VicPol Corporate

Message from Deputy Commissioner Neil Paterson

I am proud to introduce the Victoria Police LGBTIQ+ Inclusion Action Plan 2023–2024. I do so in my capacity as the Executive Sponsor for LGBTIQ+ employee engagement and as a member of the Victoria Police Pride employee network (VP Pride).

This second Victoria Police LGBTIQ+ action plan reaffirms our commitment to righting the wrongs in our past – we acknowledge the history of exclusion for many Victoria Police LGBTIQ+ employees.

It is so very important that we encourage all employees to bring their whole selves to work and create a work environment where LGBTIQ+ employees feel safe, and are safe, from workplace harm.

Providing a safe workplace culture for LGBTIQ+ employees is essential if we are to address the harm to LGBTIQ+ people in the community.

Since 2018, Victoria Police has taken significant strides towards a better understanding of the issues faced by LGBTIQ+ people. I’m pleased to see this effort formally recognised through receipt of a number of awards at organisational level.

I acknowledge and thank the Victorian Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (VEOHRC), for supporting us throughout this process.

I would also like to thank all members of VP Pride and am proud that we launched the network in 2018. VP Pride has set the standard for workplace networks and has enabled an accelerated engagement with employees to inform what is required to create a safe and inclusive workplace.

We all have a responsibility to our LGBTIQ+ employees and the LGBTIQ+ community we serve to be a safe and respectful workforce where all people, regardless of their sexual identity, gender expression or sex characteristics are encouraged to excel and thrive.

Thank you finally to all past and present LGBTIQ+ employees and allies for supporting positive cultural change.

Neil Paterson APM
Deputy Commissioner, Victoria Police
Executive Champion

About the Victoria Police LGBTIQ+ Inclusion Action Plan 2023-2024

The Victoria Police LGBTIQ+ Inclusion Action Plan 2023–2024 is part of the Victoria Police Workforce Diversity and Inclusion Framework 2023–2030 (Framework).

Acknowledgement statement

  • 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.

  • Our understanding of LGBTIQ+ communities is continually evolving.

    The term ‘LGBTIQ+’ refers to people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and gender diverse, intersex and/or queer and/or questioning.

    Queer is an umbrella term for a range of sexual and gender identities. The word was historically used as a slur against LGBTI people but has now been reclaimed with pride, especially by the younger generation LGBTIQ+ community. Queer is used within this document to encompass people who self-identify as Queer.

    We use variations of the term throughout this action plan, for example, terms like ‘TGD’ (trans and gender diverse) or ‘LGBT’ depending on specific communities referenced. We also note that some Aboriginal communities use the terms ‘sistergirls’ and ‘brotherboys’.

    Victoria Police’s human resources IT system was updated in 2021 to include the capture of a person’s gender identity, sex characteristics and sexual orientation. Since the introduction of this feature, all employees are encouraged to voluntarily update their diversity data. Note also that the current data capture may not always account for the experiences of people with an intersex variation.


Date:
February 2023

Introduction

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.

    Our vision

    • 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.

    Strategic environment

    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.

    Our partners

    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
    • VEOHRC.
    The Victoria Police pride symbol. The symbol shows the Victoria Police logo with

    What are we talking about?

    Understanding LGBTIQ+

    LGBTIQ+ is a shortened form widely used to collectively describe three distinct attributes: sexual orientation, gender identity and sex characteristics.

    Although LGBTIQ+ people do not constitute a single demographic, they are frequently grouped together because of their shared experience of prejudice and social exclusion. This can be the result of homophobia or the discriminatory treatment suffered by those who fall outside expected binary sex and gender norms.1

    The LGBTIQ+ rainbow flag. The colours from top down featured on the flag are black, brown, red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple.

    This version of the rainbow flag is used across the Victorian Government and includes black and brown stripes at the top.

    In Victoria, the black, which should be shown on top, signifies Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and the brown is to show support and respect for people of colour in LGBTIQ+ communities.

