Your rights

Every person in New South Wales has rights. The Department of Justice works with the NSW Anti-Discrimination Board to promote and protect your rights.

Your right to a fair go

The Anti-Discrimination Act 1977 (NSW) states that every person has the right to expect to be treated fairly and achieve equal outcomes.

The NSW Anti-Discrimination Board provides information on all areas of unlawful discrimination. The Anti-Discrimination Board can provide you with:

  • free and confidential advice, and
  • publications about your rights

The publications include guidelines on how to lodge complaints and attending Tribunal and Conciliation conferences. Information is available in community languages or in English.

The Discrimination Tool Kit is a useful document that provides extensive information on all forms of discrimination and how to make a complaint. The Discrimination Tool Kit was produced and developed by Elizabeth Evatt Community Legal Centre, Kingsford Legal Centre and Legal Aid New South Wales.

The Discrimination Tool Kit can be downloaded from the Kingsford Legal Centre's Publications page - reports and guides.  

What is discrimination?

Discrimination occurs when someone is treated unfairly because they happen to belong to a particular group of people or have particular characteristic. Many people have fixed attitudes about groups of people who are different from themselves. Those fixed attitudes can lead to discrimination. In NSW many types of discrimination are against the law.

What types of discrimination are unlawful in NSW?

In NSW many types of discrimination are unlawful. This includes discrimination on the basis of:

  • Race
  • Age
  • Carers' responsibilities
  • Disability
  • Homosexuality
  • Infectious diseases
  • Marital status
  • Pregnancy
  • Sex
  • Transgender

Their fact sheets will provide you with more detailed information on your rights and how to deal with discrimination.  These types of discrimination and harassment are only against the law if they happen in one of the following places or circumstances:

Areas of discrimination

  • Employment

This includes everything to do with work - applying for a job, what happens at work and leaving a job.

  • State education

This includes everything to do with State schools, colleges and universities - getting a place and what happens in them. Private educational institutions are allowed to discriminate against people because of their sex, marital status, age, homosexuality, transgender status or disability. However, they are not allowed to discriminate against people because of their race. In addition, they must not allow or tolerate sexual harassment.

  • Goods and services

This includes buying goods, and getting services - for example, from banks, lawyers, government departments, hospitals, doctors, pubs, entertainment places, shops, local councils.

  • Accommodation

This includes everything to do with renting flats, houses, hotel/motel rooms, caravans and commercial premises.

  • Registered clubs

This includes becoming a member of a registered club, entry into a club and the services you get in a club. A registered club is any club that sells alcohol or has gambling machines.

Your right to interpreters and translation services

The NSW Government is committed to providing full, fair and equal participation to all people in programs, services and processes. 

Multicultural NSW provides interpreter and translation services in over 106 languages and dialects. See the list of languages and dialects.

Victim's Rights

If you are the victim of a criminal offence and you have suffered physical or emotional harm, or loss or damage to property, the Department's Victims Services unit has support services to help you. Find out more about victims services and support.

The rights of victims of crime in NSW are protected by the Charter of Victims Rights. Find out more about the Charter of Victims Rights.

Legal rights information

If you need legal help, LawAccess is a telephone service that can provide free advice and referrals. Call 1300 888 529. 

People who are Deaf or hard of hearing use the national relay service to contact us call: 133 677.

People with speech impairments use the national relay service speak and listen service 1300 555 727.
If you need a telephone interpreter please ring 131 450 and ask to speak with Law Access on the above phone number.

​Related information

Visit the NSW Anti-Discrimination Board website.