Our people

PM&C has a strong commitment to individual and organisational excellence. We work closely with communities and stakeholders and across all areas of government, to provide rigorous and collaborative policy development, implementation and program delivery.

Staff are supported to continue to build a diverse, collaborative, technologically savvy, and agile workforce. Our diversity and inclusion agenda is unlocking the full potential of our people. At the same time, our flexible, activity-based work arrangements, and widespread adoption of live briefing systemware are supporting new ways of working.

Employment performance

At 30 June 2018, PM&C had 2,188 employees, including inoperative staff. This is a decrease from 2,276 employees at 30 June 2017 (Table 3.2).

PM&C has a diverse and inclusive workforce. Two-thirds of our workforce are women (67 per cent), 59 per cent of staff are under 45 years old and 15 per cent identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander.

PM&C has staff working across Australia, with 27 per cent of staff located outside Canberra in other capital cities and regional and remote areas. Further information is provided in the human resources workforce profile at Table 3.3.

Figure 3.2: Staff headcount, 2017 and 2018
PM&C ongoing functions Number of staff at 30 June 2017 Number of staff at 30 June 2018
Operative staff 2,101 2,064
Inoperatives 175 124
Total 2,276 2,188

Note: An employee is considered to be ‘inoperative’ where they are on long-term (paid or unpaid) leave or on temporary transfer to another agency for a period of 12 weeks or more.

Figure 3.3: Workforce profile (based on substantive headcount), 2017 and 2018
  At 30 June 2017 At 30 June 2018
  Ongoing Non-ongoing Total Ongoing Non-ongoing Total
Substantive classification
Secretary 1 - 1 1 - 1
SES Band 3 8 1 9 8 1 9
SES Band 2 26 1 27 22 1 23
SES Band 1 82 5 87 81 3 84
Executive Level 2 318 8 326 292 3 295
Executive Level 1 661 23 684 662 14 676
APS 4–6 978 58 1,036 931 69 1,000
APS 1–3 44 9 53 42 9 51
Graduate 53 - 53 49 - 49
Total 2,171 105 2,276 2,088 100 2,188
ACT 1,556 65 1,621 1,528 70 1,598
NSW 99 7 106 95 4 99
NT 240 16 256 203 14 217
QLD 105 5 110 98 4 102
SA 52 2 54 50 2 52
TAS 5 - 5 6 - 6
VIC 29 2 31 26 1 27
WA 85 8 93 82 5 87
Overseas - - - - - -
Total 2,171 105 2,276 2,088 100 2,188
Staff age profile
Age < 25 60 14 74 56 14 70
Age 25 – 34 610 22 632 575 32 607
Age 35 – 44 607 26 633 605 16 621
Age 45 – 54 540 26 566 524 18 542
Age 55 – 64 315 15 330 289 17 306
Age 65 + 39 2 41 39 3 42
Total 2,171 105 2,276 2,088 100 2,188
Equal employment opportunity group participation and workplace arrangements
Female 1,440 70 1,510 1,397 62 1,459
Non-English speaking background 115 8 123 117 4 121
Aboriginal and/ or Torres Strait Islander 332 22 354 318 17 335
People with a disability 69 1 70 74 - 74
Working part-time 306 22 328 309 22 331

Note: Figures include staff employed in ongoing functions, inoperative staff and the Secretary.

Inclusion and diversity

PM&C has a holistic inclusion and diversity strategy that aims to foster a culture reflective of the diversity of the Australian community. PM&C’s commitment to inclusion and diversity reflects the importance that we place on our people and creating a workplace culture within which every staff member is valued and respected for their contribution.

On Harmony Day 2018, Diversity Champion Dr David Gruen launched our Inclusion and Diversity Strategy. The strategy is designed to:

  • communicate the rationale for becoming a more inclusive and diverse workplace
  • set clear expectations of leadership behaviours to promote inclusion and diversity
  • establish clear actions to be taken over the next two years to build on our progress.

The strategy is monitored by the PM&C Inclusion & Diversity Committee (IDC). Chaired by the Secretary, the IDC promotes inclusion and diversity initiatives within PM&C and includes members from the Executive Board, Diversity Champions, executive-level representatives from diverse backgrounds and two external representatives.

Within PM&C, diversity and inclusion initiatives are led by a Deputy Secretary Diversity Champion, supported by five SES champions and staff networks, for the following diversity groups:

  • Gender—Women’s Network
  • Indigenous—Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employee Network (A&TSIEN)
  • Disability—Disability Employee Network
  • Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer (LGBTIQ+ Network)
  • Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) Network.

The champions and staff networks support and celebrate difference and foster ideas for valuing diversity and optimising inclusion.

