Diversity initiatives

We recognise and value diversity as our strength and we promote a culture of inclusion to enhance our work performance and the wellbeing of our employees.

On this page:

Our work connects and enriches every Australian community, underpins our economy and society, and empowers our regions. We are committed to supporting employees from diverse backgrounds to develop their careers.

Our Diversity and Inclusion Strategy 2021-2024 demonstrates our ongoing commitment to action, reflecting our values and supporting us in defining who we are, how we deliver our business and serve Australian communities.

This work is led by our Diversity Lead Champion, who provides strategic advice and leadership to achieve impactful and sustainable cultural change. Our Diversity Lead Champion also chairs our Diversity and Inclusion Committee, and reports progress on work stream activities to the Operations Committee.

We hold memberships with Diversity Council Australia, the Australian Network of Disability and Pride in Diversity.

We also have a dedicated Capability and Culture team within the Human Resources and Property Branch who provide advice and support to managers and staff on all matters of diversity and inclusion.

Entry level programs

We have a range of Entry Level Programs designed specifically for people from diverse backgrounds. Our internships and programs provide on-the-job training to support a smooth transition into the workforce, including the following:

  • Indigenous Australian Government Development Program
  • Indigenous Apprenticeships Program
  • Indigenous Graduate Pathway Program
  • Stepping Into Program

For more information about these programs and other opportunities see our Entry Level Programs page.

Diversity champions and staff networks

We have 6 senior executive Diversity Champions and staff-led networks which provide support, education, and advocacy of diversity and inclusion, within our organisation. Our Diversity Champions lead and monitor progress and report to the Diversity and Inclusion Committee.

Cultural and Linguistic Diversity Network (CALD)

CALD supports, educates and advocates for racial, religious, cultural and linguistic diversity and inclusion for all employees, with a focus on removing barriers in the workplace.

Disability, Neurodiversity and Allies Network (DNA)

DNA's vision is to advance the equitable inclusion of staff with disability, neurodivergent staff, and staff with caring responsibilities in all aspects of the Australian Public Service, and to ensure these staff are treated fairly, feel safe, and have equitable opportunities to make an impact with their work and lead fulfilling careers.

First Nations Network (FNN)

Our FNN provides professional and social networking for First Nations staff members as well as support, learning and advocacy in our department.

Gender Equality Network (GEN)

The GEN is open to all staff in the department who have a passion for achieving gender equality. The network aims to raise awareness and advocate for change on gender equality related issues, provide opportunities to participate in professional development courses, and to get involved in networking and mentoring.

Mental Health and Wellbeing Network (MHWB)

The MHWB Network aims to provide support for staff mental health and wellbeing. We do this through advocating for learning resources, boosting understanding of mental health and hosting awareness-raising events.

Pride and Allies Network (PAN)

The PAN promotes Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex and Asexual (LGBTQIA+) inclusion providing safe spaces and networking opportunities for staff, celebrating significant events and raising awareness of issues and causes that are important to the LGBTIQA+ community.

Diversity programs and initiatives

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employment and Retention Strategy

Our 2022-24 Indigenous Reconciliation Action Plan sets our goal to see a sustainable increase in the representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in our workforce.

Through this strategy, we are committed to three critical areas of focus:

  • creating, increasing and sustaining employment opportunities
  • providing meaningful career pathways and capability development opportunities, and
  • building and sustaining a culturally capable and culturally safe workplace.

Jawun Secondment Program

We offer eligible staff the opportunity to undertake secondments to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander-led organisations through the Australian Public Service Commission (APSC) Jawun Secondment Program. You will have the opportunity to make a direct contribution to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations and increase our cultural capability.

Sir Roland Wilson and Pat Turner Scholarship Program

The department regularly participates in the Sir Roland Wilson Phd Scholarship and the Pat Turner Scholarship offering staff an opportunity to nominate to be a part of this annual intake. As part of the Sir Roland Scholarship, Scholars complete a PhD on a topic of national significance at the Australian National University (ANU), and build connections between ANU and the Australian Public Service (APS). Pat Turner scholars complete any level of postgraduate study, from Graduate Certificate to PhD, at either the ANU or Charles Darwin University. In addition to their studies, scholars for both programs have access to exclusive professional development and networking opportunities and are connected with an APS Mentor.

Reconciliation Action Plan

The department launched the first Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan 2022 – 2024 (RAP) in September 2022.  

Our RAP contains actions for policy development, stakeholder engagement, internal processes and cultural learning.  The RAP signifies our ongoing commitment to fostering opportunities, for and strengthening our relationships with, Australia’s First Nations people.

Reasonable adjustment

We support reasonable adjustment requests to support staff with disability to perform the requirements of their job safely or to remove barriers and enable full participate in our recruitment processes.


We include mentoring as part of a number of our Entry Level Programs. We match staff together to provide support, foster professional and personal development, and opportunities to learn about more about the department, the Australian Public Service, and potential career pathways.