At Skoolmates we understand that your privacy is important to you and we are committed to complying with the Privacy Act and the Australian Privacy Principles in relation to all Personal Information and Sensitive Information that we collect from you. This policy describes our Privacy and Information handling practices.
Definitions of other specific terms referred to in this Policy can be found under the heading ‘Glossary’ at the end of this document.
This Policy outlines the following:
- The types of Personal Information that we collect and hold.
- How we collect Personal Information.
- The purposes for which the information is collected.
- The way in which we use and disclose Personal Information.
- The steps we take to protect and secure the Personal Information we hold.
- How individuals can access and correct their Personal Information held by us.
- Mechanisms for complaint if you are unhappy about how we have dealt with or are dealing with your Personal Information.
1. The types of Personal Information that we collect and hold
In the normal course of business activities we will collect Personal Information from you and this may include collecting some Sensitive Information.
The following are the types of your Personal Information and Sensitive Information that we may collect and hold:
In dealings with Skoolmates
- We collect personal details such as name, postal and email addresses, date of birth, contact details, residency status, education qualifications, employment history, tax file number, passport details, information required for visa application and lodgement (including financial and medical information), occupation and professional memberships of individuals:
- who enquire about study opportunities or who are applying to undertake a course of study at an Australian educational institution, or an overseas education institution;
- who engage our visa application services to apply for Australia visas (including student visa, post-study work visa and skilled migration visa applications);
- who formally advise/register their interest in being engaged as consultants, or individuals who have been, or are currently, engaged as consultants on projects/programs managed by Skoolmates.
- who register their names with a service offered by Skoolmates (e.g. the Graduate Recruitment Service); and
- who register to participate in an event organised, managed or presented by Skoolmates, whether in its own right, or under contract for another organisation.
This may include copies of documents provided to us as proof of identity – e.g. copies of passport, proof of citizenship or photographs. It may also include Sensitive Information about individuals such as racial or ethnic origin (from information on your country of origin), and/or your health or medical information (e.g. from a medical examination required for your visa application for an Australian visa).
- If you subscribe to our website (www.skoolmates.com) or register your interest with a Skoolmates counsellor, we will collect Personal Information such as your name, postal and email address, date of birth, contact details, country of residence, preferred study destination, occupation, and Sensitive Information such as professional memberships.
- If you order any products from our website, we also collect payment details.
- In registering for an event or conference, you may provide Personal Information or Sensitive Information to us for the purpose of attending the event or conference. We use that information for that purpose and may provide information to you regarding our other services.
- If you purchase a Destination Services we may collect Personal Information such as your name, date of birth, and financial information, and Sensitive Information such as your health or medical information.
2. How we collect Personal Information
We will only collect Personal Information by lawful and fair means. Personal Information may be collected directly from you or your authorised representative, or may be collected from a third party such as a licensee or representative authorised by us to provide services to you. You may supply your Personal Information to us when communicating with us via social networks and other online channels, e.g. through your Facebook identity.
We do not collect Personal and Sensitive information unless the information is reasonably necessary for our business functions or activities. We will obtain your consent before collecting any Sensitive Information.
When you deal with us, you will need to identify yourself in order for us to provide our services to you, as such we do not accept the use of pseudonyms.
3. The purposes for which the information is collected
We collect, hold and use your Personal Information so that we can provide our services to you.
Services in our student placement business include for example recruitment, counselling, student placement, visa assistance, English language testing and training, student exhibitions and seminars.
Collection of your Personal Information allows us to:
- assist you to pursue the opportunity to undertake studies in an education institution within or outside Australia;
- assist you in your application for a student visa in Australia including contacting the Department of Immigration and Border Protection and other organisations on your behalf to discuss your application;
- assist you to further your career after completing your studies at an Australian education institution or an overseas education institution;
- provide opportunities to participate in projects/programs as consultants;
- inform and provide students, institutions and other clients of developments in the services we provide (including events and opportunities to participate in projects/programs);
- conduct research for statistical, analytical and training purposes;
- manage our internal business operations and events; and
- respond to your questions.
Visa application services for Australian visas
We provide visa application services for Australian visas including guiding you through the application process and helping you prepare the necessary documents for your nominated visa application. These visa application services not only cover visa applications required for study, but also post-study work and skilled migration visa applications.
Collection of your Personal Information and Sensitive Information (such as information from your medical examination) allows us to:
- provide the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) with all relevant information required for your visa application;
- contact the DIBP or other organisations on your behalf to discuss or ask questions about your visa application; and
- keep you updated with the progress of your visa application and advise you of the outcome of your application.
Conference and events
Collection of your Personal information allows us to:
- enrol you to attend Skoolmates conference or event; and
- provide conference or event materials to you.
