Equity & Diversity Annual Report – 2004 Foreword

This is the RBA's seventeenth annual report as required under the Equal Employment Opportunity (Commonwealth Authorities) Act 1987.

The RBA's current Workplace Diversity Plan, the sixth, is a four-year plan, which builds on and broadens the principles of equal employment opportunity. It is based on the idea that good management practice entails not only equity in employment opportunity but also the recognition of diversity and appreciates the value of individual differences.

Equity in employment opportunity assists in addressing disadvantage experienced by particular groups in the workplace, including women, Indigenous Australians, people with disabilities and people from non-English speaking backgrounds. It 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.

A major focus in the past year was the introduction of the RBA's second Disability Action Plan: Access & Equity 2003–2005. While the first plan focussed primarily on direct interaction with the public, the second takes a common approach to accountability arrangements for staff and for the public who use the RBA's services. A consultative group, comprising staff with known disabilities and diversity contact managers, was formed to oversee the development and implementation of the Plan.

In the past year, the RBA also revised the collection of personal information from new staff, and existing staff were also offered the opportunity to update and augment their records to ensure that our equity and diversity information remains comprehensive and current.

Bob Rankin
Equity & Diversity Policy Committee