The Australian Workers’ Union Privacy Policy

September 2021

Who we are

The Australian Workers’ Union (AWU) represents workers in a number of industries, including but not limited to the industries listed here .

The AWU collects personal information in order to conduct its business of representing its members and improving the lives of Australians and their families.  We may also collect information to inform you about, or provide you with, products and services. The AWU operates in the political, legal, industrial and social spheres.

The AWU is committed to protecting your privacy and providing you with information and services relevant to you. The AWU complies with the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) (Privacy Act) and the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs). This Privacy Policy (Policy) should be read in conjunction with the Privacy Act and the APPs.

Where this Policy applies

This Policy applies to personal information the AWU collects from you:

  • via one of our websites;
  • via social media;
  • via telephone;
  • via email;
  • via fax;
  • in person; and/or
  • in writing.

This Policy also applies to personal information the AWU collects from its branches, other Australian trade unions or any other third party, about you.

This Policy also applies to the following AWU brands and alliances: Hair Stylists Australia, Swim Instructors Australia, Western Mine Workers’ Alliance and the Offshore Alliance.

AWU Websites 

The AWU websites collect two types of information. The first type is anonymous information. The web server makes a record of your visit and logs the following information for statistical purposes:

  • the user’s server address;
  • the user’s top level domain name (e.g. .com, .gov, .net, .au, etc.);
  • the date and time of the visit to the site;
  • the pages accessed and documents downloaded;
  • the previous site visited; and
  • the type of browser used.

No attempt will be made to identify users or their browsing activities except, in the unlikely event of an investigation, where a law enforcement agency may exercise a warrant to inspect the internet service provider’s logs. 

The second type of information that AWU websites collect is personal information. Personal information is requested in order to provide personalised and enhanced services that are not available to anonymous users. 

A cookie is a piece of data stored on the user’s computer tied to information about the user. Cookies may be used on the AWU’s websites.

Our websites may contain links to other websites and social media pages including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn. We are not responsible for the privacy policies of the entities responsible for those websites and we recommend that you review the privacy policies applicable to any other websites you visit.

What personal data we collect and why we collect it

You may voluntarily supply your personal information to the AWU. The AWU will record your e-mail address if you send us a message, subscribe to an email newsletter, or complete a form if this information is requested. When you provide your personal information, it allows us, for example, to assist you with industrial relations and employment queries, and inform you about industrial, social and political campaigns

You may supply personal information to the AWU by, for example, responding to a survey, taking part in a competition, or signing up to a campaign. The AWU only collects personal information that is necessary for the AWU to perform its functions and/or activities.

Depending upon the circumstances, you may provide to the AWU, and the AWU may collect, information such as, but not limited to:

  • your name;
  • your contact details;
  • your social media details (e.g. blogs, twitter, Facebook, Instagram LinkedIn);
  • your gender;
  • your marital status;
  • your employment details;
  • your educational qualifications; and
  • your inquiry or complaint details.

Some personal information is considered sensitive information and includes:

  • your political opinions;
  • your political party membership (if any);
  • your union membership (if any);
  • your racial or ethnic origin;
  • your sexual orientation;
  • any disabilities, illnesses or injuries you may have; and/or
  • any other health information.

For users that register on our website, we also store the personal information they provide in their user profile. Website administrators can also see and edit that information.

We will only collect sensitive information where we have received your consent to that information being collected, used, disclosed and stored by the AWU in accordance with this Policy, and provided that the collection is reasonably necessary for us to pursue one or more of our functions or activities. 

If we receive unsolicited personal information about or relating to you and we determine that such information could have been collected in the same manner if we had solicited the information, then we will treat it in the same way as solicited personal information and in accordance with the APPs. Otherwise if we determine that such information could not have been collected in the same manner as solicited personal information, and that information is not contained in a Commonwealth record, we will, if it is lawful and reasonable to do so, destroy the information or de-identify the information.

The AWU collects, holds, uses and discloses your personal information including your email address to:

  • assist you with industrial relations and employment queries;
  • inform you about industrial, social and political campaigns;
  • inform you about your rights at work;
  • inform you about changes to legislation;
  • refer you to an appropriate union;
  • improve our service delivery and websites;
  • manage the AWU’s relationship with you;
  • conduct surveys and research;
  • provide educational services and professional development;
  • promote and market AWU events, products or services;
  • enable our partners and sponsors to promote and market their events, products or services to you;
  • subscribe you to the AWU’s email newsletter(s); and/or
  • enable our third party service providers to do or assist with the above.