We provide Destination Services including for example Overseas Student Health Cover (OHSC), Overseas Accommodation Arrangements, 24/7 Helpline, Overseas Guardianship, Visa Application Services and Career Skills Training.
Collection of your Personal Information and Sensitive Information (such as your health or medical information) allows us to:
- provide the health insurance provider nominated by you with all relevant information for your OHSC;
- facilitate your accommodation arrangements with third party providers;
- contact the relevant organisations, authorities or other third parties in relation to your overseas guardianship application;
- respond to your query and/or direct your query when you contact the IDP 24/7 Helpline
- contact the DIBP with all relevant information required for visa renewal or parent visa application;
- contact Australian institutions or other organisations on your behalf to facilitate visits, career skills training or internship placements;
- arrange or provide other products and services to you.
4. The way in which we use and disclose Personal Information
We will use or disclose your Personal Information only for the purposes for which it was collected. We will use or disclose your information for a secondary purpose only if you have consented or if you would reasonably expect us to do so or as required by law.
We may use your Personal Information for the purposes of our own direct marketing, however we will ensure you have an ability to opt out of future such communications.
Disclosure outside Australia
We may disclose your Personal Information to overseas recipients such as education institutions located outside Australia, overseas visa agencies, professional bodies and commercial organisations, or regulatory authorities when you have sought our assistance to apply for study at those institutions or where disclosure is required for verification purposes. As such, the location of these overseas recipients would depend on the specific institutions to which you apply or where such verification is required.
Some Skoolmates IT systems and data are hosted on servers in countries outside Australia and we may send your information to one of those servers as part of our business. Skoolmates holds data collected to deliver student placement services in systems hosted in the USA. This information is stored and accessed only as required to provide our services to you. Where we transfer data to offshore servers, the data is subject to use restrictions and safeguards against unauthorised access.
The information disclosed to overseas recipients consists of any information you have given us to provide the relevant services. By accepting services from us, you consent to us providing your Personal Information to the relevant overseas recipient as mentioned above and acknowledge that we are not responsible for ensuring their compliance with the APPs.
5. The steps we take to protect and keep secure the Personal Information we hold
We take reasonable steps to protect the Personal Information we hold against interference, loss, unauthorised access, use, modification or disclosure, and other misuse.
The steps we take include:
- maintenance of computer technology, people and process based security measures for example firewalls, network security configurations, use of passwords and other appropriate measures where information is held in electronic form;
- regular updates to security systems and configurations to protect our systems from malicious activity;
- restriction of access to data to only those staff that need access to carry out our business activities;
- training and ensuring that all our employees are required, as a condition of employment, to treat Personal Information held by us as confidential.
However, you should be aware that if you submit information to us electronically the internet is not a secure environment. We take reasonable steps to provide a secure channel for receiving information but cannot absolutely protect Personal Information before it reaches us.
When the Personal Information that we collect is no longer required, we will destroy, delete it in a secure manner, or ensure that the information is de-identified in accordance with our information destruction and de-identification policy, unless we are required by law to retain a copy of the Personal Information or the information is contained in a Commonwealth record.
6. How individuals can access and correct their Personal Information held by us
You have the right to seek access to any of your Personal Information held by us unless there is a valid reason under the Privacy Act for us to withhold the information.
Valid reasons include:
- We have reason to suspect that unlawful activity or misconduct of a serious nature has been engaged in and giving access would be likely to prejudice the taking of appropriate action in relation to the matter; or
- Giving access would reveal evaluative information generated within us in connection with a commercially sensitive process.
If your personal details change, or you believe the information we hold about you is incorrect, incomplete or out-of-date, please contact us so that we can correct our records.
Requests for access or correction to Personal Information should be made under the Privacy Act and addressed to The Skoolmates Privacy Officer. All requests for access or correction to Personal Information will be responded to in writing within a reasonable period of time. As part of this process we will verify the identity of the individual requesting the information prior to providing access or making any changes. If access or correction to your Personal Information is refused we will provide reasons for our refusal.
7. Mechanisms for complaint if you are unhappy about how we have dealt with or are dealing with your Personal Information
We have procedures in place to deal with your inquiries or complaints.
If you have any questions about our policy or any complaint regarding the treatment of your privacy by us, please contact us at the respective addresses below.
Complaints to Skoolmates
The Privacy Officer
Skoolmates PTY Limited
31 Queen Street
We will endeavour to respond to you within a reasonable time. If you are still not satisfied with the way your complaint is handled by us, you are entitled to have your complaint reviewed under the Privacy Act.
Updates to this Policy
We reserve the right to amend this Policy from time to time. Any revisions to the Policy will be posted on this website.
If you would like more information on privacy, you can visit the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner’s (OAIC) website at www.oaic.gov.au