In a life threatening emergency dial Triple Zero (000)

In a life threatening emergency dial Triple Zero (000)
ACT Public Hospitals

Canberra Hospital

5124 0000


Calvary Hospital

6201 6111

Mental Health

Call Mental Health Triage on

1800 629 354

(free call except from mobiles or public phones) or

6205 1065

Poisons Hotline

For a poison emergency in Australia call

131126

Drug and Alcohol Help Line

The Drug and Alcohol Help Line is available 24-hours, 7 days a week on

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Health Protection Service

For after hours urgent public health matters including environmental health, radiation safety, food poisoning and communicable disease management phone:

(02) 6205 1700

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ACT State Emergency Service

Emergency help
during flood or storms

132 500

First Action Plan 2017-19


ACT Women’s Plan 2016-2026 | First Action Plan 2017-19

First Action Plan 2017-19 [PDF 362KB] [Word 90KB]

First Action Plan Reporting

First Action Plan Review (Year Three) [PDF 1.4MB] [Word 3.6MB]

Key Highlights from Year Two [PDF 856KB]
Detailed Year Two Reporting [PDF 821KB] [Word 203KB]

Key Highlights from Year One [PDF 1.3MB]
Detailed Year One Reporting [PDF 363KB] [Word 90KB]

Key Highlights from Year Three Review

Review of the First Action Plan 2017-19

The First Action Plan 2017 19 was launched in March 2017 and concluded in March 2020. The first two years focused on implementing actions, while the third was set aside for review.

As of February 2020, 99 of the 100 actions to be delivered under the First Action Plan were completed or underway. This means an additional three actions have been commenced or completed since year two reporting against the First Action Plan.

The delivery of such a large number of actions under the First Action Plan is a great achievement and demonstrates the whole of ACT Government commitment to improve the lives of women and girls in the ACT.

Priority 1: Equity and Wellbeing

Priority 2: Physical and Mental Health

Lessons learned through the First Action Plan

Women sit on wood

Focus Area 1: Communities where women and girls are empowered and safe

More information about the initiatives delivered as part of the First Action Plan, including additional case studies, can be found in the First Action Plan Review Report.

Women in Trades Grants Program

The representation of women in traditionally male-dominated trades has received varying levels of attention over the years. The representation of women in the top five traditionally male-dominated trade apprenticeships 1 has consistently been low: in 2016, female representation in these trades in the ACT was 2.4 percent.2

Women in trades

The ACT Government’s Women in Trades Grants Program was established in March 2018 to boost opportunities for women in traditional trades. The Program made $765,205 available in competitive grants over three years to support projects aiming to: increase the take up of women in male-dominated trades; improve and expand employer-apprentice connections and facilitate networking between women and employers; and contribute to the understanding of best practices for recruiting and retaining women in trades.

These projects have provided targeted opportunities for women in the ACT to develop skills that will support them to pursue a career in male-dominated trades and address the barriers they face. Some participants have already commenced an Australian Apprenticeship in the construction industry.

The outcomes of funded projects are also expected to improve participation and productivity in the broader ACT economy.

Focus Area 2: Supporting gender equality in the ACT Government

More information about the initiatives delivered as part of the First Action Plan, including additional case studies, can be found in the First Action Plan Review Report.

Increasing the number of women recruited and in leadership roles in the ESA

The ACT Emergency Services Agency’s (ESA) Women in Emergency Services Strategy (the Strategy) is intended to provide a pathway to a diverse and inclusive workplace across the ESA. The objective of the Strategy, which was launched by the then Minister for Police and Emergency Services in November 2015, is to recruit more women into emergency services in the ACT, as well as support more women into leadership roles.

Women in ESA

Leadership training

Consistent with the Strategy, the ACT State Emergency Service (ACTSES) has been delivering a number of leadership and practical skills sessions for women.

In February 2019, the ACTSES piloted four volunteers in unit leadership positions a Leadership Development Program. The Leadership Development Program provided skills in foundations of leadership, leading people, building and leading teams, decision making in complex environment and leading change.

