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The Marine National Facility’s (MNF) strategic mission is to facilitate excellent marine science for national benefit. The MNF achieves this by hosting Australian researchers and their international collaborators on voyages in Australia’s vast marine estate and beyond.
The Facility offers a collaborative hub for marine research that creates extremely diverse teams that can include people from all aspects of society who come together to work towards achieving a common goal.
The growing consensus in contemporary literature concludes that a diverse workforce promotes a range of benefits including encouraging creativity and fostering innovation. Organisations that retain a diverse workforce are better able to respond to the needs of a diverse customer landscape. Greater inclusivity fosters a supportive, fairer more egalitarian environment that is more attractive to diverse users.
For voyages to achieve greatest benefit, it is critical that the MNF supports a workplace culture that accepts, values, and celebrates diversity. The MNF is committed to building an inclusive culture of equitable opportunity, where all voyage participants feel safe and supported to be themselves.
CSIRO’s code of conduct describes how CSIRO employees are to treat others, including values of respect and courtesy, recognising social and cultural differences and treating colleagues fairly, equitably and with due consideration.
The Marine National Facility Inclusion and Diversity Policy Statement builds on the CSIRO code of conduct and extends the principles to all participants on MNF voyages. Compliance with the policy statement is mandatory for all voyage participants whether they are employees of CSIRO, external organisations and institutions or members of the ship’s crew. For the purpose of this policy, this combined cohort shall be referred to as “Voyage Participants”.
This policy statement sets out the overarching commitments of the MNF and Voyage Participants in relation to diversity and inclusion. It provides guidance to ensure all Voyage Participants are treated equitably and with respect, regardless of their background, ethnicity, culture, language, beliefs, sexual orientation, gender and gender identity, age, and socioeconomic status, level of ability, additional needs or lifestyle.
4. MNF Commitment
To support Voyage Participants to deliver on the expectations under this policy statement, the MNF will ensure that all policies, practices and procedures are reflective of, and responsive to, the values and cultural beliefs of Voyage Participants, and of those within the broader society. The MNF will quality assure the development of policies, practices and procedures by consulting with the diverse groups they will effect wherever practicable.
Practical implementation of this commitment will require consideration of the full voyage lifecycle including the application, planning and delivery phases, to ensure:
- that MNFs governance processes are independent and transparent, and that all policies and procedures are developed in consideration of diversity and inclusion
- the MNF sea time application and evaluation process does not discriminate against any particular cohort or group, mitigates the potential for unconscious bias to influence outcomes and, indeed, values the benefits offered through diversity
- that the voyage planning process considers the needs of our diverse participants and fosters inclusion
- that the vessel on which voyages are delivered provides a physical (as much as practicable) and cultural environment that supports the needs of a diverse team
- that the MNF take appropriate action where a breach of the Inclusion and Diversity Policy Statement is identified or reported.
The MNF will consistently update and support the knowledge, skills, practices and attitudes of staff involved in delivery of the MNF to foster inclusion and equity.
The MNF recognise that to deliver on its commitment it is essential to consult with the relevant groups when designing policies, practices and procedures that will affect them.
5. General Legislative Requirements
The MNF must comply with a range of Commonwealth legislation including:
- Fair Work Act 2009
- Sex Discrimination Act 1984
- Racial Discrimination Act 1975
- Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Act 1999
- Disability Discrimination Act 1992
- Age Discrimination Act 2004
- Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986
The MNF will also comply with relevant State legislation as required and applicable.
However, the MNF will also seek to adopt best practice approaches where additional measures are identified to deliver benefit beyond the legislated requirements.
6. Maritime Legislation
MNF sea going activities are subject to the legislative obligations of Marine Orders administered by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA).
Under Marine Orders, RV Investigator is classed as a Special Purpose Ship (SPS) and is subject to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Code of Safety for Special Purpose Ships (the 2008 SPS Code). Participants on voyages that are not members of the ship’s crew are defined as “Special Personnel” under the 2008 SPS Code and are expected to be able bodied with a fair knowledge of the layout of the ship and to have received some training in safety procedures and the handling of the ship’s safety equipment. This is because Special Personnel have a responsibility to assist the crew in the event of an emergency on-board.
As a result, Special Personnel are considered “Seafarers” for the purpose of Marine Order 76 (Health – Medical Fitness), which requires that they undertake a medical examination to determine their eligibility for a Certificate of Medical Fitness. The examination seeks to establish that participants are fit to perform the duties required of them. The “Standards for the Medical Examination of Seafarers and Coastal Pilots” can be viewed at www.amsa.gov.au
Participants failing to gain a certificate of medical fitness as a result of a medical condition shall be ineligible to participate in voyages on RV Investigator.
MNF voyages delivered on chartered vessels will be subject to relevant maritime legislation that applies.
7. Expectations of Voyage Participants
Voyage are expected to demonstrate behaviours that assist in creating an environment that supports, reflects and promotes equitable and inclusive behaviours and practices, and where diverse identities, backgrounds, experiences, skills and interests are respected, valued and given opportunities to be expressed.
Voyage Participants are to ensure that their actions and behaviours do not result – directly or indirectly – in other Voyage Participants being discriminated against on the basis of background, ethnicity, culture, language, beliefs, sexual orientation, gender and gender identity, age, socioeconomic status, level of ability or additional needs or lifestyle.
8. Providing feedback on this policy statement
The MNF is committed to continuous improvement and welcomes your feedback regarding this policy and its application at firstname.lastname@example.org