APS Diversity and Gender Equality Awards

Posted 1 December 2017

The Australian Public Service has recently announced the winners of its inaugural Diversity and Gender Equality Awards. The awards honour "outstanding contributions to workplace diversity and gender equality across the APS", and acknowledge both individual public servants and whole departments and agencies.

The five-strong judging panel included the CEO of Diversity Council Australia, the Co-Chair of Recognition Australia, and the Disability Discrimination Commissioner.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade won the Gender Equality Award for "its ambitious and innovative Women in Leadership Strategy". The Strategy dates back to 2014, when Secretary Peter Varghese announced an initiative to explore why women's career progression in the Department was not equal to men's. At that time, while women comprised 57 of the Department’s employees, only 34 of the SES were women.

Justin Lokhorst, Director of Construction Statistics at the Australian Bureau of Statistics, won the Individual Award for "his personal contribution to promoting diversity and inclusion in his agency". Mr Lokhorst promotes an open dialogue and safe space for discussion at the ABS by openly talking about his own hearing impairment, and has made significant efforts to make the ABS an inclusive environment.

The Department/Agency Award was won by the National Disability Insurance Agency, for "modelling best practice recruitment and employment of people with a disability". Some 13 per cent of the NDIA's current workforce identify as having a disability, just shy of the Agency's 15 per cent target. The Agency employs Disability Liaison Officers specifically to support these employees and ensure the work environment is accessible, inclusive and productive.

Finally, the Network Award was won by ATOMIC, the ATO's LGBTI+ network "Making Inclusion Count" for its "active role supporting LGBTI+ inclusion in the ATO" and APS more broadly. The network launched in 2016 and already has more than 1700 members. They host monthly meetings in Canberra, are involved in the Australian Government Leadership Network, and have co-hosted a number of LGBTI+ inclusion conferences.

More information on the Awards and the winners can be found at: http://www.apsc.gov.au/publications-and-media/media-releases/diversityawards.