The Australian Human Rights Commission has today released its Progress Update on the Independent Review into Commonwealth Parliamentary Workplaces.
The Commission was asked to undertake the Review by the Federal Government, with the support of the Opposition and crossbench, in March 2021.
The Review is examining the culture of Commonwealth parliamentary workplaces with the aim of ensuring that the national Parliament reflects best practice in the prevention and response to bullying, sexual harassment and sexual assault. The Review will not investigate or make findings about individual allegations of bullying, sexual harassment or sexual assault.
Today’s progress update outlines the work of the Review to date, and contains the only information on the Review that will be released by the Commission ahead of its final report in November 2021.
Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins, who is leading the Review, said she had been inspired by the courage and determination of those who had already engaged with the Review.
“We have heard about the challenges faced and your ideas for change and it has been a privilege to be trusted with your experiences and benefit from your insight,” she said.
“Your commitment and drive for positive change is clear.”
Commissioner Jenkins urged all people who currently work, or have previously worked, in Commonwealth parliamentary workplaces to share their experiences, whether positive or negative, with the Review.
“All contributions are valuable and will ensure the findings and recommendations made in our final report are based on a comprehensive understanding of the nature and culture of Commonwealth parliamentary workplaces,” she said.
More than 345 people had participated in the Review (as of July 14, 2021). This includes 222 interviews and 124 written submissions. A further 125 people had registered for an interview, including 12 current or former Commonwealth parliamentarians.
In addition to conducting interviews and receiving written submissions, the Review team has engaged Roy Morgan Research to administer an online survey. Current Commonwealth parliamentary workplace staff will be invited to participate in the voluntary survey.
The Review team will also conduct a series of targeted focus groups with Commonwealth parliamentary workplace staff from late July 2021.
To read the Progress Update or find out more information about the Review, including how to participate, visit humanrights.gov.au/CPWReview.