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Managing performance and behaviour

Our Managing for Performance Policy recognises that regular constructive feedback encourages good performance. It enhances continuing development and facilitates employees and managers to communicate with each other informally and regularly about performance matters. The policy also affirms that performance management is a core activity that is embedded in all management functions.

Annual Individual Performance Agreements (IPAs) are designed to align individual performance to our strategic goals, with the overall aim of improving individual and organisational performance. IPAs also focus on individual learning and development needs and broader APS career development. Our policy requires a current IPA be developed for existing staff, including contractors, by July–August each year and, for new employees, within 3 months of their commencement.

We designed and launched a new Executive Level Leadership program to raise capabilities in strategic and people/performance management. Over 120 EL 1 and EL 2 staff participated in the program. To support the development of our part-time and remote workers, a 4-day intensive leadership program was also delivered. In addition, programs focusing on strategic thinking, nurturing performance, having authentic conversations and working effectively at level were also provided to staff. These programs aim to assist in raising and maintaining capabilities to achieve goals and maintain our culture of high performance.

Institute Awards

Institute Awards recognise exceptional individual and team contributions. The criteria for assessing nominations are linked to excellence in supporting strategic goals and excellence in delivering and/or supporting services and products. Institute Awards were given to 33 staff in 2018–19 (Table 5.6).

Table 5.6: Institute Award recipients, 2018–19

Simone Brown

Katrina Burgess, Jane McIntyre and Alexei Dukhnovski

Sam Chambers, Eileen Patterson, Angus Harding, Georgina Jepsen and Anne Broadbent

Julianne Garcia

Jenna Haddin

Nicole Hunter

Miranda Laws

Michael Metz

David Meere, Alison Budd, Chris Rompotis and Natasha Bartlett

Emily Norton, James Bignold, Rachel Aalders, Chwee Von Sanden and Cynthia Parayiwa

Bronwen Phillips and Angus Harding

Jaya Rawat

Emily Ross

Morag Roycroft

Marissa Veld, Josh Sweeney and Lachlan Facchini

Bill Watson

Damian Welsh

Recognising diversity

​​We continued to recognise and support the diversity of our staff. Our Enterprise Agreement (EA) provides flexible working and leave arrangements to support employees’ caring responsibilities, religious commitments and attendance at cultural events.

We maintain a Workplace Diversity Program aimed at ensuring that we:

  • recognise, foster and make best use of the diversity of our employees
  • help employees to balance their work, family and other caring responsibilities
  • comply with all relevant anti-discrimination laws.

​​In 2018–19, we continued to support the Pride network, which provides peer support and visibility for our lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning, and intersex (LGBTQI) staff.

Sydney staff at the permanent rainbow pedestrian crossing

​​In addition, we delivered cultural awareness training, which included face-to-face and e-learning programs designed to educate staff about the cultural significance of the traditional owners of the land in the Canberra region. The AIHW is now a member of the Australian Public Service Commission’s (APSC) Indigenous Employment Strategy which provides access to a range of employment programs aimed at increasing the representation of Indigenous Australians.


Veronica Jordan of Culture on the Move presenting a workshop on traditional weaving for AIHW staff during National Reconciliation Week, May 2019
Wally Bell, Ngunnawal Elder of Buru Ngunnawal Aboriginal Corporation leading a walking tour of culturally significant sites on Black Mountain for AIHW staff during NAIDOC week, July 2018
Patricia Turner AM, CEO of National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation and Jamie Penny attending the launch of AIHW’s 4th Reconciliation Action Plan

​​The AIHW has a Reconciliation Action Plan and has appointed 3 members of the senior executive group to the roles of Disability Champion, Indigenous Champion and the Pride Network Champion. We also joined the Australian Network on Disability (AND). This assists us to become a disability-confident employer by providing access to programs and resources to support managers and staff in supporting employees with disability.

Figure 5.2 compares AIHW staff with APS staff in terms of identifying as being of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander heritage, having disability, and/or being from a non-English- speaking background. It also identifies staff who are women and staff aged 50 and over.

We continue to exceed the APS average for employment of women but we are below average for employment of staff aged 50 and over, Indigenous staff and staff with disability. We hope that with our participation in initiatives such as the Indigenous Employment Strategy and the AND, we will see improvements in these areas.

Among our active staff, women comprise:

  • 67% of total active APS staff
  • 44% of substantive SES staff
  • 66% of EL staff.

Inclusive of contractors, women make up 64% of the AIHW, of which, 62% of ELs are women.

Figure 5.2: AIHW staff diversity groups, 2017–2019, compared with the APS overall, 2018The column graph shows AIHW staff diversity groups for 2017–19 compared with the APS overall for 2018.

Equal employment opportunities

Section 5 of the Equal Employment Opportunity (Commonwealth Authorities) Act 1987 (EEO Act) requires that the AIHW develop and implement an equal employment opportunity program. The program should ensure that, in relation to employment matters, appropriate action is taken to eliminate discrimination by the AIHW against women and persons in designated groups and promote equal opportunities for people in these groups.

Under section 9 of the EEO Act, the AIHW must report annually on the development and implementation of its program. The report may be submitted to the AIHW’s responsible minister through its annual report. A report should include:

  • a detailed analysis of action taken to develop and implement its program
  • an assessment of how well program implementation is monitored and evaluated
  • an assessment of the effectiveness ofthe program
  • details of each direction given by the minister about the AIHW’s performance
  • obligations under the EEO Act.

The AIHW adopts equal employment opportunity practices common across the APS, including access to paid parental leave and maternity leave, and recruitment opportunities specifically for Indigenous people. The AIHW accommodates reasonable requests for flexible working arrangements so that staff can meet family commitments, and seeks to remove obstacles that might discourage people with disability or whose first language is not English from seeking employment at the AIHW.

The AIHW signed an MOU with the APSC in May 2019 to participate in APSC Indigenous Employment Programs. Through this MoU the AIHW has the opportunity to participate in a range of initiatives aimed to support the Commonwealth Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employment Strategy. These initiatives include the 3 Pathways programs, which support employment opportunities for interns, graduates and APS 5 to EL 2 candidates. The AIHW hopes to be able to engage a number of staff through these programs.

The AIHW became a member of the AND in April 2019. AND provides support, conducts training, shares knowledge and resources and facilitates networking opportunities to assist organisations in becoming a disability-confident employer. Through our membership with AND we have participated in employment initiatives which provide opportunities for people with a disability to gain meaningful employment.

The AIHW monitors and evaluates its equal employment opportunity policies by comparing itself against other agencies that similarly contribute information on diversity to the APSC’s annual State of the Service report to the Parliament of Australia. The AIHW is comparable with other APS agencies; however, notably in relation to equal employment opportunity, it has a higher than average proportion of female employees.

The AIHW has not received any ministerial directions about its performance obligations under the EEO Act.