As One: Australian Public Service Disability Employment Strategy

Last updated: 14 May 2012

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As One: working together to transform the APS workforce

For most of our 165,000 employees based throughout metropolitan and regional areas in Australia and overseas the Australian Public Service (APS) is a great employer. We have a wide variety of jobs on offer – accountants, biologists, customer service officers, policy advisers, graphic designers, lawyers and IT specialists just to name a few. We also have a strong and well-publicised set of values, working conditions that emphasise work-life balance and a strong focus on career development and progression.

Like many other public administrations around the world, the APS is facing an ever-tightening financial climate. Our workforce is ageing, the labour market is shrinking and we are under greater pressure to do more with less. A diverse workforce is vital to our ability to respond to these challenges. The rationale is that if we represent the Australian population's diversity we are better placed to communicate with the broadest cross-section of the community, understand their different needs and work out how best to serve them.

This strategy responds to the National Disability Strategy (NDS) that was launched in February 2011. A key policy objective of the NDS is to improve the workforce participation of people with a disability across Australia. To be implemented over the period 2012–2014, the As One strategy will renew and refocus our attention and ensure a consistent approach is adopted.

It has two parts:

  • At its core is the transformation of heart and mind, awakening the APS to the benefits of diversity. It sets out to change the way people think about disability.
  • It aims to give our employees the opportunities and know-how to create a diverse workforce. This involves new and improved tools, procedures and systems.

It has been prepared in consultation with key stakeholder groups, including employees with disability, APS leaders and hiring managers, peak bodies and private sector organisations, using a range of consultation channels, and has drawn on international experience and insight.Feedback was consistent across all stakeholder groups and spanned the employment lifecycle of people with disability. We should:

  • improve the accountability and commitment of APS leaders
  • increase agency demand for candidates with disability
  • improve recruitment practices to enable more candidates with disability to enter the APS
  • foster inclusive cultures that support and encourage employees with disability.

The As One: Australian Public Service Disability Employment Strategy is available in Braille or other alternative formats on request. Please email abilityatwork@apsc.gov.au.


The Hon Gary Gray, AO MP, Minister for Public Service and Integrity : As One – APS Disability Employment Strategy Launch

Steve Sedgwick AO, Public Service Commissioner : Launch of the As One strategy