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Second Action Plan 2020-22

ACT Women’s Plan 2016-2026 | Second Action Plan 2020-22

Second Action Plan 2020-22 [PDF 18MB] [Word 258KB]

Second plan report

Equity Together

Minister’s Foreword

Yvette Berry MLAThe Second Action Plan 2020-22 represents the ACT Government’s commitment to achieving Equity Together.

This action plan is part of the ACT Women’s Plan 2016-26, but it is not only for those who identify as women and girls, it is for everybody in the community.

Everyone has the power to improve gender equity, and to be an agent for change. It is not just the role of government. It is the role of community organisations, schools, businesses and individuals too. This goal can only be realised with engagement and commitment from across the Canberra community.

I would like to acknowledge the generous and valuable contributions made by members of the ACT community, community sector, government and business in the development of this plan. I would also like to give particular thanks to my Ministerial Council on Women for their ongoing and dedicated advice and support.

The ACT Government will continue to work with the community sector and broader ACT community in the delivery of this action plan, ensuring ongoing engagement over the life of the plan so that the best possible outcomes for women and girls can be achieved.

This action plan us to achieving Equity. It acknowledges that we are not all afforded equal opportunities.

The ACT community and government has been fighting hard to better recognise the value of diversity and to ensure that women, especially women who might face additional barriers to participation, are supported to participate equally in our community.

Through implementing this plan our community will work to further develop our understanding of the critically important connection to country, culture and family for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and girls. We will also seek to better understand the needs of all people who identify as women and girls including women with disability, women from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and women who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, and/or queer.

We have a lot to be proud of here in Canberra. The ACT is doing comparatively well in areas such as parliamentary representation, gender pay gap and representation of women on boards and committees, but gender inequality persists.

Through consulting with the Canberra community, the government identified focus areas to improve outcomes for women and girls in Canberra. These focus areas have informed the development of actions under this action plan:

In reading this action plan you have shown interest in gender equality. Please take this further and consider the influence you can have in your workplace, at home and in public to model appropriate behaviours, shape perceptions of gender and improve gender equality for our daughters, partners, mothers, sisters and all women and girls living in the ACT.

Gender equality is critical to ensuring a safe, vibrant and fair Canberra.

Yvette Berry MLA
Minister for Women

Second Action Plan 2020-22: Equity Together

The ACT Women’s Plan 2016-26 is an ambitious ten-year plan to create an ACT that values and respects women and girls, commits to gender equality and promotes and protects the rights, wellbeing and potential of all women and girls.

This action plan is the second of three, three-year action plans to be delivered through the ACT Women’s Plan. These action plans identify how the ACT Government will work with community members, the community sector and the private sector to ensure that everyone is actively working towards true equality for women and girls.

Who this action plan is for

This action plan is for everyone in the ACT to remind them that they have a right to be healthy, safe, have access to equal opportunities to thrive, and to engage in activities that have meaning to them. It is also for the broader ACT Government, community, community sector and businesses in the ACT, because everyone has a role to play in improving gender equality.

How we got here

This action plan was developed together. Together with the ACT Government. Together with community. Consultation commenced in late 2018 and included:

These processes led to the development of the actions in this action plan.

Where to from here

An Outcomes Framework will be developed to track performance of the Second Action Plan in supporting women and girls in the ACT.

Objective 1: Improving the mental health and wellbeing of women and girls in the ACT

The mental health of women and girls is a national concern and recent evidence suggests that the rate of depression and anxiety is higher for women and girls in the ACT, particularly girls and younger women.

Research from Mission Australia and the Black Dog Institute indicates that females from the ACT in the 15-19 year age bracket report psychological distress at a higher rate than their male counterparts and young women at a national level.


Actions to achieve this

Metrics will include

Improved understanding of women and girls’ access to mental health services.

1.1 Implement the endorsed recommendations following the mental health and wellbeing review of children and young people in the ACT (0-25 years).
Lead: Health Directorate
Community Services Directorate (CSD), Education Directorate

Completion of detailed mapping of services for women and girls.
Number of review recommendations that address the needs of women and girls.
Monitor the rates of mental health of young women and girls including through the Youth Mental Health Report – Mission Australia and the Black Dog Institute.