    Intersectionality

    Being LGBTIQ+ is only one aspect of a person’s identity.

    LGBTIQ+ people are diverse within their own experiences of gender identity, sex characteristics and sexual orientation, but are also diverse in other ways. This might include their Aboriginality, ethnicity, colour, nationality, refugee or asylum seeker background, migration or visa status, language, faith, ability, age, mental health, socioeconomic status, housing status or geographic location.

    People within LGBTIQ+ communities who live with other forms of discrimination can experience compounded inequality.8

    Brotherboy and sistergirl

    Aboriginal communities use these terms to describe transgender people and their relationships as a way of validating and strengthening their gender identities and relationships.

    Non-trans but non-conforming Aboriginal people may also use these terms. For example, both lesbian and heterosexual Aboriginal women may refer to themselves as ‘sistergirls’, ‘sisters’ or ‘tiddas’, which is an Aboriginal English term for the word ‘sisters’.

    Gay Aboriginal men may also refer to themselves as sisters.9

    In 2021, Victoria Police’s primary human resources IT system was enhanced to capture data about each employee’s sex, gender, sexuality, languages, culture, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander status and if a person has a disability.

    Current Victoria Police diversity figures appear lower than might be expected. As more employees become aware of the ability to self-identify through Victoria Police systems, these numbers are expected to increase. This data provides a valuable benchmark to monitor our progress, and gives Victoria Police a greater understanding of the diversity and needs of our employees.

    Where are we at for LGBTIQ+ inclusion?

    Victoria Police participates in the Victorian Public Sector Commission's People Matter Survey. The survey provides valuable insight into our culture and safety from employee perspectives.

    In 2021, 6,889 Victoria Police employees responded to the People Matter Survey. 424 participants self-identified as LGBTIQ+, their findings included:

    People Matter Survey responses to "There is a positive culture within my organisation in relation to employees who identify as LGBTIQ+"

    A pie chart with responses from Victoria Police's 2021 People Matter Survey. For the prompt "There is positive culture within my organisation in relation to employees who identify as LGBTIQ+", 19% employees disagreed, 19% responded with 'neutral' and 64% agreed.
    People Matter Survey responses to "There is a positive culture within my organisation in relation to employees who identify as LGBTIQ+"
    • Employees who disagree: 17%
    • Employees who are neutral: 19%
    • Employees who agree: 64%
    Download People Matter Survey responses to "There is a positive culture within my organisation in relation to employees who identify as LGBTIQ+"

    People Matter Survey responses to "Sexual orientation is not a barrier to success in my organisation"

    A pie chart with responses from Victoria Police's 2021 People Matter Survey. For the prompt "Sexual orientation is not a barrier to success in my organisation". 16% of respondents disagreed, 25% were neutral and 59% agreed.
    People Matter Survey responses to "Sexual orientation is not a barrier to success in my organisation"
    • Employees who disagree: 16%
    • Employees who are neutral: 25%
    • Employees who agree: 59%

    Download People Matter Survey responses to "Sexual orientation is not a barrier to success in my organisation"

    Workforce data

    Victoria Police workforce data on sexual orientation. 0.76% of employees identify as gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, pansexual, queer, asexual or different orientation.
    Workforce data

    Employees who identify as gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, pansexual, queer, asexual or different orientation: 0.76%

