Developing and Retaining a Diverse Workforce

The Department is committed to supporting employees from diverse backgrounds to develop in their careers. We have a number of strategies in place to retain employees and facilitate their development.

Reasonable Adjustment

One important factor in retaining employees is ensuring that they are able to perform their work safely and effectively. A reasonable adjustment is any form of assistance or adjustment that enables employees with disability or injury to perform the inherent requirements of their job safely. The Department applies the principle of reasonable adjustment to remove barriers and to facilitate full participation in all aspects of employment by employees with disability.

“The physiotherapist I saw during my reasonable adjustment assessment was very receptive to my needs, and was also proactive in suggesting reasonable adjustments that I hadn"t even thought of.”—Pauline, Maritime and Shipping Branch

Disability Working Group (DWG)

Another way the Department supports employees with disability is DWG. DWG is the Department's employee network dedicated to addressing systemic issues related to disability. DWG membership is open to any employee with disability, affected by disability, or otherwise genuinely interested in issues related to people with disability. DWG members meet regularly throughout the year and have the opportunity to contribute to agency directions related to people with disability.

Photo of some of Maritime and Shipping Branch “My experience within [DWG] has been excellent. [DWG] is a great way to meet people from different Divisions in the Department, who all share a common goal of working towards a more inclusive and accessible workplace. I have been involved in our major project, to rebrand and relaunch the [group], and seeing all the fantastic progress we"ve been making has been really rewarding.”—Pauline, Maritime and Shipping Branch

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 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees. It also functions as a support system for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees, with regular informal social gatherings.

Photo of support network “I enjoy meeting with other Indigenous people and knowing that we have a support network to promote Indigenous involvement in the Department. The social aspect of the ISN is great as well. We have monthly lunches where everyone can interact on a more social level and get to know each other a bit better.”—Carla, Trainee


A number of our entry-level programmes involve mentoring. The Diversity Team matches employees with other employees of the Department, but the mentoring relationship is very much up to the mentor and mentee. Mentoring is a great way to learn about the Department, the public service, and potential career pathways.

“I really enjoy meeting with my mentor because I get to pick her brain about working in the APS and learn from her experiences.”—Nadine, Aboriginal Cadet