View Document

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (Staff) Policy

This is the current version of this document. To view historic versions, click the link in the document's navigation bar.

This policy will undergo a comprehensive review including staff consultation in 2024 as part of the consultation planned to develop an equity, diversity and inclusion strategy and framework for the University. If you have any questions about the planned review, please lodge an Ask HR ticket.

Section 1 - Key Information

Policy Type and Approval Body Administrative – Vice-Chancellor
Accountable Executive – Policy Executive Director, Human Resources
Responsible Manager – Policy Director, Capability and Culture
Review Date 8 May 2027
Top of Page

Section 2 - Purpose

(1) The purpose of this Policy is to outline La Trobe University’s (the University) commitment to foster a culture of equity, diversity and inclusion. Through this policy we are committed to providing a safe, inclusive and respectful environment where every individual is valued, respected and provided with opportunities to thrive.

(2) This Policy is aligned with the La Trobe University Enterprise Agreement 2023 (Enterprise Agreement) and the University’s equity, diversity and inclusion related policies, action plans and strategies and all applicable legislation, as outlined in this Policy.

Top of Page

Section 3 - Scope

(3) This Policy applies to:

  1. All staff
  2. Contractors
  3. CONAGOTHS (Consultant, Agency or Other)
Top of Page

Section 4 - Key Decisions

Key Decisions  Role
Decisions on the strategic direction of equity, diversity and inclusion at the University Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI) Committee
Introducing new or updating existing equity, diversity and inclusion policies, strategies and programs of work Portfolio areas responsible for equity, diversity and inclusion in consultation, as required with stakeholders, staff and the EDI committee.
Local application of equity, diversity and inclusion policies Managers and staff
Top of Page

Section 5 - Policy Statement

(4) All staff have the right to be treated equally, fairly and respectfully regardless of their background or identity. The University acknowledges intersectionality and diverse experiences of disadvantage and is committed to fostering an inclusive environment that recognises the complexities of diversity and addresses inequalities. Through designing and implementing policies, programs and initiatives, the University is committed to identifying and removing barriers and promoting equal opportunity and inclusion for all members of the University community.

(5) La Trobe’s key diversity and inclusion objectives are to:

  1. Promote Diversity: Build a workforce that reflects the diversity of the communities we serve, encompassing individuals from diverse range of backgrounds, identities and experiences. By supporting a diverse workforce, we aim to cultivate a high performing workforce that thrives.
  2. Foster Inclusion: Prioritise creating an inclusive and respectful workplace culture characterised by respect, engagement, collaboration, flexibility and innovation. We aim to ensure all employees feel valued, empowered and supported to perform to their full potential. By fostering inclusion we maximise the benefits of diversity resulting in enhanced problem solving, innovation and overall organisational success.  
  3. Embed Equity, Diversity & Inclusion: we are committed to integrating equity, diversity and inclusion into all aspects of our organisational structures, processes, strategic and operational plans. Our leaders are accountable for driving and supporting the implementation of equity, diversity and inclusion initiatives and outcomes and staff at all levels are responsible for fostering a culture that embraces diversity and upholds equity and inclusion as fundamental principles.

(6) As part of our commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion, La Trobe aims to practise and abide by the following in our everyday activities:

  1. Respect the rights and interests of the communities in which we operate and individuals with whom we interact;
  2. Treat all staff (and external colleagues and partners) with respect and dignity;
  3. Promote and foster equal opportunity for everyone, including individuals from under-represented and marginalised groups, utilising targeted initiatives to improve opportunities for individuals from within these groups;
  4. Eliminating bias through analysing and updating our systems and processes to ensure all staff have equal opportunities to fully participate in the workforce and progress their careers; ensuring that our systems and processes do not create barriers for staff;
  5. Implement appropriate, effective and flexible practices across all stages of the employment lifecycle to enhance the recruitment, development, advancement and retention of staff from diverse backgrounds;
  6. Embed inclusion and equity while recognising intersectionality when developing, reviewing and updating people and equity, diversity and inclusion strategies, policies and procedures;
  7. To take proactive and preventative measures to maintain a workplace that is free from all forms of unacceptable and unlawful conduct including bullying, harassment, vilification, victimisation, violence and discrimination. La Trobe unequivocally condemns discrimination and harassment. The University’s Workplace Behaviours Policy outlines the University’s commitment to equal opportunity and appropriate workplace behaviours to create a healthy, safe and inclusive workplace, free from all forms of unacceptable behaviour.

