Aboriginal Affairs Joint Consultative Committee update - Public Service Association

Aboriginal Affairs Joint Consultative Committee update

Your PSA Delegates Ida, Ross and Carlo and PSA Acting Industrial Manager Simon Van Vegchel attended a Joint Consultative Committee (JCC) meeting on 21 June 2023. The meeting was with the Deputy Secretary Shane Hamilton, representatives from People, Culture and Talent (PCT), and Director, Strategy Tony Lloyd, who presented updates on the Functional Review.

No new information was shared beyond what was also shared with Aboriginal Affairs staff in the yarning session led by the Deputy Secretary on 21 June 2023. The Director, Strategy confirmed that the draft organisational structure of Aboriginal Affairs will be shared for consultation on 20 July 2023.

Delegates raised the key matters members nominated as main concerns at previous member meetings, which are yet to see sufficient action. One strong focus within this was Work Health and Safety (WHS), predominantly psychosocial risk and hazards for all staff, particularly those in the regions, and those working with exposure to historical trauma.

The Deputy Secretary committed to developing a tailored strategy for Aboriginal Affairs, focused on mitigating psychosocial risk and improved mental health and wellbeing. He indicated this strategy would not be focused only compliance with the WHS Act but is part of a focus on changing and improving Aboriginal Affairs’ systems, processes, and culture.

Other discussions focused on failures of the grievance process, specifically regarding bullying, the number of Aboriginal-identified roles in the agency, and continued issues with job security. HR committed to producing an up-to-date organisational chart for the delegate group and the Deputy Secretary and Director, Strategy indicated the intention is to improve job security through the Functional Review.

Overall, the Deputy Secretary acknowledged and agreed that any proposed structure in the Functional Review will not solve all issues in Aboriginal Affairs, and that there is still other considerable work to do to get the workforce to where it wants to be.

Another JCC meeting is set for a month’s time; likely to be 18 July. We will hold a meeting for members between now and then to ensure we are prepared to go into the next meeting with members’ concerns in mind.

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