Equity & Diversity Annual Report – 2004 Section 1: Equity & Diversity at the RBA


The RBA's formal commitment to the principles of merit and equal opportunity in the workplace emanates from the inception of its Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) program in 1984. The aim of the program is to encourage good management practices for all staff, while meeting legal obligations for designated EEO groups.

The RBA has two plans that reflect its commitment to a diverse workplace – a workplace diversity plan and a disability action plan. Both plans are reviewed in Section 3 of this report.


The diagram below details the legal obligations that underpin the program. The various pieces of legislation have provided a basis for the introduction of policies and practices aimed at ensuring a fair and equitable workplace.

RBA Diversity Program
Workplace Diversity Plan Disability Action Plan
Equal Employment Opportunity (Commonwealth Authorities) Act 1987 Workplace Relations Act 1996 Disability Discrimination Act 1992
Human Rights & Equal Opportunity Commission Act 1986 Occupational Health & Safety (Commonwealth Employment) Act 1991 Commonwealth Disability Strategy 1994 (revised 1999)
Sex Discrimination Act 1984 Privacy Act 1988  
Racial Discrimination Act 1975 Freedom of Information Act 1989  

Whilst the legislative framework has remained the foundation of the RBA policy, the terminology has altered to reflect changing community attitudes and expectations. Diversity encompasses all aspects of life that individuals bring to the workplace. Diversity management encourages the appreciation and valuing of difference.

Responsibility for Equity & Diversity

Overall accountability for the RBA's diversity program rests with the Governor. Responsibility for overseeing the program rests with the Equity & Diversity Policy Committee and Personnel Department. The Equity & Diversity Policy Committee is a consultative body which makes recommendations to the Governor on equity and diversity issues. The Committee meets quarterly to identify and prioritise equity and diversity issues within the RBA, and to monitor progress of initiatives under the diversity program. The Terms of Reference of the Committee are set out at Appendix 4.1.

Photograph of Equity & Diversity Policy Committee
Equity & Diversity Policy Committee

Staff Training & Development Section, Personnel Department, provides support to the Equity & Diversity Policy Committee. This section researches diversity policy issues, disseminates diversity information, liaises with Diversity Contact Managers in the RBA, coordinates and monitors progress reports and maintains links with public and private sector networks in relation to equity and diversity matters.

To assist in raising awareness of diversity issues, external developments in equity and diversity policies and practices, including the impact of legal decisions, are monitored. Regular updates are provided to Managers and Grievance Contact Officers and are available to all staff via the intranet. During the year the updates were streamlined, redesigned and are now issued electronically. This improvement provides information in a more timely and user-friendly format.

The Head of each functional area is responsible for the implementation of the diversity program in their area. They, or their Diversity Contact Manager, prepare annual progress reports. Each supervisor is responsible for ensuring that equity and diversity principles are adhered to in the workplace. All staff have a responsibility to ensure that the decisions they take and their actions in the workplace are consistent with equity and diversity principles.

Collection of Equity & Diversity Data

All staff are asked to voluntarily complete an Equity & Diversity form when they commence employment at the RBA. The form includes questions regarding disability, ethnic origin, languages, and education. The quality of statistics is dependent on the responses provided on this form.

In 2004, a revised version of the Equity & Diversity form was sent to all staff. This provided an opportunity to receive details from staff who had acquired a disability since commencing at the RBA and also allowed for recording of additional personal information as the RBA moved to an upgraded HR/Payroll system. The response rate was high at 86%.