The ACTSES also continued its delivery of Women’s Workshops, to facilitate practical skills acquisition through focused courses for female ACTSES volunteers. In 2019 the ACTSES conducted of hands-on sessions in hand-and-power tool familiarisation and use and trailer manoeuvring.

The Leadership Development Program workshop and practical sessions were specifically aimed at building confidence and empowering participants to consider stepping up to leadership roles in both the ACTSES and other ESA services.

Over 20 females from the ACTSES and other ESA services attended the Leadership Development Program, and as at the end of 2019, over 40 women attended the practical sessions, gaining skills in sessions covering land-based flood water rescue, navigation and roof safety systems. One of the Leadership Development Program ACTSES graduates was appointed as a unit commander in mid-2019. Both the workshop and practical sessions were well received, and ESA is now looking at ways to include staff and volunteers from operational and support services.

A greater number of women across all levels of the ACTSES will encourage more women to consider taking on leadership roles. It will also attract more women and improve diversity and experience in both a management and operational context.

Targeted recruitment

ESA, through the Strategy, has been focusing on attracting, recruiting, developing and retaining women. As part of the Strategy, there has been a focus on recruiting more women through the ACT Fire & Rescue (ACTF&R) community-based recruitment processes.

Through the continuation of targeted recruitment, ACTF&R increased the number of women in firefighter roles by four in 2019, with the total number of female ACTF&R firefighters rising to 18 in November 2019.

Fifty-three new firefighters have been employed through community-based intakes since June 2016, with nearly a quarter being women.

Within the ESA, ACTF&R utilise a consultancy service to analyse applicant data, including gender data, post each recruitment selection process. As part of this initiative, all women that participated in each ACTF&R recruitment process are surveyed in order to provide data to better enhance future recruitment activities.

Women firefighter

Focus Area 3: Addressing the health needs of women and girls

More information about the initiatives delivered as part of the First Action Plan, including additional case studies, can be found in the First Action Plan Review Report.

Target for 40 per cent female representation on Boards of ACT peak sporting bodies

The majority of ACT peak sporting bodies (23 of 28 Triennially funded organisations as of 31 December 2019) have achieved a minimum of 40 per cent female Board representation.

Increasing the number of women on sporting boards will help to improve board performance and ensure that needs of current and potential female participants are reflected in organisational strategy and decision making.

The Minister for Sport and Recreation strongly committed to this 40 per cent target, linking achievement of the target to funding post-2019. While there are no pecuniary measures for those yet to achieve the target, a 10 per cent funding bonus (in 2020) will be applied to those that have achieved the target as at 31 December 2019.

This change provides increased leadership opportunities for women in sports administration. Additionally, where this change supports broader cultural change in sport and an improved focus on the needs of female participants, it is hoped that opportunities for women and young girls to engage in and stay engaged in sport will be enhanced.

Women in sport

Focus Area 4: Information and services are tailored to the needs of women and girls from diverse backgrounds

More information about the initiatives delivered as part of the First Action Plan, including additional case studies, can be found in the First Action Plan Review Report.

Making childbirth classes more accessible

Many Canberrans may be missing out on the benefits of parenting classes due to language barriers, as well as other barriers such as religious concerns or male/female participant dynamics. Over 15,000 households in Canberra speak languages other than English. Of these, more than 4,000 households speak Mandarin and over 1,600 speak Arabic. In 2018 approximately four per cent of women who were booked into Centenary Hospital for Women and Children required an interpreter for their pregnancy care.

Since its inception in October 2018, this project has seen childbirth classes facilitated by a midwife with an interpreter provided in Mandarin and Arabic to 21 women (plus partners).

A curriculum was designed using the new salutogenic framework that is now being used throughout Maternity. This theory promotes health and wellbeing as opposed to risk. The education aims to be culturally appropriate and sensitive to the participant’s needs. It caters to first time mothers and women who have had at least one previous birth. It covers antenatal care, labour, vaginal birth, caesarean birth, complications and concerns, breastfeeding, parenting and navigating services in the ACT. Children are welcome and classes are conducted in the community close to where the women live.

