26 September 2023

PS encouraged to be more involved

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The Australian Public Service Commission (APSC) is encouraging members of the APS to get involved in their Agencies’ Employee Networks which bring together employees with lived experience.

Highlighting the benefits of the Networks, APSC said they provided a place for people to connect with one another and focus on fostering dialogue around diversity, workplace inclusion and belonging, advice and advocacy.

“They unite people who share an identity or lived experience with those who support them and who want to learn more about their perspectives and experiences,” the APSC said.

“Find out what your Agency is doing in this space and join up,” it said.

“You can be involved as little or as much as you want.”

It said Networks had many benefits for both employees and employers including:

  • Demonstrating a commitment to being an inclusive and diverse employer.
  • Building broader awareness of particular cohorts and breaking down barriers, stigma and negative assumptions those cohorts within the workplace.
  • Attracting a wider pool of candidates to apply for jobs within the organisation.
  • Providing an opportunity for employees to take on a leadership role and building these skills within the workplace.
  • Increasing engagement and connection between colleagues.
  • Bringing tangible action to workplace values of respect, diversity and inclusion.
  • Creating awareness of diversity and a culture of inclusion for all employees.
  • Providing opportunities to lead strategies and projects outside of an employee’s day-to-day job.
  • Building new networks.
  • Developing personal and professional skills.

The Commission said Employee Networks could be for and about any group of people, such as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander or Reconciliation Action Plan; age inclusion; cultural & linguistic diversity; people living with disability, their carers, or ability; neurodiversity; gender equality or gender equity; and LGBTIQ+.

“If your Agency doesn’t have a network, get together a group of passionate employees to set one up,” it said.

“Speak to your HR team and seek out an SES sponsor or champion.”

The APSC said people could also reach out to other Agencies who had established well-respected employee networks and learn from them.

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