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Inclusion, Equity and Diversity

Could you be Australia's first Ambassador, High Commissioner, Consul-General, or head of Australia's foreign service, from your community?

DFAT embraces diversity for global influence, and encourages people from all backgrounds and all walks of life to work here. At DFAT, you can experience rewarding careers and opportunities offered by an organisation that is truly global in scope – with over one hundred and twenty workplaces across the world, and in every Australian state and territory capital.

DFAT promotes inclusive workplaces, equitable opportunities, and a diverse workforce at all levels. As the department that represents Australia to the world, our goal is to fully understand, reflect and project the diversity of modern Australia so we can influence the world around us. Your unique qualities, attributes, skills and experiences are an asset in our workplace.

Diversity is complex. DFAT takes an intersectional approach to diversity, which means we recognise people have unique identities and experiences, and don't always fit into neat categories.

Depending on a person's background, they may experience a range of barriers or advantages based on their place of birth, family composition and roles, parent's education and socio-economic status, education, health, disability, neurological differences, rural/regional/remote locations, gender, sexual orientation, cultural or linguistic background, age, and other factors.  

Through the Inclusion, Equity and Diversity Strategy 2024-2027 – Embracing Diversity for Global Influence, the department aims to:

  • build everyone's leadership and capability in inclusion, equity and diversity principles
  • remove barriers and ensure workplace equity through our policies, systems and platforms 
  • make our overseas network more inclusive and reduce barriers to overseas careers for people from different backgrounds
  • build a more diverse organisation at all levels.

These efforts will see us draw even more strongly on diversity in undertaking our core business effectively. The approach outlined in this Strategy speaks to people in all their diversity, and emphasises several focus areas:

  • First Nations people
  • people with disabilities
  • neurodivergent people
  • carers
  • LGBTQIA+ communities
  • cultural and linguistic diversity
  • gender equality
  • age inclusion.

Leadership

Leadership occurs at all levels, and all DFAT staff have a role to play in creating inclusive workplaces. DFAT also has dedicated senior leaders who are champions for instilling an inclusive workplace culture across the organisation and through leading by example in their work area.

  • First Nations Champion
  • Disability Champion
  • Pride Champion
  • Cultural and Linguistic Diversity Champion
  • Gender Equality Champion
  • Mental Health Champion

Capability

Building our knowledge and ability to foster inclusion helps everyone to lead. Our capability uplift includes formal training, exposure, listening to staff experiences and challenging assumptions.

We aim for an organisation that is culturally safe for First Nations people, where Australia's history and the experience of First Nations people are understood and accepted, and where racism and prejudice are eliminated. We provide in depth training and online platforms that aim to equip staff with awareness of biases and how to address these. We maintain a continual approach to reconciliation, reflected in our Reconciliation Action Plan, with a new plan to launch later in 2024.

Our training is comprehensive and growing. We provide training and briefings to leaders, state and territory office staff, staff going overseas for a posting, locally engaged staff in our overseas workplaces, and new staff. Everyone has access to a range of e-learning courses on unconscious bias, First Nations cultural awareness, disability confidence, and more.

Celebrating diversity

We celebrate diversity by marking days of significance, emphasising practical initiatives and steps everyone can take to promote inclusion and continue learning. These include:

  • International Women's Day
  • International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
  • National Reconciliation Week
  • National Aboriginal and Islander Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC) Week
  • Wear It Purple Day
  • International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia
  • International Day of People with Disability

Diversity networks

DFAT diversity networks help employees connect with others, share their experiences and perspectives in a safe and accepting environment, and provide feedback to the department on a range of diversity matters.

Networks include:

  • Indigenous Employees Network
  • Disability Network
  • Pride Network
  • Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Network
  • Workplace Gender Equality Network
  • Families Network

Building on Women in Leadership

From its launch in November 2015, DFAT's Women in Leadership (WIL) Strategy 2015-2020 [PDF 2 MB] has fostered gender equality and an inclusive culture. This was followed by the WIL Refresh 2020-2025. Efforts under WIL Refresh continue to be pursued through the Inclusion, Equity and Diversity Strategy. The proud history of Australia's trailblazing women Heads of Mission and Post is on display in DFAT's Portraits & Mirrors Exhibition.

Contact us

workplacediversity@dfat.gov.au.

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