These classes provided women and their support people with knowledge, skills and strategies to increase confidence in their ability to navigate through pregnancy, birth and the early postnatal period. They supported women to gain the skills to identify and seek out resources in their own language which improved knowledge and placed importance on developing support networks.

The “Childbirth classes in languages other than English to increase attendance of non-English speaking women” project won the 2019 Quality in Healthcare ACT Awards category winner for person centred care.

Lessons learned through the First Action Plan

Governance

Implementing a whole of government plan requires effective governance and ongoing coordination.

During the First Action Plan, the Office for Women asked directorates to identify Executive Sponsors to coordinate and oversee the delivery of ACT Women’s Plan actions within their directorate. These Executive Sponsors have proved a useful point of contact for the Office for Women and have played a crucial role in championing and coordinating delivery of actions.

The Executive Sponsors also fill the role of an informal board of sorts, meeting semi-regularly to provide the Office for Women with advice on broader work underway to support women and girls in the ACT, progress against actions under the ACT Women’s Plan and advice on the how to most effectively implement initiatives to support women and girls.

The Office for Women also engaged with the ACT Ministerial Advisory Council on Women (MACW) on an ongoing basis over the life of the First Action Plan and provided frequent reporting to them regarding the implementation of actions under the First Action Plan.

How has this informed the Second Action Plan?

The role of Executive Sponsor will inform the delivery and implementation of the Second Action Plan.

The Second Action Plan will also have a clear governance framework that clarifies the role of the Office for Women as both a coordinating and contributing body to the Second Action Plan and the expectation for Directorates in relation to implementation and reporting requirements.

MACW played a critical role in the development of the Second Action Plan and will continue to be engaged to provide advice regarding the implementation of actions. MACW will also support Implementation Workshops with the ACT community to inform the implementation of the Second Action Plan actions.

Coordination

Themed working groups were established to support implementation of the First Action Plan. The purpose of these working groups was primarily to improve government communication on initiatives underway in the ACT to support women and girls. This included working more collaboratively and sharing information on similar areas of work both within and beyond the scope of the First Action Plan.

How has this informed the Second Action Plan?

The Second Action Plan will also require coordination across directorates to support successful implementation. The Second Action Plan has focused on delivering a smaller number of more meaningful actions. Given this, the coordination approach may differ and may be based on theme or determined on an action by action basis. This will be decided in consultation with Executive Sponsors.

Communication

As part of establishing the themed working groups for the First Action Plan, a Communications working group was established with the purpose of ensuring consistent messaging and branding on initiatives.

This proved challenging given that key messages and branding were not established at the outset of the First Action Plan and that there were such a large number of disparate actions.

How has this informed the Second Action Plan?

Ensuring the development of appropriate branding and messaging has been a key consideration in the development of the Second Action Plan. Ongoing communication with the ACT community will be critical to support the successful implementation of the Second Action Plan.

A centralised communications plan will be developed by the Office for Women to ensure that the purpose and intent of the Second Action Plan are understood, and that clear and consistent messaging is provided for use across the ACT Government.

Data

Due to the quantitative nature and large number of actions, measuring outcomes achieved through the First Action Plan relied heavily on qualitative case studies rather than quantitative data. The limited available data sources also prevented baseline data from being identified at the outset of the First Action Plan. As such, this Review Report focuses on the delivery of actions and outputs.

How has this informed the Second Action Plan?

The development of the Second Action Plan has included the identification of metrics for each action and an outcomes framework to support evaluation is also underway.

The Second Action Plan has also committed to supporting improved data, research and information collection and availability to inform more gender-responsive policy development, and program and service delivery. The Second Action Plan will do this through an action to improve consistency of sex and/or gender data collection, discoverability, sharing and use across the ACT Government.

