For the most up to date information on COVID-19 please visit the Department of Health website. Learn more about how the AIHW is assisting the COVID-19 response and how our other work is affected. Our Covid-19 related resources page includes a list of some existing resources which may be useful when researching issues related to COVID-19.
The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) is a corporate Commonwealth entity established in 1987, governed by a management board, and accountable to the Australian Parliament as part of the Health portfolio.
We collect and report information on many topics and issues, including health and welfare expenditure, hospitals, disease and injury, mental health, ageing, homelessness, disability and child protection.
One of our main activities is to work with the states and territories to improve the quality of data. Where possible, we compile national datasets based on data from each state and territory. We create authoritative evidence and accessible information and statistics that inform policy and decision makers to improve the health and welfare of all Australians.
The full listing of Australian Privacy Principles is located on the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner website at Privacy/Australian Privacy Principles.
Under the Privacy Act 1988, ‘personal information’ is information about a living person who could reasonably be identified. We comply with the APPs in the Privacy Act 1988 when we collect, use, disclose and store personal information, and when dealing with how people may access and correct the personal information we hold about them.
The Privacy Act 1988 has an important exception to the APPs. Section 95 permits us to take actions that might otherwise breach an APP, if those actions are for medical research approved by a Human Research Ethics Committee and in accordance with the Guidelines under Section 95 of the Privacy Act 1988 issued by the National Health and Medical Research Council.
The Privacy (Australian Government Agencies – Governance) APP Code 2017 (the Privacy Code) requires that an agency:
The AIHW complies with requirements of the Code through the following actions:
It is a criminal offence for our staff, or anyone working with or receiving information from us, to disclose information in breach of Section 29 of the AIHW Act.
We do not disclose information we collect about persons (living or deceased) or organisations to anyone outside the AIHW unless authorised to do so under the Act.
The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare Ethics Committee is established under Section 16 of the AIHW Act and the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (Ethics Committee) Regulations 2018. The Committee's functions and membership are prescribed in the regulations.
Further information about the Ethics Committee can be accessed on our website at Our services/Committees/AIHW Ethics Committee.
We collect and handle personal information for two key purposes.
We collect, hold, use and disclose personal information to carry out our work (Section 5, AIHW Act).
We collect health-related and welfare-related data and information to develop statistics for and information used by governments and researchers to assist with health and welfare policy and decision making. This work includes:
We collect this personal information directly from members of the public or indirectly from Australian Government agencies, state or territory government bodies and other organisations.
We collect and hold some sensitive information, including:
More information: About our data.
The second reason we collect personal information is for management and operational purposes. We collect personal information including:
We may collect other types of personal information to help us carry out our management and operational functions including:
We collect this information in various ways, including:
We collect, hold, use and disclose personal information for a variety of purposes relating to our management and operational activities, including:
We will record your email address only if you send us a message. It will only be used for the purpose for which you provide it, and will not be added to a mailing list unless you request that this be done.
We collect and store personal information securely. Electronic and paper records containing your personal information are stored and protected in accordance with the Australian Government’s Protective Security Policy Framework and managed in accordance with Australian Government records management requirements set out in the Archives Act 1983 and our Data Governance Framework (295KB PDF).
We support these broader requirements with many internal policies and procedures on:
All our staff and contractors must sign confidentiality agreements before they can access any data we hold. We only grant our staff with access to a data collection when they need it to perform their work.
We only use personal information to perform our work under the AIHW Act, or in our capacity as an employer.
If we disclose personal information, we do so as permitted by the AIHW Act, the Privacy Act, and any other relevant legal requirements.
We may disclose your personal information where:
When you browse our website, we collect this information about your visit, which we use for statistical purposes:
We use Swift Digital, an online marketing platform service provider to send and manage subscription emails. In using this service, Swift Digital may collect personal information where you have provided consent which may contain email addresses and other information to be used for the distribution of email campaigns and other important information.
To subscribe or login to some parts of our website, you must provide either a valid email address or a specific user name and password. These details will only be used for the purpose for which you have provided them and will not be added to any other mailing lists unless you specifically ask us to. Email mailing list addresses are stored on Swift Digital's server and can be accessed by authorised AIHW staff only. Your email address will not be disclosed without your consent, unless required by law.
All information collected using the Swift Digital service is remains property of the AIHW and is never shared or used by third parties.
Swift Digital maintains data in compliance with Australia's SPAM ACT 2003 and Australian Privacy Principles. All data is maintained within Australia and remains subject to Australian jurisdiction.
Where stipulated data is encrypted in transit using SSL connections. All data stored via Swift Digital is encrypted at rest.
Should you wish to contact Swift Digital, you can find contact details on its website.
We use Google Analytics, a United States-based service, to analyse browsing information and produce reports on how visitors use our website. Google may transfer this information to third parties when required by law, or when the third parties process the information on Google's behalf. Google stores information across multiple countries.
We use social networking services such as Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube to communicate to the public and potential employees. When you communicate with us using these services, we may collect your personal information, but we only use it to help us to share information with you and the public. The social networking service will also handle your personal information for its own purposes. These sites have their own privacy policies.
We might include links to other sites including social media sites to make it easy to share information. These other sites might use web measurement tools, customisation technologies and persistent cookies to inform the service they provide to their users. We are not responsible for the privacy practices or the content of other websites, and we do not use, maintain or share personal information that is collected by other websites.
You can ask to access the personal information we hold about you. If that information is incorrect or outdated, you can ask us to correct it.
Contact our Privacy Officer.
We are committed to protecting your privacy. You can make a complaint if you believe we may have breached your privacy or our privacy obligations.
Send your complaint to our Privacy Officer providing your contact details.
We take all complaints seriously and are committed to quickly and fairly resolving them. If the matter is complex and takes longer to investigate that we first expected, we will keep you informed on when you will receive a response.
If you are not happy with our response to your complaint about privacy, you can ask the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner to review your complaint and our response. You do not have to send your complaint to us before you ask the OAIC to consider it. However, if you do so, the OAIC may recommend that you try to resolve it with us first.
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare
GPO Box 570
Canberra ACT 2601
+61 2 6244 1065
We'd love to know any feedback that you have about the AIHW website, its contents or reports.
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