    Download Workforce data

    1 Victoria Police (2018), 2018–2021 LGBTIQ Inclusion Strategy and Action Plan, Victoria.
    2 Victorian Government Department of Families, Fairness and Housing 2022, Pride in our future: Victoria’s LGBTIQ+ strategy 2022–2032, Victoria, Australia.
    3 Ibid.
    4 Victorian Government Department of Families, Fairness and Housing 2022, Pride in our future: Victoria’s LGBTIQ+ strategy 2022–2032, Victoria, Australia.
    5 Adapted from Victoria Police’s 2018–2021 LGBTIQ Strategy and Action Plan.
    6 Equal Opportunity Act 2010.
    7 Victorian Government Inclusive Language Guide www.vic.gov.au/inclusive-language-guideExternal Link .
    8 Victorian Government Department of Families, Fairness and Housing 2022, Pride in our future: Victoria’s LGBTIQ+ Strategy 2022–2032, Victoria, Australia.
    9 Victorian Government Department of Families, Fairness and Housing 2022, Pride in our future: Victoria’s LGBTIQ+ Strategy 2022–2032, Victoria, Australia p.10


    How far we've come

    Victoria Police has matured its LGBTIQ+ employee inclusion since 2018.

    The 2018–2021 LGBTIQ Inclusion Strategy and Action Plan helped lay the foundation for a more diverse and inclusive organisation with progress made through the delivery of key initiatives such as the publication of Proud, Visible, Safe in 2019.

    In 2019, then Chief Commissioner of Police Graham Ashton AM delivered a formal apology to LGBTIQ+ communities. The apology acknowledged how policing workplace cultures have caused harm to Victoria Police’s LGBTIQ+ employees and the Victorian LGBTIQ+ community. With the apology came a commitment to create a more inclusive workplace for LGBTIQ+ employees and a better future for LGBTIQ+ Victorians.

    In 2019, Victoria Police was recognised in several categories of the Victorian Public Sector Pride Awards including Best Community Initiative and Best Executive Champion was awarded to Deputy Commissioner Neil Paterson APM. VP Pride received runner up in the Best Pride Network category.

    Victoria Police has been a member of Pride in Diversity since 2015. Pride in Diversity conducted an independent evaluation of our performance against the 2018–2021 strategy and action plan. The evaluation resulted in a commendation for progress made with some notable achievements.

    Notable achievements

    Progressed towards becoming an employer of choice

    Victoria Police achieved silver status in the Australian Workplace Equality Index and was recognised as a sliver employer at the 2021 Australian LGBTIQ+ Inclusion Awards.

    This result shows year-on-year improvements, from inaugural participation in the index in 2017 and recognition as a bronze employer in 2019.

    Introduced paid gender affirmation leave

    A gender affirmation leave clause was included in the Victoria Police Enterprise Bargaining Agreement 2019 and work is underway to translate the clause into organisational policy.

    Guidelines for paid gender affirmation leave for employees undergoing gender reassignment or affirmation process were published on the intranet.

    Improved workplace harm data capturing

    Categories to report instances of LGBTIQ+ workplace harm were added to the OneLink case management system.

    Training and education

    During 2018, all decision makers (VPS3 and above) at Recruitment and Deployment completed unconscious bias training and 84 employees undertook awareness sessions delivered by Pride in Diversity.

    In 2020 more than 400 employees participated in LGBTIQ+ awareness sessions.

    On our way to making policies and training all gender inclusive

    Respectful Workplace training content was reviewed to ensure gender inclusive language and to include case studies of LGBTIQ+ relationships.

    An audit of all human resources policies to ensure LGBTIQ+ inclusive language is yet to be finalised.

    LGBTIQ+ Liaison Officers

    LLOs are LGBTIQ+ employees and allies who voluntarily take on LGBTIQ+ portfolio roles.

    LLOs assist LGBTIQ+ people who report crimes to police, and they provide a contact for LGBTIQ+ community members to provide advice and feedback to Victoria Police on the policing needs of LGBTIQ+ people.

    The number of Victoria Police LLOs grew from approximately 270 in 2018 to approximately 450 in 2022.

    This growth is a positive indicator of growing support for LGBTIQ+ people within Victoria Police and a growing understanding of the importance of this support to serving the needs of LGBTIQ+ people in the community.


    Where can we improve?