Consultation

The First Action Plan committed to the delivery of one hundred actions over three years. While consultation was undertaken regarding individual actions as required, the volume of actions meant that ongoing, coordinated discussion with community on the First Action Plan as a whole was difficult.

How has this informed the Second Action Plan?

The development of the Second Action Plan involved extensive consultation with the community. This included:

December 2018 Office for Women/MACW forum
April 2019 Focus groups and literature review
June to September 2019 Co-designed context analysis
Octorber 2019 ACT Women's Summit

The ACT Government has also committed to continued consultation over the life of the Plan to ensure that actions continue to be relevant and have the greatest impact for women and girls in the ACT.

The Second Action Plan will also acknowledge that the needs of women and girls in the ACT may shift over the course of the Plan, by providing opportunities for Directorates to implement and report on initiatives that achieve the strategic objectives and intent of the Plan, in addition to prescribed actions.

Women in office


[1] Top 5 in terms of total commencements by all apprentices in trade qualifications from 2007-2016. Top five trade qualifications are: Cert III in Carpentry; Cert III in Electrotechnology Electrician; Cert III in Plumbing; Cert III in Light Vehicle Mechanical Technology; Cert III in Telecommunications.

[2] Source: ACT Vocational Education and Training Administration Records System (July 2017)

Key Highlights from Year Two

The First Action Plan is well on its way to full delivery

Year two of the First Action Plan 2017-19 under the ACT Women’s Plan 2016-26 concluded in March 2019. The First Action Plan represents an ambitious commitment to deliver one hundred actions over three years. The results demonstrate the cross‑government commitment to improve the lives of women and girls in the ACT.

96% of the 100 actions to be delivered under the First Action Plan are completed or underway

The Office for Women will continue to work closely across the ACT Government to support the delivery of the remaining actions. This document outlines some of the key initiatives delivered through year 2 of the First Action Plan. More detailed information on individual actions is available at the following link: First Action Plan: Year Two detailed reporting.

The Second Action Plan will build on what we have learned

The First Action Plan was structured around building the knowledge base (Year One); developing and implementing practical solutions (Year Two) and consolidating and reviewing processes (Year Three).

Year three reporting is currently scheduled for release in early 2020, alongside the Second Action Plan 2020‑22. Year three reporting will reflect on how the Second Action Plan process was informed by the learnings from the First Action Plan.

Some key highlights from year two

Year two of the First Action Plan saw the implementation of many important initiatives to improve the participation and opportunities available for ACT women and girls. This includes work aimed at:

Continuing to boost opportunities in non-traditional trades for women and girls

The ACT Government’s Women in Trades Grants Program was established in March 2018 to boost opportunities for women and girls in trades that they have not traditionally participated in. The program provides $500,000 in competitive grants over three years to support a small number of highly targeted projects that:

  • increase the take up of women in male dominated trades;
  • improve and expand employer-apprentice connections addressing barriers for employers and women to link and network; and
  • contribute to the understanding of best practices for recruiting and retaining women in trades and being able to promulgate findings more broadly.Group of Women

The first round of grants was made in June 2018. A second round of grants was announced in November 2018, with the focus on improved advocacy, engagement and information-sharing for women employed in, or interested in being employed in, male-dominated trades.

Young LadyFive projects under this second round commenced in June 2019, one of which will support up to 20 women to enter the construction industry.

Other projects aim to reduce the barriers faced by women in, or wanting to enter trades, including occupational gender stereotypes, workplace issues, and lack of exposure to using tools at a young age.

All ACT public servants will now be trained to identify and respond to family violence

The ACT Government is committed to developing a skilled and educated workforce who are equipped to respond to the needs of adults and children experiencing family violence. The ACT Domestic and Family Violence Frontline Worker Training (FWT) Strategy delivers on this commitment.

