Welcome to the Anti-Discrimination Commission's website.
The aim of the Anti-Discrimination Act (the Act), and therefore the Anti-Discrimination Commission (ADC), is to promote recognition and acceptance of the right to equality of opportunity of persons regardless of an attribute to eliminate discrimination on the basis of an attribute and to eliminate sexual harassment.
These are pretty big aims and we work to achieve them through mechanisms such as our complaint handling, conciliation, public education and training services. http://www.nt.gov.au/justice/adc/aboutus.htm
When handling a complaint of discrimination or other prohibited conduct, the ADC will conduct an investigation and work with parties (ie the person making the complaint and the person/organisation about which the complaint is made) as they attempt to resolve the complaint through conciliation (link to definition of conciliation). When a complaint is not able to be resolved through conciliation, it may be determined through a public hearing. This hearing determines whether the actions alleged by the person making the complaint took place and if so, whether they amounted to unlawful conduct under the Act. As a general rule most of the complaints that we receive at the ADC are resolved without the need to go to hearing.
The ADC also provides public education and training, with a range of programs available to businesses, government, individuals and other organisations in the NT. These programs are designed to educate participants about what constitutes prohibited conduct under the Act and how it can be avoided. We also hold a number of public events during the year to promote the aims of the ADC. Photo Gallery.
Our other functions at the ADC include examining legislation to determine whether that legislation is consistent with the purposes of the Act; consulting with other organisations to work to improve services and conditions of those groups who may be subjected to prohibited conduct; advising the Minister on the operation of the Act; and providing other advice and assistance in relation to the Act.
The ADC has a key role in promoting equality of opportunity and eliminating discrimination in the Northern Territory, but we cannot do it alone. To have any success in achieving our aims, every Territorian will need to play a part. We all need to reflect on our own thoughts, and actions, and challenge discrimination where we see it.
One of the ways we can all do this is by considering our own prejudices. Treating others fairly means treating each person on their merits - not making assumptions about what a person can or cannot do, what that person thinks or how they will act just because they are female, or aboriginal, have a disability, are pregnant, or a parent. It means not hurting or making fun of others because of their race, their religion, their age, their sexuality or some other characteristic.
We also need to be clear about what we mean when we use the term "equality of opportunity". We are often asked whether this just means eliminating discrimination. Eliminating formal discrimination is a great aim, but it will not in itself ensure that we have equality of opportunity in the NT. Equality of opportunity is about ensuring that all members of our society have the opportunity to achieve to their full potential. For this to occur we all need to firstly recognise that there are groups in our community that are starting from a position of disadvantage, often as a result of a history of discrimination or other barriers to equality. To ensure that all members of society have equal access to opportunities such as education and work, some members will need some additional assistance to even get to the starting blocks.
This fact is recognised through the provisions in the Act that deal with "special measures" or positive discrimination designed to achieve equality; and those that provide for positive obligations such as accommodation of special need (link).
If you experience discrimination, or even just observe it, get in touch with us at the ADC. If you have a good story, or think an organisation or an individual deserves a pat on the back for their work to eliminate discrimination and promote equality of opportunity we would like to hear about that too.
You can contact us by ringing our toll free number (1800 813 846) or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We rely on you to tell us what you see, hear and experience. With your help we can get a true picture of what is going on in the NT.