Director of Equal Opportunity in Public Employment (DEOPE)

Message fro​m the DEOPE

Sonja Cox, Director of Equal Opportunity in Public EmploymentAs the Director of Equal Opportunity of Public Employment (DEOPE) in Western Australia I am in a unique position to drive the diversity and inclusion agenda in Western Australian public authorities. Together with the Public Sector Commissioner and public authorities, my responsibility to improve diversity and inclusion outcomes in public employment comes from Part IX of the Equal Opportunity Act 1984 (EO Act).

Diversity in the public sector is slow to improve and is often treated as a ‘bolt on’ to workforce strategy and development. Many public organisations are missing the true value of diversity – diversity of thought, where perspectives and capabilities are the point of difference, not simply visible differences between people such as gender and ethnicity. Diversity of thought is even more critical when we consider that public organisations are operating in an environment of tremendous change. The complex, multifaceted challenges we face require innovative solutions and must reflect the diversity of the communities we serve. 

The Public Sector Commission will lead the development of a whole-of-sector workforce diversification strategy to bridge the gap between compliance and meaningful outcomes. The Strategy will be supported by a number of Action Plans, specific to each of the various diversity groups and will have practical steps to achieving real change. 

A diverse public sector workforce is more than a ‘nice to have’ – it is more innovative, productive and responsive, and better placed to service our community.

Sonja Cox
Director of Equal Opportunity in Public Employment

Page last updated 26 September 2019