The summary research paper, by Professor Meredith Nash, was commissioned by the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD) to help us improve our approach to diversity, equity and inclusion and we have accepted all the recommendations.

The study involved past and present participants from head office and Kingston and I am deeply concerned by the experiences describe at our workplaces where people have been sexually harassed, discriminated against and excluded.

You can read the study and statements from the Minister and Secretary.

It doesn’t matter how many people may have experienced this behaviour – we know that underreporting is almost certainly a factor – the fact that anyone at all experiences this treatment is not ok.

The Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water is now engaging a specialist to help us achieve best practice in diversity, equity and inclusion. The work will centre on reviewing AAD’s progress and actions to date and provide advice on best practice systems and policies for supporting staff across the Department to make a complaint if they experience inappropriate behaviour.

We have much to celebrate at AAD. We are leaders in Antarctic science, logistics and the Treaty system.

We must also become leaders in inclusion and respect.

An inclusive culture is one where everyone has the same access to opportunities and is valued, included and safe no matter who they are or what group they may be part of.

Significant progress has already been made to implement Professor Nash’s recommendations. Specialists in organisational culture continue to work with us to develop an action plan of training, policy and behaviour that will help us build a culture where everyone is respected and included.

I am aware that talking about these issues can raise deeply held feelings for people.

Support is available to current and former AAP program participants, including those from all affiliated agencies, contractors, staff, and immediate family members.

Kim Ellis
Director, Australian Antarctic Division

Anybody seeking to report or discuss a matter of concern can engage with the Department’s Integrity Team.

Matters referred to Integrity are managed confidentially, sensitively, and in accordance with DCCEEW’s complaints handling processes. People have the choice to raise matters with anonymity.