A five-year partnership between the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) and the Australian Border Force (ABF) will bolster efforts to build on and improve workplace culture and drive greater gender equity.
Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews said the partnership will build on already successful strategies and demonstrates that senior leadership within the ABF are committed to ensuring they foster a safe and supportive working environment for all employees.
“Agencies within the Home Affairs portfolio have and always will, hold zero tolerance for violence, abuse and discrimination of any form,” Minister Andrews said.
“The strategies developed with AHRC, will not only enhance ABF’s performance by ensuring that people contribute freely, feel respected, and are engaged with their work, but will ultimately help the ABF’s personnel to protect our borders and keep our community safe.”
ABF Commissioner, Michael Outram, APM, said the partnership will be a valuable tool over the coming five years to align current culture strategies to a constantly evolving workforce.
“The ABF is continually searching for new avenues to improve workforce culture and build on current successful strategies,” Commissioner Outram said
“With the realignment of ABF leadership into the regions and the increased workload placed on our officers due to COVID-19, there is no better time to review and improve on ways to ensure our staff feel valued, supported and included.”
Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins said that the Australian Human Rights Commission is working with a range of key partners in multi-year partnerships to help each to strengthen positive workplace culture, and in turn improve capacity.
“The AHRC is at the forefront of developing successful approaches to boost workplace equity and ensure that all personnel can work to their best.
“I am personally committed to working on key areas which will ensure a workplace where personnel can thrive and support the important work of the ABF to their best. I recognise the Minister and her leadership team for taking this important step.”
The ABF, AHRC and Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins will use the new arrangement to build on the strong relationship between the organisations, improve on existing initiatives, and implement practical solutions suited to a diverse ABF workforce.