Page 2434 - Week 07 - Thursday, 4 August 2022

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(b) create an evidence-based best practice guideline that can be used in the recruitment, retention and promotion of ethnically and racially diverse people;

(c) consider for inclusion in the guidelines measures such as the de-identification of applications, unconscious bias and anti-racism training, and explicit encouragement of CALD applicants to apply for ACTPS jobs;

(d) make the best practice guideline available to all directorates and agencies as a guide and resource to inform their practices;

(e) use the guideline to inform the next available review of the ACTPS Recruitment Policy and Guidelines, with a particular focus on strategies to ensure management and executive levels reflect the wider population;

(f) encourage CALD applicants on ACTPS employment communication; and

(g) report back to the Assembly by the August 2023 sitting period on progress.

Here in the ACT, we take great pride in our cultural diversity. We are a welcoming city. We love to showcase our numerous cultures that call Canberra home. We love to break bread together and share cultural heritage. But, as wonderful as it is to celebrate diversity, with all of its food, colour and movement, these celebrations would be rendered shallow and tokenistic if we did not also take concrete steps to ensure equality for Canberrans of all backgrounds. One of the most tangible measures towards equality is employment, to which this motion is going to today.

If any organisation would be the standard bearer for inclusion and equality as an employer in Canberra, it would be the ACT government. We have a duty as a model employer. The ACT government provides so many important services to the residents of the ACT, in particular to those experiencing the highest levels of disadvantage and need. In accessing those services, the residents of the ACT should be able to look at the ACT public service and see in it a reflection of themselves, because this is the way to build connection, trust and collaboration between the government and those that it serves.

As the 2020 State of the Service report states, culturally and linguistically diverse employees make up 21.5 per cent of the ACTPS workforce. But behind this very simple statistic there is a more complex story at play. This figure does not even consider the difference in workforce representation between European and non-European CALD communities. Nor does it accurately reflect the number of CALD people in senior levels of the service. Conversations with many current and former ACTPS employees indicate that non-European CALD employees are glaringly under-represented in the ACTPS, and most especially in the senior positions.

The first step in addressing this problem is to understand the scope of it. You cannot manage what you do not measure. So we need better data collection. Let me be clear: this is not just an ACT government specific issue; this is an Australia-wide issue. Like most states and territories in Australia, the ACT has followed the national government’s lead by using CALD as a catch-all to measure cultural, ethnic and racial diversity.

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