The FWT Strategy is now in place and provides ACTPS workers training on DFV to develop the skills and confidence to respond to children and adults impacted by DFV. All ACT public servants will be trained in identifying domestic and family violence, including controlling and coercive behaviours, how to respond to victims and where to find them help. The training will provide an understanding of the cumulative and traumatic impacts of DFV for women and children in both the immediate and long term.Chart

The training is delivered in three tiers to match the intensity and complexity to the needs of different workers across the ACTPS.

Supporting local indigenous women on their terms

During 2018, the CIT Yurauna Centre established a learning and yarning circle for women to address issues they face in their day-to-day lives. The group met weekly and through art activities, the women were encouraged to discuss issues preventing them from further study.

CIT has also been working with women to encourage community connection and has seen increased numbers of women taking up the opportunity to complete the Learner Driver course offered through CIT Yurauna, improving their mobility and breaking down feelings of isolation.

Improving housing support and sustainability and reducing homelessness for women

The Housing and Homelessness Summit in 2017 was the culmination of seven weeks of extensive consultation with the community to inform future housing and homelessness policy. Feedback from this consultation significantly shaped the development of the ACT Housing Strategy and informed the development of initiatives for women and children in relation to housing and homelessness.

Funding of $6.524 million over four years was allocated in the 2018-19 Budget to help services intervene early and support people before their situation gets worse. A range of dedicated services that will support women have been funded.

A service to support older women is seeking to:

  • prevent older women from falling into crisis and experiencing homelessness without appropriate intervention;
  • address key emerging service gaps for older women who have limited financial means and whose current housing situation is untenable.

Other services are being established to:Older Lady

  • prevent children from entering into the statutory child protection system by supporting young mothers gain vital education and training and life skills;
  • support asylum seekers and families with uncertain immigrations status who are homeless or at risk of homelessness by providing housing assistance and support to gain community connections, employment, education and training while their immigration status is being resolved; and
  • improving accommodation support for women and children escaping family and domestic violence.

This funding complements the funding allocated to front line crisis workers, such as the Domestic Violence Crisis Service (DVCS) and the Canberra Rape Crisis Centre, by increasing accommodation and support for women who are fleeing violent relationships.

Improving support for a woman’s right to choose

The ACT Government has long supported a women’s right to choose. The ACT has historically been a pioneer in abortion law reform by making abortion a health, not a criminal, matter and introducing exclusion zones.

Legislative amendments in September 2018 now allow medical terminations to be accessed through a local GP or telehealth provider, for the first time in the ACT. This brings access for Canberra women in line with other jurisdictions.

The amendments remove some of the barriers women in Canberra face when they are looking to access healthcare, and give women a greater choice of confidential and safe abortion services.

Prioritising projects that promote the emotional and psychological wellbeing of ACT women

The ACT Women’s Grants Program provides funding support to individuals, organisations and community groups for innovative projects that improve the health, wellbeing and safety of ACT women.

In 2018-19, in response to an action under the First Action Plan, the Participation Grants (which form part of the Women’s Grants Program) supported programs, research or projects that will impact positively on women and girl’s health and wellbeing.

The newly established Audrey Fagan Leadership and Communication Program is also available to women wanting to gain confidence, enhance their leadership skills and to better their public speaking skills. The program includes a series of tailored workshops and coaching sessions as well as a suite of resources and materials.


Supporting improved gender equality in Canberra workplaces

The ACT Government is committed to improving gender equality in all avenues of society including in Canberra workplaces. The Office for Women is developing an e-learning training package which will cover numerous topics relating to improved gender equality in the workplace, including recruitment, gender equality strategies, gender impact analysis and flexible working arrangements. This e-learning package is being developed to support all ACT Government Directorates and the broader ACT community and will be made publicly available with supporting resources on the Office for Women website.

Group

The ACT Government is also leading by example in providing a Women’s Mentoring Program for female staff across the ACT Public Service. This program aims to maximise opportunities for mentees to build their capabilities and career development opportunities, and to foster gender equity and its value in the workplace. The pilot program also sought to support higher performance of individuals and demonstrate the value that diversity in leaders can bring to the ACT Public Service.

