inform you that this information has been collected and will explain how this information will be used and disclosed.

Meli will only collect, hold and maintain personal information from individuals that is necessary to conduct our services and activities.

Meli collects personal information directly from individuals, in writing, by telephone, email or via our website. The types of personal information we collect may include:

  • names
  • mailing and street addresses
  • email addresses, telephone numbers, social media and other telecommunications identifiers
  • age and birth date
  • health information
  • lifestyle factors such as cultural background and individual life goals and plans
  • images and video content
  • sensitive information
  • banking and financial details where relevant
  • profession, occupation, or job title
  • engagement with our website through the submission of electronic forms, surveys or providing any messages or comments on our website
  • engagement  social media platform
  • other family members details including children, partners, carers, dependents, and other authorised representatives.

We may also receive personal information from a variety of other sources, including:

  • information about individuals which is given to us by government or non-government agencies (including carer, trustee or authorised representative) acting on behalf of those individuals
  • publicly available sources of information, such as public registers
  • other organisations, who jointly with us, provide services
  • if required to do so in accordance with legislation
  • personal information collected will be stored confidentially unless disclosure is required by law.

Meli will take reasonable steps to ensure personal information is accurate, completed and up to date. If a client identifies inaccuracy with their personal information, a request to the Meli Privacy Officer should be made to update the information, with details of information required to be corrected and rationale.

Meli will provide individuals the option of not identifying themselves, or use of a pseudonym.

Exceptions to this include when Meli is required by:

  • Australian law or a court/tribunal order to identify individuals
  • regulatory or funding requirements
  • its impracticable to provide a service to individuals who have not identified themselves.

All personal information collected by Meli will be used only for the primary purpose intended:

  • to facilitate the provision of services and activities
  • for the employment of staff, volunteers, and carers
  • recording and processing of donations

Meli may not be able to provide some or all services to an individual, unless the organisation is provided with the personal information requested.

Meli may collect and use personal information to comply with legislative, regulatory and funding reporting requirements.

Meli may also disclose your personal information if:

  • required or authorised by law or where there is a public duty to do so, in the case of suspected or actual child abuse or other matters of a serious or criminal nature as outlined in related
  • information Sharing Entity (ISE)  and Risk Assessment Entity (RAE) under the Family Violence Sharing Scheme (FVIS) and Child Information Sharing Scheme (CISS)
  • an individual has expressly consented to the disclosure, or the consent may be reasonably inferred from the circumstances
  • an individual has applied for a position with the organisation, and we are required to exchange some or all of your personal information with your referees, police, Centrelink and recruitment consultants for purposes relating to considering your application
  • where the organisation is otherwise permitted to disclose the information under the Privacy Act
  • there is reasonable belief a child or young person is at risk of harm.

Meli may find it necessary to share some of your personal information with our volunteers or agencies, who jointly work with us, provide services to clients, to contractors or third-party providers where tasks are outsourced.

Meli may seek your consent in writing to capture the moments, achievements, and creations associated with the service and activities we provide for media purposes.

Meli will collect de-identified information from individuals electronically, for instance through internet browsing, mobile or tablet applications.

Meli does not collect personal information through our website, unless provided by an individual.

Our website may record non-identifiable information about an individual for statistical reporting, administration and maintenance purposes. Information collected may include:

  • date and time of visit(s)
  • pages viewed
  • users navigation through the site and interaction with pages (including fields completed in forms, information downloaded and applications completed)
  • location information about users
  • information about the device used to visit our website
  • IP address.

Meli takes care to ensure that information provided on our website is protected.

Meli cannot ensure or warrant the security of any information sent to us or received online or via email. Meli takes all reasonable steps to protect personal information once it has been received.

Meli uses various technologies to monitor the safety of workplace participants including the location of Meli vehicles, CCTV, onsite and remote duress alarms.

If Meli uses other online platforms or systems in order to deliver you a service, we will make sure that they have security measures in place to meet Australian privacy laws.

Meli is able to provide counselling, support and therapy services as audio and video consultations using online applications via third party software providers.

These online tools allow you to see and talk to your Meli worker via a mobile device, video camera, web cam, smart TV or computer screen, exactly as if you were talking to them in person.

Meli will make every effort to ensure that the privacy and security settings on these platforms protect the confidentiality of your call. However, these online platforms are hosted externally to Meli so we cannot guarantee the security of video calls.

Your Meli worker will explain the conditions of the use to you and this type of service will only be provided with your consent.

Our website uses cookies to make your experience of the site easier and more efficient. A cookie is a small data file placed on your hard drive by a web page server. A cookie cannot retrieve any data from your hard drive, pass on a computer virus, or capture your email address. The cookie will remain on your computer as a record for future visits to this website.

You can configure your browser to notify you when you receive a cookie, providing you with the opportunity to either accept or reject it. You can also refuse all cookies by turning them off in your browser or deleting all cookies from your computer.

This Privacy Statement applies only to the Meli website and does not apply to Linked Sites.

When accessing Linked Sites from any hyperlink appearing on the website, we recommend that you read any applicable privacy statement or policy applicable to that Linked Site.

Much of the personal information Meli holds will be stored electronically in secure databases. Some personal information may also be stored in paper files.

