ABC Counselling complies with legislation relating to privacy and confidentiality, including the following:

  • Public Health Act 2005
  • Human Rights Act 2019
  • Mental Health Act 2016
  • Right to Information Act 2009
  • Information Privacy Act 2009

In addition, ABC Counselling staff are bound by ABC Counselling’s strict privacy and confidentiality policies, as well as professional code of conduct or ethics.

1. What is “personal information”?

(a) The Privacy Act 1988 currently defines “personal information” as information or an opinion about an identified or reasonably identifiable individual.

  1. Whether the information or opinion is accurate or not; and
  2. Whether the information or opinion is recorded in a material form or not.

(b) If the information does not disclose your identity or enable your identity to be ascertained, it will in most cases not be classified as ‘personal information”. It will not be subject to this privacy policy.

2. What information do we collect?

(a) The kind of personal information that we collect from you will depend on your individual need. ABC Counselling will only collect information necessary to provide health care and perform related health services functions. This will be done in a fair, lawful and non-intrusive way.

(b) Generally, information will be collected directly from you (the patient) rather than from another person. You will be advised if this is not possible and where practicable.

(c) The personal information which we collect and hold about you may include:

  • Name
  • Address
  • DOB
  • Place of birth
  • Details of your next of kin or support person
  • Your medical information, specifically Mental Health
  • Your qualifications, aspirations
  • All evaluations and diagnostic test results
  • Case Notes and counselling notes
  • Career Path and Personal Development Plans
  • Gender
  • Marital status
  • Preferred language
  • Occupation
  • Religion
  • Referring Doctor details
  • Medicare card number
  • Private health insurance number
  • Health Care Card or Pension Card details

3. How we collect your personal information

(a) We may collect personal information from you whenever you provide written responses to us. (b) We also collect information during counselling sessions by making notes. (c) We collect information during coaching sessions when analyses are conducted.

4. Purpose of collection

(a) The purpose for which we collect personal information is to provide you with the best service experience possible. (b) We customarily disclose personal information only to individuals you have permitted. (c) You consent to receive direct marketing materials using our services. We do not use sensitive personal information in direct marketing activity. Our direct marketing material will include a simple means by which you can request not to receive further communications of this nature. (d) We are legally obligated to disclose information when there is any indication of intended harm, whether to yourself or others.

5. Sharing personal information to support family and child wellbeing

  • ABC Counselling is required to share the relevant and necessary information for family violence risk assessment and management or to promote child safety and wellbeing.
  • This includes voluntarily sharing information or responding to requests if it is believed doing so will increase the safety of a victim survivor or improve the wellbeing of a child.
  • Examples of information that may be shared include personal, health and sensitive information (including opinions) that are relevant to assessing and/ or managing family violence risk.

Health Experience Surveys

  • To help us improve health services you may be contacted about your experience with ABC Counselling.
  • ABC Counselling will also ask you for permission to use your contact details for other purposes. You can tell us if you no longer wish to be contacted. The reasons we may contact you are outlined below.

Health-related research

  • To assist in health-related research projects, studies or clinical trials that aim to improve and inform the care of our community, were approved by the ABC Counselling Research and Ethics Committee.
  • ABC Counselling has strong affiliations with universities and educational institutions including CQ University and RTO Axiom College and RTO Aurora.

Required by law

  • Pursuant to a subpoena (also called a summons) or warrant.
  • Mandatory notifications, such as child protection notifications.

Government Agencies

The Department of Health or other agencies may require ABC Counselling to disclose information by law, for example, in the case of notifiable diseases.

6. Access and corrections

Australian Privacy Principle 12 permits you to access to the personal information we hold about you in certain circumstances, and Australian Privacy Principle 13 allows you to correct inaccurate personal information subject to certain exceptions. If you would like to obtain such access, please contact us as set out below.

7. Complaint procedure

If you have a complaint concerning the way we maintain the privacy of your personal information, please contact us as set out below. Aletta Marshall will consider all complaints, and we may seek further information from you to clarify your concerns. If we see that your complaint is well-founded, we will, in consultation with you, take appropriate steps to rectify the problem. If you remain dissatisfied with the outcome, you may refer the matter to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.

8. Transfer

Your personal information will not be disclosed to recipients outside ABC Counselling unless you expressly request us to do so. If you request us to transfer your personal information to a recipient, the recipient will be required to comply with the Australian Privacy Principles, but we will not be liable for any mishandling of your information in such circumstances.

9. How to contact us about privacy

If you have any queries, if you seek access to your personal information, or if you have a complaint about our privacy practices, you can contact us at