    Pride in Diversity’s review of the 2018–2021 LGBTIQ Inclusion Strategy and Action Plan provided critical insights into where Victoria Police needs to improve and where our efforts must be focused to continue building an inclusive workforce.

    Despite some substantial achievements made over the past few years, it is evident that Victoria Police can improve LGBTIQ+ inclusion and safety in our workplaces.

    The review identified areas of focus to improve our capability.

    Governance

    The need for a governance or authorising framework to monitor progress and support access and inclusion.

    Policy audits

    Policies are a key lever in promoting reform. A key action from the 2018–2021 LGBTIQ Inclusion Strategy and Action Plan was to remove binary gender terms from policies to eliminate discrimination and gender stereotypes.

    Audit recommendations also included expanding the removal of binary genders to all policies and training. This is supported under the requirements of the Gender Equality Act (s.9).

    Trans and gender diverse inclusion

    A greater focus is needed on trans and gender diverse employee inclusion in policies, procedures and training as is a dedicated focus on workplace support and inclusion for gender diverse employees.

    Employee support program

    Employee support programs like VP Pride offer significant aid to the organisation and the community Victoria Police serves. However, employee reference groups require dedication and encouragement from the workplaces in which they operate.

    At a strategic level, the evaluation pointed to the need for this plan to include a smaller number of actions targeted to achieve specific outcomes and making a greater impact.


    Where we want to be and how we are getting there

    LGBTIQ+ on the inclusion continuum

    The Diversity and Inclusion Program Logic (Appendix 1) provides a schematic representation of how Victoria Police will work towards a truly diverse workplace and inclusive organisation.

    The program logic will provide the strategic framework to map future progress through targeted outcomes and action plans.

    The program logic sets out how we will progress along the Inclusion Continuum, a visual model, which was recently updated to identify five stages on a development continuum. Each stage describes the diversity and inclusion consciousness and culture of an organisation regarding diversity and inclusion.10

    The 2018–2021 LGBTIQ Inclusion Strategy and Action Plan used the Inclusion Continuum as a measure of progress on our journey to becoming an inclusive organisation.

    In 2018, we considered that the organisation was between the compliant (recently renamed ‘reactive’) and proactive phase of the continuum. This is based on the level of maturity in LGBTIQ+ inclusion and capability.11

    An updated assessment of Victoria Police’s progress against the Inclusion Continuum following the 2018–2021 action plan evaluation and the organisation’s performance in the AWEI, placed Victoria Police’s LGBTIQ+ inclusion at the proactive level.

    Inclusion Continuum

    A diagram of the Inclusion Continuum. For LGBTIQ+ inclusion and capability, Victoria Police is placed as "Proactive". The scale ranges from Exclusive to Reactive, then Proactive, then Progressive and finishes with Inclusive.
    Inclusion Continuum

    Exclusive: An organisation that values the dominant group culture, excluding others.

    Reactive: Few members from other groups are accepted, yet are expected to conform to dominant norms.

    Proactive: Organisation is internally motivated however, the dominant group notices a challenge to culture, resulting in backlash. Victoria Police's level of LGBTIQ+ inclusion is currently placed at the proactive level.

    Progressive: Barriers to diversity are actively dismantled in all systems, structures and culture.

    Inclusive: All types of diversity are valued. An environment where all people are valued for who they are and what they bring is maintained.

    Download the Inclusion Continuum

    10 B. Jones and Michael Brazzel 2014, The NTL Handbook of Organization Development and Change: Principles, Practices, and Perspectives.
    11 Since 2018 Dr. Angela Workman-Stark has improved the definitions within the Inclusion Continuum to better align to evidence-based diversity and inclusion standards.
    The previous Inclusion Continuum (2018) included 6 pillars: exclusive, passive, compliant, proactive, redefining and inclusive. See the 2018–2021 Diversity and Inclusion Framework for expanded definitions.