The pilot program was launched in October 2018 and feedback from participants indicates a strong support for broader rollout of the pilot program. The ACT Government is currently considering options for continued roll out of this program.

Increasing the number of women in leadership positions

The ACT Government is committed to improving the participation of women in leadership roles in the workplace, and on boards and committees across the ACT.

In support of this, under the First Action Plan the ACT Government introduced a requirement for triennially funded ACT sporting organisations to achieve a target of 40 per cent representation of females on their boards by 2020. Achieving this target will result in greater gender equality within the governance of sporting organisations in the ACT.

In late 2018, ACT Sport and Recreation reviewed the board composition of all 28 triennially funded organisations. Nine organisations (33%) had already met the requirement with at least 40% female representation, with a further six having 30% or more female representation. Since this review several more major sports organisations have now complied with the target. Organisations are required to report their achievement against the target in annual reports to ACT Sport and Recreation.

Better understanding how the ACT Budget impacts women and girls

The Minister for Women released the ACT Women’s Budget Statement 2019-20 in June 2019 as part of the ACT Budget, the first Women’s Budget Statement released in the ACT in many years.

Statement

This Statement provides details of new Budget measures that significantly impact on women or gender equality in the ACT. The Minister sought input from the community and women’s sector about improvements to the Statement for future years.

The 2019-20 ACT Budget provides funding for new and enhanced policies and programs to support and improve the lives of women and girls in the ACT. Additional funding identified in the Statement will help to ensure that women and girls can access the opportunities they need to thrive.

Supporting the development of policies, programs and services that consider their gender impact

Many of the actions under the First Action Plan have sought to support policy and decision-makers to better understand gender equality to improve the development of policies, programs and services.

It is now mandatory for all ACT Government directorates to undertake a Gender Impact Analysis for all policies progressing through the Cabinet process. An updated Gender Impact Analysis tool including guidance material and template has been developed through the First Action Plan, to support ACT Government directorates to do this effectively.

Funding Boost for the ACT Women's Plan

The ACT Women’s Plan is a crucial step in achieving the full and equal participation of women and girls in all aspects of our community. The ACT Government’s ongoing commitment to this plan and their leadership in advancing the status of women at work and in our community can be seen in the upcoming budget commitment to invest an additional $696,000 to implement actions under the ACT Women’s Plan and to promote gender equality more broadly.

The Canberra community has long led the nation on equality and inclusiveness for women and other communities who face barriers to full inclusion. This new investment will support the Office for Women to continue our work with each and every government directorate to drive and deliver the commitments identified under the ACT Women’s Plan.

Key Highlights from Year One

Year one of the First Action Plan saw the implementation of many important achievements to improve the health, wellbeing and inclusion of ACT women and girls, including:

Bringing Government and community together to promote a culture of respect and equal opportunity

The ACT Office for Women hosted two forums to engage with women, community organisations and business representatives. These events provided an opportunity for women’s voices to be heard.

The first forum, The Case for Change was held in October 2017 and was co-hosted by YWCA Canberra. The second forum, Sharing Stories of Success was held in February 2018 and was co-hosted by the Ministerial Advisory Council for Women.Photo of the Case for Change

Promoting mental health and wellbeing of women and girls

The Australian National University will shortly be releasing a report, funded by the ACT Office for Women, on the current and emerging mental health issues for young women and girls in the ACT.

Additionally, a Gender Equity Advisory Group has been convened to research the extent to which gender perception in schools impacts on the welling of female students. This research will help inform our future policy thinking and the delivery of year two actions under the Women’s Plan.

Promoting safe places and events

The Women’s Safety Audit toolkit was reviewed and updated to make it more fit for purpose and improve its access via the Community Services Directorate website. The Office for Women has actively promoted the use of Women’s Safety Audits at all ACT Government events including Floriade, Enlighten and the National Multicultural Festival. The toolkit is also now available and encouraged for use at ACT community events including those that are privately run.

