Committees give voice to diversity and inclusion

As Australian public servants, we strive to provide a work environment as diverse as the community we serve.

The department, through its diversity committees and Diversity and Inclusion Strategy 2019–21, is building and supporting a diverse and inclusive workforce that mirrors the diversity of the Australian community.

Shelby is a recent graduate from the department’s Indigenous Development Program. She is a Kamilaroi woman from Tamworth in New South Wales. She is a proud member of the department’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Staff National Committee, chaired by Jemma. “The department and the committee have given me the space to find my voice. Being part of this committee makes me feel like I have a small level of control in what can be a big machine at times,” said Shelby.

Drew decided to work for the department because of his passion for equality, equity and social inclusion. He is now co-chair of the Pride Committee with Kate. “Through our events, the department has given a voice to LGBTIQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer) people that enables all staff to gain insight into LGBTIQ experiences. The Pride Committee has given staff authority to bring their whole selves to work, to speak openly about their partners and their lives, and bring their full life experiences into the work they do to better support people in Australia,” said Drew.

Karen is chair of the Disability and Carers Committee. Within the department, 1 in 16 staff members identify with disability. Over 40 per cent of people have caring responsibilities according to last year’s Australian Public Service Census. “A highlight was participating in the Graduate Orientation program with the other diversity committees. We hosted three groups of graduates for an hour on disability and carers; each session included immersion activities, information on our committee and promoting diversity and inclusion.”

By employing a diverse workforce it exemplifies what all Australian employers and businesses are encouraged to embrace, that engaging a blend of experiences, perspectives and skills benefits the country’s productivity and capability.

ABOVE: Karen, Drew, Jemma and Kate.
See Part 4, Chapter 4.3 for more information.

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