Options before making a complaint

Ignoring discrimination, sexual harassment, victimisation or vilification thinking it will go away usually does not work. Often it gets worse.

A person who feels they have been treated unfairly can choose what action they feel most comfortable with. They can follow more than one action at the same time.


  1. Tell the person concerned that their behaviour is not acceptable and must stop.
  2. Get more information before deciding what to do:
    • Contact a manager, human resource manager or equity contact officer within the organisation; or
    • Contact a trade union for advice; or
    • Contact Legal Aid or a lawyer for legal advice; or
    • Call the Anti-Discrimination Commission Queensland on 1300 130 670 or TTY on 1300 130 680 for information about rights and responsibilities.
  3. Make an internal complaint by:
    • Contacting the person in the organisation who deals with this kind of complaint; or
    • If it happened at work, complaining to a supervisor, manager or other senior person. Tell them what happened and ask them what they will do to resolve the complaint.
  4. Make an external complaint to:
    • Anti-Discrimination Commission Queensland (ADCQ) on 1300 130 670. We can explain the process to resolve a complaint through conciliation. The Commission complaint resolution service is free. Download a complaint form from this website or ask us to send one. A complaint must be made within 1 year unless there are good reasons for any delay; or
    • Australian Human Rights Commission in Sydney on 1300 369 711; or
    • Fair Work Commission on 1300 799 675 or
    • If you are complaining about something that happened at work in the public service in Queensland, call the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission on 1300 592 987.
  5. Get legal advice about making a complaint.

Time limits

Each organisation has different time limits, so contact them urgently to ask if they can help to resolve a complaint, and find out how much time you have to make a complaint to them.

Complain to the right agency

Making a complaint to the right agency is important. Once a complaint is made to an external organisation it may restrict the right to complain to another external organisation.