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Diversity and inclusion

In 2019–20, we developed the new Diversity and Inclusion Strategy 2020–2023, to shape and define our direction for diversity and inclusion. The new strategy reaffirms our commitment to creating and maintaining a diverse and inclusive culture. It also demonstrates our drive to have an inclusive workplace where every employee is able to bring their true and whole self to work.

We are proud of our journey so far and will maintain momentum in areas we do well and look for improvement in areas where we could do better, guided by 3 key priorities:

  • be a diverse, culturally safe, confident and capable workplace
  • embed inclusive practices in the way we work, and
  • lead by example.

As part of National Reconciliation Week activities in 2020, we commenced the development of our first Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) to reinforce our commitment and contribution to reconciliation.

In collaboration with our Workplace Inclusion Network, we have published an Inclusive Language Guide as part of our commitment to inclusion in the workplace. Language is a powerful tool for building inclusion at work, and the guide provides staff with tips and advice on how to use inclusive language in their work. The guide highlights the importance of treating all people, including colleagues, with dignity, recognition and respect, and helps to ensure our spoken and written language is inclusive and respectful.

Workplace Inclusion Network

Our employee-led Workplace Inclusion Network (WIN) is the driving force behind our inclusive workplace culture, raising the profile of our diversity areas by celebrating days of significance, building our networks with external diversity groups, collaborating with other APS agencies and reviewing our internal policies and procedures through a diversity lens. The WIN meets regularly to discuss diversity, raise issues and share experiences of diversity and inclusion. It is driven by the enthusiasm and passion of employee champions and has the support of our SES sponsor, Sarah Costelloe.

Disability reporting mechanism

Since 1994, non-corporate Commonwealth entities have reported on their performance as policy adviser, purchaser, employer, regulator and provider under the Commonwealth Disability Strategy. In 2007–08, reporting on the employer role was transferred to the Australian Public Service Commission (APSC) State of the Service reports and the APS Statistical Bulletin. These reports are available at www.apsc.gov.au. From 2010–11, entities have no longer been required to report on these functions.

The Commonwealth Disability Strategy has been overtaken by the National Disability Strategy 2010–2020, which sets out a 10-year national policy framework to improve the lives of people with disability, promote participation and create a more inclusive society. A high-level, 2-yearly report will track progress against each of the 6 outcome areas of the strategy and present a picture of how people with disability are faring. The first of these progress reports was published in 2014, and can be found at www.dss.gov.au.