FOR the first time ever all Victorian Government department staff are now members of Pride in Diversity (PID)- Australia’s first and only national not-for-profit employer support program for LGBTI workplace inclusion.

PID’s national social inclusion program counts some of the nation’s top organisations, businesses, governments as its members and will now include the entire Victorian Public Service and its 30,000 employees.

The Victorian Government is the first jurisdiction in Australia to have all departments individually covered by PID’s LGBTI inclusion program and the Victorian public sector’s Pride Network Chair, Elise Cafarella, said making these connections across the public sector has been crucial.

“Connecting LGBTI staff and their allies is a key part of supporting the Victorian public sector to become more inclusive and LGBTI-friendly,” she said.

“It’s great to see regional public sector bodies like Southern Rural Water joining Pride in Diversity. Through the network we’re driving LGBTI employee engagement and inclusion across metro and regional agencies, including through our recent participation at Daylesford’s ChillOut Festival,” Ms Cafarella said.

Dawn Hough, ACON’s Pride Inclusion Programs director, said “this is a significant milestone for the Victorian Public Service, and demonstrates collaborative leadership from a whole of government perspective.”

Chris Eccles, Secretary of the Department of Premier and Cabinet (DPC), said he was proud to be the Executive Champion leading LGBTI inclusion within the department, and working with Secretaries to lead LGBTI inclusion across government.

“All Victorian Government departments are committed to supporting employee diversity initiatives. Leading the public sector at Pride March is one way we are showing our support for our people and recognising the importance of Victoria’s LGBTI community,” he said.

Australia’s first Gender and Sexuality Commissioner, Rowena Allen, said while the task ahead is significant, work has commenced with rural communities, government and the corporate world to improve services and support for the LGBTI community.

“I am immensely proud of the leadership shown by our departments and public sector agencies – it’s an honour to be leading this vital change across our communities,” she said.

The Victorian Government is the first jurisdiction in Australia to have all departments individually covered by Pride in Diversity’s LGBTI inclusion program with the Victorian public sector’s Pride Network Chair, Elise Cafarella, says that making these connections across the public sector has been crucial.

“Connecting LGBTI staff and their allies is a key part of supporting the Victorian public sector to become more inclusive and LGBTI-friendly,” she said.

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