Privacy Policy

The Garvan Institute of Medical Research and the Garvan Research Foundation (Garvan) appreciates that privacy is important to you. Garvan is committed to handling personal information (including health and other sensitive information) in accordance with applicable privacy laws, including the Australian Privacy Principles set out in the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth)

How does Garvan collect and hold your personal information?

We usually collect your personal information directly from you when you have contact with us in person, over the phone or via email or the internet.

If we collect your personal information from a third party, we will take reasonable steps to contact you and notify you of the purposes for which we are collecting your personal information as well as advising you of other persons or other organisations to which we might give your personal information.

We hold personal information in paper-based and electronic records and systems.  Personal information may be collected in paper-based documents and converted to electronic form for storage (with the original paper-based documents either archived or securely destroyed). 

Garvan uses physical security and other measures to ensure that personal information is protected from misuse, interference and loss; and from unauthorised access, modification and disclosure.  Personal information held in paper-based form is generally securely stored at Garvan in Sydney or in the case of archived records, at an external storage facility in Australia.  

We maintain computer and network security by using firewalls, user identifiers and passwords to control access to our computer system.  Donations and registrations made on the Garvan website use encryption methods and credit card data is stored using systems compliant with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard.

How does Garvan disclose your personal information?

Where necessary, we may disclose your personal details to external contractors (such as organisations who assist with our research and educational activities, our mail-outs and independent IT service providers).

Occasionally we may share the contact details of our financial supporters with other like-minded charities to enable them to contact you with fundraising materials. When we collect your information we ask if you would like to opt-out of us sharing your details in this way.  If you decide you do not wish us to share your contact details in this way you can also contact us by using the details provided in the “How to contact us” section below. 

We only disclose your personal information to charities and our contracted service providers on condition that they must protect this information in accordance with Garvan’s Privacy Policy and Australian privacy laws.

We may also disclose your personal information to third parties where you have consented or we are entitled or required to do so by law.

Will your personal information be sent overseas?

Garvan does not disclose your personal information to overseas recipients.  We do however store some personal information on servers owned by companies based in the United States of America. Our contractual arrangements comply with the requirements of the Privacy Act and we take reasonable steps to ensure those companies do not breach Australian privacy laws in relation to your personal information.  

How can you access or seek correction of your personal information?

You may request to access the personal information that we hold about you using the contact details provided in the "How to contact us" section below.  In limited circumstances, access to your personal information may be declined in accordance with privacy laws.  We will provide you with access, free of charge.

We endeavour to ensure that your personal information is accurate, complete and up-to-date whenever we use it.  You can assist us with this by letting us know if your details change or if you notice errors or discrepancies in information we hold about you.  If you consider any personal information we hold about you is not accurate, or is incomplete or out-of-date, you may request we amend our records.  Please note that it is generally not possible to make changes to clinical information, however, you may be entitled to request that we associate a statement with your record.

What should you do if you have a complaint about the handling of your personal information?

If you have any questions or concerns about this Privacy Policy or how your personal information has been handled by Garvan, please contact us using the details in the "How to contact us" section below or via email at

We will consider and respond to your complaint within a reasonable period.  If you are not satisfied with our response, or your consider that we may have breached the Australian Privacy Principles or the Privacy Act, you are entitled to make a complaint to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.  The Office of the Australia Privacy Commissioner can be contacted by telephone on 1300 363 992 or full contact details can be found online at