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Workforce diversity

DET recognises the importance of educating staff about the benefits of workforce diversity, and reinforcing appropriate workforce behaviour and standards. Departmental staff are encouraged to demonstrate positive behaviours that contribute to a supportive and inclusive organisation.

Key initiatives during 2009-10 included finalising the:

  • new Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employment Action Plan 2010-2013
  • Multicultural Action Plan
  • Disability Services Plan.

By September 2010, the first three modules of online diversity awareness training will also be developed.

Indigenous employees

Photograph showing Indigenous father with young son catching a rugby ball.

Indigenous employees work in various capacities across the department in schools, TAFE institutes, districts, regional centres and the central office. The department offers Indigenous people in the workforce numerous professional development opportunities to support the effective delivery of the department's services. Professional development opportunities are provided through Indigenous Schooling Support Units based at Inala in Brisbane, Nambour, Rockhampton, Townsville and Cairns.

Figure 56: Professional development expenditure, 2009-10

Professional development expenditure, 2009-10

Pie graph outlining professional development expenditure, 2009-10

Source: Department of Education and Training

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Raising cross-cultural awareness

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employment Action Plan 2010-2013 is an important component of the department's workforce diversity and equity program. The action plan outlines actions and strategies to improve the employment, retention and career development of Indigenous people within the department.

In 2009-10, the department conducted Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Awareness Training sessions for staff. The Big Picture - a Hidden History is an interactive workshop that explores an Indigenous perspective of Australian history and expands knowledge and understanding of Indigenous cultures.

Reconciliation Week was celebrated in May with a Picnic in the Park, which focused on expanding the awareness of Indigenous cultures across the department.

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Supporting multicultural diversity

During 2009-10, the department continued to participate in the interdepartmental committee on multicultural affairs.

We also celebrated our success as a culturally diverse organisation and recommitted to harmony and mutual respect through a Harmony Day event. This year's Brisbane-based event had a Bollywood theme and featured members of Brisbane's Indian community.

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Strengthening our commitment to people with a disability

In 2009-10, the department undertook key strategies to ensure employment equity for all staff, including people with a disability through:

  • continuing the Wide Bay Region pilot for People with Significant Disabilities program
  • exploring the introduction of virtual networking.

Additionally, the department also celebrated Disability Action Week in September 2009with a light-hearted debate 'That political correctness has gone too far'. This event focused on raising awareness across the department of issues faced by individuals with disabilitiesn and increased knowledge across our employee cohorts.

Table 25: Workforce diversity - equity group representation

Equity group

Percentage of workforce as at 30 June 2010 (%)

Women in non-teaching senior management positions (SES/SO)

45.0

Women in non-teaching management positions (A07 level and above)

55.3

Women in teaching positions (Band 5 and above)

58.8

Women in teaching positions (Bands 8-11)

38.9

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

1.9

People from non-English speaking backgrounds

9.2

People with a disability

5.8

Source: Department of Education and Training

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