Privacy policy

Governance Institute of Australia Ltd (Governance Institute) respects privacy and is committed to complying with the National Privacy Principles (NPPs). The NPPs are contained in the Privacy Act 1988 (the Privacy Act) and from 21 December 2001, will govern how organisations handle personal information.

Governance Institute’s Privacy Policy is divided into the following sections:

  1. How does Governance Institute collect personal information?
  2. What personal information does Governance Institute collect?
  3. How is personal information used?
  4. Will personal information be given to anyone else?
  5. Access and correction
  6. Is personal information held safely?
  7. Business contact personal information
  8. Online privacy issues
  9. Contacting Governance Institute
  10. Changes to this privacy policy


1. How does Governance Institute collect personal information?

Governance Institute is a non-profit professional association which represents chartered secretaries, and promotes good corporate governance and compliance. The services Governance Institute offers include:

  • education (including a Graduate Diploma);
  • professional development (for example, through our training programs, seminars, and conferences);
  • technical support (through our journal and website), and
  • advocacy (promoting a practical and workable approach to corporate governance).

For the purposes of our Privacy Policy, these are referred to as “our services”.

Governance Institute collects personal information in a number of different ways. Governance Institute collects personal information from its new and existing members through application forms and subscription renewal forms. Personal information from non-members who register for our seminars, courses and conferences, is collected through registration or enrolment forms. Governance Institute also collects personal information from online forms on our website at Sometimes, we may “rent” lists of names and contact details so that we can use that personal information to promote our products and services.

This Privacy Policy focuses on how we handle the personal information about our members and individuals who attend or may be interested in attending our seminars, courses and conferences. Governance Institute also may handle information about people who do not fall within these categories – these people are our “business contacts” (eg our suppliers). How we handle the personal information of our business contacts is discussed at 7 below.


2. What personal information does Governance Institute collect?

When you join Governance Institute, or when you renew your membership, we will ask you to provide your business contact details (including details of your position, your employer and work contact details) and to indicate which industry you work in and what your role involves.

We may also ask for some of this information when you register for one of our conferences or seminars. If you enrol in one of our education courses, we may also collect additional personal information about your educational and professional qualifications. This may be collected by use of paper forms or online.

As explained at 3 below, the reason we collect this information is so that we can provide you with our services, manage our relationship with you, communicate with you effectively and identify which of our services will best meet your requirements.

However, we don’t collect information we don’t need. For example, we don’t collect sensitive information because we don’t need it in order to provide you with our services.

As noted above, we may also collect personal information by “renting” lists. If we do so, when we use that personal information, we will offer people on the list an opportunity to be removed from our mailing list, or to “opt out” from receiving further promotional material. Our use of personal information collected in the other ways outlined above is discussed at 3.


3. How is Personal Information used?

The personal information collected from you by Governance Institute is used to:

  • provide you with our services. This will include use of personal information for establishing and maintaining your membership record (if relevant), or to enrol you in one of our courses, seminars or conferences; and/or
  • notify you about services and promotions offered by us and our sponsors (whether you are one of our members, or someone who attends our courses, seminars or conferences, or someone else we have identified as possibly interested in our services).

As a non-profit body, Governance Institute needs to enter into sponsorship arrangements with third parties from time to time. Governance Institute’s main objective in doing so is to keep membership fees at a low level. This will sometimes mean that Governance Institute uses personal information about you to provide you with information about products, services and promotions offered by our sponsors.

If at any time you do not wish to be notified about the products, services or promotions offered by our sponsors, please let us know. Governance Institute’s contact details are at 9 below.


4. Will Personal Information be Given to Anyone Else?

In the circumstances described below, personal information may be disclosed outside Governance Institute.

(a) Outsourcing

Personal information collected by Governance Institute may be disclosed to third parties to whom Governance Institute contracts out specialised functions (including mailing houses, printing companies and conference organisers).

For example, when Governance Institute enters into a sponsorship arrangement, Governance Institute does not disclose personal information to the sponsor. Instead, Governance Institute usually enters into a contractual arrangement with a secure mailing house, and it will be that third party’s contractual obligation to mail out information about the relevant products, services or promotions offered by that sponsor.

If Governance Institute does disclose personal information to third party contractors under outsourcing or contracting arrangements, Governance Institute takes steps to ensure that those contractors:

  • comply with the NPPs when they handle your personal information (regardless of whether they are a small business, and would otherwise be exempt from the new privacy laws); and
  • are authorised only to use personal information in order to provide the services or to perform the functions required by Governance Institute.

