Communique No 8 - August 2018

Communique No 8 - August 2018

PM&C Secretaries Equality and Diversity Council
Monday, 10 September 2018

Secretaries Equality and Diversity Council

In August 2018, the Secretaries Equality and Diversity Council (the Council) convened to discuss how to encourage staff within the Australian Public Service (APS) to undertake more inclusive work practices, which capture and consider the broad variety of perspectives and views within the Australian community. The Council acknowledged that this would enable better public policy outcomes for Australia and higher productivity in the APS in the long‑term.

The Council considered a proposed model for organisational change, which focuses on the everyday work patterns and behaviours of staff, managers and leaders.  

The discussion was informed by the experiences of organisations across the world that are undertaking similar change processes, including KPMG, Google, BHP Billiton, Goldman Sachs and DeBeers. The Council also considered the experiences of other government and non-government organisations.

The Council recognises that undertaking organisational change is difficult for all organisations. It is focused on ensuring that change processes build capability within the APS that delivers an enduring high return on investment.

The Council agreed that the APS is well positioned to create more dynamic and inclusive work practices, which are demonstrated in times of natural disasters and other emergency situations.

Common themes which emerged from previous Council meetings, were discussed as important matters to consider in undertaking change and included:

  • the need to support middle managers,
  • the importance of strong leadership, and
  • the localised nature of culture between and within departments, agencies and work groups.

Council members agreed to trialling the proposed approach in a small number of departments. The trial departments/agencies will consider:

  • the area/s within their organisation that lead the way with inclusive work practices and
  • the area/s within their organisation within which the best return on investment from additional support might be achieved.

The Council agreed to consider the results of these preliminary discussions at their next meeting.