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Defence Diversity & Inclusion Strategy

Defence Diversity and Inclusion Strategy 2012-2017

By 2017, Defence aims to be an inclusive and progressive organisation that maximises capability through capitalising on a diverse workforce.

The intention of our Diversity and Inclusion Strategy is to: Enhance Defence capability through diversity and inclusive practice.

Our Diversity and Inclusion Strategy envisages a Defence organisation where individual differences are recognised, respected and embraced as an opportunity to learn and enhance capability; a place where talent is nurtured and leadership opportunities are explicitly open to all with the capacity and drive to seek them; a place that fosters collaboration and inclusion.

This Diversity and Inclusion Strategy tells us where we want to be in 2017. It tells us about which areas of our organisation need priority attention if our goals for diversity and inclusion in Defence are to be achieved. It commits us all to a plan of actions that aim to ensure that together, in 2017 Defence has become an employer of choice for all in Australia who want a career in the service of defending our nation. It is not a road map. It is an overarching strategy.

About Diversity and Inclusion in Defence

Diversity in Defence means respect for individual difference. It means valuing and utilising the unique knowledge, skills and attributes that our people bring to their work. Diversity reflects the variety of personal experience that arises from differences of culture and circumstance. We maximise our capability by drawing on the diversity of our people.

Inclusion means fostering a work environment where individual differences – whatever they may be – are appreciated and valued as characteristics that enhance our work environment, our productivity and our capability.

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. In the competitive labour market for talent in Australia and with a globalised workplace Defence can no longer rely on a workforce drawn from a narrow pool of talent.

About Our Diversity and Inclusion Strategy

Aligning with Pathway to Change, this Strategy has a five year life span, to be reviewed in 2017. This Strategy comprises of five goals for achieving diversity and inclusion in Defence and identifies our immediate areas of focus. Our ultimate aspiration for diversity and inclusion in Defence is to be accomplished through the achievement of the five goals identified in this strategy.

Our Diversity and Inclusion Strategy provides an overarching framework of strategic directions. It pulls together the repeated commitments in Defence documents such as Pathway to Change, People in Defence, and our Reconciliation Action Plan. The Strategy directly aligns with our Defence Values, and those of each Service and the Australian Public Service.

This Strategy articulates five Strategic Goals which will underpin successful diversity and inclusion in Defence.

The Strategy also identifies immediate diversity priorities for Defence. These priorities align with each stage of the employment life cycle of Defence people - attract, recruit, develop, retain and transition. They also reflect those groups in Defence requiring priority attention, including:

  • Women,
  • Indigenous Australians,
  • People from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) backgrounds,
  • People with Disability,
  • Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) persons,
  • Mature age and an Intergenerational workforce, and
  • Youth.

A detailed Diversity and Inclusion Implementation Plan will support the Strategy. The Implementation Plan will describe the specific activities and initiatives to be undertaken by the Services and Groups to realise our strategy and goals for diversity and inclusion in Defence. The Implementation Plan will harness the Defence cultural levers for change and build on Defence wide, Services or APS current plans, strategies, programs and activities for the particular diversity groups, to make progress.

Defence does not need to wait for this Implementation Plan to begin delivering on our priorities. Enhancing capability through diversity and inclusion has already begun in Defence, and one of the most important actions is ensuring that each individual takes responsibility to be inclusive and to develop their appreciation of diversity and inclusion.