The ALRC welcomes feedback on this Plan. Email Sabina Wynn - info@alrc.gov.au.

Our Vision

As a law reform body, the ALRC has the opportunity to contribute to social justice, equity and inclusion in Australia through reform of laws appropriate to the diversity of the Australian community. The ALRC commits to engaging and consulting with culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) organisations and communities and when formulating recommendations for law reform to consider the impact on CALD communities.

Our Agency

The Australian Law Reform Commission is a federal agency within the Attorney-General’s portfolio. The ALRC conducts inquiries into areas of law at the request of the Attorney-General of Australia. Based on its research and consultations throughout an inquiry, the ALRC makes recommendations so that government can make informed decisions about the development, reform and harmonisation of Australian laws and related processes. The ALRC is independent of government and is able to undertake legal policy development, based on its own research and analysis, and extensive consultation with the community

Pursuant to the Australian Law Reform Commission Act 1996 (Cth) (the ALRC Act), the ALRC's objective is to make recommendations for law reform that:

  1. bring the law into line with current conditions and needs;
  2. remove defects in the law;
  3. simplify the law;
  4. adopt new or more effective methods for administering the law and dispensing justice; and
  5. provide improved access to justice.

In accordance with s24 of the ALRC Act, when conducting an inquiry, the ALRC also monitors overseas legal systems to ensure Australia compares favourably with international best practice. The ALRC aims to ensure that the recommendations it makes do not trespass unduly on personal rights and liberties of citizens, or make those rights and liberties unduly dependent on administrative, rather than judicial, decisions and, as far as practicable, are consistent with Australia’s international legal obligations. The ALRC must also have regard to any effect that its recommendations may have on the costs of access to, and dispensing of, justice.

Our Agency Multicultural Plan (AMP)

There are two key ways in which the work of the ALRC may have an impact on Australia’s CALD communities. First, through consultation—all Australians should have a say in reforming laws that affect them and the ALRC endeavours to make the law reform process as open and consultative as possible. Secondly, through the impact of laws on CALD communities—it is important that Australia’s laws are responsive to the needs and experiences of all its citizens, including those from CALD communities, and the ALRC’s  recommendations for law reform need to reflect this. The ALRC’s AMP will:

  1. assist the ALRC to involve CALD communities in the process of law reform and to ensure that the needs and opinions of these communities are considered in our processes; and
  2. ensure that ALRC recommendations for law reform have regard to the interests of and impact on Australia’s CALD communities.

The ALRC’s AMP was developed initially and has been reviewed by the ALRC’s Diversity Working Group.

The ALRC’s President (Chief Executive Officer) has approved this AMP and has delegated to the Executive Director and the Diversity Working Group operational responsibility for ensuring that the ALRC’s AMP actively engages and informs ALRC activities.

The ALRC AMP sets out the ALRC’s commitment to multicultural access and equity. The AMP will ensure that the ALRC inquiry processes and its recommendations are responsive to the needs of Australians from CALD backgrounds. Our AMP will assist the ALRC to target our efforts and increase our responsiveness in a planned and coordinated way.

Focus area: Engagement

In this AMP cycle, the ALRC will concentrate on the area of engagement, ensuring that CALD communities are able to engage actively in our consultation processes.

1.       Leadership

Minimum Obligations:

1.1     Executive accountability—Agency to assign a Senior Executive Officer to be responsible for implementation of Multicultural Access and Equity obligations in the agency.

1.2     Agency commitment—Agency leadership to ensure that staff understand and are committed to Multicultural Access and Equity implementation.

 

Action

Responsibility

Timeline

Target

1.1

Executive accountability

The ALRC President has committed to this AMP and has appointed the Executive Director to be responsible for its implementation.

Executive Director

1 July 2013

Executive Director has responsibility for the implementation of the ALRC’s AMP.

1.2

Agency commitment

The ALRC will establish a Diversity Working Group with responsibility for developing, monitoring and implementing the ALRC’s AMP.

