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Australian Public Service Disability Employment Strategy 2020-25

The Australian Public Service Disability Employment Strategy 2020-25 (the Strategy) builds on the achievements of the former strategy As One: Making it Happen, APS Disability Employment Strategy 2016–19 and its evaluation.

The Strategy represents the Australian Government’s continued commitment as an employer to increase the employment of people with disability across the Australian Public Service (APS) to 7% by 2025.

It sets the direction for all public service agencies as employers and focusses on the attraction, recruitment and retention of more people with disability (at all levels within the APS), in addition to creating more accessible and inclusive workplace cultures and environments.

The Strategy is a comprehensive plan for building an inclusive and diverse APS that better reflects the diversity of the Australian community - creating better policies, programs and services for all Australians.

There are two main focus areas:

  • Attract, recruit and retain more people with disability
  • Accessible and inclusive workplace cultures and environments

Increasing employment opportunities and outcomes unlocks improved economic security, independence and well-being for people with disability and their families.

For agencies increasing diversity and having access to a larger talent pool unlocks increased creativity, productivity and morale, encourages greater innovation and flexibility and creates better representation and understanding of the Australian community, which the APS serves.

An online event ‘APS Disability Employment Strategy 2020-25: From intention to action’ was held to launch the Strategy on International Day of People with Disability, Thursday 3 December 2020. The event was held by the Commission with the Department of Social Services and IPPA ACT. Secretary of the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources and Chair of the APS Disability Champions Network, David Fredericks PSM, hosted the event. The keynote address was given by Disability Discrimination Commissioner at the Australian Human Rights Commission, Dr Ben Gauntlett and a panel of APS employees with lived experience of disability took part in a panel discussion examining the Strategy and what it means for the APS and those with lived experience with disability. You can find an accessible recording of the launch event on IPPA's Vimeo channel.

Selection of images from the APS Disability Employment Strategy 2020-25 launch event
Image caption from top left: Secretary of the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources and Chair of the APS Disability Champions Network, David Fredericks PSM; Panellists Daniel Savage, Assistant Director, Diversity and Inclusion at the Department of Social Services (panel chair) Fiona Thornton, Director, People and Culture Division at the Department of Home Affairs, Abby Meyer, Service Delivery - Early Debt Intervention at the Australian Taxation Office (on-screen) and Nathan Hannigan MAHRI, General Manager, People at the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources; Australian Public Service Commissioner, Peter Woolcott AO; Australian Human Rights Commission’s Disability Discrimination Commissioner Dr Ben Gauntlett; Department of Education Skills and Employment technician filming the launch; Minister for Families and Social Services Senator the Hon Anne Ruston; Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister and Cabinet, the Hon Ben Morton MP; Aunty Violet Sheridan and Secretary of the Department of Social Services Kathryn Campbell AO CSC.

The Strategy is an opportunity for the APS to demonstrate strong leadership, to champion best practice in relation to disability employment and work together to create accessible, innovative and inclusive workplaces where all employees are able to perform at their best. It builds on the Australian Government’s commitment to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, including full and effective participation and inclusion in society and equality of opportunity and aligns with the National Disability Strategy.

An easy read version of the Strategy is available for download as a plain text Word version and a PDF version with graphics.

For more information on the Strategy please contact the Inclusion Group at diversity [at] apsc.gov.au.

The Strategy will continue to be administered by the Australian Public Service Commission and implemented in partnership with the Department of Social Services and APS portfolio agencies.

The information below can assist in the employment of people with disability across the APS.

APS Disability Champions and Network

Last reviewed: 
5 February 2021