Home' Defence Magazine : Issue 8 2010 Contents 40 www.defence.gov.au/defencemagazine
defence magazine ›
aBOVe: The Byzdra family, (L-R) Able Seaman Boatswain’s Mate Lukas Byzdra, Petty Officer Marine Technician Marcin Byzdra, and Able Seaman Dental Agnieska Byzdra, serve
in the Royal Australian Navy. They emigrated to Australia from Poland six years ago and have made many sacrifices to make a new and successful life in Rockingham, Western
Australia Photo: Leading Seaman Imagery Specialist Nadia Monteith
Read their full story on pages 44 – 45.
TAKE NOTE –
By Shelley Daws
Diversity is the breeding
ground for opportunities,
according to Defence
Secretary Dr Ian Watt.
“Diversity is about differences and variety,”
Dr Watt said.
“For Defence, this can encompass many things,
for instance, a diverse career or a working
environment that encourages opportunities to
move between Groups and Services, or interstate
“It can also encompass the idea of a flexible
working environment that allows staff to balance
work and personal lives.
“But I think for most people the word ‘diversity’ is
primarily associated with the workforce, which,
of course, is about differences among employees,
such as age, gender, cultural background, physical
abilities and disabilities, sexual orientation, race
Dr Watt said this diversity is an inherent part of
the Australian Public Service and also the entire
Australian community, which emphasises our
robust history of migration.
“The APS has long been expected to take a
leadership role in supporting a diverse workforce.
With the tightening of the labour market, the APS
needs to explore new ways to attract and retain
staff, and that will mean attracting and retaining a
diverse range of skills,” Dr Watt said.
Current statistics show that women
represent fewer than 40 per cent of Defence’s APS
workforce; Indigenous employees represent 0.5 per
cent; employees with a disability represent 2.5 per
cent; and employees from non-English speaking
backgrounds represent 13 per cent.
“While we are doing reasonably well in terms
of the APS national average on the last measure
(our 13 per cent versus 15.2 per cent nationally),
we need to do much better on all other fronts,” Dr
For instance, in December last year, the CDF
and Secretary endorsed People in Defence –
Generating the Capability for the Future Force,
which sets out the vision for ensuring that Defence
is well-placed by 2015 to deliver the workforce
required for Force 2030.
The People in Defence vision details what success
in the people area will look like in 2015, and also
contains a blueprint that will guide the actions of
Defence leaders and people professionals.
People in Defence will also start a dialogue among
the Australian community, the people who have
joined Defence or are contemplating doing so,
and the Australian Government.
Dr Watt said some very significant internal
consultation had already taken place throughout
2010, with an external engagement strategy to be
rolled out in the near future.
“We know that Defence provides interesting and
challenging work, and wonderfully diverse career
opportunities. However, we need to enhance our
position in the community as an organisation that
is respected and valued, and is widely regarded as
a responsible and conscientious employer, one that
takes care to reflect the community it serves.
“Each one of us needs to be committed to
providing an inclusive and welcoming workplace,
allowing equal access to development
opportunities for all staff, and providing
consideration for staff with special needs, for
instance, during technology upgrades and when
planning access to building and premises.
“The long-term success in attracting people to
Defence is dependent on how the community
views and judges Defence. If we can effectively
promote ourselves as an organisation that not only
values diversity, but is a leader in the area, we can
set ourselves apart and position ourselves as an
employer of choice for all people.”
Current statistics show that women represent fewer than 40 per cent of Defence’s APS workforce;
Indigenous employees represent 0.5 per cent; employees with a disability represent 2.5 per cent of our workforce;
and employees from non-English speaking backgrounds represent 13 per cent of our workforce.
RIgHT: Secretary of Defence, Dr Ian Watt (left), chats with members from the Air Component Task
Group about the great work they are doing in the Middle East Area of Operations. Photo: Corporal
Links Archive Issue 1 2011 Issue 7 2010 Navigation Previous Page Next Page