Recent Activity

The Commissioner and the staff of the Equal Opportunity Commission work tirelessly to address discrimination, sexual harassment and victimisation in the South Australian community. We do this by conciliating complaints of discrimination according to the Equal Opportunity Act 1984 (SA), and assisting South Australian organisations to ensure that our workplaces, clubs and associations, educational institutions and goods and service providers are inclusive, and provide appropriate services and opportunities for a broad range of South Australians.  

Importantly, we also focus on the proactive prevention of discrimination, sexual harassment and victimisation. We do this by engaging with the community to raise awareness and understanding of their rights and responsibilities under equal opportunity laws. We also partner with South Australian industry leaders, academic institutions, businesses and government agencies to promote a culture which respects and values people regardless of their identity or their personal circumstances.

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The EOC is honoured to welcome two new members to the Chiefs for Gender Equity group!

Commissioner Grant Stevens APM from SA Police and Victoria MacKirdy, Chief Executive of the Victor Harbor Council join a group of talented industry leaders who are committed to advancing gender equality in their organisations and industries. The group convenes regularly and represent a broad range of South Australian industries, the two new representatives will be adding their experience and perspectives from the local government and emergency service sectors.

The group of 14 in the lead up to International Women’s Day 2018 signed up to a new Gender Equality Accountability Framework which will hold them accountable for advancing the participation of women in the workforce. These ‘targets with teeth’ operate across the six key areas within workplaces including recruitment, retention, development, culture, leadership and workplaces’ responses to domestic violence.

The Framework will be accessible to all businesses in SA that want to set measurable targets on women securing senior executive positions. For more information, see the Chiefs for Gender Equity section.

 

The Commissioner for Equal Opportunity Dr Niki Vincent has been on the road visiting rural centres to meet with local organisations and community groups and to discuss matters relating to equal opportunity.  

Dr Vincent presented to the Rotary Club of Port Pirie about equal opportunity legislation relevant to small business, and the benefits of being proactive about equal opportunity and being open to flexible work arrangements for employees. The Commissioner will also be hosted by the Whyalla City Council in April to present to local members and the Whyalla Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and will also touch on sexual harassment as a relevant issue in 2018.

If you represent a organisation or business in rural South Australia, the Commissioner and her team is available for presentations to interest groups on a broad range of equal opportunity topics relevant to your region and community. Contact the EOC via the Connect page, or call us on (08) 8207 1977.  

Barry Mudge, Dr Vincent and John Howe at the Rotary Club of Port Pirie
Barry Mudge, Dr Vincent & John Howe

 

The EOC has partnered with the Adelaide Law School to offer free and confidential legal advice to any member of the community about matters relating to equal opportunity. The clinic is run by final year law students from the University of Adelaide under the supervision of a qualified lawyer. The Law Clinic is available to anyone to provide advice on - discrimination matters - the complaints process - how to lodge a complaint. The Clinic can also assist members of the public in preparing their documentation to lodge a complaint. To make an appointment, please go to Adelaide Law School Free Legal Clinic for more information or any queries, please email eoclas@adelaide.edu.au.

The Commissioner and the staff of the Equal Opportunity Commission are pleased to announce the launch of our new website! The site is designed to provide simple and accessible assistance on all matters relating to equal opportunity law in South Australia.

‘What is Discrimination’ provides an overview of all the types of discrimination and how to know whether you have experienced discrimination, or have potentially discriminated against another. It also provides streamlined information about the complaints process and how to lodge a complaint online.

‘About Equal Opportunity’ outlines the principles of equal opportunity and how it applies to employment, education, accommodation, clubs and associations as well as the provision of goods and services. This is an excellent resource for South Australian businesses, service providers, clubs and associations who want to be proactive about equal opportunity to ensure that discrimination doesn’t occur. Our ‘Resources’ page also provide additional information about equal opportunity law in South Australia, and how it relates to equal opportunity and human rights laws nationally and internationally. The EOC also provides information for school-age children through the ‘EO4Schools’ page about their rights under equal opportunity laws, and includes classroom resources for teachers.

The EOC provides tailored services for South Australian institutions, businesses and organisations including training and consultancy services relating to equality of opportunity, diversity and inclusion. For more information see ‘Consultancy, Training and Research,’ or see some of our projects underway at the ‘Initiatives’ page.

We welcome any feedback about the new website, if you have suggestions for improvement please contact us and let us know via the ‘Connect’ page.  Additionally if you have any enquiry relating to matters of equal opportunity, you can contact us directly through the Connect page or by calling (08) 8207 1977.

 

The EOC is piloting a new program to offer equal opportunity training across a broader range of topics, with more options for businesses to tailor training to their specific needs.

The EOC Training Referral Program partners with local training providers and can offer training on-site at businesses and organisations around the state. Options for training can include:
•    Preventing workplace bullying, discrimination and harassment
•    Developing or implementing programs for employees with a disability, older employees or workplaces with diverse cultural backgrounds
•    Challenging stereotypes (unconscious bias)
•    Active bystander interventions
•    Leadership in diversity and inclusion.

The EOC also continues to offer training for nominated contact persons around their roles and responsibilities both in-house or on-site at your organisation.

For more information or to discuss training options specific to your business or organisation, contact the EOC via the Connect page or call us on (08) 8207 1977.  

 

On 16 April, Commissioner for Equal Opportunity Dr Niki Vincent attended the opening ceremony of the Special Olympics Australia National Games. The Games are taking place/took place in Adelaide 16-20 April, and included over 1,000 athletes with intellectual disability across 11 sporting events.  The Commissioner said “that it was a fantastic experience to be at the opening ceremony and cheering on Team South Australia!”.  A full list of Team SA athletes can be found here: www.specialolympics.com.au/nationalgames2018/sa.

On 11 April, Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA)’s CEO Libby Lyons was in Adelaide presenting as part of a pay equity leaders forum. She was hosted by two of our Chiefs for Gender Equity; the CEO of Eldercare Jane Pickering, and the Managing Partner of Finlaysons Lawyers David Martin.  For more information about the Chiefs for Gender Equity, go to the Chiefs of Gender Equity section of this website.

Workplace Gender Equality Agency CEO Libby Lyons in SA with Chiefs for Gender Equity
L-R Jane Pickering, David Martin, Dr Niki Vincent, Libby Lyons

 

On 12 April, Commissioner for Equal Opportunity Dr Niki Vincent and Manager for Strategy, Policy and Engagement Tricia Spargo attended a forum hosted by SBS about exploring diversity in South Australia. The forum discussed how the media reflects, recognises and celebrates diversity.

We were excited to see SBS ramping up its message of diversity and providing a unifying voice in Australian television, rather than exacerbating views which create disharmony and division. SBS executives unveiled their new content for 2018 which is set to entertain, inspire, challenge and shift the dial on attitudes as it explores diversity in culture, gender, sexuality, age and lifestyle. Much of the discussion on the night talked about diversity in the context of multicultural and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities which was important.

Tricia posed the important question of what role SBS can play in the inclusion of people with disability too. SBS are keen to hear from people with disabilities who may be producers or directors, or have stories to tell. SBS is one of the few networks that truly lives diversity, not just reflecting it on and off screen, but behind the scenes too!