St Vincent de Paul Society - Privacy Policy

This document sets out the principles that the St Vincent de Paul Society (‘the Society’) has adopted in relation to the protection and handling of personal information.

As a major Australian charity, the Society is committed to protecting your personal information. In addition to this Privacy Policy, there may also be specific and additional privacy terms which apply to some of our functions and practices. If this is the case, we recommend that these specific and additional terms be reviewed whenever they are provided. Our employees can contact our human resources team for more information about their privacy.

Privacy laws

The Society is bound by the Australian Privacy Principles in the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth), and other laws which protect the privacy of individuals. We will sometimes handle personal information relying on exemptions under these laws including the exemptions in the Privacy Act applicable to not-for-profit organisations. Any permitted handling under such exemptions will take precedence over this Privacy Policy.

Collection of personal information

In certain circumstances, we may collect personal information about you, for example when you contact us, apply for a job or volunteer position, make a donation or join our mailing list. The type of information that we collect includes your name, contact details, identification information, title as well as any personal information provided in forms and documents you submit to us. We also record details of our interactions with you, including any contact we have with you in person, by email, online or on the telephone. If you are a donor, we may also collect credit card or other financial details. The Society may monitor and record your communications with us (including by email and telephone) and we may also operate video and audio surveillance devices in our premises for security, dispute resolution and training purposes.

Where practical, the Society will collect personal information directly from you but we may also collect personal information from third parties including other not-for-profit organisations, government agencies, information service providers or public sources.

Where we collect sensitive information from you, such as health information or religious association, we will do so only with your consent, where you provide such information voluntarily or where otherwise authorised by law.

You may withdraw your consent for the Society to retain this information at any time.

Use and disclosure of personal information

We collect, use and disclose personal information to provide, administer, improve and personalise our services and goods, process donations and payments, identify individuals, maintain and update our records, assess applications for support or assistance, provide support and assistance to those in need, assess employee or volunteer applications, conduct surveys and research, protect our lawful interests and respond to your queries or concerns.

We may also collect, use and disclose personal information in connection with lawful information requests from courts, government agencies and lawyers and in connection with suspected fraud, misconduct or unlawful activity.

If you are a donor, mailing list registrant, ‘Vinnies’ shopper or volunteer, we may use your personal information to provide you with ongoing promotional materials and marketing communications about our events, products, services and fundraising initiatives by telephone, email, online or by other means (unless you opt out or we are subject to legal restrictions).

We may not be able to do these things without your personal information. For example, we may not be able to communicate with you or respond to your enquiries.

We may exchange your personal information with St Vincent de Paul Societies located in other States and Territories and the National Council of the St Vincent de Paul Society and with other non-for-profit organisations and service providers, including government agencies, who may provide you with assistance or assist us with archival, auditing, accounting, legal, business, banking, payment, delivery, data processing, storage and analysis, research, investigation, website or technology services.

Some of the third parties described above may be located in other countries such as the United States and you agree that while they will often be subject of confidentiality or privacy obligations, they may not always follow the particular requirements of Australian privacy laws.

Storage and security of personal information

The Society handles personal information electronically and in hard copy form, both at our own premises and with the assistance of our service providers. In either case, a range of measures are implemented to protect the security of that personal information. We are also required to take reasonable steps to destroy or permanently de-identify personal information where it is no longer needed for a permitted purpose.

The St Vincent de Paul Society website and email

If you visit (the Website) to read, browse or download information, our system may record information such as the date and time of your visit to the Website, the pages accessed and any information downloaded. This information is used for statistical, reporting and website administration and maintenance purposes.

Like many other websites, our Website may use ‘cookies’ from time to time. A cookie is a piece of information that allows our system to identify and interact more effectively with your device. The cookie helps us to maintain the continuity of your browsing session and remember your details and preferences when you return. You can configure your web browser software to reject cookies however some parts of our Website may not have full functionality in that case.

When we send you emails or other electronic messages, we may record where you open the message and click on particular links. This helps us to better understand what information is of interest to you.

If you are considering sending us any other personal information through our Website or other electronic means, please be aware that the information may be insecure in transit, particularly where no encryption is used (e.g. email, standard HTTP). We are subject to laws requiring us to protect the security of personal information once it comes into our possession.

The Website may contain links to other sites. We are not responsible for the privacy practices or policies of those sites.

Access and updating personal information

Please contact us using the details set out below if you have any queries or concerns about privacy or wish to access or correct any personal information we may hold about you. We may need to verify your identity.

If you are making an access or correction request, please provide details of the particular information you seek, to help us to locate it. If we deny any request for access or correction, we will provide our reasons. Where we decide not to make a requested correction to your personal information and you disagree, you may ask us to make a note of your requested correction with the information.

Dealing with privacy complaints

Your privacy is important to the Society and we will do our best to resolve your concerns. To assist us in helping you, we ask you to follow a simple three-step process.

  1. Gather all supporting documents about the matter of complaint, think about the questions you want answered and decide on what you want us to do.
  2. Telephone Donna Scheerlinck on +612 6202 1200, and we will review your situation and if possible, resolve it straight away.
  3. If you are not satisfied with our response, we may require you to submit your complaint in writing by email to with your contact details. We will then investigate your complaint and endeavour to respond to you in writing within 30 days of receipt of your written complaint.

For information about privacy generally, or if your concerns are not resolved to your satisfaction, you may contact the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner at and on 1300 363 992.

Publication of this Privacy Policy

The Society will publish and update this policy on its website ( and make hard copies available on request.


Approved April 30th, 2014 for review every 2 years or as necessary by National Council.