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Annual Report 2014 - 2015

Workforce diversity and equity

Of 1,046 staff, 165 people disclosed they are from a multicultural background and 36 people disclosed disability.

OBJECTIVE: Supporting our people

Once again, Legal Aid NSW outperformed the NSW Government benchmark of 2.6 per cent for employing Aboriginal staff. We employ 48 Aboriginal staff, which is 4.6 per cent of our total staff, with 20 practising Aboriginal lawyers across all practice areas.

The Aboriginal Employment Strategy for the past three years closed with the majority of actions completed. A new strategy was developed for 2015-2018.

Twice as many staff participated in a survey of staff disabilities compared with the previous survey in 2013.

Following this, we established a staff network on disability. Results from the survey have been used to inform the Diversity Action Plan 2015-2016.

We conducted five training sessions for staff on how to work effectively with the National Relay Service, a phone service helping people with a speech or hearing impairment.

OBJECTIVE: Excellence in legal services

Forty per cent of new appointments to the Specialist Barrister Panel (Criminal Appellate matters) were women this year. Increasing the number of female counsel follows the New South Wales Government Equitable Briefing Policy. Adopting equitable briefing practices can play an important role in the progression of women in the law, the judiciary and the wider community.

OBJECTIVE: Strong partnerships

A new e-learning module on disability awareness was rolled out to staff of Legal Aid NSW, Community Legal Centres, the Aboriginal Legal Service (NSW/ACT), Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Services, and private lawyers. Forty-one staff completed this module.

More detailed EEO information appears in Appendix 2 while Appendix 9 has a summary of performance highlights from the Diversity Action Plan.