In 2022, the PHN developed its 2022-2025 Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging Strategy. The strategy is critical to delivering the PHN’s community, workforce and cultural objectives and aligns to the PHN’s strategic purpose of “keeping people well in our communities through innovation, performance, collaboration and local engagement.” Informed by the National Agreement on Closing the Gap and referencing the PHN’s Values, team capability framework and staff; the strategy is a key deliverable within the PHN’s People & Culture team.
HNECC PHN Chief Executive Officer, Richard Nankervis said of the Strategy “we are challenging ourselves to ensure that diversity and inclusion are at the heart of our workforce, our culture, and our actions. The three-year strategic guide will assist the PHN to further develop our inclusive culture by defining goals, actions, and targets.”
The Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging Strategy includes a continued focus on First Nations Peoples, Culturally & Linguistically Diverse groups, and other priority groups defined by Age, Gender, Carer status and LGBTQIA+ identification.
A highlight since the strategy launch has been the development of the PHN’s internal LGBTQIA+ Ally Collaborative. This group acts to promote an inclusive work environment where Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer employees and their families are accepted and valued and enjoy a workplace free of prejudice and discrimination. The volunteer employee-led group endorsed the PHN’s 2022 & 2023 ACON Pride in Health & Wellbeing Membership and LGBTQIA+ awareness training for staff. Collaborative co-Chair, Charles Broadfoot, was recognised for his efforts with his work peers in establishing the collaborative and was recognised with a 2023 Australian Pride in Health + Wellbeing Award.
The strategy has also initiated an accessibility review across all four PHN offices to support the access and inclusion of people living with disability. The strategy acknowledges that employees living with a disability should feel valued and be treated equally and with respect. The lived experience and knowledge of employees living with a disability contributes significantly towards the design and delivery of the PHN’s commissioned services, and the strategy supports the PHN in its objective of making full accessibility a reality for all staff and visitors.
Another successful initiative related to the development of the Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging Strategy, is the First Nations Collective, an employee-formed and led group that contributes First Nations voices to the development of both internal and external PHN projects. Enshrined in the PHN’s First Nations Health and Wellness Framework, these voices have informed key priorities for the PHN to engage with First Nations communities, to partner in improving care, and to build First Nations cultural responsiveness.