Job Applications

Where you provide information to the AWU in relation to a job application the personal information you provide will only be collected, held, used and disclosed for the purposes of considering your potential employment with the AWU. Where you provide the details of referees, you confirm that you have informed the referees that you are providing their contact information to the AWU and they have consented to the AWU contacting them and discussing the personal information you have provided in relation to the job application.


When visitors leave comments on the site we collect the data shown in the comments form, and also the IP address and browser user agent string.


If you upload images to the website, you should avoid uploading images with embedded location data (EXIF GPS) included. 

Contact forms

When visitors use contact forms on the site we collect the data shown in the comments form, and also the IP address and browser user agent string


When using our site you may opt-in to saving your name, email address and website in cookies. These are for your convenience so that you do not have to fill in your details again when you leave another comment. 

If you visit our login page, we will set a temporary cookie to determine if your browser accepts cookies. This cookie contains no personal data and is discarded when you close your browser.

When you log in, we will also set up several cookies to save your login information and your screen display choices. Login cookies last for two days, and screen options cookies last for a year. If you select “Remember Me”, your login will persist for two weeks. If you log out of your account, the login cookies will be removed.

If you edit or publish an article, an additional cookie will be saved in your browser. This cookie includes no personal data and simply indicates the post ID of the article you just edited. It expires after 1 day.

Embedded content from other websites

Articles on this site may include embedded content (e.g. videos, images, articles, etc.). Embedded content from other websites behaves in the exact same way as if the visitor has visited the other website.

These websites may collect data about you, use cookies, embed additional third-party tracking, and monitor your interaction with that embedded content, including tracking your interaction with the embedded content if you have an account and are logged in to that website.


We may also partner with Third party vendors to allow tracking technologies and remarketing services on the site. We may among other things, analyse and track users’ use of the Site, determine the popularity of certain content and better understand online activity. By accessing the Site, you consent to the collection and use of your information by these third-party vendors. We do not transfer personal information to these third-party vendors.

Who do we disclose your information to?

Decisions concerning the disclosure of members’ personal information are made at the Branch level and may differ across the AWU Branches. Please see the AWU QLD Branch Privacy Policy if you are a member of Queensland Branch.  


In general, the AWU may disclose your personal information, in connection with or to further the purposes outlined above, to: 

  • the ACTU;
  • other Australian trade unions; 
  • affiliated trades halls or labour councils; 
  • AWU Delegates and AWU Occupational Health & Safety Delegates;
  • political parties; 
  • government bodies or agencies (including the Fair Work Commission, the Fair Work Ombudsman, the Australian Tax Office, an anti-discrimination body, a work/occupational health and safety regulator);
  • organisations to whom we outsource functions;
  • other global Unions e.g. IndustriALL, International Labour Organisation;
  • third parties for the purpose of providing news services that may be of interest to you, (excluding Queensland AWU members, except upon request);
  • otherwise, as you have consented; and/or
  • otherwise as required by law. 

The AWU does not sell or licence your personal information to third parties. We take reasonable steps to ensure that each organisation that we disclose your personal information to is committed to protecting your privacy and complies with the Australian Privacy Principles, or is subject to a law or scheme that is at least substantially similar to the way in which the Australian Privacy Principles protect information. By providing your personal information to the AWU, you consent to us transferring your personal information to such other organisations.

Using your information for direct marketing

You consent to our use and disclosure of your personal information for the purposes of direct marketing which may include providing you with promotional material, information about events, products or services of the AWU or third parties such as partners and sponsors, which may be of interest to you, now and in the future.

If you do not want us to use your personal information for direct marketing purposes, you may elect not to receive direct marketing at the time of providing your personal information. You can opt out when you are contacted, or you can contact us using the contact details set out below, if you do not want to receive marketing information.

Unsubscribing and opting out

If you no longer wish to receive direct marketing or other communications, you may request at any time to cancel your consent to such communications as follows:

  • If subscribing to an email newsletter you may “unsubscribe” at any time from the newsletter mailing list;
  • The AWU may, from time to time, send you text messages about issues of importance such as events or campaigns. You may “opt out” by texting STOP in reply to a text message from the AWU;
  • You may contact us via:

How and how long we retain your data

All data and its metadata are retained indefinitely. 

