Diversity and inclusion

Defence is committed to creating a workplace where people from all backgrounds feel confident that they will be heard and their contributions are welcome.

Culture and values

A more diverse workforce supported by an inclusive culture enhances Defence’s capability and effectiveness, as it draws on different ideas to innovate and adapt to a rapidly evolving strategic environment and the changing nature of warfare.

Building capability through inclusion is one of the 6 cultural reform priorities in Pathway to Change: Evolving Defence Culture, reiterating the importance of diversity for Defence capability and performance.

The Defence Values and Behaviours are the tenets by which Defence personnel are expected to conduct themselves.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

Defence recognises that we live, work and train on the traditional lands of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

For over a century, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have provided, and continue to provide, a vital and unique contribution to Defence capability, the defence of Australia and its national interests during times of peace and war.

Defence is strongly committed to the National Agreement on Closing the Gap and reconciliation through its Defence Reconciliation Action Plan.

Defence Reconciliation Action Plan 2019-2022 (PDF, 4.86 MB)

Defence’s strategies to improve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander socio‑economic outcomes and to progress reconciliation include targeted employment pathways for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.


Defence has a broad range of recruitment programs, and pathways to increase the participation and support of women.

Strategies focussed on leadership, targeted mentoring, education, training, networking and career development, to further enable women to achieve their career aspirations at Defence.

People with a disability

Defence supports a range of programs and initiatives aligned to the APS Disability Employment Strategy 2020-25 to remove real or perceived barriers within the workplace, working across the enterprise and other Government agencies to reflect best practice in supporting its personnel.

Defence recruitment focuses on an applicant’s ability, skills and experience.

To support applicants, Defence is committed to making reasonable adjustments at time of recruitment and throughout an employee’s Defence career so that they can optimise their full potential.

People from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds

Defence understands that people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds increase capability and deepen cultural understanding. This helps to build effective relationships with counterparts and allies.

Defence aims to provide an inclusive working environment that respects, values and utilises the contributions of people with different cultural backgrounds, experiences and perspectives.

People that identify as LGBTIQA+

Defence provides a work environment based on respect and trust, regardless of sexual orientation, gender or gender identity.

Defence participates in roundtable discussions with other Government agencies through membership of Pride in Diversity, and as regular attendees at the APS Pride community of practice.