Legal Obligations

(7) This Policy operates within the context of the Enterprise Agreement, University policies and relevant legislation, including the:

  1. Equal Opportunity Act 2010 (Vic)
  2. Gender Equality Act 2020 (Vic)
  3. Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012 (Cth)
  4. Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth) and Respect at Work Amendment Act 2022 (Cth
  5. Age Discrimination Act 2004 (Cth)
  6. Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Cth)
  7. Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth)
  8. Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth)

Complaints, Concerns and Support

(8) Through the University Workplace Issue Resolution (Staff) Procedure and support services provided by Human Resources and Safer Community, staff have access to confidential mechanisms to report concerning, threatening and inappropriate behaviour. Staff who experience or witness inappropriate workplace behaviour are encouraged to report this behaviour to Safer Community via email: or through the Safer Community online report.

(9) Staff experiencing and witnessing inappropriate behaviour or making disclosures are able to access wellbeing support services through the University Staff Wellbeing Connect and the Employee Assistance Program.

Compliance and Reporting

(10) The University will:

  1. meet legal compliance obligations;
  2. meet regulatory reporting requirements including reporting to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency and the Commission for Gender Equality in the Public Sector (Vic);
  3. address and rectify compliance breaches;
  4. establish, monitor, evaluate and report on equity, diversity and inclusion progress.

(11) The collection and use of personal information related to workforce diversity demographic data will be managed in line with the University’s record management practices, the University Privacy Policy and in accordance with the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 and the Health Records Act 2001. Anyone who has concerns about breaches in their privacy can contact the University Privacy Officer via

Expectations of Staff

(12) Staff are entitled to a workplace free from unacceptable behaviour including all forms of discrimination, harassment, bullying, victimisation, violence and other forms of unacceptable behaviour as deemed by La Trobe and as detailed in the Workplace Behaviours Policy.

(13) The University expects all staff at all levels to:

  1. behave professionally at all times and with respect and consideration for others;
  2. abide by La Trobe’s Code of Conduct;
  3. familiarise themselves with and abide by the Workplace Behaviours Policy and Workplace Issue Resolution (Staff) Procedure;
  4. participate in specialised equity, diversity and inclusion training as required and support equity, diversity and inclusion initiatives.
Top of Page

Section 6 - Procedures

(14) Nil.

Top of Page

Section 7 - Definitions

(15) For the purpose of this Policy:

  1. Discrimination: refers to the unfair or unequal treatment of individuals or groups based on certain characteristics or attributes, often resulting in disadvantages or harmful outcomes for the targeted individuals.
  2. Diversity: is about what makes people unique and can include an infinite range of characteristics, backgrounds, personality, life experiences and beliefs. It is a combination of our differences that shape our view of the world, our perspective and our approach. Diversity is about recognising, respecting and valuing differences.
  3. Equal Opportunity: refers to the principle or practice of treating all individuals fairly and without discrimination, ensuring that everyone has an equal chance to succeed, regardless of their background, characteristics, or circumstances.
  4. Equity: refers to the fair treatment, access and opportunities for all individuals, regardless of their background or circumstances. It involves recognising and addressing disparities or barriers that may exist due to systemic discrimination, historical injustices, or unequal distribution of resources. Equity aims to ensure that everyone has what they need to thrive and succeed, taking into account their unique circumstances and needs. It goes beyond equality by actively working to level the playing field and promote fairness and justice in society.
  5. Inclusion: refers to creating an environment where all individuals feel valued, respected and supported, regardless of their differences. It involves actively welcoming and embracing diversity, and ensuring that everyone has equal access to opportunities, resources and can bring their full self to work. Inclusion fosters a sense of belonging, acceptance and empowerment among all members of a community or organisation.
  6. Intersectionality: refers to the idea that different aspects of a person’s identity can expose them to overlapping forms of discrimination and marginalisation. Intersectionality calls for policies and interventions that consider the needs and experiences of people with multiple marginalised identities rather than applying a one size fits all approach.
Top of Page

Section 8 - Authority and Associated Information

(16) Associated information includes:

  1. La Trobe University Enterprise Agreement 2023
  2. Code of Conduct
  3. Disability Policy
  4. Flexible Work Policy
  5. Gender Equity Policy, Gender Equality Action Plan 2021-2025 and Science Australian Gender Equity (SAGE) Silver Action Plan 2022-2025
  6. Indigenous Strategy 2022-2030
  7. Parental Leave Entitlements Policy
  8. Sexual Harm Prevention and Response Policy
  9. Trans and Gender Diverse Staff Support Policy
  10. Workplace Adjustments (intranet)
  11. Workplace Behaviours Policy
  12. Workplace Issue Resolution (Staff) Procedure