Diversity and Inclusion

Commitment to diversity and inclusion is an essential underpinning of the Guide Promise and Law and a fundamental requirement for an organisation seeking to serve the Australian community.

Purpose of the policy

The purpose of the Girl Guides Australia (GGA) Diversity and Inclusion Policy is to:

  • Ensure that GGA and its Member State Girl Guide Organisations (SGGOs) are aware of, and adhere to their obligations in respect of anti-discrimination law
  • Signal the commitment of Australian Guiding to diversity and inclusion that benefits Australian Guiding and the Australian community.

This document does not limit the powers or duties of GGA.

Background

As an organisation with a mission to empower girls and young women to grow into confident, self-respecting, responsible community members, Girl Guiding in Australia is committed to providing a respectful, open and safe environment where:

  • All people are treated equitably and with mutual respect regardless of their background, ethnicity, culture, language, beliefs, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, socio-economic status, level of ability, additional needs, family structure or lifestyle
  • Inclusive practices actively support diversity and counteract bias and prejudice.

Scope

The owner of this Policy is the Board of Girl Guides Australia.

This policy recognises the shared roles and responsibilities of all stakeholders of Guiding in Australia, including GGA, SGGOs, Guiding Members, Volunteers and Employees in supporting diversity and inclusion in Australian Guiding and requires that all uphold the highest standards of equity and respect for all persons.

SGGOs are required to ensure that all relevant State based policies and procedures are consistent with this Policy.

 

POLICY

Overview

Commitment to diversity and inclusion is an essential underpinning of the Guide Promise and Law and a fundamental requirement for an organisation seeking to serve the Australian community.

GGA and SGGOs are committed to providing equitable access to opportunities and resources in Guiding and to actively working to remove barriers to participation.

GGA and SGGOs welcome and will not discriminate against any Member or non-member based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital status, family status, mental or physical ability, health status, educational background or socioeconomic status, except where specific exclusions are necessary and permitted by law.

GGA and SGGOs encourage self-awareness, awareness of others and personal development. They promote and create environments where all people feel safe, respected and supported; and where they are able to learn, work, thrive and participate as fully as possible in their capacity as Members, Volunteers, Supporters and Employees.

 

Membership and permitted exclusions

Membership of GGA and SGGOs is limited to girls and women. Under the terms of this policy, ‘girls and women’ includes persons who identify as, and live their lives as, females. For the purposes of Australian Guiding membership, non-female gender is a lawfully permitted basis for denying membership.

 GGA and SGGOs are committed to child safety and wellbeing and working to create a child safe environment in Guiding. Prospective Adult Members will be subject to the relevant State’s Working With Children Check (WWCC) and/or National Police Check (NPC), as applicable. An adverse outcome for a WWCC or NPC shall be a lawfully permitted basis for denying Guiding membership.

 GGA and SGGOs are committed to providing girls and women of all abilities access to opportunity and resources in Guiding. GGA and SGGOs also prioritise their duty of care for Members, Volunteers, Supporters and Employees at all times.

To protect the safety and wellbeing of Members, Volunteers, Supporters and Employees, GGA and SGGOs reserve the right to refuse, or lawfully limit an individual’s participation in programs or activities where that individual’s participation constitutes an unjustifiable risk to themselves and/or others in the circumstances.

 

Inclusive practice

GGA and SGGOs are committed to identifying any barriers to inclusion and actively implementing solutions and strategies to address these. These include recruitment and selection procedures that aim to recruit Employees and Volunteers who are fully committed to diversity and inclusion and able to uphold the principles of this Policy. Our expectations are included in our Code of Conduct.

Where necessary, GGA and SGGOs will provide guidelines and training in inclusive practice to ensure that matters such as communication, recruitment, service delivery, membership services, policy implementation and the general day-to-day business of GGA adhere to high standards of support for diversity and inclusion.

For limited guidance on supporting disability inclusion, cultural and linguistic diversity, mental and physical health needs and gender diversity, refer to the separate document Guidance to Support Diversity and Inclusion in Guiding.

 

Supporting Documentation

The Diversity and Inclusion Policy and the accompanying procedure and guidance notes recognise the broad array of females who benefit from Girl Guides and encourages us, as members of Guiding, to proactively aim for inclusive practices:

GGA Diversity and Inclusion Procedures 

GGA Guidance to Support Diversity and Inclusion in Guiding

 

Legislation and Standards

GGA and SGGOs will at all times comply with relevant Commonwealth and State and Territory anti-discrimination legislation and standards:

Commonwealth legislation

  • Age Discrimination Act 2004
  • Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986
  • Disability Discrimination Act 1992
  • Racial Discrimination Act 1975
  • Sex Discrimination Act 1984

State and Territory legislation

  • Australian Capital Territory – Discrimination Act 1991
  • New South Wales – Anti-Discrimination Act 1977
  • Northern Territory – Anti-Discrimination Act 1996
  • Queensland – Anti-Discrimination Act 1991
  • South Australia – Equal Opportunity Act 1984
  • Tasmania – Anti-Discrimination Act 1998
  • Victoria – Equal Opportunity Act 2010
  • Western Australia – Equal Opportunity Act 1984

 

Definitions and Abbreviations
TermDefinition/Abbreviation
BoardThe Board of Girl Guides Australia
EmployeeAny individual employed by Girl Guides Australia or a State Girl Guide Organisation
GenderThe way in which a person identifies or expresses their feminine or masculine characteristics. A person’s gender identity or gender expression is not always exclusively male or female and may or may not correspond to their sex.[1]
Gender identityA person’s deeply held internal and individual sense of gender.[2]
Adult MemberCurrent financial Member of SGGO or GGA, 18 years of age or over.
State Girl Guide OrganisationsThe state-based Girl Guide organisations in Australia. Namely, Girl Guides New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory, Girl Guides Northern Territory, Girl Guides Queensland, Girl Guides South Australia, Girl Guides Tasmania, Girl Guides Victoria and Girl Guides Western Australia.
SupporterAn irregular volunteer supporter of Guiding activities. Supporters who provide regular ongoing support are considered Volunteers.
VolunteerA person doing unpaid work for or on behalf of GGA or a SGGO.
Youth MemberCurrent financial Members of SGGO under 18 years of age.

[1] Australian Human Rights Commission, 2011, Addressing sexual orientation and sex and/or gender identity discrimination: Consultation Report

[2] Ibid.

 

Last Modified: 06/09/18 at 1:14 PM