Message from Deputy Commissioner Neil Paterson
I am pleased to introduce this Victoria Police Access and Inclusion Action Plan 2023–2024.
It is important that we all promote inclusion and participation for all Victoria Police employees and that we respect and value every individual.
This action plan builds on the Accessibility and Inclusion Strategy and Action Plan 2018–2021 (2018–2021 action plan) and reaffirms our commitment to creating a workplace that is welcoming and accessible for employees with a disability.
As the Executive Sponsor for the Victoria Police Enablers Network (VP Enablers), I hear first-hand from our employees with disability about their experiences in our workplaces. I know from my work with VP Enablers that we have achieved some good progress together. I also know that Victoria Police still has much to learn about how to fully embrace the opportunity to have people with disability working in our organisation.
As a result of our commitments made in the 2018–2021 action plan, we have broken down some barriers by introducing a Workplace Adjustment Passport and we led the establishment of a whole of Victorian Government mentoring program for employees with a disability.
To further reduce barriers to employment and progression of people with disability, we must look closely at our understanding of what makes a good police officer, a good protective services officer, and a good Victorian Public Service employee of Victoria Police. Some employees come to work for Victoria Police while having a disability, others first encounter their disability during their employment with us.
This action plan aims to expand our understanding of the needs of people with disability in our workforce and to create positive changes for all employees and the community we serve.
I welcome the inclusion in the 2023–2030 Workforce Diversity and Inclusion Framework of a monitoring, evaluation and learning (MEL) tool to add rigour to our progress towards implementing this action plan.
I would like to thank our past and present employees with a disability and allies, particularly those members of VP Enablers who have been vocal and enthusiastic advocates for trailblazing change for the benefit of people with disability and for Victoria Police.
Neil Paterson APM
Deputy Commissioner, Victoria Police
About the Victoria Police Access and Inclusion Action Plan 2023-2024
The Victoria Police Access and Inclusion Action Plan 2023–2024 is part of the Victoria Police Workforce Diversity and Inclusion Framework 2023–2030 (Framework).
Victoria Police respectfully acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the country throughout Victoria.
We pay our respects to Elders, past, present and emerging and continue to recognise and embrace the fact that Aboriginal People are connected to the oldest, continuous culture and history.
Victoria Police proudly acknowledges the First Peoples of Victoria and their ongoing strength in practicing the world’s oldest living culture.
We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the lands and waters on which we live and work and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging.
We acknowledge the invaluable contributions of all those who have paved the way and fought for the rights of Aboriginal people, including the right to Self-Determination.
We recognise the continuing leadership of the Victorian Aboriginal community and our employees, who have contributed and paved the way, to creating a more inclusive and culturally safe workplace.
In the spirit of Self-Determination, Victoria Police is committed to strengthening our partnership with the Victorian Aboriginal community, as we continue to embrace diversity and equity across our organisation.
Language is a powerful tool for promoting inclusion, shifting attitudes and combating negative stereotypes. We know that language is constantly evolving and we recognise that people with disability have different preferences regarding how they describe their disability.
Person-first and identity-first language
Person-first language (people with disability) and identity-first language (disabled people) are both used in Australia.
People with disability often have strong preferences for either identity first, or person first language. We acknowledge people’s personal preferences and individual right to choose how their identity and experiences are described. We will be guided by, respect and affirm each individual’s choice of language to describe themselves.
Throughout this document we have chosen to use person-first language. Person-first language puts the person before their disability.
Reviewed 22 March 2023