Diverse Defence awarded again

Published on ABML-C Steven Bruni (author and photographer)

Location(s): Sydney, New South Wales

Captain Neville Teague, RAN, Able Seaman Musician Ellen Zyla and Warrant Officer Stuart O'Brien at the Pride in Diversity Australian Workplace Equality Index Awards 2016. (photo: Steven Bruni)
Captain Neville Teague, RAN, Able Seaman Musician Ellen Zyla and Warrant Officer Stuart O'Brien at the Pride in Diversity Australian Workplace Equality Index Awards 2016.

The Department of Defence has maintained its status as a diversity employer of choice - being recognised for the second year in a row by the Australian Workplace Equality Index.
 
Captain Neville Teague, Warrant Officer Stuart O'Brien and Able Seaman Musician Ellen Zyla represented Navy at the 20 May ceremony in Sydney.
 
Captain Teague said that the recurrent message from key speakers at the event was that embaching diversity had a distinct benfit for capability.
 
"Organsiations that value diversity and inclusion see the results across all areas of personnel development, retention and motivation of their staff," he said.
 
“This recognition again demonstrates Defence's commitment to inclusion and equality."
 
Colonel Helen Macpherson, the Director of the Organisational Development Unit, Defence People Group accepted the recognition on behalf of the department.
 
Colonel Macpherson said that it was the little projects that combined make the biggest impact.

“Defence has many programs that support the diversity within our workforce and I am incredibly proud of the progress we have made and continue to make,” Colonel Macpherson said.
 
“Participating in the Australian Workplace Equality Index provides us with tangible areas of focus for our policy and practice.”
 
Policy to cover Australian Defence Force families seeking recognition for entitlements has recently been amended to remove onerous levels of evidence as 'proof of relationship'. These changes will better reflect the diverse nature of the Defence workforce and support all members in service to access entitlements that help them deliver capability.
 
Vice Chief of the Defence Force, Vice Admiral Ray Griggs commented that the change reflects the Australian community’s expectation of a modern and inclusive Defence Force. The changes will come into effect on 1 July. 
 
Pride in Diversity runs the Index, and is a not-for-profit workplace program designed specifically to assist Australian employers with the inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) employees.
 
Squadron Leader Vince Chong, President of the Defence LGBTI Information Service, said that achieving workplace equality in a large organisation is not something that can be achieved overnight.
 
“Achieving silver tier status shows that Defence is continuing to move in the right direction when it comes to LGBTI workplace inclusion and evolving culture,” said Squadron Leader Chong.
 
Pride in Diversity Director Dawn Hough said that the awards were a fantastic opportunity to showcase diversity throughout the workforce.
 
"Each year with more companies participating, the competition is becoming more and more competitive," Ms Hough said.
 
"For an organisation of its size and complexity, Defence should be exceptionally proud to have again made it into the top 20."