(b) Disclosures required by law

The only other time Governance Institute would make disclosures of personal information is if it is required to do so by law, or if the disclosure is permitted under the Privacy Act.

Governance Institute does not sell, rent or trade personal information to or with third parties.


5. Access and Correction

Under the Privacy Act, you have a right to seek access to information which Governance Institute holds about you (although there are some exceptions to this). You also have the right to ask us to correct information about you which is inaccurate, incomplete or out of date.

If you wish to exercise your right under the Privacy Act to seek access to the personal information that Governance Institute holds about you, we ask that you contact Governance Institute’s Privacy Officer (details at 9 below), who will explain how Governance Institute will handle your access request.

We will assume (unless you tell us otherwise) that your request relates to our current records about you. These current records will include personal information about you which is included in our databases and in paper files, and which may be used by Governance Institute on a day to day basis. To provide you with access to “current” personal information, Governance Institute would ordinarily provide you with a print-out of the relevant personal information from our databases, or with photocopies of records which are held only on paper files. If personal information about you (for example, your name & address details) is duplicated across different databases, we will generally provide you with one printout of this information, rather than multiple printouts. Ordinarily, Governance Institute will not charge you for the cost of providing this type of access to these records.

For legal and administrative reasons, Governance Institute may also store records containing personal information in its archives. In some circumstances, you may seek access to the records held by Governance Institute which are not current records, but if you do so, we may charge you for the cost of providing access. If personal information was collected before 21 December 2001, Governance Institute will only provide you with access if we use and disclose that information after 21 December 2001, and if providing access would not cause us an unreasonable administrative burden or unreasonable expense (in accordance with section 16C of the Privacy Act).

If you are of the view that personal information about you is not accurate, complete or up to date, please provide Governance Institute’s Privacy Officer with your request for correction (contact details are set out at 9 below). Governance Institute’s policy is to consider any requests for correction in a timely way.


6. Is personal information stored safely?

Governance Institute takes steps to ensure the security of personal information held by it from such risks as loss or unauthorised access, destruction, use, modification or disclosure. Governance Institute only permits your details to be accessed by authorised personnel, and it is a condition of employment that Governance Institute’s employees maintain the confidentiality of personal information.


7. Non-customer information

Sometimes, Governance Institute needs to collect personal information about individuals who are not members, or who are not people to whom we would generally offer our professional services. This will usually arise where we collect the name and business contact details of a person who is the contact in one of our suppliers. Governance Institute’s policy is to only use personal information collected from non-customers for the business purpose for which it was collected.


8. Online Privacy Issues

Governance Institute will apply this policy to all personal information it handles, whether collected online or otherwise. To the extent that this Privacy Policy applies to online privacy issues, it is to be read as forming part of the terms of use for our website. This clause 8 is intended to provide more information about privacy for the users of our website.

(a) Online collection of personal and non-personal information

As outlined at point 1 of this Privacy Policy, we collect personal information through our website.

Our website also collects other information which may or may not be personal information. For each visitor to our website, our server automatically recognises and stores your “address” (eg your domain name or Internet protocol address), the type of your Internet browser, the address of the site which “referred” you to our website and clickstream data.

In addition, our website uses cookies to track usage of our web site. Most web browsers are set by default to accept cookies. However, if you do not wish to receive any cookies you may set your browser to either prompt or refuse cookies. Please note that rejecting cookies may mean that not all the functions on the website are available to you. We use cookies for tracking the statistics of our website. This allows us to better understand our users and improve the layout and functionality of our website. This tracking is conducted in such a way to ensure the anonymity of visitors – in this context the cookie may identify your computer – but it should not identify you.

(b) Links to other websites

Sometimes our website contains links to third party websites, for your convenience and information. When you access a non-Governance Institute website, please understand that Governance Institute is not responsible for the privacy practices of that site. We suggest that you review the privacy policies of each site you visit.


9. Contacting Governance Institute

If you have any questions or comments about this Privacy Policy, or if you wish to complain about how we have handled personal information about you, please contact Governance Institute’s Privacy Officer:

  • by telephone: 61 2 9223 5744 or
  • by facsimile: 61 2 9232 7174; or
  • by e-mail:; or
  • by letter: Governance Institute of Australia Ltd, GPO Box 1594, SYDNEY, NSW 2001


10. Changes to this Privacy Policy

This Privacy Policy may change from time to time.