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.

Gender Equality Network (GEN)

The GEN provides professional and social networking for our staff as well as support, learning and development, and advocacy for gender equality in the department. The network identifies days of significance and provide opportunities for all staff to learn about gender equality.

Disability and Allies Network (DAN)

The DAN meets regularly with the Disability Champion to identify and pursue ideas to improve diversity and inclusion within the department, in particular for people with disability and carers. Professional and social networking for staff is also available as well as support, learning and advocacy.

Indigenous Staff Network (ISN)

The ISN gives Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees the opportunity to offer strategic advice to the department on workplace and workforce matters affecting them. It also functions as a support system with regular informal social gatherings.

Cultural and Linguistic Diversity Staff Network

The CALD provides a space for our staff to feel supported and fosters an inclusive workplace, advocating for racial, religious, cultural and linguistic diversity matters within the department. There are regular opportunities for staff to network professionally and socially.

Pride and Allies Network (PAN)

The PAN provides a space for our staff to support, learn and advocate for issues affecting Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer, Intersex, Asexual and people with other gender and sexual identities (LGBTQIA+) within the department.

Mental Health and Wellbeing Network (MHWN)

The MHWN supports our staff by raising awareness through toolkits, professional and social networking and monthly newsletters covering topics that relate to mental health and the wellbeing.

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.