Skip to main content

About the department

DFAT values

The Values Statement sets out the way the department chooses to achieve its purpose and is the foundation for our actions and behaviours. It creates a sense of shared identity within DFAT and defines how we work and interact with each other, our partners and clients, and the broader community. It is important to the performance and reputation of the department and creates a positive vision for what we stand for as an organisation.

Our goal is to make these values pervasive throughout the department. They will need to be championed and defended. While our core values remain constant, the culture of the department will continue to evolve. Our ongoing success will be determined by the extent to which we reinforce and live these values, and by the quality and effectiveness of the systems and processes that enable us to do so.

DFAT's values are a commitment from the department to the Australian Government, to the Australian community and our partners and, importantly, to each other as members of a global organisation. They embody the APS Values while demonstrating the department's ambition as a forward-looking agency of which we can be proud.

Values Statement

We uphold and promote the Australian Public Service Values: Impartial, Committed to service; Accountable; Respectful and Ethical. In addition, we place particular importance on the following agency values that define how we work and shape our culture:


We take pride in delivering high quality and innovative policy advice, programs and services to advance Australia's interests.

  • We set high standards for what we do and how we do it.
  • We encourage and reward innovation and create avenues for staff to propose, cultivate and test ideas.
  • We engage with risk and have confidence in our judgement.
  • We think strategically at all levels and foster creative and effective solutions for government.
  • We learn from success and failure and seek out constructive feedback.
  • We always look for opportunities to improve our work.

Leadership and Accountability

We are courageous and innovative in meeting challenges, bold in contesting ideas and accountable for our actions.

  • We contest our advice internally and speak with one voice externally.
  • We exercise leadership at all levels, in our individual responsibilities and for the agency's broader priorities.
  • We develop and value leaders that inspire, mentor, empower and communicate openly and clearly.
  • We nurture talent and build teams in which all are valued and can contribute.
  • We take responsibility for our decisions which are taken ethically and with integrity.
  • We ensure high standards for the protection of the security of our people, property and information.

Valuing People

We are fair, embrace diversity and harness and reward the knowledge, experience and creativity of all our staff.

  • We communicate with honesty, courtesy and respect.
  • We recognise and reward the achievements of all staff, including locally engaged staff.
  • We value the expertise and diverse experience of our staff.
  • We identify and address bias proactively.
  • We promote reconciliation with Indigenous Australians.
  • We share responsibility for a healthy workplace, including encouraging a healthy work/life balance, and zero tolerance of bullying.


We are one team – respected for our ability to foster relationships across government and the world to advance Australia's interests.

  • We work together to achieve our collective vision.
  • We respect and foster different ideas and views.
  • We cultivate professional relationships internally, domestically and internationally, recognising they are critical to our success.
  • We capture knowledge and share it professionally.
  • We harness the views and experience of our partners to think broadly and deliver high quality results.
  • We ensure our systems and processes enable collaboration and promote success.

Last Updated: 15 December 2014
Back to top