Last week was NAIDOC Week, a time when the country comes together to acknowledge and highlight the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
It also marks just two months since the Government released the Workforce Diversification and Inclusion Strategy and a supporting action plan to drive greater representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people working in the public sector.
With an aspirational target of 3.7%, the action plan also outlines what agencies can do to support inclusive work environments for all staff.
The Water Corporation has recognised the importance of creating a safe place for staff from diverse backgrounds, where they can be themselves and feel respected, be connected to their colleagues and able to contribute their ideas.
In 2019, the Aboriginal Employment and Development team was created to focus on the pastoral care, wellbeing, development and retention of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees, an initiative highlighted in this year’s Director of Equal Opportunity in Public Employment annual report.
Aboriginal Employment and Development team leader Collene Castle said diversity is a key priority: “It was important to create the team to support the business in achieving KPIs around our target of 6% for 2021.
“These KPIs include a focus on attraction, recruitment and retention and are important because, without having a vision to work towards, true change cannot be met.”
Director of Equal Opportunity in Public Employment Sonja O’Leary encouraged more agencies to focus on diversity outcomes and create inclusive workplaces.
“As a collective, we must do more to take full advantage of the opportunities that come from having a workforce with staff from all walks of life. There’s never been a better time to invest your energy in diversity and inclusion in your agency,” she said.
At the Commission, we’re keen to hear what your agency is doing to improve diversity and inclusion. To share your stories or for support and guidance, email our Workforce and Diversity team.