Improved communication and connection to existing mental health services to improve mental health literacy of young women in relation to:
-increasing help seeking;
-increasing access to early support;
-reducing stigma/promoting recovery.

1.2 Develop and launch an online triage navigation portal to support young people in the ACT seeking mental health and wellbeing support.
Lead: Health Directorate
CSD, Education Directorate

Successful development of the portal.
Successful launch and promotion of the portal.
Engagement and use of the portal by target cohort.

Ensuring that the mental health clinical workforce has appropriate training and support to meet the needs of their diverse clients.

1.3 Develop a mental health and wellbeing workforce strategy to increase mental health competencies across the current and future mental health, health and community workforce. strong>
Lead: Health Directorate

Development of a mental health and wellbeing workforce strategy.
Review existing mental health workforce competencies and training.
Development and delivery of additional training as required.

Improved understanding of children and young people’s wellbeing to inform system level responses.

1.4 Identify available datasets that inform on different aspects of wellbeing.
Lead: Education Directorate
Health Directorate, CSD

Data sets identified.

1.5 Design analyses to provide information important for system improvement including appropriate universal and selected level wellbeing interventions. strong>
Lead: Education Directorate
Health Directorate, CSD

Analysis to inform system improvement undertaken.


Objective 2: Fostering gender equity in Canberra workplaces, including through improved gender equality in leadership and workplace participation

Workplaces that foster and promote gender equity are critical to realising and securing women’s workplace rights, entitlements and access to protection from discrimination and exploitation.

Women continue to be paid less and are underrepresented in business ownership and in traditional trades. Access to flexible work for all genders is critical to more equitable sharing of the unpaid workload.


Actions to achieve this

Metrics will include

Enhanced support available to women entrepreneurs in the ACT.

    2.1 Strengthen engagement and support for female entrepreneurs through the Canberra Innovation Network (CBRIN) and other relevant stakeholders.

Lead: Chief Minister, Treasury and Economic Development Directorate (CMTEDD)

Progress towards a 40 per cent target for female participation in CBRIN programs.

Enhanced links/opportunities into traditionally male‑dominated trades and occupations as a career path for women in the building and construction industry.

    2.2 Increase the participation of female school students in construction industry vocational education and training through learning opportunities in schools.

Co-Lead: CSD, Education Directorate

Number of girls and young women in secondary school undertaking work experience and/or structured workplace learning placements in male dominated industries.

    2.3 ACT Building and Construction Industry Training Fund Authority (TFA) Women in Building and Construction campaign to specifically target employers to encourage greater employment of females in male-dominated trade industries.


Successful promotion of the Women in Building and Construction campaign.

Number of women employed in male dominated industries.

Promote practices that improve gender equality in ACT Government workplaces outside of government, including through leveraging ACT Government funding.

    2.4 Set a 10 per cent target for the proportion of women employed in the construction industry in the ACT and support the achievement of this target by setting a requirement through the ACT Government procurement policies including the Secure Local Jobs Code to give greater weighting to organisations tendering for contracts over 5 million who are meeting the target.

    2.5 Work with industry and other key stakeholders to increasing the target from 2022.

Major Projects Canberra

Amendments to the Government Procurement Regulation 2007 to reflect gender diversity requirements
Amendments to the Secure Local Jobs Code’s Labour Relations, Training and Workplace Equity Plan template to include a new sub-section in “Diversity in the Workplace” to specifically reflect the 10 per cent target for women in construction and associated weighting for tender assessments.
Number of relevant tenderers meeting or demonstrating progress towards the 10 per cent target.

    2.6 Investigate options for a pilot project to deliver a major ACT capital works project (worth more than $5 million) where tenderers must have a 100 per cent female site management team and female participation in each trade subcontractor undertaking work on the project.

Lead: Major Projects Canberra

Options identified for a pilot project to deliver a major ACT capital works project with a 100 per cent female site management team.