Diversity Working Group (DWG)

1 May 2013 established. Bi-annual meetings, in August and February.

Diversity Working Group meets bi-annually.

2.       Engagement

Minimum obligations

2.1     Stakeholder engagement—Agency to have an engagement strategy to understand culturally and linguistically diverse communities’ interaction with agency.

2.2     Language and communication—Agency to have a language and communication plan for culturally and linguistically diverse communities, including on the use of languages other than English and incorporating the use of interpreters and translators.

 

Action

Responsibility

Timeline

Target

2.1

Stakeholder engagement

At the beginning of an inquiry, Commissioners and Legal Officers will develop a consultation strategy for CALD communities, relevant to the subject matter of that inquiry including consideration of CALD individuals for membership of the Advisory Committees and/or expert panels.

Commissioners and Legal Officers

At the beginning of each inquiry.

Each inquiry has a CALD consultation strategy in place, if inquiry is relevant to CALD communities.

2.2

Where case studies are used in consultation documents and final reports to reflect the experiences of the community, the ALRC will include CALD-related case studies.

Legal Officers

Throughout each inquiry.

Diverse case studies are used in consultation documents and final reports.

2.3

Language and communication

Develop a language and communication plan to facilitate and encourage ALRC communications with CALD communities. This could include community fact sheets, media releases sent to CALD networks and a publicity strategy to ensure engagement by diverse communities.

Diversity Working Group

December 2014

Language and communication plan produced.

3.       Performance

Minimum obligations

3.1     Performance indicators and reporting—Agency to develop a set of KPIs relating to engagement with, or outcomes of services to, culturally and linguistically diverse clients.

3.2     Feedback—Agency to have arrangements to ensure affected culturally and linguistically diverse communities are able to provide feedback on agency Multicultural Access and Equity performance.

 

Action

Responsibility

Timeline

Target

3.1

Performance indicators and reporting

 

Annual review of consultation strategy templates.

Diversity Working Group

First review by 1 July 2014, then annually.

Review will be undertaken in July 2014. Consultation strategy updated.

3.2

Consultation and engagement with CALD community organisations and representatives.

(Note, the ALRC does not determine the subject matter of its inquiries. Some ALRC inquiries will be of more relevance to CALD communities than others).

Commissioners and Legal Officers

Throughout each inquiry.

Number of consultations held and submissions received from CALD community organisations and representatives.

3.3

Feedback

 

Review and update if necessary feedback mechanisms and search functions on ALRC website relevant to CALD communities.

Online Communications Manager and Diversity Working Group

Annually

Updates completed if necessary.

3.4

Provide feedback to CALD communities about the results of consultations and/or inquiries in a number of ways including by using the ALRC’s website, through fact sheets, articles in publications and media as well as through conferences and seminars.

Executive Director, Commissioners and Legal Officers

At the conclusion of each inquiry, where relevant as determined by the Communication Plan and inquiry consultation strategy.

Number of fact sheets, articles and conference presentations.

4.       Capability

Minimum obligations

4.1     Cultural competency—Agency to have training and development measures to equip staff with cultural competency skills.

4.2     Research and data—Agency to collect ethnicity data on the culturally and linguistically diverse groups with which the agency engages and to which it delivers services directly or indirectly.

 

Action

Responsibility

Timeline

Target

4.1

Cultural competency

 

Induction materials are updated with appropriate information about cultural diversity and the ALRC’s AMP.

Executive Director

Annually

Induction material is up to date.

4.2

All new employees will be made aware of AMP as part of the induction process.

Executive Director

Upon engagement of new employees.

New employees have received information about the ALRC’s AMP.

4.3

Provide two-yearly cross-cultural training to all employees.

Executive Director

June 2015

All employees have attended cross-cultural training.

4.4

Research and data

 

Compile a list of all CALD groups engaged with in the course of inquiries.

