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Diversity and inclusion

DFAT recognises the importance of valuing diversity and promoting inclusion. We especially value the unique qualities, attributes, skills and experiences our employees bring to the workplace. Moreover, as the department that represents Australia to the world, it is important we reflect the diversity of the Australian population.

Diversity relates to sex, gender, age, language, ethnicity, cultural background, disability, sexual orientation, intersex status, religious beliefs, educational level, professional skills, work experience, socio-economic background, career obligations and/or other factors that make us unique. An employee's family, carer and other responsibilities, and the need to balance these with work, also contributes to the diversity of our workforce. We take an intersectional approach to diversity and inclusion, and recognise people may identify with multiple diversity groups.

The objectives of the department's diversity and inclusion program are:

  • to raise awareness and understanding of challenges and opportunities facing people on the basis of their diversity
  • to remove barriers and ensure workplace equity
  • to lead training and development of diversity and inclusion principles
  • to draw on diversity and inclusion in undertaking our core business more effectively
  • to help employees to balance work, personal, cultural and other responsibilities
  • to support our staff diversity networks.

Diversity champions

Reflecting our commitment to diversity and inclusion, senior officers serve as champions:

  • Women in Leadership (Deputy Secretary)
  • LGBTI (Deputy Secretary)
  • Indigenous (Deputy Secretary)
  • Disability (SES Band 2)
  • Cultural and Linguistic Diversity (SES Band 2)
  • Mental Health (SES Band 2), and
  • Families (SES Band 2)

Diversity strategies and plans

The following initiatives help the department be a more inclusive and diverse workplace:

We are currently developing an overarching Diversity and Inclusion Strategy.

Training is an important element of our diversity and inclusion program. We provide diversity training and briefings to state and territory office staff, employees on pre-posting training, Locally engaged staff and new employees to the department, as well as ad hoc diversity-specific training. Staff also have access to diversity-related e-learning.

We celebrate diversity by marking days of significance, including:

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

Diversity networks

The department supports a range of employee networks to help employees connect with others, share life experiences and perspectives, and advocate to the department on a range of diversity issues. These networks include the DFAT Families Network, Indigenous Employees Network, DFAT Disability Network, LGBTI Network, CALD Network and WGEN (Workplace Gender Equality) Network.

For further information, please contact

Secretary, CALD Champion Alison Burrows, CALD Network members, and other staff.
Secretary, CALD Champion Alison Burrows, CALD Network members, and other staff. Credit: Linda Roche.
Last Updated: 4 June 2019
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