Recommendation 2: Bearing witness, learning through listening and acknowledging through restorative justice
Ambulance Victoria should:
- as soon as practicable following the publication of Volume I of this final report and subject to the provision of appropriate, dedicated funding, establish an independent restorative engagement scheme for current and former employees and first responders who have experienced past discrimination, sexual harassment, bullying and victimisation at the Ambulance Victoria, to be administered by an appropriate external provider and operate for 18 months from when it commences
- co-design the scheme with representatives of the scheme administrator, current and former members of the workforce, the various unions and professional associations and the Department of Health, applying the principles of restorative justice and victim-centred approaches to responding to unlawful and harmful workplace conduct and aligned with leading practice and lessons learned from restorative approaches within emergency services and other contexts
- select members of the Executive Committee and other senior leaders to participate in the scheme and facilitate training for them in how to apply the principles of restorative justice and victim-centred approaches
- together with the various unions and professional associations, promote the scheme widely to current and former employees and first responders
- report regularly to the workforce on the de-identified outcomes of the scheme.
What we are doing
- Identify providers of restorative engagement schemes and the different models available
- Co-design the scope and elements of the scheme with the selected provider
- Define criteria for selecting leaders to participate in the scheme and provide appropriate training
- Determine funding arrangements
- Report regularly to the workforce on the de-identified outcomes of the scheme
Where we are up to
On 5 July 2023, the Victorian Government announced that the Department of Justice and Community Safety will start work to design options for an independent restorative engagement scheme for AV, in collaboration with our people, the unions and the Department of Health.
This scheme will enable people who have experienced historical workplace harm to share their story with a senior leader, be heard and agree actions to address the harm. It also provides an important opportunity for our organisation to listen, learn, be accountable and enable change.
The Department of Justice and Community Safety will advise government on options for the scheme by the end of the year. The scheme itself is expected to launch in 2024 and run for at least 18 months. It will open to current and former employees and volunteers who have experienced discrimination, sexual harassment, bullying and / or victimisation from 1 July 2008.
- In late June 2022, AV received expert advice from one of Victoria’s foremost experts in restorative justice that identified providers and models of restorative justice schemes, as well as leading practice strategies to select and effectively prepare senior leaders to participate in the scheme as representatives of the organisation.
- In August 2022, AV met with some providers to better understand the restorative justice services they provide.
- AV is currently completing detailed planning and taking steps to engage an independent provider to progress the co-design of a restorative justice scheme for AV.
- Informed by expert advice from one of Victoria’s foremost experts in restorative justice, AV has:
- identified several providers of restorative justice schemes
- the different models and approaches available
- leading practice strategies to select and effectively prepare senior leaders to participate in the scheme as representatives of the organisation.
Shared with our Steering Committee and our Staff Reference Group, this advice has provided an evidence-based foundation to inform AV’s decision about which independent provider and model to select.
- AV is planning to meet with some providers to better understand how they would support the co-design, and lead the set up and operation, of a restorative justice scheme for AV. Together with the expert advice already received, this will enable AV to determine our preferred provider and support subsequent discussions with the Victorian Department of Health.
Co-design: FY23 Q3
Establishment of scheme: FY24