Inclusive Culture and Diversity

Introduction

Geoscience Australia values the diversity of our employees and is dedicated to providing a positive and supportive workplace. We pride ourselves on valuing all of our people and are committed to promoting and empowering an inclusive, respectful and equitable workplace.

Our Strategy 2028 highlights that we cannot deliver high quality science without an internal commitment to be the best organisation we can be by fostering a positive organisational culture. A key part of our strategy involves developing our diverse and inclusive workplace and drawing from the full pool of human talent.

Our leadership team is committed to fostering an inclusive culture, acting as role models and champions to drive positive change. As a Champion of Change through the Champions of Change Coalition. I have also made a personal commitment to lead meaningful action that achieves change.

Our workplace Diversity and Inclusion Strategy also expresses our ongoing commitment to the APS Employment Principles of diversity and workplaces free from discrimination under Section 18 of the Public Service Act 1999.

I am proud of the people we have in our organisation who play a part every day as articulated in our Diversity and Inclusion Strategy. Every action they take contributes to our inclusive, professional and enjoyable workplace.

Dr James Johnson
Chief Executive Officer

Diversity and Inclusion Strategy 2021-25

Our Diversity and Inclusion Strategy 2021-25 [PDF 663.9 KB] (the Strategy), builds on our Inclusive Culture Program, which emerged to increase awareness and understanding of how cultural norms and unconscious bias create inequity and potentially disadvantage our key diversity groups.

The Strategy replaces our Diversity and Inclusion Strategy 2019-22, and provides a roadmap for the next four years to continue our journey to creating a positive organisational culture, to be the trusted source of information on Australia’s geography and geology and to produce innovative and cutting-edge science for the benefit of the nation.

The Strategy identifies five key themes that will be our priority areas of action:

  • Inclusive Culture
  • Gender Equity
  • Career Development
  • Cultural and Linguistic Diversity
  • Talent Attraction.

The Strategy is implemented through an action plan which is reviewed annually as part of our work planning processes. The action plan is led by Human Resources in partnership with our employee diversity network with oversight from our senior executive Champions and relevant governance committees.

Accreditations and affiliations

As part of our commitment to creating a diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace and culture where our people thrive, Geoscience Australia has sought and gained a number of accreditations and affiliations to help us in supporting our people to feel included, valued and respected so they are able to fully participate at work.

  • Breastfeeding Friendly Workplace: In June 2021, Geoscience Australia was accredited as a Breastfeeding Friendly Workplace, a program facilitated by the Australian Breastfeeding Association (ABA). ABA enables workplaces to offer employment conditions that support women to combine breastfeeding and work, including lactation breaks, flexible work options and access to private facilities to express breastmilk. We are committed to creating an environment which is positive and inclusive and which will enable employees to integrate work and life commitments.
  • Science in Gender Equity (SAGE): Geoscience Australia joined the SAGE program in 2017 and commenced a two year project to apply for Athena Swan Bronze Accreditation. Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE) Ltd is a not-for-profit public company which administers the unique Athena SWAN gender equity and diversity national accreditation framework. In February 2020, Geoscience Australia was awarded Athena SWAN Bronze Accreditation. Attaining this accreditation was an important step for us in creating a more equitable and inclusive workplace underpinned by gender equity. We are now working toward becoming a SAGE Silver accredited organisation.
  • Champions of Change Coalition: In 2019 Geoscience Australia’s CEO, Dr James Johnson, joined the Champions of Change STEM group. The Champions of Change Institute was established in 2010 by then Australian Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Elizabeth Broderick to work with leaders to redefine men’s role in taking action on gender inequality. Dr Johnson joins other influential male leaders stepping up beside women to drive the adoption of actions across private sector and government.
  • Australian Network on Disability: Geoscience Australia became a Silver member of the Australian Network on Disability (AND) in May 2021. AND is a national, membership based, for-purpose organisation that makes it easier for organisations to welcome people with disability in all aspects of business. Being a member of AND means we are equipped to make our practices inclusive and accessible, enabling us to support people with disability as employees and stakeholders.
  • Pride in Diversity: Geoscience Australia joined Pride in Diversity in May 2021. Pride in Diversity is Australia’s national not-for-profit employer support program for all aspects of LGBTQ workplace inclusion. Pride in Diversity provides us with experience, expertise, support and advice to assist in all aspects of LGBTQ inclusion.
  • Reconciliation Australia: Geoscience Australia joined the Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) Program in May 2021. Reconciliation Australia promotes and facilitates respect, trust and positive relationships between the wider Australian community and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Our latest RAP includes practical actions that will drive Geoscience Australia's contribution to reconciliation both internally and in the communities in which we operate. You can download the 2021 - 2023 Geoscience Australia Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan here

Governance

The Executive Board, through the People and Culture Committee, will oversee delivery of the annual action plans arising from the Strategy. To measure the success of these plans, Human Resources (HR) will provide quarterly updates on the progress of actions outlined in the plans to the Executive Board. Outcomes will then be summarised and communicated to all employees via the intranet. The reporting will include which actions have been undertaken, measures of success (i.e. via HR metrics, staff survey and/or Census results) as well as what actions are outstanding or need re-assessing. The following outlines the various boards, networks and committees that will support the Strategy.

Executive Board
The Geoscience Australia Executive Board identifies and manages strategic risks and makes recommendations for strategic decisions by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO). The Executive Board will endorse and support the commitment and actions in the Strategy.

People and Culture Committee
The People and Culture committee (the Committee) supports the Executive to achieve the Geoscience Australia vision. The Committee is a forum, complementing direct staff engagement and the Workplace Relations Committee (WRC), to surface HR issues and opportunities, including those related to diversity, culture and inclusion. Recommendations from these groups are considered by the Committee, then passed to Executive Board for endorsement.

Diversity and Inclusion Champions
Our senior executives all take on a self-selected Champion role to role model, guide and oversee our progress and performance in all aspects of diversity and inclusion. We have senior executive Champions for:

  • Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE)
  • Inclusive Culture
  • Gender Equity
  • Career Development
  • Cultural and Linguistic Diversity
  • Talent Attraction
  • Disability and Accessibility
  • Mental Health
  • Age
  • Pride / LGBTQIA+
  • GENGA
  • Indigenous

Gender Equity Network GA (GENGA)
GENGA is an employee driven network that engages with staff and informs the group on gender equity issues and supports LGBTIQ inclusion. GENGA is a key contributor to our gender equity and LGBTIQ actions.

Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) Working Group
This working group implements and reports on the Reconciliation Action Plan aimed at strengthening relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people as well as building cultural awareness across the organisation. The group is a vital contributor to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders actions in the Strategy.