Belonging Plan 2024-2026


People are our greatest asset and most critical enabler.

We foster a diverse, safe and inclusive workplace for everyone. When our people feel seen, heard and valued we all benefit in increased engagement, productivity, and innovation.

Our Belonging Plan 2024-26 (Plan) shows our commitment to embracing diversity and inclusion and building on our inclusive culture.

Reflecting the diversity of the communities we serve provides humanistic benefits to our workplace, helps build trust and provides greater insights into our customer’s needs. That’s why our commitment, areas of focus and targets are tailored to the demographics of our region and have been developed with consideration of wider external factors including our community, water industry and Government. We take a broader approach which builds on the Victorian state government’s focus on gender equality and Aboriginal participation, and closely mirrors the Water Industry Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy 2024 – 2028. Our aim is ‘Creating an inclusive and equitable water industry, reflective of the richly diverse communities we serve’.

Our commitment

We’re committed to creating a safe, caring, supportive workplace where you can connect, belong and bring your truest, most authentic self. Our annual People Matter survey supports our commitment, with our employees reporting they feel culturally safe, can be themselves at work and feel like they belong.

Our work environment is accepting of different backgrounds and ways of thinking. We value diversity (e.g., age, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, language, education qualifications, ideas, and perspectives). 

Since our first Diversity and Inclusion plan was launched in 2016, we’ve been on a journey of learning and discovery. We’ve raised awareness of the importance of a diverse and inclusive culture - to individuals, our organisation and community. We’ve actively worked to identify and remove barriers to equal workplace participation. And we now have a strong foundation to continue to build upon. 

Our 2021 – 2023 Diversity and Inclusion Plan built on our initial efforts and established our inaugural Diversity and Inclusion Committee. The Committee worked towards:

  • raising awareness of diversity and inclusion across the business,
  • promoting, acknowledging and celebrating dates of significance;
  • harnessing diversity and inclusion data to enable the development and launch of our Gender Equality Action Plan 2022-25 and Aboriginal Inclusion Plan – Managing Country Together;
  • reviewing our recruitment and selection policy and processes; and
  • strengthening partnerships with our community including Gippsland Land and Waters Aboriginal Corporation (GLaWAC), Baw Baw Latrobe Local Learning and Employment Network (Llen) and local schools.

Fostering diversity and inclusion is an ongoing process. We’re continually striving to work proactively with our people and community to strengthen belonging.

Our 2024-2026 Belonging Plan further develops our diversity and inclusion efforts to ensure everyone belongs.

Our areas of focus

Our Belonging Plan complements other organisation-wide initiatives, including our health and wellbeing programs, Gender Equality Action Plan 2022-25, flexible work options, and our Aboriginal Inclusion Plan – Managing Country Together. This Belonging plan better integrates these initiatives, moving from building awareness to creating systemic change. 

To make genuine, sustainable, and accelerated change with the resources we have available, this Plan focuses on progressing our ‘Who we are’ priority area (formally Reflect our Community). It acknowledges the connection to our Gender Equality and Aboriginal Inclusion aims - both have now been strengthened with their own dedicated Plans:

Who we are

To strengthen our diversity and inclusion efforts to ensure our culture attracts and retains a workforce that reflects the diversity of the community we serve.

Gender Equality

To address gender imbalance across our organisation, particularly in STEM roles and at our leadership level.

Aboriginal Inclusion 

To move beyond compliance obligations to strengthen our partnership with Traditional Owners and genuinely connect with the Aboriginal community. We want to acknowledge history, and commit to a future of engagement, recognition and inclusion. While we haven’t addressed all diversity markers in this Plan, the initiatives and actions aim to foster an inclusive work culture for the benefit of everyone.

Our targets 2021-2023

Gippsland Water Diversity Targets

Data Set

(as specified by the Water Industry)

Regional Data*

Our Current Data

(2022 – 23)

Our Targets for 2026

Water Industry Targets  2024 – 2028


Women in Senior Leadership – MD & GM N/A F 29%

F= 40%

M= 40%

Gender balance 40:40:20 in all Senior Leadership positions
Women in Senior Leadership – Board, MD & GM N/A F 50%

F = 40%

M = 40%

Gender balance 40:40:20 in all Senior Leadership positions
Women in Third-Level Management N/A F 17%

F = 40%

M = 40%

Gender balance 40:40:20 in all Senior Leadership positions
Disability, including neurodiversity *Not Available 3% 6% 10%
First Nations 5.7% 1% 1.2% 2.5%
CALD (Culturally and Linguistically Diverse **) 13% 6% 8% 20%
Caring Responsibilities *Not Available 36% 35% -
Lesbian Gay Bisexual Trans Intersex (LGBTI) *Not Available 5% 7% 7%
Workforce Flexibility (formal & informal flexible arrangements) 36.67% Formal (Part-time arrangements) Formal – 30% Informal – Est 100% (all roles can access flexible arrangements) 100% 100% canFlexible work arrangements are available to all employees and are accessed via formal or informal working arrangements.

Our commitment in action 2024 - 2028

Focus Area 1: Who we are

Our Goal: to strengthen our diversity and inclusion efforts to ensure our culture attracts and retains a workforce that reflects the diversity of the community we serve.


