Department of Defence
The Defence mission is to defend Australia and its national interests. Diversity and inclusion in Defence is a critical capability issue. The Defence organisation of the 21st Century must harness the broadest talents if we are to remain fully ready to defend Australia.
Defence recognises that people with disability bring valuable skills to the workforce and strives to enable all personnel to contribute to achieving Defence’s goals. Defence has stated its commitment to a fair and equitable workplace for all personnel and this includes providing a work environment that values and respects the diverse nature of the workforce.
Diversity and Inclusion Strategy 2012-17
In 2012, Defence released our Diversity and Inclusion Strategy. The Strategy pulls together the repeated commitments in Defence documents such as Pathway to Change, People in Defence, and our Reconciliation Action Plan, and provides an overarching framework of Defence’s strategic directions on diversity and inclusion to the end of 2017.
The Diversity and Inclusion Strategy identifies people with disability as an immediate diversity priority for Defence, and outlines the organisation’s intended actions under the themes of Attract, Recruit, Develop, Retain, and Transition. The Strategy directly aligns with our Defence Values, those of each Service and the Australian Public Service Commission’s As One: Making it Happen strategy.
Disability Policies and Programs
Defence Administrative Assistance Program
The Defence Administrative Assistance Program (DAAP) is a partnership with local Australian Disability Enterprises to provide people with disability to engage in meaningful work. DAAP teams assist work units with low complexity tasks such as photocopying, large and small mail outs, packaging and collating conference papers, folders and information kits. By providing these services, DAAP teams enhance Defence capability and free up work units to focus on priority tasks.
After an initial pilot program in Queensland, the DAAP program was expanded to 9 Defence sites across the country in 2016, and as of December 2016 employed 81 supported staff.
The Accessibility Hub is Defence’s internal portal to support employees with injury, illness or disability and their managers to readily access a range of accessibility services and support from a central point. It provides information on workplace adjustments, financial assistance, fact sheets and guides for all Defence employees and managers. The implementation of the Hub has streamlined access to workplace adjustments for Defence employees with disability.
Defence Inclusion Network
The Defence Inclusion Network was launched in December 2014 to provide mentoring opportunities for our staff with a disability and a forum to raise ideas/solutions that will increase accessibility for employees with disability in Defence. The network disseminates current information on disability programs and initiatives to Defence employees who have a disability or are interested in supporting colleagues with disability.
Defence Inclusive Employment Program
The Inclusive Employment Program recruits staff at the APS1 and APS2 level to work areas which require basic administrative support. 28 individuals have been recruited to Defence through the Inclusive Employment Program since the beginning of 2016. These employees assist the delivery of operational responsibilities in their work areas, and assist to build the skills of their supervisors to manage a diverse team.
Defence is lucky to have three senior Disability Champions who support our disability work and programs to increase the numbers of people with disability and improve their experience in Defence. These champions are senior advocates in our organisation and are pivotal in promoting a more inclusive and accessible workplace.
For further information, visit the Department of Defence’s website.Web Address: http://www.defence.gov.au/