Page 716 - Week 03 - Tuesday, 8 April 2014

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across jurisdictions—the importance of leadership from the top, and having in place good management information systems so that change can be measured.

The committee’s inquiry has identified gaps in data associated with Indigenous employment in the ACT public service, and the committee has recommended better data collection and reporting. For example, there is a pressing need to have exit interview data collection.

I would like to thank the MLAs on the committee—Mr Andrew Wall as deputy chair, Ms Yvette Berry and Ms Nicole Lawder—for their efforts and for the bipartisan spirit we shared to make the most of this important inquiry. I also thank all who gave evidence and all those who have assisted the committee. They include the Assembly’s librarian, Ms Jan Bordoni; the committee secretary, Mr Trevor Rowe; and secretariat staff Mr John Croker and Mr Matt Ghirardello.

The committee would also like to pay tribute to those Indigenous public service employees who were willing to give of their time to participate in a roundtable discussion. Their input proved very helpful to the committee in understanding their experience of Indigenous employment in the ACT public service. I commend the report to the Assembly.

MR WALL (Brindabella) (10.11): I would like to pick up where Dr Bourke left off and begin by thanking those people that were involved in the inquiry—obviously, the support that was offered by the secretariat and, most particularly, those that either gave up their time to make a submission or to give evidence before the committee. I refer in particular to the contribution made by 11 employees of the ACT public service who are of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent. Their personal stories—their personal experiences—moved and touched all members of the committee and everyone that was present.

There were some good stories, and I think it needs to be acknowledged that not all is bad in this area and that there are some very positive stories and some great examples of where individuals have been given an opportunity to progress and improve their skills and development within the ACT public service. Sadly, on the reverse side, the committee heard some very harrowing stories where these individuals have been subjected to some pretty significant racial discrimination within the workplace. We are often too quick to dismiss that this exists within the ACT public service and I think that the committee learnt some valuable lessons about the personal experiences that these individuals shared.

One of the most obvious points was that when the structures that are put in place to support all employees in the ACT public service are not put in place effectively, things can break down and go bad very quickly. That was certainly the case with some of the evidence that we heard about.

The committee also heard from the ACT public service commissioner, who was unaware of some of the issues that were raised by some of the witnesses before the committee hearing. It was concerning that there is a breakdown in communication or

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