Guide Dogs Victoria has a firm commitment to privacy and endorses fair information handling practices. We respect the trust you place in us when you provide us with personal details. Guide Dogs Victoria is also a member of the Australian Direct Marketing Association and agrees to abide by the ADMA Code of Practice.

In summary:

Guide Dogs Victoria welcomes your questions and comments on our privacy policy. If you have any feedback or wish to amend the details we hold about you, please contact our Privacy Officer, Joanna Stavrou at

Please read on for more detail about our privacy policy.

Privacy Policy

This Privacy Statement sets out our policies and practices in relation to the way we collect and handle personal information which is consistent with the Privacy Act 1988 (Commonwealth), the Privacy Amendment (Enhancing Privacy Protection) Act 2012 and Victorian Government policy and legislation.

We encourage you to check our privacy statement regularly as this Privacy Statement may be reviewed and changed from time to time.

Why we collect personal information

Our mission is to provide Guide Dog and specialist mobility services that will enrich the quality of life of people in the Victorian community who are vision impaired. All our services, including Guide Dogs, are provided free of charge to our clients. To fulfil our mission, we need to collect certain personal information.

Some examples of why we need to collect personal information include:

  • To send information that has been requested by support recipients
  • To offer and arrange the provision of a service in line with our mission
  • To manage staff, volunteers, and the services they provide
  • To seek additional support to help fund the services we provide for people with vision impairment.

Guide Dogs Victoria receives minimal government funding, and depends on financial support from the community to provide its services. This means it is necessary to contact individuals through a range of fundraising activities. When you make a donation to Guide Dogs Victoria, a receipt is provided. Your details are held securely and are only used for fundraising activities. We understand that there may be times when you are not in a position to make a gift. You can ask us not to contact you and we will respect your wish.

We may collect information for statistical purposes about services provided and demographic data (optional), so we can tailor the information we provide to our supporters.

We collect financial information (such as credit card information) in order to receive payment for donations and/or orders for Guide Dog products.

We may provide statistical information to our sponsors without identifying any individuals.

We may collect information about potential supporters, sponsors or members from information that is publicly available to help us develop our donor, sponsorship and membership programs.

What types of information do we collect

We may request a range of information to assist us to fulfil our mission. This information may include: name, address, date of birth, contact details.

Sensitive information

We do not collect any information about racial or ethnic origin, health, political opinions or membership, religious or philosophical beliefs, trade association or union membership, sexual preferences or criminal record, unless:

  • the individual has consented, (eg Police background checks on potential volunteers and staff who will be working with clients, or details required to provide effective service to clients), or
  • the collection is required by law, or
  • the collection is necessary to prevent a serious and imminent threat to the life or health of a person, or
  • the collection is necessary for the establishment, exercise or defence of a legal claim.


If you wish to remain anonymous or use a pseudonym when dealing with us, we will attempt to fulfil your request. However, it may not be practicable to assist you depending on your need. For example, if you wish to donate anonymously, we can use certain payment mechanisms to facilitate this such as a bank cheque.

How we collect and use information

We collect personal information from a variety of sources, such as when individuals

  • make an application to receive a service
  • receive a service or follow-up training
  • attend a fundraising event or activity
  • respond to our mailing program
  • respond to a telemarketing call
  • voluntarily provide us with personal information
  • make a donation to us
  • join a supporters group such as the Guide Dog Club
  • become staff members or volunteers of the Association

Policy on management of client information

Guide Dogs Victoria observes policies on the management of client information that meet the requirements of the Victorian State Disability Service Standards, as well as the Commonwealth and Victorian Privacy Legislation. Association wide procedures and adherence to these standards and legislation ensures integrity, security and controlled access to clients’ records and other confidential records. All our client policies recognise and respect each client’s right to privacy, dignity and confidentiality in all aspects of his or her life.

We ensure that all clients and their families enjoy:

  • freedom from intrusion and public attention
  • being treated with honour, respect and dignity thereby reflecting their culture, community and providing a positive influence for their self esteem
  • an assurance that written and spoken information is protected from access and use by unauthorised persons.
  • first enters into appropriate confidentiality undertakings with us, or
  • has a privacy policy which is similar to ours.

Treatment as confidential information

We treat personal information which we collect from individuals in the same way we treat our other confidential information. We will not sell to anyone the information we collect. We will not disclose to a third party the information we collect, except where it is necessary for consultants or contractors performing services for the Association, and then only if the third party:

Guide Dogs Victoria may provide statistical information on clients to government departments without identifying any individuals.

