Embedding an understanding of a community’s diversity is no longer a feel-good exercise for local government authorities. It is an essential part of serving the community and meeting organisational goals.

Context

In 2018, Glen Eira City Council invited Polykala to design and deliver their Diversity & Inclusion training for all new staff working across the organisation. Glen Eira wanted the training to act as a ‘culture setter’ and introduce new employees to the council’s diversity and inclusion values. Glen Eira approached Polykala with clearly articulated values around diversity and a commitment to being a more inclusive municipality. They wanted a training program that activated those values and connected with staff on a personal level. 

Glen Eira City Council’s CEO Rebecca McKenzie stated: “In order for the Council to be a high-performing organisation, we must constantly strive to foster an inclusive work culture and maintain an environment that embraces the diversity of our workforce. It is our differences and varying individual perspectives that make the Glen Eira community, and our workplace, the best it can be.”

Approach

We worked closely with Glen Eira City Council to develop a program built on our experiential learning methodology. The result is a 2-hour program that incorporates challenging reflective activities, interactive discussions and practical tools that can be used to challenge discriminatory behaviour in the workplace. The spirit behind the training and our approach is to raise awareness rather than engage in policing or naming and shaming. 

Since the program’s inception in 2018, we have now run over 40 workshops to over 800 new staff members. The program has helped to equip new staff members from across the organisation to be more inclusive of their diverse workforce and community.

Outcomes

Our partnership with Glen Eira City Council is one of our longest-standing relationships.

“The Polykala Diversity & Inclusion Workshop was tailored to our organisation’s needs and is highly educational and fun. The workshop is very useful for the participants and provides our staff with a new set of tools for day-to-day situations. Staff have gained practical skill and great reference material to help in all aspects of diversity and inclusion at work.”

Danny Milincic, Human Resources Business Partner, Glen Eira City Council

Imagery sourced from Glen Eira City Council, 2023

Client

Glen Eira City Council

Year

2018 – Present

Number of participants

800

Number of sessions

40

Location

Caulfield (VIC), Online