Our people

Our people and culture are fundamental to our current and future success in delivering positive impact for Australia and humanity.

We seek to lift our capacity for innovation by providing the environment, facilities and opportunities our people need to work collaboratively and creatively.

Our People Strategy underpins our commitment to developing and supporting our people. Our Human Resources and Organisation Development functions provide support and leadership on people issues to leaders and staff across our Organisation as well as guidance and compliance with the Equal Employment Opportunity (Commonwealth Authorities) Act 1997. During 2014–15, we focused on the following areas from our People Strategy:

Capability planning

  • design and implementation of the new line of business structure, new key leadership, manager and team leader roles and support arrangements
  • change management, especially supporting the Integrated Reform Program
  • supporting significant workforce restructuring
  • workforce planning and deployment.

Inclusion and innovation culture

  • diversity and inclusion initiatives
  • improving performance.

Learning and development

  • building our leadership capability
  • extending our reach and efficiency of delivery by increasing the proportion of eLearning programs within our curriculum.

Enterprise agreements

Enterprise agreements set the terms and conditions of employment for CSIRO staff. Two enterprise agreements are in operation: CSIRO Enterprise Agreement 2011–14 and the CSIRO Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex (CDSCC) Enterprise Agreement 2014–17.

The CSIRO Enterprise Agreement came into operation on 7 July 2011 following formal approval processes and a staff vote. This Agreement reached its nominal expiry date in August 2014 and continues in operation until it is replaced or terminated in accordance with the Fair Work Act 2009. Negotiations for a replacement Agreement commenced in July 2014 and are ongoing. The Australian Government Public Sector Workplace Bargaining Policy was released on 28 March 2014 and applies to the Australian Public Service (APS) and non-APS Australian Government agencies, including CSIRO.

The CDSCC Enterprise Agreement covers non-managerial CSIRO staff employed at CDSCC, Tidbinbilla, Canberra and came into operation on 18 June 2014. It will reach its nominal expiry date in June 2017.

Learning and development

In 2014–15, CSIRO delivered 4903 development days, a small increase on the previous year. In a year of significant organisational reform this demonstrated ongoing commitment to development and performance. The new ‘Team Formation’ and ‘Leading and Navigating During Times of Change’ programs were well attended and highly rated by participants. Interest in leadership programs was steady during 2014–15, while demand for the science curriculum was not as high as in previous years.

2518 people participated in the new eLearning programs ‘Impact’, ‘Diversity and Inclusion’, and ‘Behaviours’. Ninety-eight per cent of participants indicated they would apply the learning in the workplace and the same number indicated they understood the importance of their contribution to these critical areas. The eLearning programs were introduced in May 2015 to support alignment and engagement with the new Organisational strategy due for release in July 2015.

Diversity and inclusion

Diversity and inclusion continued to be an enterprise-wide focus during 2014–15, as implementation of our 2012–15 Diversity and Inclusion Plan continues. The plan builds on the foundations of past plans and seeks to produce a step-change in our diversity and inclusion performance through enhanced leader responsibility, visibility and engagement.

Some highlights during 2014–15 include:

  • implementation of enhanced recruitment and selection processes to support greater gender and Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) outcomes within leadership roles throughout the Integrated Reform Program
  • Setting of targets across Group and Team Leader appointments (20 percent women, 20 percent CALD) signed off by SICOM
  • continuation of the Chief Executive-led Diversity and Inclusion Steering Committee and annual progress reporting on diversity and inclusion metrics
  • launch of a mandatory Diversity and Inclusion @ CSIRO eLearning module to all staff
  • continuation of unconscious bias and inclusion training for leadership teams
  • progressing the activity of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex Network to provide support and social networking for our people who identify themselves in these groups
  • establishment of new diversity and inclusion reference groups within Flagships to support the rollout of enterprise and local initiatives.

Our Indigenous Engagement Strategy, which aims to achieve greater Indigenous participation in our research and development agenda and activities, continues to progress (more on page 26). This includes Indigenous cadetship and traineeship programs for undergraduates and high school leavers, which combine formal study with work-based training. As at 30 June 2015, we have 63 (1.2 per cent) Indigenous employees within CSIRO, an increase from 22 (0.3 per cent) on 30 June 2011.

Staff demographics

Our people are employed under Section 32 of the Science and Industry Research Act 1949. At 30 June 2015, CSIRO had a total of 5269 staff, a full-time equivalent (FTE) of 4836. Table 3.2 shows the number of staff employed in different functional areas and Table 3.3 shows staff by state.

Overall, the total number of staff decreased by 11.7 per cent (695) over the last 12 months. Research Science staff decreased by 15.5 per cent (278). Voluntary staff turnover remained low at 4.6 per cent. The proportion of female staff remained constant at 40 per cent, and the proportion of female Research Science staff increased from 25 to 26 per cent over the past 12 months.

Table 3.2: Staff numbers (headcount).
Functional Area 2010–11 2011–12 2012–13 2013–14 2014–15 % Female for 2014–15
Research Scientists 1,865 1,948 1,858 1,798 1,520 26
Research Project Staff 2,166 2,094 2,149 1,874 1,669 43
Senior Specialists 12 11 25 17 21 48
Research Management 165 166 177 181 254 16
Research Consulting 40 42 47 47 40 15
Technical Services 643 613 623 569 537 12
Communication and Information Services 375 391 369 326 201 76
General Services 56 40 38 34 16 50
Administrative Support1 1,048 1,057 1,068 980 908 75
General Management 144 130 123 138 103 36
Total headcount 6,514 6,492 6,477 5,964 5,269 40
FTE 5,780 5,720 5,751 5,423 4,836 38

Figure 3.5: Staff numbers (headcount) by state.

Show text description

  1. Administrative Support: Staff who provide science-based administrative and management services and systems.


Have an enquiry about this page?

Contact us