    The next step

    The next step in the journey towards our vision for LGBTIQ+ inclusion in Victoria Police starts with three actions for 2023–2024. In addition, Victoria Police has developed eight actions that will benefit all areas of diversity and inclusion.

    These actions complement those actions targeted solely at improving the experience of LGBTIQ+ employees.

    LGBTIQ+ actions and milestones 2023–2024

    • Strategic intent Key milestones/measures Owner

      The problem: currently the LLOs have no formal recruitment screening, resulting in lack of understanding of LLO LGBTIQ+ community knowledge and role intentions.

      What we’re doing: the recruitment of LLOs will be formalised through a recruitment process to ensure best organisational practice and community safety.

      The tool will assist LLOs to be adequately supported in their LGBTIQ+ Community knowledge and the role requirements.

      How we will do it: in partnership with HRC, CD will create a new recruitment process for LLOs which includes an expression of interest and a short exploration of LGBTIQ+ knowledge. This will support LLO pre-requisite training requirements and community safety.

      • Review of current LLO recruitment and training with evidence-based recommendations made.
      • LLO recruitment and training and induction package to be launched and in practice for LLOs.
      • LLO recruitment screening tool to be drafted in consultation with WDI and implemented for new LLOs.

      CD

    • Strategic intent Key milestones/measures Owner

      The problem: reported experiences of workplace support differ greatly between LLOs. Workplaces that support LLO officer duties report higher rates of inclusion.

      What we’re doing: the creation of a LLO workplace support guide will inform workplaces to better understand the LLO role requirements, workplace support expectations and promote LLO recruitment.

      This tool aims to inform workplace managers to support their LLOs and create better role satisfaction for the LLOs.

      How we will do it: in partnership with HRC, CD will review LLO workplace requirements and fill knowledge gaps surrounding the role requirements of the LLOs.

      • Identify knowledge gaps of local workforce understanding of LLO role.
      • Review LLO workplace support needs.
      • Draft a workplace support guide in partnership with HRC. To be launched and distributed.

      CD

    • Strategic intent

      Key milestones/measures

      Owner

      The problem: through external Pride in Diversity evaluation and employee engagement, trans and gender diverse employees have been identified as a key group requiring targeted support.

      What we’re doing: promoting guidelines for inclusive language and trans and gender diverse inclusion will address how workplaces can become more safe and inclusive workplaces, as well as provide an educational piece for allies.

      How we will do it: in consultation with key stakeholders, HRC will create a workplace tool for managers to use to influence an inclusive workplace for trans and gender diverse employees. In turn this resource will enhance police response to the trans and gender diverse community.

      • Draft the Trans and Gender Diverse inclusive workplace plan supported by best-practice evidence.
      • Consultations for feedback conducted with trans and gender diverse stakeholders.
      • Pride in Diversity to review and provide feedback on practice guide.
      • Practice Guide published and available.

      HRC

    Diversity and inclusion actions and milestones 2023–2024

    • Portfolio: All

      Strategic intent Key milestones/measures Owner

      The problem: limited knowledge, understanding and awareness of diversity and inclusion amongst managers.

      What we’re doing: enhancing diversity and inclusion capability in people managers.

      How we will do it: by developing and promoting a diversity and inclusion resource hub targeted at leaders and people managers.

      • Conduct a literature review of existing mandatory WoVG and other jurisdiction diversity and inclusion training packages, to inform the development of the resource hub.
      • Review and identify gaps and opportunities in existing training/engagement programs.
      • Develop the diversity and inclusion management resource hub.
      • Diversity and inclusion management resource hub is integrated into existing people management training.

      HRC

    • Portfolio: All

      Strategic intent Key milestones/measures Owner

      The problem: current Victoria Police induction and onboarding content lacks comprehensive information on employee networks and other employee diversity and inclusion information.

      What we’re doing: ensuring that all new employees are aware of the organisation’s diversity and inclusion values, standards, resources and support.

