Inclusive Culture and Diversity

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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. We are also a proud member of the Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE) Ltd Program and attained Athena Swan Bronze Accreditation in February 2020.

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 Male Champion of Change I have also made a personal commitment to lead meaningful action that achieves change.

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

Dr James Johnson
Chief Executive Officer

Diversity and Inclusion Strategy 2019-22

Our Diversity and Inclusion Strategy 2019-22 [PDF 850KB] (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 commits to a range of actions designed to build upon our inclusive workplace culture, retain our diverse workforce and support our people to have long and productive working careers. The Strategy specifically addresses actions in relation to the following six diversity priority areas:

  • We will create a disability friendly workplace that is attractive and supportive of people with disability, and ensures everyone is able to fully participate and pursue rewarding careers in Geoscience Australia.
  • We will raise awareness of and promote equity and equality; ensuring individuals take responsibility and are empowered to take action.
  • We will ensure meaningful engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, whether they are our employees, stakeholders or end users of our products and information.
  • We will increase sensitivity and respect for people from cultural and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds (CaLD).
  • We will actively promote an inclusive workplace where employees feel safe and empowered to identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and/or Intersex and Queer (LGBTIQ+), if they choose.
  • We will foster a workplace that embraces and values the contribution of employees from all ages and stages of life and career.

Over the life of this strategy, yearly action plans will be developed to support the initiatives to be undertaken by the appropriate groups to realise our strategy and goals for diversity and inclusion. These action plans will harness the actions governed through the relevant supporting committees.


The Advisory Board, through the People and Culture Committee, will oversee delivery of the annual action plans. 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 Advisory 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 this strategy.

Advisory Board
The Geoscience Australia Advisory Board's role is to advise the accountable authority (CEO) on strategic, policy and risk matters. The Advisory Board will endorse and support the commitment and actions in this 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 Advisory Board for endorsement.

Diversity, Cultural and Inclusion Champions Group
The Diversity, Cultural and Inclusion Champions Group (the Group) is a network of change champions supporting workplace diversity, culture and inclusion. The group will contribute to, monitor and promote initiatives related to this strategy.

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.

Science in Australia and Gender Equity (SAGE)
Geoscience Australia is a proud member of the Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE) Ltd Program. We joined 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. On 20 February 2020, Geoscience Australia was awarded Athena SWAN Bronze Accreditation. Attaining this accreditation is an important step for us in creating a more equitable and inclusive workplace underpinned by gender equity.

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 this strategy.

You can download the 2021 - 2023 Geoscience Australia Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan here.