Role of the DEOPE

The Director of Equal Opportunity in Public Employment (DEOPE) is a statutory officer appointed by the Governor to perform the functions outlined in Part IX of the Equal Opportunity Act 1984 (EO Act).

The role and functions of the DEOPE, as outlined in section 143 of the EO Act, are to:

  • advise and assist authorities in relation to Equal employment opportunity (EEO) management plans, including the development of guidelines to assist authorities in preparing EEO management plans
  • evaluate the effectiveness of EEO management plans in achieving the objects of Part IX of the EO Act
  • make reports and recommendations to the Minister as to the operation of EEO management plans and such matters as the DEOPE thinks appropriate relating to the objects of Part IX of the EO Act.

The DEOPE Strategic plan 2014–2017 is provided at Appendix A.

The authority of the DEOPE extends to public sector entities and non-public sector authorities (local governments, public universities and other authorities, including government trading enterprises, the Police Force and electorate offices). A list of public sector entities and non-public sector authorities reporting to the DEOPE is provided at Appendix B.

The role of the DEOPE is integrated into the Public Sector Commission. While legislative responsibilities and jurisdictions are separately defined for the DEOPE and the Public Sector Commissioner, many objectives are aligned. For example, the DEOPE and the Public Sector Commission regularly cooperate in respect to the collection of workforce data and reporting, the evaluation of workforce programs, the provision of professional advice and the promotion of merit and equity in public employment.

The Public Sector Commission is the accountable authority for the purposes of the Financial Management Act 2006 and provides staff, accommodation, corporate services and administrative support to the DEOPE.

Partnering with key stakeholders

In order to improve diversity and inclusion outcomes we cannot operate in isolation. Over the past year the DEOPE has built partnerships with a range of stakeholders, particularly those who have regular interactions with the diversity groups. This has included the Equal Opportunity Commission, Department of Aboriginal Affairs, Department of Local Government and Communities, Department of Training and Workforce Development and the Disability Services Commission.

Looking ahead, the DEOPE will seek further opportunities to collaborate with key stakeholders from the public sector, local government and public universities to develop a full suite of diversity employment strategies and continue the conversation on diversity and inclusion in public employment.

Supporting public authorities 1

Although the DEOPE has a key role in building and supporting quality practices in EEO management, and providing high quality, accurate and timely reporting, the role is increasingly focused on advocating diversity and inclusion in the public sector. These responsibilities are like cogs in the wheel—they work together in perpetual motion to drive improvement, but cannot operate without one another.

Cogs in the wheel: Promote inclusive workplace culture; Identify and address barriers to career progress; Match the workforce to the community we serve; Monitor progress and report on outcomes; Advise authorities about workforce and diversity plans; and Collaborate to build collective capability and leadership

1 The term 'authority' is defined by section 138 of the EO Act and the term 'public authority' is defined by section 139(3) of the EO Act. The term 'public sector' is defined by section 3 of the Public Sector Management Act 1994.


Page last updated 15 September 2016