      How we will do it: a review of current induction and onboarding processes will identify opportunities to create and embed new materials addressing current gaps in diversity and inclusion.

      • Review current police, protective services officers and VPS induction and onboarding content and identify opportunities to incorporate diversity and inclusion content.
      • Implement recommended content changes to ensure there is consistency in how new employees across Victoria Police are introduced to diversity and inclusion.
      • Establish a process of regular review that includes consultation with HRC and employee networks.

      PDC

    • Portfolio: All

      Strategic intent Key milestones/measures Owner

      The problem: communications and engagement for diversity, equity and inclusion is limited and lacks an overarching strategy or plan.

      What we’re doing: improving knowledge and understanding across the organisation of inclusion for employees with disability and culturally and linguistically diverse, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and LGBTIQ+ employees.

      How we will do it: by including active communications and engagement tactics.

      Develop, execute and evaluate an organisational Diversity and Inclusion Communication and Engagement Strategy.

      HRC

    • Portfolio: All

      Strategic intent Key milestones/measures Owner

      The problem: employee networks have different levels of influence, support and visibility depending on the rank and position of their members, and their nominated champion’s level of involvement.

      What we’re doing: strengthening employee reference groups and introducing consistency to support all groups to have greater strategic influence in Victoria Police.

      How we will do it: by developing a consistent process of support and executive advocacy that will apply to all employee networks.

      • Set benchmark requirements that all employee networks are entitled to.
      • Review each group against benchmark requirements.
      • Provide support to employee networks to ensure that all networks have an Executive Command Sponsor and a Command portfolio lead.
      • Develop a process to ensure there is consistent support, influence and advocacy across all groups.
      • Establish a formal consultation and feedback process.

      HRC

    • Portfolio: All

      Strategic intent Key milestones/measures Owner

      The problem: insufficient governance or authorising framework to support and progress workforce diversity and inclusion.

      What we’re doing: expanding and renaming the Gender Equality and Inclusion Outcomes Committee (GEIOC) to include representation and support for implementing the diversity and inclusion strategy and action plans.

      How we will do it: we will re-scope and expand the GEIOC. The committee will welcome new members and be responsible for monitoring and tracking progress against the inclusion strategies and action plans.

      • Review GEIOC membership and terms of reference (ToR).
      • Develop a proposal in consultation with employee networks including new name, ToR, membership, and governance model.
      • Obtain approval including endorsement from GEIOC and approval from Safety, People and Culture Committee.

      HRC

    • Portfolio: All

      Strategic intent Key milestones/measures Owner

      The problem: organisational response to workplace harm has been identified as an area of focus for improvement by all diversity portfolios.

      What we’re doing: ensuring an intersectional lens is applied to workplace harm reporting and responses.

      How we will do it: by developing training and resources for Victoria Police units that respond to workplace harm and complaints.

      • Develop targeted diversity and inclusion training.
      • Rollout training to all employees managing incidents of workplace harm.
      • Develop processes that ensure new employees engage in the training as part of their induction to workplace harm units.
      • Develop and provide ongoing support/refresher training for existing employees.

      HRC

    • Portfolio: All

      Strategic intent Key milestones/measures Owner

      The problem: complaint pathways and employee support services are not fully inclusive.

      What we’re doing: ensuring that complaint processes and support services are safe, appropriate and inclusive for our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, CALD, LGBTIQ+ employees and those with disability and accessibility requirements.

      How we will do it: we will conduct the review with an inclusive lens.

      • Ensure all workplace harm systems capture employees’ diversity information where relevant to the complaint.
      • Establish a review for workplace harm reporting and wellbeing services referral processes.
      • Review opportunities within existing contract requirements to ensure EAP providers include culturally safe, accessible and inclusive support and referrals.

      HRC/PSC

    • Portfolio: All

      Strategic intent Key milestones/measures Owner

      The problem: previous systems and processes developed for monitoring and evaluating strategies and actions have lacked robustness, creating difficulties in measuring and assessing progress.

