Diversity and inclusion are critical to our mission. We need to bring a wealth of perspectives to our work and believe that, in protecting Australia and our way of life, liberal and inclusive values must be central to our mission and our work.

Our difference is our strength

We can only deliver for the Australian Government if we attract and employ brilliant staff, no matter their background or life experience. We need to nurture and sustain an inclusive and vigorous culture that values difference and champions contestability, allowing new ideas and innovation to flourish. Our mission requires us to reflect and draw upon the rich diversity of talent in Australia today and to provide a place where people can do their best work in service of the nation.

We want the best minds in Australia to work at the Office of National Intelligence and to spark one another’s creativity. We know this will only be the case if we encourage and seek out greater diversity and if we create a culture where all can thrive.

Andrew Shearer
Director-General of National Intelligence

We are proud of what we have achieved so far, but we know we still have a way to go. We want to be an organisation that reflects the world in which we live. We are committed to being a truly equal and inclusive workplace that values ability, aptitude and a culture of contestability where the full diversity of views and perspectives is represented and respected.

Nina chatting with an employee

Our approach to diversity

We know we need more diversity in its broadest context. Our work requires imagination, vision and unconventional ways of seeing problems and solutions. These depend upon bringing together a wealth of different perspectives, insights and ways of thinking from across cultural and linguistic backgrounds, genders, sexual orientation, age, disability and different forms of neurodiversity.

We currently have a broadly equal proportion of male and female staff. Women comprise around 52% of all ONI staff and 35% of our Senior Executive Service (including 50% of our Band 3 level and 43% of our Band 2 level officers). We are committed to achieving and maintaining a close-to-50% gender balance between males and females in our Senior Executive Service cohort and at a branch level.

We are also working to improve gender equality across the broader national security and intelligence communities. We have partnered with the Australian National University's National Security College on providing National Intelligence Community scholarships for women undertaking postgraduate national security studies. We participate in the Women in Law Enforcement Strategy (WILES) program and similar intelligence-focused mentoring initiatives. We are a partner employer in the Future Women Jobs Academy(Opens in a new tab/window).

We are working to build other forms of representation and participation. We're continually trying new initiatives in our recruitment and talent management to ensure we get the best mix of people into and throughout our organisation. We support RecruitAbility, a scheme which aims to attract and develop applicants with disability and also facilitates cultural changes in selection panels and agency recruitment. We offer workplace adjustment process for people with disabilities, health conditions and neurodiversities.

Our approach to inclusion

Our staff give their all in their work. So we want them to bring all of themselves to work. It is vital for us that our people feel confident in expressing themselves, in putting forward bold new ideas and in challenging and contesting others' views.

This is why we foster a vigorous and inclusive culture where ideas, not people, are judged and tested. We are focused on practising inclusive and accountable leadership at all levels and strengthening diversity and inclusion literacy across our organisation.

This starts at the top of the organisation with our Senior Executive Service inclusion and diversity champions and extends down through our support networks to initiatives for all staff, including inclusion events, campaigns and training. We also structure our analytical and contestability discussions to be non-hierarchical and ensure all can contribute equally to testing and generating ideas.

We are committed to ensuring First Nations voices and perspectives are included and heard in our organisation. We are working on a new Reconciliation Action Plan that will outline our vision and actions for reconciliation and how we will celebrate and respect the knowledge, understanding and experience of the custodians of the oldest living cultures in the world.

Learn more about how we support our staff

We are committed to providing a safe and collegial workplace where staff feel valued and supported.

Help safeguard Australia and shape the future of intelligence.