Privacy Policy

The Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia ("RFDS") is Australia's leading aero-medical and primary healthcare service. The Royal Flying Doctor Service is a not-for-profit organisation. While supported by the Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments, the RFDS relies heavily on fundraising and donations from the community to purchase and medically-equip its aircraft and to finance other major capital initiatives.

The Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) was established in 1928. The RFDS began as an emergency aeromedical rescue operation and continues this critical work today, whilst its provision of vital primary healthcare services in rural and regional Australia has also developed significantly over the years.

Your privacy is important to us. The RFDS is bound by the Privacy Act, including the Australian Privacy Principles. This policy explains how we collect, use, hold and disclose personal information about individuals. In addition to this policy, we may on occasion provide you with specific advice about how we use and disclose particular information that we collect from you. If you have any questions relating to this privacy policy please use the Contact Us form. We may vary this policy from time to time and will keep this page updated.

The Australian Privacy Principles

The new Australian Privacy Principles came into force on 12 March 2014 to protect the privacy of individuals. These replace the former National Privacy Principles. You can find out more about these principles by calling the Office of the Privacy Commissioner on 1300 36 39 92 or through their website at www.oaic.gov.au.

The RFDS respects and upholds your right to privacy protection under the Australian Privacy Principles in regulating how we collect, use, disclose and hold your personal information. We have policies and procedures to ensure that only authorised staff have access to your personal information and that it remains confidential and is only used for appropriate purposes and in accordance with this policy.

Why we collect your personal information

Your personal and sensitive information, including any health information, is only collected as is reasonably necessary for a RFDS function or activity, and to enable the RFDS to deliver services to the community and carry out its work through fundraising.

The RFDS is very grateful to the many thousands of people around Australia who provide financial support to allow us to continue our important lifesaving work. When you give us personal information such as your name and address, we record it on our database and may use it to contact you in the future.

We may use your personal information to send you information about our programs, special events and fundraising programs. Each time we send you this type of communication we will provide you with a simple way to 'opt out' of receiving communications in the future.

You can also let us know if you do not wish to receive any further communications, by contacting the RFDS in your state where the communication originated from.

The RFDS will not collect sensitive information about your health, racial or ethnic origin, political opinions or membership, religious or philosophical beliefs, trade association or union membership, sexual preferences or criminal record unless you have expressly consented to give us this information and it is reasonably necessary for the work of the RFDS. We will always collect such information in a non-intrusive, lawful and fair manner.

Permitted Health Situation Exemption

The information handling requirements imposed by the Australian Privacy Principles Part 3 and 6 do not apply when a 'permitted health situation' exists. The RFDS applies this exemption under the permitted Health Situation of:
  • the collection of health information to provide a health service.
  • the collection of health information for certain research and compiling or analysing statistics.
  • the disclosure of health information for a secondary purpose to a responsible person for the individual.

The RFDS will collect "health information" which directly relates to our function and ability to provide a health service. The health information is collected in accordance with rules established by a competent health of medical body.

The kinds of personal information we collect and hold

The kinds of personal information we collect about you includes:

Identifying details, such as name and date of birth;

Contact details, such as address and email; and

Financial details, including credit card details.

Consequences of not providing personal information

If you do not provide your personal information, we may not be able to provide you with a receipt for your donation or any material regarding our work, upcoming events and opportunities.

Opting out or modifying your information

If you want to change any information that you have previously given us, or if you want to opt out of future communications please contact the relevant RFDS in your state.

How we collect your personal information

We collect your personal information when you provide it to the RFDS in a number of ways including but not limited to:

  • through use of our medical services;
  • by participating in one of the RFDS's many community fundraising and information events;
  • when you contact us to provide a donation;
  • when you respond to our fundraising campaigns;
  • when you use our website (including by using cookies – please see the "Visiting Our Website" section below);
  • when you provide your information to us online; and
  • surveillance camera.

We may also collect your personal information in other ways, for example through the purchase of commercial lists, and from publicly available sources such as the telephone directory. When we use this information for direct marketing, we will advise you of the source of the information if you ask us for it.

You may be photographed when you attend RFDS events. We will seek to obtain your consent prior to using an image of you on our website or for other RFDS functions wherever practical. Where we are unable to contact you to obtain your consent, we will not include your name or any other personal information with the photograph.

Each RFDS Section may have its own Privacy Policy. Should this be the case, the Section's Privacy Policy will override any contradiction with this Policy.

How we keep your personal information secure

If you provide us with information via a form on our website, it is stored securely in our databases and only accessed by staff authorised by the RFDS. The RFDS uses a range of hardware and software security measures to protect our information and ensure that only authorised staff are granted access.

Disclosing your personal information

The national office of RFDS will disclose all personal information it collects about an individual to the RFDS organisation in the relevant State or Territory, for example if you live in NSW then your personal information will be disclosed to the NSW RFDS organisation. The various RFDS organisations may also share personal information between themselves as required to perform the functions of RFDS, including to co-ordinate fundraising efforts.

Except for the circumstances set out in this privacy policy or otherwise notified to you, the RFDS will not provide your personal information to any other individuals or organisations without your prior consent except where required by law to do so or where that information is provided on a confidential basis to our sub-contractors who provide services related to a RFDS function or activity. These may include consultants involved in the marketing and administration of the campaign, payment processing companies, IT providers, database management, printing and mailing for the RFDS.