      What we’re doing: ensuring Victoria Police can sufficiently assess and monitor the organisation’s material progress towards a diverse workplace and inclusive organisation.

      How we will do it: by developing KPIs for each action across the four strategies and action plans.

      • Review relevant existing data and reporting mechanisms.
      • Determine KPIs and processes to establish baseline data.
      • Establish mechanism for monitoring progress.
      • Develop processes to ensure regular review.

      HRC


    Acronyms and shortened forms

    Acronym Definition
    AWEI Australian Workplace Equality Index
    CD Capability Department
    GEIOC Gender Equality and Inclusion Outcomes Committee
    HRC Human Resources Command
    LGBTIQ+ Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer and/or questioning
    LLO LGBTIQ+ Liaison Officer
    MEL Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning
    PDC People Development Command
    VEOHRC Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission
    VPS Victorian Public Service
    WoVG Whole of Victorian Government

    Glossary

    We define key terms below and acknowledge that people have different definitions. Language has changed and continues to evolve.

    Discrimination

    The unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people, especially on the grounds of race, age, sex, or disability.

    Discriminatory workplace harm

    This umbrella term covers any way a person experiences discrimination, harm or violence based on protected characteristics within the Victorian Equal Opportunity Act.

    Gender Equality and Inclusion Outcomes Committee

    The Gender Equality and Inclusion Outcomes Committee is the current authorising and governing committee that sits over gender equality in Victoria Police.

    The committee is being expanded to include diversity and inclusion.

    Heteronormative

    Heteronormativity is the assumption that everyone is heterosexual (straight), and that this is the norm.

    Heterosexism is the belief that non-heteronormative sexual orientations or gender identities are unnatural.

    Homophobia

    A term used to describe the irrational fear, hatred or aversion to or discrimination against people who are homosexual or same sex attracted, or who are perceived to be.

    Hypermasculine

    Is the exaggerated form of stereotypical masculinity. For example, the overvaluing of strength, emotional suppression and stoicism.

    Hypermasculine workplace cultures place value on masculine traits over and to the detriment of feminine traits.

    Intersectionality

    This is an approach to understanding how social meanings related to the way we categorise and identify can overlap and interconnect.

    This creates different layers of discrimination or disadvantage for either an individual or group.

    Program logic

    A program logic model is a schematic representation that describes how a program is intended to work by linking activities with outputs, intermediate outcomes and longer-term outcomes.

    Stereotype

    A widely held but fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a particular type of person or thing.

    Transphobia

    A term used to describe the irrational fear, hatred, aversion to or discrimination against people who are transgender, or who are perceived to be transgender. This is also sometimes known as transprejudice.

    Workplace harm

    Workplace harm is the detrimental effects of being targeted by all forms of inappropriate behaviour from work colleagues including sex discrimination, gender-based bullying, sexual harassment and assault, predatory behaviour, victimisation, workplace conflict and bullying.


    Appendix 1: Diversity and inclusion program logic

    Problem

    An engrained culture and systemic bias has amplified inequality and impeded diversity.

    Goal

    A diverse workplace and inclusive organisation.

    Principles

    • Engaging hearts and minds
    • Equitable outcomes
    • Employee co-design
    • Licence to challenge
    • Evidence based.

    Key assumptions

    • That diversity and inclusion will be a priority for the organisation
    • That diversity and inclusion is also a priority for lead command and departments
    • That the goal of inclusion continues to be adequately resourced
    • That the community values a police force that is reflective of the people it serves.

    Barriers

    • Current policies, processes and training perpetuates systemic inequality
    • Inherent requirements of policing are poorly defined
    • Some key data measures and systems are not fit-for-purpose
    • Lack of clarity and accountability for managers in their response to discriminatory workplace harm
    • Lack of knowledge and understanding of diversity and inclusion.

    Reviewed 22 March 2023