Victoria Police’s role is to serve the Victorian community and uphold the law so as to promote a safe, secure and orderly society. To achieve this we need to be as diverse and varied as the communities in which we work.

A diverse workforce provides innovation, diversity of thought and leadership and allows Victoria Police to better understand and respond to community needs.

This Framework aims to continue to build an organisation united by excellence in serving the community through embracing our diversity and differences.

We know that organisations where a diverse range of ideas, aptitudes, backgrounds, and knowledge can flourish are more successful in making us agile, effective, and efficient.

This framework has been built in the context of a decade of evidence and reflection on our employee experiences, our workforce culture and the systems and structures that support it.

Our journey started with commissioning independent reviews and audits of our performance on equality. This included the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission’s (VEOHRC) 2015 Independent review into sex discrimination, sexual harassment, including predatory behaviour in Victoria Police and Proud, Visible, Safe which responded to workplace harm experienced by LGBTIQ+ employees in Victoria Police.

The findings of both reviews defined the gaps in our systems and processes and revealed the tangible opportunities to improve. The findings serve as a powerful reminder that our success as a policing service begins and ends with our success as an employer.

Discrimination, bias and disadvantage not only harm our employees – they also run counter to the reason Victoria Police exists and our community remit built on human rights.

  • Keeping communities safe depends on our people feeling safe.
  • Driving community inclusion relies on a workforce that feels included.
  • Upholding the rights of every individual effectively requires understanding and respect of different needs, perspectives and contributions from each and every one of our employees.

The data from each review, the trends in our People Matter Survey analyses over the last 10 years, and the feedback from consultation with our employee networks, unions, researchers, and subject matter experts, serve as the foundation of this Framework. The Framework marks the next evolution of our core diversity and inclusion action plans – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD), Accessibility, and LGBTIQ+.

This Framework strives to bring diversity, inclusion and a sense of purpose and belonging into the leadership and operational frameworks of our organisation. It mirrors and supports Victoria Police’s 10-year gender equality strategy, Equal, Safe and Strong. Both plans share an ethos of long-term transformation, building knowledge, capability, performance, and accountability across the organisation to build a diverse and progressive police force, one the Victorian community requires.

Regular action plans will hold us accountable for achieving identified outcomes and commit the organisation to effect positive, sustainable change for diverse employees.

The Framework’s five broad sections are:

  1. What are we talking about?
  2. How far we’ve come
  3. Where do we want to be?
  4. How are we getting there?
  5. How are we holding ourselves accountable?

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 framework is aligned to Victoria Police strategic policies and Victorian and Commonwealth legislation. Each creates the foundation of our work and provides essential parameters for developing our action plans.

Over the timespan of the Framework, we will continually review our approach to providing a safe, inclusive and accessible workplace in response to national and Victorian initiatives as they occur.

Figure 1: Strategic environment

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Relevant legislation

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.

Under the Equal Opportunity Act, employers have a positive duty to eliminate discrimination, sexual harassment and victimisation as far as possible for protected characteristics.

Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006

The Charter requires all public authorities (including Victoria Police) to ‘properly consider’ and ‘act compatibly’ with 20 protected human rights in decision making.

The Charter includes a right protecting individuals from discrimination (s.8 Recognition and equality before the law), protecting people’s cultural rights (s.19), and their safety (i.e. a right for all people, including in a work context, to feel safe and be safe, (s.20 protection of liberty and security of person).

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 for all genders.

Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Clth)

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.

Victoria Police Act 2013

The Victoria Police Act is the primary legal instrument regulating the objectives, structure and powers of Victoria Police.

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.

Fair Work Act 2009 (Clth)

The Fair Work Act governs the employment relationship between employers and employees in Australia, and provides protections of employees including minimum entitlements to minimum wage, leave, and flexible work to ensure a fairer workplace.