The RFDS is very thankful to people who are willing to share their personal stories of their experience with the RFDS with others through media stories and in our newsletters. We will only use your personal information for publicity purposes or as stories in newsletters with your express written permission.

Where you provide your email address to us we will only use it for the purpose provided unless you have consented to us using it for additional purposes, and we will not pass it on to any other person or organisation unless we have disclosed this to you (including as set out in this privacy policy). We may also disclose your information where required by law to do so.

The RFDS will not transfer your personal information overseas unless we reasonably believe the recipient is subject to a law that has the effect of protecting the information in a way that is substantially similar to the Australian Privacy Principles and there are mechanisms in place for you to take enforcement action under the law, or if we have taken reasonable steps in our arrangements with the recipient to ensure compliance 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.

The RFDS 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 in the United States of America and so your personal information may be transferred overseas as a result.

Visiting our website

The RFDS websites may use cookies to track site visits, navigation within RFDS sites, and items added while using the online shopping or donation facilities. If you are concerned about the use of these cookies, your browser can be configured to notify you when you receive a cookie, and provide you with the opportunity to accept or reject it. You may refuse all cookies from RFDS websites and choose to disable cookies at any time however some functions may become unavailable. Our online credit card processing company may also use cookies for identification and anti-fraud purposes.

We also use social media buttons and/or plugins on this website that allow you to connect with your social network in various ways. For these to work, social media websites including Facebook and Twitter, will set cookies through our website which may be used to enhance your profile on their website or contribute to the data they hold for various purposes outlined in their respective privacy policies. RFDS encourages you to read privacy policies of these companies.

The RFDS's website may contain links to other sites of interest. The RFDS does not control, and is not responsible for, the content or privacy practices of those websites. Please check the privacy policies of third party website operators before you provide your personal information to them. RFDS will not be liable for any actions of third parties, including third party website operators.

Our website security

Forwarding credit card numbers or other sensitive information via email or facsimile is not safe. We recommend that you do not send information to us in either format.

Certain sections of the RFDS websites are secured using SSL technology to encrypt data between your browser and the website. If you are entering any payment or credit card information on the internet, you should confirm that the page is secured (padlock symbol in your browser) before entering any information. We make every effort possible to make your donations and transactions within our website as secure and safe as possible for you.

You should be aware that there are inherent risks associated with the transmission of information via the Internet. If you are submitting personal details, credit card numbers or other information over the Internet, please be aware that, while all reasonable efforts are made to secure information transmitted to this website, there is a possibility that information you submit could be observed by a third party while in transit. By using this website you acknowledge that you do not hold the RFDS liable for any security breaches, viruses, or other malicious software that may infect your computer or any loss of data, revenue or otherwise that may occur.

From time to time the RFDS may need to contact donors directly to update or confirm their personal or credit card details.

If the contact was to occur to update your personal details, or to rectify a problem with a credit card donation or payment, we will provide you with sufficient information from our existing data base (including where appropriate the last four digits of your credit card) for you to be comfortable that the caller is our representative.

Any contact you receive requesting a full credit card number and CVV number, should be considered a hoax and you should disregard it and report the contact to www.scamwatch.gov.auor contact the appropriate RFDS Donor Care team for further information.

The Spam Act 2003

The Spam Act prohibits the sending of unsolicited emails, SMS and MMS messages for commercial purposes from or within Australia or to people in Australia, and bans the supply and use of software designed to harvest email addresses. While charities do have some exemptions from this Act, the RFDS will be guided by the Australian eMarketing Code of Practice. We will always provide you with an opt-out mechanism as part of all electronic communications.

Changes to our Privacy Policy

The RFDS may, without notice, amend or modify its Privacy Policy by posting the amended Privacy Policy to the RFDS website. We encourage you to check our websites regularly for any updates to our Privacy Policy.

How to access, correct or update your personal information

You are entitled to access the personal information about you held by us. If you would like to access the information that we hold about you, you can write to the RFDS in your State or Territory. We will endeavour to give you access to that information within two weeks. In order to maintain the confidentiality of your personal information, we will ask you to provide specific identification before we give you access. If it is not practical for you to visit our office, we will arrange to check your identification before we mail the information out to you.

If the information that we hold about you is incorrect or not up-to-date, we will update it as soon as possible after you have shown us how and why it is incorrect. If you want to correct information we hold about you, you can write to the RFDS in your state.

In the unlikely event that we are unable to provide you with access to your personal information, we will provide you with reasons for denying access.

Complaints about our privacy practices

If you are concerned that we may have breached the Australian Privacy Principles or this privacy policy, please contact the RFDS in your state.

We will make a record of your complaint and will refer it to our Privacy Officer in your State or Territory for further investigation. This will be referred, as appropriate to the relevant RFDS section for investigation in line with their complaints handling process. All complaints relating to data held by National Office will be investigated by the National Digital Manager and reviewed by the National Corporate Affairs and Marketing Director.

Contact details

If you have any questions, concerns or complaints about our privacy policy or practices or would like more information, please contact us through the Contact form on this website.


Last Updated: August 2015