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Source: Australian Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet

The Secretaries Equality and Diversity Council (the Council) met on 4 October 2019, with Mr Phil Gaetjens chairing the Council for the first time.

The Council was informed that Kathryn Fagg, external member will step down effective immediately.

APS Strategic Framework: Review of Commonwealth Diversity Strategies (Indigenous, and Disability)

Three Commonwealth diversity strategies are under development in 2019. The Council welcomed an update on the APS Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Workforce Strategy and the Commonwealth Disability Employment Strategy.

Commonwealth Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Strategy (the Strategy): The Council endorsed the draft Strategy presented. The Council noted that wide consultation had been undertaken to inform the Strategy, including involvement of the NIAA and input from the APS SES B2 working group. Following endorsement by the Council, the Strategy will be progressed to the Government for consideration.

As One: Making it happen APS Disability Employment Strategy (the Strategy): The Council noted the proposed direction of the Strategy. The APSC will partner with the Department of Social Services to refresh the Strategy and will invite departments and agencies to nominate staff for secondment to the Strategy project team from November 2019.

APS Mental Health Capability Project Interim Report:

The Council noted the Interim Report findings and endorsed further investigation to develop an APS-wide approach to Mentally Healthy Workplaces. It will aim to drive a whole-of-service approach to maintaining mentally healthy workplaces.

Inclusion Spotlight: Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet EL2 Inclusive Leadership Project

The Council noted the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet’s (PM&C) presentation on improving local team routines by codifying and identifying inclusive work practices at the EL2 level. The presentation highlighted findings that average EL2s drive the status quo, whereas inclusive EL2s see inclusion as essential to driving high performance. The Council noted five routines that can better drive inclusion at the EL2 level, and PM&Cs work to embed these routines in the department.

Report backs and updates:

The Council noted the strengths and weaknesses of the current structure of EL2-led inclusion project steering groups, and agreed to amalgamate the three groups, and for the new Group to deliver an Inclusion in the APS Toolkit to the Council in 2020.

Other Business and Next Agenda Topics

Members agreed that PM&C would update the Council’s Terms of Reference (TORs) and present them at the next meeting.

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