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Intersectionality, artworks and puppies!

From its own take on the popular ABC documentary ‘You Can’t Ask That’, to a rotating in-house art exhibition, the Department of Communications and the Arts is using its creative bent to promote diversity and inclusion in novel ways.

“We want to learn from and engage with people who reflect our community”, said Senior HR Advisor, Lukas Sigut. A great example of this is the spin-off video they created, ‘You Can Ask That’, starring staff members from the department’s Indigenous Staff Network.

Among the laugh out loud moments, the video conveys important messages about what it means to be Indigenous, the importance of NAIDOC Week and staying connected to culture. You can watch the video here: https://www.communications.gov.au/who-we-are/department/diversity.

Another example is an event hosted by the department’s Pride and Allies, Indigenous Staff and Gender Equality networks that highlighted the intersectionality of diversity. Aretha Brown, a queer Gumbaynggir woman, provided an insight into her life as a queer, Indigenous person and opened the audience’s eyes to real life experiences of racism, sexism and homophobia. 

For International Guide Dog Day, the department invited Guide Dogs NSW/ACT to talk about their puppy training and raising program, including a demonstration by puppies showing off their new skills. There were key takeaways on Guide Dog etiquette and strategies for improved communication with blind or vision impaired people.

The department also hosted four ‘IGNITE:7’ exhibitions from the Belconnen Arts Centre, a contemporary and innovative arts collective for artists with disability. The department now has a permanent space in its Canberra office for displaying rotating artwork by people living with a disability.

To find out more about these initiatives, email diversityandinclusion [at] communications.gov.au.