FA1 – IN1

Internal communications and engagement to raise awareness, celebrate differences and promote inclusivity and allyship


  • Investigate opportunities to share cultural stories with regular guest speakers (both internal and external), including Lunch and Learns to broaden people’s perspectives and understanding of different groups. Topics of focus include LGBTIQ+, Disability, Heritage and Culture.
Diversity & Inclusion Committee working parties Ongoing

Communications & Engagement

  • Promote and embed D&I initiatives and annual calendar of events activities through improved branding and positive and consistent messaging
  • Celebrate and recognise diversity via ‘Gather Day’events, identified through the Belonging Committee’s annual Planning Day and through consultation with our people
  • Update our artifacts to include a Diversity &Inclusion lens in our Integrity & Respect Valueand our Leadership Blueprint
  • Language other than English (LOTE)focus – share words and meaning (coffee stations, on noticeboards, regular section in the Pipeline)
  • Extension of our SharePoint page to include links to references and support material
  • Regularly promote availability of tools and support for employees (e.g. resources, Reflection room).
  • Create opportunities for all our sites to connect with initiatives and tools including through the creation of a virtual Reflection Room kit
  • Provision of lapel pins to staff who would like to publicly display their allyship, commencing with LGBTIQ+
Communications & Engagement  
Unconscious bias e-learning module developed to help people recognise and mitigate unconscious biases. The program launched initially to people leaders, followed by assigning to all employees Organisational Development July 2024

FA1 – IN2

External engagement to connect with our community

Two-way interactions with our community

  • Using our Customer Reference Group to connect with our communities, including possible OpenDays and guest speaking events
  • Provision of sponsorship, volunteering or other efforts to support events/or initiatives of disadvantaged community groups
  • Engage and work closely with various stakeholders using the RainbowReady Roadmap resources to review our policies, artifacts and environment to enable us to obtain Rainbow Readystatus

Diversity & Inclusion Committee Working party

Communications & Engagement

Customer Reference Group



  • Continue to show our culture and organisation to the community including our Employee Value Proposition (EVP), and project successes (via social media, and website)

Communications & Engagement 

Organisational Development


Inclusive and accessible Customer Communications

  • Continue to review and update our website documents to ensure accessibility and use various communication methods (social media videos and text posts), community forums, written and
  • visual brochures
  • Provide tailored communication on customer support measures for culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) customers, using demographic data on languages spoken in our region, coupled with low English literacy
  • Develop partnerships and improved connection with CALD communities in our region, (ie. Gippsland Multicultural Services, Neighbourhood Houses)
  • Deliver training to frontline staff on maximising the use of Gippsland Water’s Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS National)
  • Improved capture of customer data where language support is required

Communications & Engagement

Customer Service

April 2024


FA1 – IN3

Targeted recruitment campaigns to recruit for underrepresented communities

Use varied existing and new recruitment methods to highlight our meaningful and purpose-driven Organisational Development vision to attract talent who align with our values and priorities                                                                              

  •  Use a variety of local job boards and partner with recruitment agencies to target our recruitment
  • Provide intern through consultation skills training for interview panelists that focuses on recruiting for values alignment
  • Specifically recruit those who reflectour values by integrating values-based recruitment strategies into the attraction process
Organisational Development Ongoing

Focus Area 1: What will success look like

Positive change in People Matter, Inclusion item results annually (compared to 2023 results), to maintain rates higher than the Public Sector and match comparator groups

  • I feel culturally safe at work            
  • My manager listens to what I have to say
  • I can be myself at work       
  • I have equal chance of promotion in my organization
  • I feel as if I belong at this organisation            
  • I feel comfortable to speak up in my organisation
Positive changein People Matter– Organisational Climate item, ‘My organisation encourages respectful workplace behaviours’ annually, (as compared to 2023 results), to maintain rates higher than the Public Sector and match comparator groups
Unconscious Bias e-learning course completed by all our people
Greater values alignment being demonstrated and evidenced in new hire survey responses
Rainbow Ready status obtained by end of 2025

Focus Area 2: Gender Equality

Our Goal: to address gender imbalance across our organisation, particularly in STEM roles and at our leadership level


FA2 – IN1 

Achievement of Gender Equality Action Plan (2022-25) actions

Gender Equality Action Plan (GEAP)

  • Attract diverse talent
  • Career support and progression
  • Leadership and culture
Organisational Development (OD) 2023 – 2025

Refer to our Gender Equality Action Plan 2022-2025 for detailed information of our focus areas and measuring our progress.

Focus Area 3: Aboriginal Inclusion – Managing Country Together

Our Goal: to move beyond compliance obligations to strengthen our partnership with Traditional Owners and genuinely connect with the Aboriginal community. We want to acknowledge history, and commit to a future of engagement, recognition and inclusion.


FA3 – IN1

Achievement of our Managing Country Together - Aboriginal Inclusion Plan

Aboriginal Inclusion Plan                                                                                                                   

  • Increasing the diversity of our workforce to create meaningful, long-term employment andeducation Country opportunities for Aboriginal people.
  • Contributing to increasing pride and respect for our Aboriginal community, to support in a stronger, Organisational more prosperous, more liveable and more sustainable future.
  • Integrating traditional Aboriginal knowledge with contemporary knowledge to deliver better environmental management outcomes and increase pride and connection with our Aboriginal community.
  • Engaging employees in cultural learning opportunities to increase understanding and appreciation of
  • Aboriginal cultures, histories, and achievements.

Diversity & Inclusion Committee

Environment & Healthy Country

Communications & Engagement

Organisational Development (OD)

2023 – 2025

Tracking and reporting our progress

We will monitor our progress and evaluate the effectiveness of our planned actions as per the success measures outlined for each focus area. Overall performance and progress in the achievement of our Diversity & Inclusion initiatives and targets will be reported via the following channels:

  • Regular organisational updates via internal communication channels
  • Quarterly via Executive Leadership Team Reporting
  • Biannually to the Board via the Executive Remuneration & Capability Committee People Report
  • Our Annual Report and annual community report
  • Biannually to the Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action via our Letter of Expectations updates and obligations.