Privacy Policy

1. Purpose

Privacy is important to us.

TEAR Australia (TEAR) is committed to always handling personal information in a safe and secure manner, and ensuring the privacy of this information.

Consistent with our obligations to manage personal information openly and transparently, this policy aims to ensure compliance with relevant legal obligations, provide guidelines for the handling of information provided to TEAR, and provide information on privacy for TEAR’s supporters.

2. Scope

This policy guides TEAR’s handling of data impacted by Australian Privacy Principles and relevant legislation.

3. Policy

3.1 What type of personal information do we collect?

We collect personal information from donors, potential donors, event participants, advocacy supporters, church supporters, and people that complete a TEAR form or sign up to receive TEAR communications.

The type of personal information that TEAR collects and holds will depend on the nature of involvement with our organisation.

Depending on the reason for collecting the personal information, the personal information collected by TEAR may include personal or sensitive information, as defined in Section 5 Definitions/ Terminology Classification.

Whilst an individual is not required to provide personal and/or sensitive information requested by TEAR, if it is chosen not to provide information as requested, it may not be practicable for TEAR to service the individual’s needs. For instance an individual may choose to donate or receive general information anonymously or under a pseudonym; however, TEAR is required to collect and store a minimum level of information in order to issue a tax-deductible receipt/statement.

In circumstances where TEAR receives unsolicited personal information (meaning, personal information received where TEAR has taken no active steps to collect the information), TEAR will usually destroy or de-identify the information as soon as practicable if it is lawful and reasonable to do so unless the unsolicited personal information is reasonably necessary for, or directly related to, TEAR’s functions or activities. For instance we usually retain unsolicited volunteer or employment applications and complaints or feedback.

3.2 How do we collect personal information?

TEAR staff, volunteers and contractors may collect personal information from individuals from time to time.

We will wherever practicable collect personal information directly from the owner of the personal information, including via phone, face to face, our website, email, SMS, electronic and hard copy forms, social media, and third party online portals.

On occasion, TEAR may collect personal information from a third party such as sector relevant coalitions. In accordance with TEAR’s Fundraising policy, TEAR does not purchase marketing/information lists.

TEAR will generally obtain consent from the owner of personal information to collect their personal information. Consent may be provided in writing, orally or may be implied through a person’s engagement with TEAR.

We will endeavour to only ask for personal information if it is reasonably necessary for the activities that an individual is seeking to be involved in.

3.3 How does TEAR use personal information?

TEAR may collect, hold, use or disclose personal information for the following general purposes:

to identify an individual;
for the purpose for which the personal information was originally collected;
for a purpose for which an individual has consented;
for any other purpose where the information is used in aggregated form;
for any other purpose authorised or required by an Australian law; and
for any other purpose authorised or required by a court or tribunal.
For the purpose of furthering TEAR’s mission, information collected is usually used for TEAR’s fundraising, charitable, aid, relief and development, advocacy, education and related activities. This includes (but is not limited to) processing donations, issuing receipts and other TEAR material, contact management for TEAR staff and representatives, and analysis to personalise and improve TEAR’s supporter engagement.

TEAR may publish the images of supporters, staff, contractors and volunteers in publications, on social media, or in public advertisements, after obtaining informed consent where practicable.

If an individual has any concerns about their personal information being used by TEAR in any of these ways, they must notify the Privacy Officer of TEAR at [email protected]

3.4 Disclosure

TEAR won’t pass information on to third parties except in the following circumstances:

  • Information is given to financial institutions/intermediaries for normal bank processing in which case there is a contractual expectation of confidentiality;
  • Information is given to communication service providers for bulk processing in which case there is a contractual expectation of confidentiality;
  • The Australian Taxation Office or other government authority or Australian law or court order requires or authorises disclosure of information;
  • An individual has consented to TEAR disclosing their personal information to a third party.
  • Other parties including agents and contractors have agreed to keep information secure and confidential in line with the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs)
  • When disclosing personal information to a third party, TEAR will take reasonable steps to ensure that the third party does not breach the APPs in relation to the information.

