Privacy is important to us

Walter Carter Funerals understands that privacy is an important issue for individuals. Walter Carter Funerals believes that due respect for individual privacy not only protects an important personal right, but is a powerful tool in the creation of healthy relationships with the individuals with whom we deal.

1. Introduction

Walter Carter Funerals is a long-established funeral business with a strong reputation as an ethical and sensitive supplier of its services.  We recognise that respect for privacy and compliance with privacy law is a cornerstone of our dealings with clients and their families – and with others.

This policy statement outlines the overall policy of Walter Carter Funerals on the privacy of personal information and our compliance with the Australian Privacy Principles contained in the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth). For convenience in this policy, the aforementioned principles are referred to as “Privacy Principles” or the “APPs”.

In any particular case, we will be happy to provide further detail of our treatment of personal information, subject to the law and the restraints of security.

Online privacy – To find out more about how Walter Carter Funerals manages the privacy of your online experience at and communications via our website, view our Online Privacy and Collection Statement.

Also, we aim to get better at privacy matters. This policy may change over time.

The laws

We do not re-state the provisions of the Privacy Act or the Privacy Principles in this policy. Material to assist you can be viewed on-line at, or by contacting the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.

2. Accountability

It is the responsibility of all Walter Carter Funerals staff to comply with privacy laws and this policy.  We conduct periodic training in privacy compliance for our staff.

Walter Carter Funerals will, wherever commercially and legally possible and appropriate, require contractors to be contractually bound to comply with this policy.

Walter Carter Funerals will regard non-compliance with this policy most seriously.  Violation of this policy may lead to disciplinary procedures being imposed, up to and including the possibility of dismissal.

Staff of Walter Carter Funerals must report breaches of this policy to the Privacy Officer where they become aware of them. Breach of this policy will include:

  • non-compliance with the terms of this document and privacy procedures we implement;
  • breach of the Privacy Principles or the provisions of the Privacy Act;
  • gaining or attempting to gain unauthorised access to personal information held by Walter Carter Funerals; and
  • unauthorised disclosure or use of personal information held by Walter Carter Funerals.


3. Consent and our approach to it

In some cases the Privacy Act provides that Walter Carter Funerals may not collect or make certain use of personal information or disclose it without the consent of the individual. On the other hand, in other cases Walter Carter Funerals is in fact subject to other laws that require or authorise it to collect, use or disclose personal information.

We will not put undue pressure on an individual to give consent.  We will endeavour to ensure that individuals can make an informed decision and that they are not under duress.

4. What kind of personal information do we normally collect? How and for what purposes do we collect it?

The kinds of personal information we collect, the way we collect it and our purpose of doing so depends on the individual from whom we collect it and the nature of our interaction with that person. Broadly, the individuals we collect information from can be grouped into the following main categories:

  • individuals who are making their own funeral arrangements;
  • deceased persons and the families and “responsible others” of deceased persons; and
  • suppliers of goods and services to Walter Carter Funerals.

What information do we collect?

To do its job, Walter Carter Funerals needs and is required to collect a substantial amount of information about the individuals for whose funeral arrangements we have been entrusted.

We will collect information so that we can provide our services.  We routinely collect names, addresses, phone numbers and email details for contact and identification purposes.

Also, the laws relating to the registration of deaths require Walter Carter Funerals to collect personal information about the deceased, including:

  • name and address;
  • usual occupation during working life;
  • place of, and age when married, for all marriages – name and gender of spouse(s);
  • all children (name, gender and age); name, gender and occupation of both parents (including mother’s maiden name);
  • medical certificate stating place and cause of death.

Laws relating to cremation also require us to collect and retain information relating to the deceased.

We also collect some “sensitive” information, so that we can provide culturally sensitive and appropriate services such as the ethnic and religious identity of the deceased and his/her family.

In the process of helping our clients to arrange funeral services (which will often include preparation of the order of service) we may also collect personal information concerning family members and friends of the family, including photographs. Sometimes this information will include sensitive information such as health information, ethnic and religious identity, or even membership of trade associations.

We will usually collect the same kind of information from individuals planning their own funerals.

In the case of suppliers and other business contacts we collect only that personal information (such as names, addresses, contact details and job titles) that we need to manage our contracts and commercial relationships with those suppliers.

Purpose of collection of personal information

We collect personal information usually from family members and others who may have taken an interest or role in the arrangement of the funeral services. We do this in face-to-face meetings and the information provided to us is supplemented by phone, email and postal communications.

Some information – such as information about family members or family friends, will not be collected by direct communication with them. In such cases, we will make reasonable endeavours to ensure that the privacy collection statements (outlining our approach to privacy) are provided to those individuals by the person we are dealing with on behalf of the deceased.

We sometimes also collect information by undertaking searches of the records held at the Department of Births, Deaths & Marriages.

Most of the personal information we collect is solicited by us – i.e. we ask for it; but personal information is often volunteered by our clients.

We will only record/retain such volunteered information if it is necessary for us to provide an appropriate service. We will collect the information we need from the suppliers themselves in a variety of ways – face-to-face, phone, email and fax.