Executive Director, Project Coordinator and Legal Officers

At the conclusion of each inquiry.

List compiled of all CALD groups engaged with in the course of inquiries.

4.5

In preparing consultation strategies, discussion papers, and reports, consider best practice research and data/statistical resources to better understand demographic and socio-economic characteristics of CALD communities, where relevant.

Legal Officers

Throughout each inquiry.

CALD statistics and resources used to inform and/or referred to in consultation strategies and inquiry documents.

4.6

Update consultation strategy templates to include a reference guide to best practice research and statistical/data information on CALD communities.

Executive Director and Diversity Working Group

At start of each inquiry.

Consultation strategy templates updated for each new inquiry.

5.       Responsiveness

Minimum obligations

5.1     Standards—Any whole-of-government standards and guidelines developed by the agency must address Multicultural Access and Equity considerations.

5.2     Policy, program and service delivery—Provision to ensure that policies, programs, community interactions and service delivery (whether in-house or outsourced) are effective for culturally and linguistically diverse communities.

5.3     Outsourced services—Where relevant, provision for incorporation of Multicultural Access and Equity requirements into contracts, grant agreements and related guidance material of which the agency has carriage.

 

Action

Responsibility

Timeline

Target

5.1

Standards

 

The ALRC will adhere to all whole-of-government diversity standards and guidelines that are developed to ensure access and equity is a consideration in all the ALRC’s whole-of-government services, frameworks, protocols and procurements.

Executive Director

From July 2013 and ongoing.

ALRC has adhered to access and equity guidelines in all its whole-of-government services, frameworks, protocols and procurements.

5.2

Policy, program and service delivery

 

Review all ALRC policies to ensure they use culturally appropriate language and promote diversity.

Diversity Working Group

December 2013

All ALRC internal policies use culturally appropriate language and promote diversity.

5.3

Develop and publish an ALRC diversity commitment in line with the Australian Public Service Commissioner’s Directions.

Diversity Working Group

July 2013

Commitment is published on ALRC website.

5.4

Notification of new positions and the existence of the ALRC’s Temporary Employment Register in CALD networks.

Executive Director

When new positions arise.

Increased number of applications from CALD communities to new positions and on the Temporary Employment Register.

5.5

Outsourced services

 

The ALRC will incorporate Multicultural Access and Equity requirements into contracts for any outsourced services it engages.

Executive Director

July 2013

Contracts for outsourced services encourage adherence by contractor to access and equity principles.

6.       Openness

Minimum obligations

6.1     Publishing—Agency to publish AMP on agency website and performance reports against agency KPIs for culturally and linguistically diverse clients in agency annual reports.

6.2     Data—Agency to make culturally and linguistically diverse data available to other agencies and the public.

 

Action

Responsibility

Timeline

Target

6.1

Publishing

The ALRC’s AMP will be published on the ALRC website.

Online Communications Manager

July 2013

ALRC’s AMP published on the ALRC website.

6.2

A performance report in relation to the AMP will be included in ALRC Annual Report.

Executive Director and Diversity Working Group

August 2013 and then annually.

AMP performance report included in ALRC Annual Report.

6.3

ALRC to report to DIAC and Australian Multicultural Council against AMP.

Executive Director

First report July 2015 and then two yearly.

Report provided to DIAC and AMC against AMP.

6.4

Where relevant, summary documents and/or fact sheets addressing CALD issues raised in an inquiry will be published on the ALRC website to ensure the visibility of the issues and perspectives of CALD communities.

Legal Officers

At the conclusion of each inquiry.

Summary documents and fact sheets produced and published.

6.5

Data

A list of all CALD stakeholders engaged with in the course of each inquiry will be listed in the final Report and published on the ALRC website.

Executive Director, Project Coordinator and Online Communications Manager

At the conclusion of each inquiry.

CALD stakeholders are included in stakeholder lists in final Reports and on ALRC website.

Published on 2 July 2013. Last modified on 20 January 2016.