Office of the Special Commissioner, Equity and Diversity

Establishing the Office of the Special Commissioner, Equity and Diversity was a key recommendation of the Review of public sector employment laws–A fair and responsive public service for all to:

  • understand and address gender-based pay disparities in the Queensland public service
  • guide improvements to policy, procedures and practice that improve employment outcomes for:
    • women
    • people with disability
    • Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islander peoples
    • culturally and linguistically diverse people
    • LGBTIQ+ people
  • contribute to work designed to prevent and manage sexual harassment.
Dr. Linda Colley is Queensland’s first Special Commissioner, Equity and Diversity

Dr. Linda Colley is Queensland’s first Special Commissioner, Equity and Diversity, appointed in late 2021.

Dr. Colley is a former Professor at Central Queensland University, former Chair of the Queensland Work Health and Safety Board and has worked in the public, tertiary, and finance sectors. She is an accomplished qualitative researcher with skills in policy and policy analysis as well as completing extensive research across all Australian jurisdictions in gender, public sector management, and employment policy and practice.

As Special Commissioner, Dr. Colley’s first year will focus on gender-based disparities and supporting the Queensland Government’s commitment to providing equal access to rewarding careers in safe and supportive workplaces for women.

More about Dr. Linda Colley Linda Colley | LinkedIn

The Special Commissioner, Equity and Diversity reports through the Public Sector Governance Council (PSGC) to the Premier. The Premier has approved a work plan that includes key initiatives to:

  • influence central laws, policy, and strategy
  • develop an equity and diversity evidence base and increase awareness
  • establish and monitor agency accountability measures
  • establish supporting architecture such as consultative advisory mechanisms
  • reduce the gender pay-gap
  • support women in leadership initiative
  • enhance flexible working initiative
  • inclusive recruitment and selection initiative
  • supporting safety and wellbeing initiative including workplace sexual harassment
  • support equity in retirement initiative.

These key initiatives, delivered in partnership with Queensland public sector organisations, will model good practice for the broader Queensland labour market.

To understand and address equity and diversity issues the Special Commissioner, Equity and Diversity will work with sector organisations to understand:

  • inequalities that are occurring
  • causes of identified inequalities
  • how to best address inequalities.

All agencies will be supported to audit their current state and be given access to improved diversity data to inform priorities and future action.

Find out about other Queensland Government initiatives that support workplace inclusion and diversity.

The OSC has developed an equity and diversity audit process, to support better analysis of equity and diversity challenges. The process will include:

  • equity and diversity datasets provided to sector organisations annually
  • audit report requirements
  • 2023 audit guidelines (PDF, 650.4 KB) to assist sector organisations to interrogate and interpret equity datasets and translate the analysis into their 2024 audit report.

Where the OSC can provide support and guidance with the equity and diversity audit process:

  • Examples of how to write up an equity and diversity data analysis
  • Feedback on draft audit reports
  • Guidance on action planning processes, to help organisations understand the link between audit reports and analysis and planned measures and solutions
  • Organisation or whole-of-sector audit refresher sessions
  • Audit process check-in sessions for organisations
  • Special Commissioner conversations with executive leadership groups