1. Each person’s privacy is important to us

The Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute (IHMRI) understands that privacy is important, and we are committed to managing personal information (including health information) in accordance with:

  • NSW Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 (NSW) (“PPIPA”)
  • Health Records and Information Privacy Act 2002 (NSW) (“HRIPA”)
  • Privacy Act 1988 (Cth)
  • National Privacy Principles

In carrying out its functions and activities, IHMRI collects personal and/or health information of an individual. It is IHMRI’s responsibility to ensure that overall management of that information, which includes collection, storage, use, disclosure and disposal, complies with privacy laws and principles.

This privacy statement may be updated from time to time to take account of changes in laws and technology, changes to our operations and practices, and to make sure it remains appropriate to the changing research environment.

Where relevant, IHMRI also supports and complies with the privacy practices of its key stakeholders, including those outlined in the University of Wollongong’s Privacy Policy and the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District’s Privacy Policy.

2. Collection and use of personal information

Research participants: IHMRI collects information from participants to facilitate research studies and clinical trials. This includes collecting personal information including a person’s name, address, and health information and any other information required to enable effective research by our team. Information collected may also include pathology samples such as blood, urine, or tissue samples. All information collected will remain confidential and will only be used for the purpose of the research project. Information will only be disclosed with the person’s permission, except where required by law. All participants must sign an ethically approved consent form, which will outline the collection, use and storage of the research material collected. The information collected will be securely stored in accordance with Australian privacy laws for a minimum of 15 years after completion of the project.

Affiliated researchers: For IHMRI affiliated researchers, personal and work information will be used primarily to improve IHMRI’s researcher services. This may involve sharing some information with other affiliated researchers for the purpose of allowing researchers to communicate with one another. We will obtain consent before we share an individual’s personal information among network members.

Donors: When a person makes a donation to IHMRI, we will collect, hold and use the personal information provided to administer the donation and promote fundraising activities and marketing communications to donors. If an individual wishes to opt out of these communications, please contact fundraise@ihmri.org.au.

2.1 How we collect the personal or health information you provide

We will generally collect personal and health information by way of forms filled out by a person, face-to-face meetings or telephone calls. In some circumstances we may be provided with personal information or health information about an individual from a third party who is authorised to provide us with this information.

The type of personal information we collect and hold depends on the required purpose, and is generally in the form of name, address, phone number, and email address.

2.2 How we use the personal or health information provided

We will use personal or health information for the primary purpose it was provided to us, which includes keeping an individual informed about IHMRI and its activities. We may also use it for other secondary purposes that are directly related to the primary purpose and reasonably expected, or to which the person has consented.

We will not use a person’s personal, work or health information for commercial purposes, or divulge information to any other person or company intending to use it for commercial purposes, unless the individual is advised and consents to such use.

We will not disclose personal or health information unless it is required or authorised under law, or if it is imperative for health and safety reasons.

4. Management, security and disposal of personal information

IHMRI is committed to protecting the privacy and confidentiality of the personal information we hold.

All reasonable steps will be taken to protect a person’s personal or health information from misuse, loss, unauthorised access, modification or disclosure by use of various methods including secure storage and disposal of paper records and password protected computerised records and databases.

5. Accessing and updating personal and health information

We want to ensure that the personal or health information we hold is accurate, complete and up to date.

If a person believes that any of the personal or health information that we hold is inaccurate, incomplete or irrelevant, or wishes to obtain access to the personal or health information held by IHMRI, please contact IHMRI using the details provided on the ‘Contact Us’ page of the IHMRI website.

IHMRI will endeavour to respond to requests without unreasonable delay or expense.

6. Enquiries

If you have any concerns or questions, please contact us.