Statistician had the numbers to win APS equality award

Justin Lokhorst, individual award winner

The inaugural Australian Public Service Diversity and Gender Equality Awards have been held. Winner of the individual award was Justin Lokhorst, Director of Construction Statistics at the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The department/agency award was to the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA), the network award to ATOMIC (the ATO’s Making Inclusion Count LGBTI employee network), and the gender equality award to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

The individual award, called the Inclusive Leadership Award, was awarded to Mr Lokhorst, who has a severe hearing impairment, for “encouraging a culture of open discussion and challenging negative perceptions of staff from diverse backgrounds.”

He said his main principle as a leader was to create an environment where staff can feel rewarded and be productive. A short video on the APSC website shows some of his staff talking about the workplace.

“He gives up his time to coach, mentor, and assist staff inside and outside his own section, and has been described by these staff as an inspirational leader who shows genuine understanding and compassion,” says his citation.

Runner-up was Clinton Scott-Knight, Department of Health, for his work with indigenous staff.

The NDIA won its award for its efforts in becoming an employer of choice for people with disability, with a target of 15 percent employees with disability. This target is within reach, with 13 percent of its current workforce disabled. Runner-ip was Safe Work Australia.

ATOMIC, launched in 2016, now has over 1700 members and is helping other agencies in LGBTI inclusiveness. DFAT received its award for its successful Women in Leadership Strategy.

“I am delighted to acknowledge the commitment and enthusiasm demonstrated in the 85 award entries in strengthening diversity and gender equality in the APS,” said acting APS Commissioner Stephanie Foster.

“These awards provide a unique opportunity to showcase and celebrate the work of passionate APS staff and agencies. I congratulate the four winners that were announced this morning.”

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