Ensuring the needs of women are considered in housing and homelessness support

The inaugural Housing and Homelessness Summit was held on 17 October 2017. It brought together 200 people with various expertise and perspectives, including representatives from industry, the housing and community sector, public housing tenants and people with lived experience of homelessness.

This diverse range of participants were asked to consider and generate new ideas to tackle housing affordability and homelessness in the ACT, including considering the specific issues faced by women in this space. Feedback from the Summit will help to guide and inform the actions recommended to government in a new ACT Housing Strategy, which is under development.

Promoting and supporting greater engagement of women and girls in sport

Photo of girls playing soccer

Active Canberra has established a partnership with Her Canberra to deliver Her Canberra Active, committing $100,000 over four years. This online portal was launched in October 2017 and connects a large network of Canberra women and girls with articles related to sport and physical activity, event information and a directory of activity opportunities.

Female friendly infrastructure guidelines have now been finalised to support the development of new, and modification of existing, facilities to better support the needs of female participants.

Sporting organisations under triennial funding agreements with the ACT Government have been asked to commit to 40 per cent representation of women on their boards by 2020.

Vocational and Educational Training opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women

CIT conducts ongoing promotional activities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women to enter training such as development of promotional materials and offering program and career advice through community events and social gatherings.

CIT has been providing access to Adjunct Child Care on campus, counselling through Relationships Australia and CIT Counsellors, support to understand Indigenous Human Rights, access to Women’s Legal Service and other services for women, including refuges who are currently studying at CIT. Women are also included in gatherings in planning for their pathways as well as programs at Yurauna. Women participated in a digital story project ‘My Story, My Voice’ in collaboration with Photo Access.

Supporting women and girls in non-traditional trades

Approximately $500,000 will be made available in grants on a competitive basis over three years under the Women in Trades Grants Program to support a small number of highly targeted projects that support women in non-traditional trades.

The ACT Emergency Services Agency, through the Women in Emergency Services Strategy has been focusing on attracting, recruiting, developing and retaining women. As part of the Strategy, there has been a focus on recruiting more women through the ACT Fire and Rescue community based recruitment processes. Thirty-four new firefighters have been employed since June 2016, with nearly a quarter being women. This is a great first step towards the 50:50 gender balance target the government has set itself in this area.Photo of ACT Emergency Services Agency


Promoting the health of women from diverse backgrounds

The ACT Government undertook research and consultation with community champions to better understand the ACT Health Community Profiles and health needs of women from diverse backgrounds.

As a result of this engagement, ACT Health has completed twelve Community Cultural Profiles. The profiles will assist health care workers better understand and appreciate possible cultural impacts on health in culturally and linguistically diverse communities.

Promoting Respect and Equity in the Workplace

The ACT Government is committed to promoting gender equality in the ACT Public Service and across the broader community. Informed by international best practice a range of options of procurement practices that encourage organisations to develop gender equity strategies and implement processes to promote equal opportunity were scoped. The ACT Government has committed to establishing a broad professional services panel that will consider a range of procurement criteria, including assessing service providers’ commitments to gender equality. We are also working to promote gender equity strategies, and awareness of unconscious bias through the provision of resources, tools and support.

Additionally, the Justice and Community Safety Directorate has engaged the ACT Human Rights Commission to develop and implement the Respect, Equity and Diversity (RED) Contact Officer Training Program for their RED Contact Officers to ensure they have the skills to identify and respond to workplace discrimination and sexual harassment.

Facilitating learning through the delivery of specific community based programs

Libraries ACT provided a range of community learning programs promoting social inclusion and the development of life skills, including topics such as legal aid, emotional intelligence, taking charge of your health, time management and organisation, technology, training and mindfulness.

Photo girls with art

Through a partnership with Global Sisters funding was provided for a project to support women from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds to develop a pathway to employment. An International Women's Day project was delivered, where a local street artist delivered workshops to 30 women to create a collaborative mixed media mural at the Centre point Building wall in Civic.