Wherever reasonably practicable the AWU holds electronic personal information on data servers that are owned and controlled by the AWU in Australia. The data servers are password protected and login secured. However, by providing personal information to the AWU you consent to your information being stored and processed on a data server or data servers (such as cloud services) owned by a third party or third parties that may be located outside of Australia.

The AWU will take reasonable steps to ensure that any third party providers comply with the APPs, or are subject to a law or scheme that is at least substantially similar to the way in which the APPs protect information.

Wherever reasonably practicable the AWU holds physical personal information in access controlled premises. 

When the AWU no longer requires your personal information for a specific purpose and we are not required to keep it to comply with any laws, we will take such steps as are reasonable in the circumstances to destroy your personal information or to ensure that the information is de-identified.

How you may seek access and/or correction to personal information held by the AWU

You have the right to request access to your personal information and request that it be updated or corrected. In most cases you can gain access to your personal information that the AWU holds. To request access to, correction of, or updating of any personal information held about you, please write to the AWU at the following address:

Level 1, 16-20 Good St, Granville NSW 2141

1300 040 482

[email protected]

How you may complain about a breach of the APPs

To make a complaint about an alleged breach of the APPs please contact the AWU via one of the following methods:

Level 1, 16-20 Good St, Granville NSW 2141

1300 040 482

[email protected]

The AWU will seek to deal with privacy complaints as follows:

  • complaints will be treated seriously;
  • complaints will be dealt with promptly;
  • complaints will be dealt with confidentially;
  • complaints will be investigated by the AWU Privacy Officer; and
  • the outcome of an investigation will be provided to the complainant where the complainant has provided proof of identity.

Updating personal information

You should contact the AWU when your previously supplied personal information changes. It is important that we keep our membership information up to date. Membership can be contacted at: [email protected]

What data breach procedures we have in place

The Notifiable Data Breaches Scheme commenced on 22 February 2018. This affects breaches that occurred on or after this date. 

The Notifiable Data Breaches Scheme introduced an obligation to notify individuals whose personal information is involved in a data breach that is likely to result in serious harm. 

The notification must include recommendations about the steps taken in response to the breach and the Australian Information Commissioner must be notified of an Eligible Data Breach. Although serious harm is not defined by the Privacy Act, in the context of a data breach, serious harm to an individual may include serious physical harm, psychological harm, emotional harm, financial harm or reputational harm. 

Samples of serious harm to an individual may include identity theft, significant financial loss by the individual, threats to an individual’s safety, loss of business or employment opportunities, humiliation, damage to reputation or relationships, workplace or social bullying or marginalisation. A data breach occurs when personal information held by an organisation is lost or subjected to unauthorised access or disclosure. 

An eligible data breach arises when the following three criteria is satisfied: 

  1. There is unauthorised access to, or unauthorised disclosure of, personal information, or a loss of personal information, that an entity holds; 
  2. This is likely to result in serious harm to one or more individuals; and 
  3. The entity has not been able to prevent the likely risk of serious harm with remedial action. 

Some examples of possible eligible data breaches include:

  1. Losing a membership application form with a member’s personal information on it; 
  2. Sending an email to the wrong recipient that includes personal information about someone, such as a member; 
  3. A device containing personal information is lost or stolen; 
  4. A database containing personal information is hacked;
  5. A file containing details of a member(s) industrial matter is lost, stolen, or misplaced; or 
  6. An employee browses sensitive member information without any legitimate purpose. 

It is of upmost importance and consistent with union values, that members personal information remains confidential. Our members have entrusted us to safeguard their information and a misuse of this may lead to reputational damage, loss of trust and personal damage to our members. If an AWU staff suspects a data breach may have occurred, they have an obligation to immediately report the breach to the National Secretary or Branch Secretary who will determine the next steps in line with the Data Breach Procedure. 

What third parties we receive data from?

From time to time the AWU may receive data from third party providers. In this circumstance the AWU will take all reasonable steps to ensure that any third party providers comply with the APPs, or are subject to a law or scheme that is at least substantially similar to the way in which the APPs protect information.

Variations to the Policy

This Policy may be varied from time to time and an updated version will be posted on the AWU’s websites. Please check our websites regularly to ensure that you have the most recent version of the Policy.