Meli takes measures to ensure your personal information is accurate, up-to-date, complete, and relevant, and is protected from unauthorised access, loss, misuse, disclosure or alteration. Meli uses a variety of measures to protect the security of personal information held.

These steps include reasonable, physical, technical and administrative security safeguards for electronic and hard copy of paper records as identified below:

  • Physically securing the areas in which the personal information is stored
  • Building security systems
  • Using an accredited document storage provider for archived files
  • IT security systems e.g., password protection, virus protection and firewalls, internet and email filters electronic audit trails on databases, server security policies, Vulnerability scans and data encrypted at rest and in transit (where possible)
  • Two-factor authentication is required to be used by all staff when accessing our systems
  • IT access hierarchy and permission controls (where possible)
  • All computer and mobile devices have content erased when they are decommissioned
  • All employees are required to complete induction and training about information security and are required to sign a code-of-conduct as part of their contract of employment.

Personal information Meli holds is stored electronically in secure data bases and servers which are located within Australia. However, where our software or service providers are located or store data located outside of Australia, we will ensure these software providers have privacy protections in place which are substantially similar to Australian privacy laws.

Paper-based records are archived following the last point of contact in accordance with the Public Records Act 1973 (Vic), other relevant legislation and Meli’s archiving procedures.

With the exception of what is contained in this Privacy Statement, we do not sell or otherwise disclose your personal information to other organisations.

Meli provides services to children, young people and families in Victoria. The organisation does not transfer information outside Victoria unless satisfied that the recipient organisation is subject to a binding legal obligation to protect privacy that is equivalent to the obligations that apply to us.

Reasons for disclosing information may include:

  • Recruitment of an employee, volunteer or carer from another Australian state or overseas
  • A request is made from a government agency or law enforcement body from another jurisdiction
  • A request is made from a former client now living in another jurisdiction or overseas

Meli will take reasonable steps to maintain and dispose of information in accordance with the Public Records Act 1973 (Vic) and other relevant legislation. Information that is retained will be archived in a certified, offsite high security storage facility. When personal information is no longer required it is destroyed in a secure manner.

A data breach occurs when personal information is accessed, disclosed without authorisation, or is lost. For example, when

  • a USB or mobile phone that holds an individual’s personal information is stolen
  • a database containing personal information is hacked
  • someone’s personal information is sent to the wrong person.

Meli will act quickly if you are affected by a data breach.

Under the Notifiable Data Breaches scheme Meli is obliged to tell you if a data breach has occurred and is likely to cause serious harm such as;

  • identity theft, which can affect your finances and credit report
  • financial loss through fraud
  • a likely risk of physical harm
  • serious psychological harm
  • serious harm to an individual reputation.

Meli will work to reduce and resolve the data breach. Meli will contact you to tell you about the data breach via email, text message or a phone call. The notification will inform you of the kind of personal information involved, a description of the data breach and recommendations for the steps you can take in response.

If you are invited to participate in a research project, you will receive information about your rights and our responsibility. A consent form will be provided that ensures the participants identity, personal information and responses will not be disclosed to anyone outside the research team unless otherwise agreed upon.

The collection of personal information will be limited to that which is required for the conduct of the project. Individual participants will not be identified in any published material without written consent.

When you subscribe to receive news and updates from Meli or make a donation, Meli will disclose your information to our two Customer Relationship Management (CRM) digital platforms called Swift Digital and Salesforce to help create and send newsletters, invitations, receipts, updates and communications.

For donations, we may also need to share your information with our banks for the purpose of processing donations.

You will be offered the opportunity to ‘opt out’ if you do not wish to receive this information

Meli takes all reasonable steps to ensure that personal information held is accurate and as up-to-date as is possible.

Individuals can request access to the personal information we hold about them and can ask for corrections to be made. Meli will always provide access to any personal information we hold about an individual. Individuals are able to contact Meli at any time and ask for corrections if it is felt the information held is inaccurate, incomplete or out-of-date.

There are some circumstances in which Meli is not required to give access to an individual’s personal information, e.g. where giving access would have an unreasonable impact on the privacy of other individuals, or access would pose a serious threat to the life, health or safety of any individual, or to public health or safety. If Meli refuse to provide access, individuals will be provided with reasons as to why access is refused, unless it is unreasonable to do so. If Meli refuse a request an individual has the right to request that a statement be associated with their personal information noting that they disagree with its accuracy.

Before Meli provides access to personal information proof of identity is required. This is to protect the confidentiality of personal information.

Meli Privacy Statement will be updated to reflect any changes made to the Australian Privacy Act or Victoria’s Privacy and Data Protection Act. Meli may change the way we handle personal information from time to time. In these instances, our Privacy Statement will be amended. This website will reflect the most up-to-date version.

If you have any questions or are concerned about how personal information is being handled or have a complaint about a breach by us of the Australian Privacy Principles, please contact the Meli Privacy Officer at privacy@meli.org.au or complete the online feedback form.

For more information about how to make a complaint and the process please visit Reporting Feedback & Complaints to Meli on our website or email us via feedback@meli.org.au.

Further information

If you wish to gain access to your personal information, or any other query about our collection, use or handling of personal information, you can contact:

Privacy Officer

Email:  privacy@meli.org.au 

Phone: 03 5278 8122

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