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Culture and Diversity

Human Resources
Wednesday 18 March, 2015
Large group of office workers standing and sitting in office

The Commission knows that a diverse workforce and a positive workplace culture are key elements to any effective organisation. We are passionate about what we do and that passion energises our culture.

The Commission empowers people to engage in meaningful activity on human rights and to make the connection between what human rights are and how they apply to everyday life in Australia.


A diverse workforce with a range of different backgrounds and perspectives provides us with a broader range of ideas and insights to draw on in decision-making and policy development. Diversity makes good business sense. A workplace that reflects the Australian community will understand its audience better, which leads to improved service delivery and a more inclusive community for all.

The Commission currently exceeds APS targets for the employment of people from a non-English speaking background, people with a disability and for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

The Commission supports diversity in many ways, such as:-

  • Diversity Strategy (incorporating our Disability Action Plan, Reconciliation Action Plan, Indigenous Employment Strategy, and Agency Multicultural Plan) (link)
  • Acknowledging and celebrating Harmony Day, NAIDOC week, International Women’s Day and the International Day for People with a Disability  
  •  active membership of the Australian Employers Network on Disability
  • Workplace Reasonable Adjustment Policy
  • Internship priority
  • Mentoring activities

Health and Safety

The Commission is committed to the active promotion of general health and wellbeing for all staff and supports a range of health focussed initiatives aimed at improving the level of awareness and understanding of these issues amongst our staff.

The Commission has a relatively ‘low risk’ environment and resources are committed to proactive, preventative activities to maintain awareness and engagement. A health and well-being program of events is delivered each year. Events are determined through staff survey. The most recent survey indicated that there is a high level of awareness of relevant WHS resources in the Commission and a high level of comfort in reporting WHS issues or concerns.

  • Employees are encouraged to undertake healthy lifestyle activities for improved health outcomes and work life balance and a per annum allowance is available per staff member for this purpose.
  • The Commission provides a free, confidential employee counselling service.
  • The Commission is committed to developing a regular program of health and well-being sessions delivered in-house by reputable and credible providers based on staff identified interest areas such as dementia awareness, fitness and nutrition, stress management techniques.

Listening & Acting at the Commission

The Commission cultivates a strong culture by listening to its employees and providing opportunities for feedback

  • Staff  complete the APS employee census every year
  • Staff are encouraged to undertake corporate responsibility roles such as First Aid, Fire wardens etc.
  • Q and A sessions with the Commissioners
  • Staff actively participate in the annual planning and strategic planning processes
  • Lunchtime learning sessions
  • Internal focus groups and cross-Commission activities

Our staff demonstrate the goals set at the Commission through their work

  • Understanding and respect for rights (we empower people and foster change through education and awareness-raising about human rights)
  • Human rights are respected and discrimination is addressed (we identify and address human rights breaches and resolve disputes about discrimination and human rights)
  • Leadership and influence (we are a respected and influential advocate for human rights)
  • Organisational excellence (we have a collaborative and innovative work culture and maintain efficient and effective systems)