Victoria Police’s LGBTIQ+ employees are valued members of our workforce. They add strength to our diversity and increase trust in our services to the Victorian community.
Since the launch of the 2018–2021 LGBTIQ Inclusion Strategy and Action Plan, Victoria Police has examined our culture, policing practices, and histories with LGBTIQ+ communities and employees in several ways.
Our 2023–2024 LGBTIQ+ inclusion action plan is informed by the findings from an independent review, our self-examination, data and analysis of trends in our People Matter Survey results, and feedback received in consultation with VP Pride, LGBTIQ+ Liaison Officers, and subject matter experts. This action plan serves to contribute to building a safe and inclusive workplace for all employees.
In 2018, Victoria Police commissioned the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission (VEOHRC) to undertake a review of our response to workplace harm experienced by LGBTIQ+ employees. VEOHRC’s 2019 publication, Proud, Visible, Safe gave Victoria Police a better understanding of our LGBTI employees’ experiences of workplace harm, including homophobic and transphobic comments, aggressive language, sexual harassment and discrimination. Proud, Visible, Safe identified the drivers of these behaviours to be homophobia, transphobia, and a hypermasculine and heteronormative workplace culture. Proud, Visible, Safe provides the evidence-base to support the strategic direction for LGBTIQ+ inclusion within Victoria Police and this action plan.
This action plan has also been informed by Victoria Police’s engagement in the Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI), conducted in partnership with Pride in Diversity. In 2021 Victoria Police gained silver status for inclusion, demonstrating a clear advancement in LGBTIQ+ workplace inclusion. Areas for improvement identified in the AWEI are incorporated into this action plan.
Victoria Police maintains its commitment to reform and addressing the legacy of harm caused by discrimination, sexual harassment and prejudice towards LGBTIQ+ employees and by extension the LGBTIQ+ community we serve.
- Victoria Police leads the way in creating a diverse workplace and an inclusive organisation.
- All Victoria Police employees work in a safe workplace where they are treated with dignity and respect.
- All Victoria Police systems, policies and processes provide all employees with fair and equitable access to resources and opportunities.
- Victoria Police’s workforce composition reflects the diversity in the community.
- Victoria Police’s culture values diversity – all employees recognise that a truly excellent policing service is possible only with a diverse workforce that is reflective of the community it serves.
- All Victoria Police employees feel supported to reach their full potential and are connected, valued and empowered to succeed.
This action plan commits us to the specific actions we must take to achieve our goal of a diverse workforce and an inclusive organisation as outlined in the Framework.
We work towards our vision consistent with best practice, state government strategies and initiatives and the legislative framework.
This action plan is aligned to Pride in our future: Victoria’s LGBTIQ+ strategy 2022–2030 and is underpinned by legislation and regulations.
Gender Equality Act 2020
The Gender Equality Act was passed in February 2020 and commenced in March 2021.
It requires the Victorian Public Sector, including Victoria Police, to report on, plan for and progress gender equality.
Equal Opportunity Act 2010
The Equal Opportunity Act recognises that access to opportunities is not equitably distributed through society and that discrimination can cause social disadvantage.
The Act also includes a positive duty to eliminate discrimination, sexual harassment and victimisation.
The Act specifically covers sexual orientation, lawful sexual activity, gender identity, physical features and sex characteristics (LGBTIQ+ attributes).
Sex Discrimination Act 1984
The Sex Discrimination Act, together with state and territory anti-discrimination laws, provides the primary framework for understanding and addressing sexual harassment as a form of sex discrimination, and recognises the right to work in an environment free from sexual harassment. It also covers sex characteristics, gender identity, and sexual orientation.
Public Administration Act (2004)
The Public Administration Act places an obligation on public sector employers to establish processes to ensure employment decisions are based on merit, employees are treated fairly and reasonably, equal employment opportunity is provided, human rights are upheld, employees have access to reasonable avenues of redress, and a career in public service is fostered.
Victoria Police Act 2013
The Victoria Police Act is the primary legal instrument regulating the objectives, structure and powers of Victoria Police.
Our work to improve inclusion for all employees will also be advanced by the Equal, Safe & Strong Victoria Police Gender Equality Strategy 2020–2030, and the Equal, Safe & Strong Victoria Police Gender Equality Action Plan 2022–2024 (Equal, Safe & Strong).
Equal, Safe and Strong applies an intersectional lens that acknowledges the many different forms of discrimination causing disadvantage, including discrimination encountered by LGBTIQ+ employees.
We review our approach to providing a safe and inclusive workplace in response to national and Victorian initiatives as they occur.
We value our internal and external partners and acknowledge that we must work together to achieve inclusion for our LGBTIQ+ employees.
- Victoria Police LGBTIQ+ Employee Network – VP Pride
- LGBTIQ+ Liaison Officers (LLO) Program
- LGBTIQ+ Portfolio Reference Group
- Pride in Diversity
- The Police Association of Victoria
- Community and Public Sector Union
- The Victorian Government
- The Victorian Commissioner for LGBTIQ+ Communities
- Victorian Public Sector (VPS) Pride Network
Reviewed 26 February 2023