    2.7 Improve representation of women on governance bodies that receive ACT Government funding through a set target for representation for boards receiving ArtsACT funding.


Setting 40 per cent target for
ACT Government funded arts organisations by 2022, initially trialling organisations funded through the Program Organisation category.
Monitoring progress towards 40 per cent target.

    2.8 Develop and promote a series of  e-learning modules on workplace rights, unconscious bias in recruitment, flexible working for women and men, gender impact analysis and Gender Equality Strategies.

Lead: CSD

Delivery of e-learning modules.


Objective 3: Building a community where women and girls are safe and supported to participate

Safety at home and in public spaces is essential to full and equal participation of women and girls in our community.

Women and girls experience and perceive safety differently than men. Women are more likely to report feeling unsafe in public spaces in Canberra than men.

In addition to the physical benefits, sport is an important form of community engagement and participation. According to AusPlay data, women and girls from diverse backgrounds participate at lower rates in sport in the ACT.


Actions to achieve this

Metrics will include

Build on a range of initiatives to strengthen whole school approaches to gender equality through developing primary prevention capabilities in ACT Government schools.

    3.1 Continue to promote evidence-based gender equality resources to support schools to implement primary prevention approaches through school processes, the Australian Curriculum and Social and Learning approaches.

Lead: Education Directorate

Successful promotion of evidence-based gender equality resources to schools.

    3.2 Ensure the Family Violence Training in schools covers the drivers of gendered violence and the link to education as primary prevention of gender-based violence.

Lead: CSD
Education Directorate

Successful implementation of the ACT Government Domestic and Family Violence Training in schools.

    3.3 Continue to strengthen relationships and governance arrangements with a range of community organisations who deliver school-based programs, including those which have a prevention and/or early support focus for students demonstrating at risk-behaviour such as issues with anger management and violence.

Lead: Education Directorate

Current school-based programs aimed at educating young people on recognising and combatting Domestic and Family Violence to include a focus on violence prevention, healthy conflict resolution and anger management.

Increased participation of women and girls in sport and physical activity in the ACT.

    3.4 Review the Women in Sport and Recreation Participation and Leadership Program funding model with the view to re-prioritise funding for women and girls that are under-represented.

Education Directorate

Revision of guidelines to
re-prioritise funding for women and girls that are under‑represented.

Greater participation from women and girls, particularly those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, those with disability and those from lower socio-economic backgrounds.

Develop and implement gender sensitive design principles to assist with design and delivery of public-urban spaces and infrastructure and transport infrastructure projects, including wayfinding.

    3.5 Develop and implement gender sensitive design principles to assist with design and development of public-urban spaces and infrastructure and transport infrastructure, including wayfinding.

Lead: Transport Canberra and City Services (TCCS)
Environment Planning Sustainability Development Directorate (EPSDD), City Renewal Authority, Suburban Land Agency, Major Projects Canberra

Establish Steering Committee to lead development of gender sensitive design principles.

Undertake audit and assessment of existing design guidance and standards to ensure inclusion of gender sensitive considerations.

Establishment of gender sensitive design principles.

Gender sensitive design principles used to inform future delivery.

Objective 4: Improving housing support and sustainability and reducing homelessness for women

Access to safe, appropriate and affordable housing is essential to women and girls’ wellbeing. The impacts of violence, economic inequality and caring responsibilities impose barriers on the housing options available for women and girls.

Older women are one of the fastest increasing cohorts experiencing homelessness in Australia and households headed by single mothers face additional barriers in securing affordable housing. For women exiting prison, housing is critical for post-release support.


Actions to achieve this

Metrics will include

Enhanced coordination and integration of services relating to housing.

    4.1 Implement a Justice Housing Program to support availability of housing options for eligible detainees on release, including through a model for sentence management prior to release.

Lead: Justice and Community Safety Directorate (JACS)

Successful implementation of a Justice Housing Program including a model for housing support for women post-release.

    4.2 Improve information sharing across ACT Government directorates to help prevent and address housing pathways and homelessness.

