Appendix C - Glossary and definitions

The following notes clarify terms relating to equal opportunity and diversity. Where absolute definitions are required, the EO Act should be consulted.

Distribution (equity index)

Distribution is determined using the equity index. The equity index measures the distribution of each diversity group across salary levels. The ideal equity index is 100, with an index of less than 100 indicating that a diversity group is concentrated at the lower salary levels.


Equal employment opportunity.

Equal opportunity

As stated in section 3 of the EO Act, equal opportunity refers to:

  • the elimination of discrimination on the basis of the grounds covered in the EO Act
  • the promotion of the recognition and acceptance of the equality of all persons, regardless of sex, marital status or pregnancy, family responsibility or family status, race, religious or political conviction, impairment or age.

Indigenous Australians

The terms Indigenous and Aboriginal are both used in this document as follows:

The term “Indigenous Australians’ is respectfully used in this report to refer to persons of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent who identify as such, and are accepted as such, by the community in which they live. This term is used in recognition of the terminology used in the Council of Australian Governments’ National Indigenous Partnership Agreement on Indigenous Economic Participation, and other relevant benchmarks.

The term “Aboriginal’ is used in reference to the Aboriginal community and Western Australian Government local policy programs such as the Aboriginal Employment Strategy 2011-2015. This is also in line with the renaming of Western Australia’s Department of Indigenous Affairs to the Department of Aboriginal Affairs.

Indoor workers

Staff in local government authorities who are generally office based.

Management tiers

Tier 1

  • Directs and is responsible for the public authority, as well as its development as a whole.
  • Has ultimate control of, and responsibility for, the upper layers of management.
  • Typical titles include director general, chief executive officer, general manager, executive director and commissioner.

Tier 2

  • Reports to tier 1.
  • Assists tier 1 by implementing organisational plans.
  • Is directly responsible for leading and directing the work of other managers of functional departments.
  • May be responsible for managing professional and specialist employees.
  • Does not include professional and graduate staff, such as engineers, medical practitioners and accountants, unless they have a primary management function.

Tier 3

  • Reports to tier 2.
  • Formulates policies and plans for areas of control.
  • Manages a budget and employees.
  • Does not include professional and graduate staff, such as engineers, medical practitioners and accountants, unless they have a primary management function.

Outdoor workers

Staff in local government authorities who generally work outdoors.

People from culturally diverse backgrounds

People born in countries other than the countries listed below that have been categorised by the Australian Bureau of Statistics as mainly English speaking countries:

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Ireland
  • New Zealand
  • South Africa
  • United Kingdom (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales)
  • United States of America.

People with disability

People with an ongoing disability who have an employment restriction due to their disability that requires:

  • modified hours of work or time schedules
  • adaptations to the workplace or work area
  • specialised equipment
  • extra time for mobility or for some tasks
  • ongoing assistance or supervision to carry out their duties.

Types of impairments

  • Sight − employee uses braille, low vision aids or other special technology such as appropriate computers or screens. This does not include glasses or contact lenses.
  • Speech − employee uses aids such as word processors or communication boards in order to be understood or needs extra time to be understood.
  • Hearing − employee uses aids such as a hearing help card or volume control telephone in order to hear, telephone typewriter, Auslan interpreter or note-taker in order to communicate.
  • Learning − employee uses specific support and training to perform the job, needs more than average time to learn some parts of a job or has difficulty with reading or writing. For example, dyslexia, an intellectual disability or an acquired brain injury.
  • Use of arms or hands − employee uses specific equipment. For example, modified keyboard, hands-free telephone or needs extra time for handling objects.
  • Use of legs − employee uses aids or needs extra time for mobility. For example, the employee uses a wheelchair or crutches.
  • Long-term medical, physical, mental or psychiatric condition − employee has any long-term health or medical condition which regularly restricts or limits activities. For example, employee requires regular absences due to illness or time to be provided at work for medication or treatment, or is restricted in some functions due to health and safety considerations.


Representation is the number of employees who self-identify as belonging to a diversity group, expressed as a proportion of the number of valid responses to a voluntary diversity questionnaire managed by public authorities.

Senior executive service

The senior executive service generally comprises positions classified at level 9 or above that carry specific management or policy responsibilities.

Page last updated 15 July 2014