Equity & Diversity Annual Report – 2003 Foreword

This is the RBA's sixteenth annual report as required under the Equal Employment Opportunity (Commonwealth Authorities) Act 1987. The name of the report was changed in 2002 to the Equity & Diversity Annual Report to reflect the increased focus on diversity issues. The Bank's Workplace Diversity Plan, the sixth, is a four-year plan, which builds on and broadens the principles of equal employment opportunity (EEO). It is based on the idea that good management practice entails the recognition of diversity and appreciates the value of individual differences.

EEO assists in addressing disadvantage experienced by particular groups in the workplace, including women, Indigenous Australians, people with disabilities and those who suffer disadvantage on the basis of race-ethnicity. EEO also provides an important platform underpinning workplace diversity policies for gender, age, language, ethnicity, cultural background, sexual orientation, religious belief, and family responsibilities. Diversity covers all these areas, but also includes other ways in which people are different such as educational level, life experience, work experience, socio-economic background, personality and marital status.

During the latest reporting period greater emphasis has been placed on aspects of work/life balance and a number of initiatives have been incorporated into the Enterprise Bargaining Agreement for 2003–04. These features, which will further assist staff in managing a balance between work and home, include the introduction of Personal Leave (combining sick and carer's leave), a working from home trial and the investigation of 48/52 leave – the provision of an option for staff to purchase extra leave and/or flexibility to access annual leave at half pay.

This is my last annual report as Chairperson of the Equity and Diversity Policy Committee. Since taking on the position in 1991, I have seen many positive changes to workplace policies and practices as a result of the Bank's commitment to equity and diversity and the contribution of the Committee. I wish my successor and the Committee continued success in the future.

GH Board
Equity & Diversity Policy Committee