Case study Bringing our ‘whole selves’ to the workplace

In December 2017, PM&C welcomed Ms Georgie Harman, CEO of beyondblue Australia, to present at two forums at the Department. Beyondblue is an independent non-profit organisation working to address issues associated with depression, suicide, anxiety disorders and other related mental disorders:

  • The first forum was the Secretary’s Equality and Diversity Council (SEDC) discussing the value of LGBTIQ+ specific inclusion initiatives and the value of supporting LGBTIQ+ staff to be ‘out’ at work. The SEDC comprises Secretaries from across the APS who meet quarterly and take responsibility for driving equality and diversity in the APS, including sharing ideas and overseeing the implementation of APS-wide equality and diversity strategies.
  • The second forum was a broader engagement with PM&C staff on what it means to bring your ‘whole self’ to work and how doing so may promote employee wellbeing and productivity. Bringing your ‘whole self’ to work is a notion used to encourage all staff to bring all components of themselves, including modelling behaviours that truly represent who they are and believe in, into the workplace. This event was co-sponsored by the Disability and LGBTIQ+ Employee Networks and attended by the Secretary and Diversity Champions.

In February 2018, the SEDC agreed to focus on how the APS might develop more inclusive work practices to identify and dismantle barriers to the employment and progression of people from all backgrounds within the APS. Part of the value of inclusive workplace practices is that that businesses with a more diverse workforce and more inclusive work practices get better results.


The development of PM&C’s new Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) 2018–2020 will contribute to the development of a more diverse workforce and more inclusive work practices. The RAP outlines a program of work designed to help us embed reconciliation as part of the fabric of PM&C and capitalise on the central role that we play in the Australian Government’s Indigenous Affairs functions.

To commemorate National Reconciliation Week, PM&C hosted a number of events, including a 'Talking Circle'. In keeping with the theme of ‘Don’t Keep History a Mystery’, Indigenous and non-Indigenous staff members came together and shared their personal histories in a story-telling event.

Indigenous talent attraction and development

During 2017–18 we maintained our commitment to retaining and growing our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workforce. There has been a focus on fostering PM&C’s Indigenous leadership pipeline through the delivery of the PM&C Indigenous Talent Management Program Pilot and participation in the APS excELerate Program Pilot run by the Australian Public Service Commission.

PM&C led a Senior Executive Affirmative Measures SES Band 1 and 2 recruitment process, attracting a large pool of highly skilled candidates to fill Senior Executive roles within PM&C and the broader APS. PM&C recognises the need for diverse leadership role models and the unique perspectives that Indigenous leaders bring to our workplace in shaping and delivering the Government agenda.


PM&C acknowledges the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. As part of this, our NAIDOC Week 2017 events reflect the celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities through a range of events. NAIDOC Week 2017 internal events included a flag-raising ceremony, a staff awards ceremony and a block party hosted by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employee Network.

Celebrating International Women’s Day

To celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD), PM&C’s Women’s Network launched its ConnEXtions Mentoring Program. This platform provides access to a pool of senior APS mentors with a diverse set of skills and experiences, who can provide one-off advice or ongoing support for women in navigating their careers.

The Women’s Network IWD celebrations spanned two weeks and featured 10 women from across the PM&C network who do out-of-the-ordinary things outside work. IWD celebrations also included peer learning workshops and a keynote speaker event featuring media commentator Tracey Spicer AM.

Flexible work

To further embed and support the transformation journey towards an inclusive and diverse workplace, we introduced a number of policies and programs:

  • PM&C’s Staying in Touch Policy gives staff who are on long-term leave the opportunity to remain in touch with us.
  • All roles are supported by an If Not, Why Not flexible work strategy, which enables all employees to access mutually beneficial flexible working arrangements.
  • We have implemented the Working your Way policy, which seeks to stimulate innovation, collaboration and thought via more flexible work environments.

Workplace response to domestic and family violence policy

In 2017–18 we maintained a focus on supporting the Australian Government’s National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010–2022 by providing workplace responses to staff affected by domestic and family violence.

On 1 March 2018, Libby Davies, CEO of White Ribbon Australia—an organisation that works to prevent violence against women—announced that PM&C had been recognised as a White Ribbon Accredited Workplace. The accreditation recognises that PM&C is a leader in contributing to national cultural change to prevent and respond to domestic and family violence.

PM&C’s accreditation journey began in May 2016 with the launch of the Domestic and Family Violence Policy. Since this time, we have demonstrated commitment to tackling domestic and family violence through leadership, resource allocation, communication, human resources (HR) policy development and training to create a safe, gender equal and respectful workplace.

In recognition of our leadership on workplace responses within the government sector, a representative of PM&C’s People Branch is now an active participant in the White Ribbon Workplace Accreditation Program Reference Group.