TEAR may disclose an individual’s personal information to a recipient overseas in accordance with the APPs where:

  • the individual has consented to the disclosure; or
  • TEAR reasonably believes that the overseas recipient is subject to a law or binding scheme that protects the information in a way that is substantially similar to the way the information is protected under the Privacy Act and the APPs; or
  • the disclosure is required or authorised by an Australian law or a court order.
3.5 Direct marketing

From time to time TEAR may send supporters updates and information consistent with its mission and future development. Supporters are provided with the option to unsubscribe from communications and may contact TEAR’s Privacy Officer if they do not wish to receive such information.

3.6 How does TEAR store personal information?

TEAR ensures all reasonable steps are taken to protect the personal information it holds from misuse and loss and from unauthorised access, modification or disclosure. Supporters’ personally identifiable information is kept secure—through securely storing paper records, firewalls, password restricted access to computerised records, routine security risk assessments, and internal policies in relation to access to personal information. Only authorised employees and volunteers have access to this information.

3.7 Keeping details accurate and up-to-date

TEAR is committed to holding accurate and up-to-date personal information.

Individuals are encouraged to contact TEAR at any time to update their personal information. This can be done by contacting the Privacy Officer of TEAR.

TEAR will destroy or de-identify any personal information which is no longer required by the organisation for any purpose for which the organisation may use or disclose it, unless TEAR is required by law or under an Australian law or a court order to retain it.

3.8 How individuals can access their personal information

If an individual wants to access a copy of their personal information that TEAR holds, in order to seek correction of such information they may do so by contacting TEAR’s Privacy Officer.

In accordance with the Privacy Act, TEAR may refuse access to personal information in a number of circumstances including where giving access to the information would pose a serious threat to the life, health or safety of a person, giving access would have an unreasonable impact on the privacy of a person, the information relates to existing or anticipated legal proceedings and would not be available under the discovery process, or denying access is required or authorised by an Australian law or court order.

TEAR will handle all requests for access to personal information as quickly as possible.

3.9 How to contact TEAR

If an individual has any questions, comments or complaints about TEAR's Privacy Policy or handling of information, please contact TEAR's Privacy Officer on 1800 244 986 between 9am and 5pm (AEST or AEDST) Monday to Friday. Alternatively, they can send an email to [email protected] or write to: TEAR Australia Privacy Officer, PO Box 164, Blackburn, VIC, 3130, Australia.

TEAR takes all feedback seriously and any feedback on TEAR’s privacy principles or handling of personal information will be investigated and assessed by the Privacy Officer. The feedback will be responded to within a reasonable time from initial receipt.

Further information about individual privacy rights and privacy law can be obtained from the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner by:

  • Calling: Privacy Hotline on 1300 363 992
  • Visiting: website at
  • Writing: The Australian Information Commissioner GPO Box 5218 Sydney NSW 1042

4. Related References

Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) contained in the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth).
Health Records Act 2001 (Vic)
Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) and subsequent Amendments
TEAR Fundraising Policy

5. Definitions/Terminology Classification

Personal information means information or an opinion about an identified individual, or an individual who is reasonably identifiable: a) whether the information or opinion is true or not; and b) whether the information or opinion is recorded in a material form or not.

Sensitive information is a special category of personal information. Sensitive information means: a) information or an opinion about an individual’s (i) racial or ethnic origin, (ii) political opinions, (iii) membership of a political association, (iv) religious beliefs or affiliations, (v) philosophical beliefs, (vi) membership of a professional or trade association, (vii) membership of a trade union, (viii) sexual orientation or practices, (ix) criminal record, that is also personal information; b) health information about an individual, c) genetic information about an individual that is not otherwise health information; d) biometric information that is to be used for the purpose of automated biometric verification or biometric identification, or biometric templates.