National Counselling and Referral Service Privacy Statement

Who does this privacy statement apply to?


This privacy statement applies to all individuals who access the National Counselling and Referral Service. This includes people living with disability who have experiences of violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation or who are engaging with the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability. It additionally includes their family, friends and partners, carers, support workers and advocates.

Why do we collect personal information?


We are committed to ensuring your privacy and to providing you with a safe service which best meets your needs. We collect personal information from individuals and third parties which we require to deliver the best possible service to you.

If you are accessing the National Counselling and Referral Service, you can use the service anonymously or choose a pseudonym. This is your choice.

If you are in a closed institution such as a Correctional Centre, you will need to provide your full name and identifying details.

When you do provide us with personal information (identifying information) or a person you have authorised provides us with your personal information, this information will be collected, stored and used as per the Privacy Act 1988 and other relevant legislation.

What do we use personal information for?


We collect and use personal information including sensitive and health information to provide you with the best possible service we can. We also do this to meet our legal and funding obligations. This includes providing you with trauma counselling, information and referral as needed by phone, webchat, video and SMS. It also includes responding to feedback and email interactions.

In situations in which we are unable to provide the service you need we may use personal information, call information or telecommunication data to help provide you with the best possible service.

We also use and disclose information to:

  • Identify service demand and trends
  • Comply with our legal and funding obligations
  • Provide you with the service which best meets your needs
  • Inform our continuous quality improvement processes

If you are a support worker, advocate or provide another service we may use your information to respond to your feedback or email enquiry.

We may use de-identified information to improve our service, for reporting purposes or for continuous quality improvement processes including evaluation, publications and presentations.

We do not record calls. If you contact us on webchat, we do take a transcript of the webchat session. You may request a copy of this transcript. If you do not want the transcript to be kept, you have the right to request the counsellor destroy the record.

We keep personal information for as long as we require it to provide you with a service as well as to meet our legal obligations. When it is no longer required, we take reasonable steps to destroy or de-identify it.

Who do we disclose personal information to?


Information may be shared between members of the NCRS counselling team to provide, enhance or improve our service.

Blue Knot may disclose personal information when required to do so by law such as to meet mandatory reporting requirements or when subpoenaed by a court of law.

How can you access your personal information?


We take all reasonable steps to ensure that the personal information we collect and use is accurate, relevant and as comprehensive as possible. You have the right to request access to the personal information we hold on you and to request corrections when the information we hold is not accurate. We will take all reasonable steps to comply with such requests. Please make any such request in writing to the National Counselling and Referral Service Manager via: email: [email protected] or post: PO Box 597, Milsons Point, NSW, 1565.

Please see our National Counselling and Referral Service Privacy Policy here.

You can access our Counselling Service Users Complaints Policy here.