PM&C is committed to recruiting staff through a range of entry pathways. In 2017–18, we ran seven specialist recruitment programs:

  • the 2017 PM&C Graduate Program
  • the 2018 PM&C Graduate Program
  • the Indigenous Australian Government Development Program
  • the Indigenous Apprenticeship Program
  • the one-year Australian Government ICT Graduate Program
  • the PM&C Vacation Employment Program
  • APSC Operation Free Range.

Employment arrangements

The PM&C Enterprise Agreement 2017–2020 took effect on 1 August 2017. It replaced the terms and conditions of the PM&C Enterprise Agreement 2011–2014 and the nine agreements preserved from the 2013 machinery of government changes. Data on employment arrangements for all departmental staff is provided at Table 3.4.

Figure 3.4: Employment agreements 2018
Section 24(1) determinations
SES 116
Non-SES 36
Enterprise Agreement
Non-SES 1,961
Individual Flexibility Arrangements
Non-SES 74
Total1 2,187

1 These figures include both ongoing and non-ongoing employees but do not include the Secretary.

PM&C currently maintains multiple pay scales that result from the 2013 machinery of government changes. The PM&C Enterprise Agreement 2017–2020 also includes a pay scale for all staff who are new to PM&C. The 30 June 2018 minimum and maximum available rates by classification grouping across these pay scales are listed in Table 3.5. By 1 August 2020, all staff will be aligned to the new pay scale.

Figure 3.5: Base salaries available at 30 June 2018 for APS and Executive Level (EL) staff
Level Min Max
APS 1-3 $42,280 $63,726
APS 4-6 $62,241 $91,335
EL1 $96,794 $119,039
EL2 $115,027 $144,685
Figure 3.6: Base salaries available at 30 June 2018 for Senior Executive Service (SES) staff
Level Min Max
SES Band 1 $169,906 $202,241
SES Band 2 $231,795 $259,981
SES Band 3 $315,180 $367,102
Secretary Remuneration is determined by the Remuneration Tribunal.

PM&C publishes an annual update on executive remuneration on our website.

Performance pay and other benefits

Employees may access a range of salary sacrifice benefits, including additional superannuation and leased motor vehicles.

In 2017–18, one employee received a performance bonus under a pre-existing Individual Flexibility Arrangement. To avoid disclosing personal information, this figure has not been published.

Learning and development

In 2017–18, PM&C supported staff to attend face-to-face learning sessions based on the core themes of writing skills, policy skills, critical thinking, communication skills, digital skills and management capability. Leadership development continued to be a focus, and employees were encouraged to access departmental development programs, seminars and conferences, high-profile scholarships and coaching and mentoring partnerships.

PM&C also invested in continuous learning opportunities to support staff to gain in-depth skills and knowledge in areas aligned with key departmental outcomes. For example, staff are supported to participate in the Sir Roland Wilson Scholarship and Atlantic Fellows for Social Equity Program.

In 2017–18, 120 employees received study assistance via paid study leave and financial assistance to undertake tertiary education. Postgraduate study opportunities at international universities such as Harvard and Cambridge were also developed to complement PM&C’s study assistance scheme, which allows employees to complete relevant tertiary study to improve their professional skills and knowledge.

Work health and safety

PM&C is committed to maintaining the health, safety and wellbeing of our workforce. We take seriously our obligation to provide a safe working environment and to eliminate or minimise work health safety risks.

Strengthening our work health and safety management systems remains a key focus for us. In 2017–18, we delivered a number of work health and safety initiatives. For example, we:

  • launched new work health and safety specific e-learning modules for workers, managers, officers and remote location workers
  • conducted mental health first aid training across State Office based employees
  • conducted mental health awareness activities, such as presentations from Black Dog Institute, aligned with National Safe Work Month and Mental Health Awareness Week
  • revitalised the harassment contact officer network to promote and maintain a positive and supportive work environment
  • refreshed our Bullying and Harassment Policy
  • implemented a psychosocial risk assessment in relation to significant workplace change
  • strengthened our work health and safety governance arrangements with a recalibration of work groups and associated Health and Safety Representatives and revised terms of reference for the National Health and Safety Committee.

Our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) offers our staff independent professional counselling services for personal or work related issues. In 2017–18 a new service provider was engaged to deliver our EAP, providing holistic wellbeing support to all staff rather than just traditional counselling. Our EAP services now include a dedicated hotline for staff experiencing domestic and family violence and/or at risk of vicarious trauma, and access to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander counsellors and coaches.

In 2017–18 Comcare undertook three workplace inspections. No contraventions of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 were reported. No notices were issued under the Act.

A total of 10 incidents were notified to Comcare in 2017–18. These include eight incidents of a serious injury or illness and two dangerous incidents.