General Policies: Privacy Policy


With the introduction of the Privacy Act 1988 (as amended) in December 2001, Palms Australia is obliged and seeks to be compliant with the new requirements of this legislation. The legislation is designed to protect the rights of individuals in relation to the information that can be used.

The following document provides an overview of Palms Australia’s privacy policy. This policy is informed by the National Privacy Principles (attached) which govern the ways in which organisations, including Palms Australia collect, use, disclose and store personal information. When personal information such as name, address, or health details are collected, we are bound to follow these principles.


Palms Australia respects the privacy and confidentiality of our donors, volunteers, subscribers, members and partners.

A Privacy Officer has been nominated to implement Palms Australia’s privacy policy and to respond to queries.


  1. Palms Australia Global Volunteers
    1. When collecting personal information, we will attempt to explain why personal information is being collected and for what purposes.  However, generally, the main reasons for the collection of personal information are:
      • To process a volunteer’s application with Palms Australia
      • To organise cross-cultural training and preparation
      • To organise and facilitate placements
      • To communicate with relevant employers and government departments
      • To provide on-going support during the application process, whilst on the field and upon return to Australia
      • To provide feedback about a placement and experience
      • To monitor, evaluate and improve the Palms Australia Global Volunteer program
      • To provide a de-briefing weekend after completion of a placement
      • To communicate to volunteers news & events of Palms Australia,  future placements,  employment or community development, education and  personal formation opportunities.
    2. Information may also be provided to necessary third parties.  These parties may include the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), health & insurance providers, Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade, overseas governments and overseas or Australian employers.  Consent will be sought if information required is of a sensitive* nature.  Consent will be sought from volunteers for any letters, stories, reflections, information or photographs to be used in any publications.
    3. Consistent with our past and current practice, contact details of volunteers will not be disclosed to Australian or overseas sources without prior permission from the volunteer.
    4. Under the new legislation, volunteers have the right to access personal information held and the right to request that the information held on file is correct, complete & up-to-date.
    5. If a volunteer requests to see or wishes to change information held on file, this request needs to be forwarded to the Privacy Officer. Changes and response to request must occur within 7 days.
    6. Volunteers’ paper files will be kept in a secure location and access to these files and computer database is limited to certain employees and protected by a password.  Files will be kept for 7 years.
  2. The collection of volunteer’s personal details is covered by the Privacy Act and forms a significant part of Palms Australia’s obligation.

  3. Donors, Members & Subscribers
    1. Under the new legislation, donors, members & subscribers have the right to access personal information held and the right to request that this information held on file is correct.
    2. If donors, members or subscribers request to see or wish to change information held on file, this request needs to be forwarded to the Privacy Officer.   Changes and response to request must occur within 7 days.
    3. Consistent with our past and current practice, personally identifiable details of donors, members & subscribers will not be disclosed without prior permission.
    4. Opportunities to be removed from the Palms Australia mailing list are to be provided with regular mail-outs.
    5. Access to contact details and database is limited to certain employees.

Sensitive Information in regards to privacy

  • Racial or ethnic origin
  • Political opinions
  • Membership of a political party
  • Religious beliefs
  • Philosophical beliefs
  • Health information
  • Membership of a professional or trade association
  • Membership of a trade union
  • Sexual preference
  • Criminal record

Friendships grow between people of different backgrounds and cultures because they meet as persons, not because they share a common heritage.
Such friendships grow because we all belong to the largest group of all, the human race. - Jean Vanier