Guide Dogs Victoria will not transfer your personal information overseas unless we have taken reasonable steps to ensure that the information which is being transferred will not be held, used or disclosed by the recipient of the information inconsistently with the Australian Privacy Principles. Transfer of information overseas would normally only occur for data processing purposes, for example third party payment facilitators may process their data off-shore.

Guide Dogs Victoria will sometimes use third party service providers to conduct surveys and facilitate information collection and event registration. Some of these service providers conduct all or part of their business overseas and so your personal information may be transferred overseas as a result. Guide Dogs Victoria conducts a due diligence process before entering into an agreement with these service providers and will take all reasonable steps to ensure that your information is not used in a manner inconsistent with the National Privacy Principles.

Secondary use of information

We may use or disclose personal information which we collect from you for a purpose (the “secondary purpose”) which is different from the primary purpose of collection, if it is permitted under the Privacy Legislation, only for example if:

  • the information is health information – for example, the use or disclosure is necessary for research or the compilation or analysis of statistics relevant to public health or safety
  • you would reasonably expect us to so use or disclose such information
  • you have given us specific consent to do so
  • we are required to do so by law
  • it is necessary to prevent a serious and imminent threat to the life or health of a person, or
  • it is a necessary part of an investigation of unlawful activity

Protection of your personal information

Guide Dogs Victoria uses a number of measures to protect your personal information from misuse, loss unauthorised access, modification or improper disclosure. This includes a network system firewall that is designed to protect information held within our computer network by preventing unauthorised access to our computer network. Our data management systems and procedures ensure that personal information is handled in a way that is consistent with our privacy policy.

E-Payment security

e-payment security on our site is achieved through encryption and system design. Additionally, the e-payment system does not store customers’ credit card details on a server or database. Communication with your bank is real time and the credit card number is deleted once the communication to the bank has been completed. At no time does the web merchant see any credit card details.

If you do not wish to disclose your credit card details over the internet, you can phone freecall within Australia on 1800 804 805 with your credit card details. We accept Visa, Mastercard, Amex and Australian Bankcard.


We only use cookies for e-payment transactions, and on these occasions the cookie contains no personal information. Cookies are not used for secure transactions.
A ‘cookie’ is a small data file that resides on your computer’s hard drive. Some web sites write to this file when you visit them. A cookie file can contain information such as your user ID in order to track the pages you have visited. A cookie cannot access other information from your hard drive, or from cookies created by other web sites. Cookies, by themselves, cannot be used to find out the identity of any user. The only personal information a cookie can contain is information you supply yourself.

Your right to access and correct information

We will take all reasonable steps to ensure that your personal information which we collect, use or disclose is accurate, complete and up to date.
You have the right to access the personal information we hold about you. If the information we hold is not accurate, complete and up to date, you can ask us to modify our records.

If you consider that the personal information which we hold about you is not accurate, complete and up to date, and we refuse your request to modify our records, we will write to you stating clearly why we believe that the personal information we hold should not be amended.

You can make a request to access the information we keep about you by contacting the GDV Privacy Officer:

Joanna Stavrou

Guide Dogs Victoria
Private Bag 13, Kew Vic 3101
Tel. (03) 9854 4444
Fax (03) 9854 4500

Our right to refuse

However, we are permitted to refuse access in certain circumstances, including where:

  • you have not paid our reasonable costs for accessing and copying the information, or
  • we consider your request to be frivolous or vexatious, or
  • to do so is likely to prejudice an investigation of possible unlawful activity, or
  • to do so will be unlawful, or
  • we are otherwise legally entitled to deny your request (whether under the Information Privacy Principles, or generally at law).

Use of a mutually agreed intermediary may allow sufficient access to meet the needs of both parties. If we refuse your request to either access your personal information, or modify our records, we will provide you with the reasons for our refusal in writing.

Using our website / contacting us by email

We will only record your e-mail address if you send us a message. It will only be used for the purpose for which it was provided – for example seeking further information about our services or making a referral for yourself or another individual. It will not be added to a mailing list unless you request that this be done. We will not disclose your e-mail address without consent.

By using our web site, and voluntarily providing us with personal information, you consent to the collection, use and disclosure of personal information in the manner described in this Privacy Statement.

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