Co-Lead: CSD and CMTEDD
All directorates

Long term strategy to improve information sharing across directorates.

Improved housing accessibility and security.

    4.3 Ensure housing pathways exist for women (older women, single parents and families) through working with services providers in the design and delivery of Common Ground (Dickson) and other transitional accommodation and shelters as required.

Lead: CSD
JACS, Health Directorate

Engagement with service providers to establish housing pathways for women for Common Ground (Dickson) and other transitional accommodation and shelters as required.
Women (measuring, where possible, older women, single parents and families) tenanted in the Common Ground (Dickson) property.

    4.4 better meet the needs of victims of domestic and family violence, including issues of economic control; and
  • allow tenants to terminate a tenancy to move into social housing or aged care.
  • Implement tenancy reforms that improve housing security and fairness for tenants, including reforms to:

Lead: JACS

Tenancy reforms partially implemented.


Objective 5: Developing appropriate and accessible services, programs and policies for women and girls, ensuring consideration of those from diverse backgrounds

The accessibility and appropriateness of policies, programs and services is enhanced when service providers consider and respond to the diverse needs and experiences of women and girls.

The consistent collection of disaggregated data is crucial to better inform the impact and responsiveness of policies, services and programs for all women and girls.


Actions to achieve this

Metrics will include

Improved data, research and information collection and availability to inform more gender-responsive policy development, and program and service delivery.

    5.1 Improve consistency of sex, gender identity and sexual orientation data collection, discoverability, sharing and use across the ACT Government.

Lead: CSD
All directorates

Improve the collection of sex, gender identity and sexual orientation intersectional data for all citizen-facing services to enable evidence informed decision making.
Track the wellbeing of women, girls and people who identify as female through the
ACT Government Wellbeing Indicators framework.

Improved gender analysis of ACT Government policies, programs and services.

    5.2 Develop education materials for ACT Government teams on gender analysis and gender responsive budgeting processes.

Lead: CSD

Development and promotion of education materials across government
Increased use of gendered analysis in the development of ACT Government Cabinet and Budget submissions.

Enhanced support for women in prison.

    5.3 Develop a Women Offenders Framework, informed by women with lived prison experience, to guide development of operational planning and strategies for the management and support of women offenders both in custody and supervised in the community.

Lead: JACS

Development of Women’s Offender Framework.

    5.4 Use the Women’s Offenders Framework to inform gender responsive interventions, services and activities that support reducing offending, the different social experience of women and trauma-responsive approaches to services delivery and supports.

Lead: JACS

Improved women’s perceptions of the supports available to them through ACT Corrective Services (ACTCS) observations or survey.
ACTCS consideration of recommendations made by the Inspector of Correctional Services.

Improved consultation and engagement with women from diverse backgrounds, including children and young people, culturally and linguistically diverse communities, older women, women with disability, women who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, and/or queer and acknowledging the critical importance of the connection to Country, Culture and family in this plan for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and girls, to inform policy, program and service development. Ensuring that intersectional views and needs are considered.

    5.5 Ensure analysis of women’s needs are specified in ACT Government community consultation guidelines and frameworks.


Engaging Canberrans framework to include specific components on engaging women, children and young people, culturally and linguistically diverse communities, older people, people with disability, women who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, and/or queer and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Aligns with Strategic Objective 2 from the ACT Multicultural Second Action

Improve response for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women living with domestic and family violence.

    5.6 Work in partnership with community, under the leadership of the Domestic Violence Prevention Council’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Reference Group to address the recommendations from We Don’t Shoot Our Wounded and Change the Future - Share What You Know reports.

Lead: CSD

Development of the co-design of family-centred supports for families impacted by violence (to be led by community). Community supported to lead the co-design.

Increased focus on early intervention and support including enhanced supports available to parents in the early years.

    5.7 Reform the human services system and better focus on early support and wellbeing including enhancing support and connection of parents in the first 1000 days of a child’s life.

Co-Lead: Health, CSD

First days framework developed with planned implementation milestones.
Successful ongoing implementation of the Early Support by Design initiative.