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Recommendation 9: Introduce workplace contact officers and establish a local champions network

The recommendation

Ambulance Victoria should:

  1. reintroduce Workplace Equality Contact Officers, embedded in each region and, in doing so:
    1. develop new, standard Position Descriptions detailing their role and invite expressions of interest from operational and corporate staff, encouraging people of diverse backgrounds to apply
    2. support the selected Contact Officers to access regular, quality training and resources on the Equal Opportunity Act and related laws and participate in communities of practice and other forums to keep abreast of changes in the law and emerging leading practice
    3. establish an internal network of Contact Officers that meets regularly
    4. actively and regularly promote the names and contact information of Contact Officers to the workforce and ensure this information is updated regularly.
  2. implement a Champions of Change model to drive the reforms needed in the organisation to foster and maintain a culture of safety and equality in the workplace.

What we are doing

  • Co-design and implement a new Contact Officer model
  • Select, train and regularly promote the new Contact Officer network, supported by the Contact Officer Coordinator
  • Select and support your Ambulance Victoria champions

Where we are up to

  • AV has undertaken initial planning to support the reintroduction of contact officers so that our workforce can reach out to trusted and trained peers for advice if they’ve experienced or witnessed unlawful or harmful conduct. On 27 April 2022, at AV’s request, the Victorian Equal Opportunity & Human Rights Commission provided a memorandum detailing leading practice Contact Officer models, to inform and support the implementation of Recommendation 9(a). Further work to reintroduce Contact Officers will be prioritised once the new Contact Officer Coordinator has started.
  • In early 2022, AV set up an Equality & Workplace Reform Staff Reference Group (SRG) to represents the voice of the workforce, performing a critical role in helping to shape the way we approach to the reforms to create a safe, fair and inclusive organisation. Chaired by the Executive Director, Equality & Workplace Reform, the 14 members of the SRG have met monthly since March 2022. Five Staff Reference Group members also sit as SRG representatives on the Equality & Workplace Reform Steering Committee, and all SRG members have played a broader leadership role championing the reforms and supporting other employees and first responders to contribute to the reforms.

Timeframe

To be confirmed

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