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Terms of reference


The purpose of the APS Disability Champions Network is to:

  • bring together senior level advocates to focus on disability employment matters of strategic and APS-wide importance
  • empower employees to raise substantive and systemic issues for consideration by the Champions Network, and
  • pilot and contribute to solutions to provide employment equity for employees with disability.


The role of the APS Disability Champions Network is to:

  • explore new ideas that lead to better employment outcomes for employees with disability
  • promote and facilitate the sharing of good practice and collaboration between agencies such as joint implementation of initiatives
  • develop mechanisms to consult with and involve employees on issues that affect them
  • improve the visibility of diversity, as it relates to employees with disability, within APS agencies, and
  • heighten acceptance of the business case for engaging, retaining and promoting employees with disability.

The role of the Disability Champion is to:

  • champion equal access and inclusion for people with disability in the agency
  • advocate good practice relating to employment policies and processes
  • provide leadership to drive disability-related employment initiatives and organisational change to create workplaces that value and support people with disability
  • commit to understanding the barriers and representing the rights of employees with disability across the agency and the APS more broadly
  • attend and speak at internal and external events promoting the inclusion of people with disability
  • attend Disability Champion Network and other relevant events, and
  • provide high level endorsement and support to the agency’s disability and carers employee network, including support for practical solutions identified.


Disability Champions are normally senior leaders within an agency.

Members should attend personally wherever possible. If you wish to send a proxy please advise the Secretariat.

The APSC has developed an Orientation Pack Framework to assist in onboarding new Champions. The Framework provides background information for Disability Champions and is designed for agencies to tailor the document to suit their needs. To request a copy of the APS Disability Champions Orientation Pack Framework please diversity [at] apsc.gov.au (contact the Secretariat).

Meetings and Secretariat

The Network meets quarterly.

The Chair of the Network convenes meetings and is supported by the Secretariat. The Network Chair will pass on the role to an active colleague when appropriate.

The APSC provides secretariat support for the Network. The Secretariat can be contacted via diversity [at] apsc.gov.au.

2019 meetings - minutes

2018 meetings - minutes

2018 APS Disability Champions Network meetings are chaired by Dr Heather Smith, Secretary, Department of Industry, Innovation and Science.

2017 meetings - minutes

2017 APS Disability Champions Network meetings are chaired by Chris Moraitis, Secretary, Attorney-General’s Department.

Meetings are hosted by volunteering agencies.

For further details contact the Secretariat at diversity [at] apsc.gov.au.

Video: The role of Disability Champions

This video can also be played directly from YouTube, where safety mode can be disabled by selecting the appropriate options at the bottom of the YouTube page.

Disability champions and diversity champions discuss their role of being the senior advocate who is responsible for disability issues within their organisations.

Special thanks

Special thanks to the following people for contributing to the The role of Disability Champions video:

  • Dr Ian Watt AO, Secretary, Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet*.
  • Carmel McGregor, Deputy Secretary, Department of Defence*.
  • David Parker AM, Deputy Secretary, Department of the Environment*.
  • Michael Pini, Senior Tax Counsel, Australian Taxation Office*.
  • Phillip Glyde, Deputy Secretary, Department of Agriculture*.
  • Samantha Palmer, First Assistant Secretary, Department of Health*.
  • Mark Sweeney, Branch Manager - Operations People and Culture National Disability Insurance Agency*

*Position at April 2015

Last reviewed: 
20 November 2019