5. How do we hold the personal information we collect?

We hold personal information we collect in a variety of ways, including on our electronic (computer) database and on file in hard copy. Walter Carter Funerals has adopted various security measures to protect this information from unauthorised access (see below).

6. Will we disclose personal information to others?

We will disclose personal information to third parties only as our clients would reasonably expect in the provision of our services – for example, in the order of service that we distribute at funerals.

Some information will be published in the death and funeral notices that we may arrange for our clients. This will normally only be that information that our clients ask us to include – or that we are obliged to disclose by law, such as to the Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages.

Please note that Walter Carter Funerals may from time to time outsource management of certain functions, such as:

  • our website and other information technology, including our data-base of contacts and clients;
  • mortuary transfer;
  • marketing;
  • bereavement care services; and
  • freight forwarders.

In such cases the external service provider may have access to your personal information.  In such cases it is our policy to include, where commercially possible, provisions in the contract with the service provider that obliges the service provider to comply with our privacy policy and to comply with the Privacy Act and Australian Privacy Principles.

We may also disclose your personal information to our professional advisers, such as our lawyers in any case where we need to seek advice.

We will not otherwise disclose your personal information to other third parties unless:

  • we have your consent;
  • making the disclosure is related to the primary purpose for which we have collected the information and we deem that you would reasonably have expected us to make the disclosure;
  • we are required to do so by law, in which case we would inform you unless doing so itself is unlawful or would impede or defeat the purpose of the disclosure; or
  • we are negotiating a sale of our business, in which case we will disclose the information only if the other party with whom we are negotiating agrees to refrain from use of the information until it completes the purchase.

We will never sell your personal information unless we have your express consent; or the sale is part of a sale of our business or a part of our business.

8. Security of your personal information

It is not appropriate in this policy to provide specific details of security measures adopted by Walter Carter to protect information held by it. To do so could compromise those security measures.

Walter Carter will use an appropriate combination of:

  • physical measures including physical barriers;
  • alarm systems;
  • access technology; and
  • administrative protocols,

to exclude unauthorised persons or intruders from gaining access to the personal information we hold.

To maintain the integrity of information, Walter Carter Funerals has acquired and will continue to acquire (within its means) computer virus prevention technology and makes use of other appropriate technology, such as password security protocols and “fire-walls” to exclude unauthorised access or hacking into its computer system.

9. Your security and correction rights

The Privacy Act requires Walter Carter Funerals to provide individuals access to the personal information which Walter Carter Funerals holds about them – unless Walter Carter Funerals is entitled under the Privacy Act or other legislation to deny access or provide an explanation for a decision instead.

When requesting access to personal information, Walter Carter Funerals requires use of a written request.

Walter Carter Funerals will respond to requests for access as soon as possible and will acknowledge the request within 14 days and deal with it within 30 days or earlier. Though we may ask, we will not require an explanation of why the request has been made as a pre-requisite to giving access. We will not charge a fee for access.

Some circumstances where it may be appropriate and lawful for Walter Carter Funerals to deny access are where:

  • providing access would unreasonably be to the detriment of the privacy of another individual;
  • the request is frivolous or vexatious;
  • the information relates to existing or anticipated legal proceedings between Walter Carter Funerals and the individual, and the information would not be available by the legal discovery processes;
  • giving access would reveal Walter Carter Funerals’ intentions in relation to negotiations with the individual and prejudice those negotiations for Walter Carter; or
  • providing access would be unlawful or if denying access is required or authorised under law.

This is not an exhaustive list of circumstances where we may be entitled or perhaps required to deny access.

10. Use of government identifiers

Walter Carter Funerals may collect them but we will not use government identifiers such as tax file numbers or Medicare numbers as a means of identifying a person from whom the identifier has been collected.

11. Anonymity

Given the personal nature of our services, it is not normally appropriate for individuals to remain anonymous in their dealings with Walter Carter Funerals. Use of our website would not normally involve our collection of personal information identifying the individual – unless the browser sends us an email via our website with identifying information in it.

12. Contacting Walter Carter Funerals and complaints

If an individual:

  • has an enquiry about our information management or privacy procedures;
  • wishes to request access to personal information;
  • wishes to see a copy of this policy document; or
  • wishes to make a complaint about our handling of personal information

that person can contact our Privacy Officer by the following means:

Complaints will be dealt with in the first instance by our Privacy Officer or in his/her absence, by a person nominated by him/her. Complaints must be made in writing. This will allow us to deal with complaints in a professional, sensitive and consistent manner in compliance with the Act.

We will acknowledge receipt of a request within 14 days of receiving it and we will respond within 30 days of receipt. We will also do our best to deal with the complaint within that time, assuming that we are able to investigate and ascertain the necessary facts in that time.  We will let you know if it is likely to take much longer.

Complainants will be given an opportunity to put their complaint in writing, to propose a remedy for the complaint and to discuss the matter with the Walter Carter Funerals Privacy Officer.

The Privacy Officer will determine in the case of each complaint (if any) what is to be done, if anything, to redress the complaint. Also, the Privacy Officer will assess whether any complaint demonstrates a systemic problem and will make recommendations to the management of Walter Carter Funerals as to how to address/rectify such issues if they are identified.