You are in site section: About us

Sustainability: Taking care of people

The Museum is committed to creating a supportive, productive, and collaborative work environment that attracts and retains talented employees who are capable of contributing to the Museum’s success. The Museum values performance, innovation, creativity and diversity and, in 2012–13, it continued to review, develop and implement workplace practices and programs that support staff to achieve their best.

Museum staff are employed under the Public Service Act 1999, and employment conditions are established under legislation applying to the Australian Public Service and, in particular, the National Museum of Australia Enterprise Agreement 2012–14.

A number of individual Australian Workplace Agreements (AWAs) made under the Workplace Relations Act 1996 continue to be in effect within the Museum. These AWAs will operate until they are terminated, as provided under the Fair Work Act 2009, or the relevant employment ceases. Further AWAs will not be made.

The National Museum of Australia Enterprise Agreement 2012–14 provides for individual employees to negotiate pay and conditions enhancements through Individual Flexibility Agreements (IFAs). These are designed to supplement the terms of the enterprise agreement with payments, benefits and/or conditions to recognise particular skills, capabilities or additional responsibilities, or to meet special workplace circumstances, operational requirements or to provide individual flexibility. A number of IFAs have been negotiated and approved across the Museum.

At 30 June 2013, the Museum employed 262 staff consisting of 219 ongoing and 43 non-ongoing employees, which represented a full-time equivalent number of 231.87.

Total staff numbers as at 30 June each year

Financial year Total staff numbers
2004–05 263
2005–06 304
2006–07 292
2007–08 282
2008–09 284
2009–10 297
2010–11 266
2011–12 251
2012–13 262

Attracting the right people

The Museum continues to promote diversity and strives to establish a staffing profile that is representative of the Australian community. The Museum employs a range of technical, professional and administrative staff and successfully competes for and attracts quality applicants for positions; only a limited number of specialist roles were difficult to fill in 2012–13.

Staffing by division as at 30 June 2013

Division Ongoing Non-ongoing Total
Executive Support 3 1 4
Operations 53 11 64
Collections, Content and Exhibitions 72 14 86
Audience, Programs and Partnerships 91 17 108
Total 219 43 262

Staffing by employment status as at 30 June 2013

Status Male Female Total
Ongoing full-time Principal Executive Officer (PEO) 0 0 0
Non-ongoing full-time PEO 1 0 1
Ongoing full-time Senior Executive Service (SES) 2 1 3
Ongoing full-time non-SES 52 97 149
Ongoing part-time SES 0 0 0
Ongoing part-time non-SES 14 53 67
Non-ongoing full-time SES 0 0 0
Non-ongoing full-time non-SES 10 18 28
Non-ongoing part-time SES 0 0 0
Non-ongoing part-time non-SES 4 10 14
Total 83 179 262

Staffing by Australian Public Service (APS) level as at 30 June 2013

APS levels

Male Female Total
PEO 1 0 1
SESB2 0 0 0
SESB1 2 1 3
Executive Level 2 6 18 24
Executive Level 1 16 21 37
APS6 17 26 43
APS5 11 31 42
APS4 8 36 44
APS3 3 20 23
APS2 19 25 44
APS1 0 1 1
CADET 0 0 0
Total 83 179 262

Supporting and maintaining a high performance culture

The Museum’s performance management framework, Workplace Conversations, was developed in 2003 and reviewed in 2006. The Museum started a second review of the framework in 2013, as required under the National Museum of Australia Enterprise Agreement 2012–14. The revised framework aims to promote discussion of broader workplace issues, clarify staff responsibilities, rights and obligations, and improve staff understanding of Museum budget information and issues.

Workplace Conversations is a formal process that requires staff members to have regular performance discussions with their manager. These formal discussions, linked to overall strategic and business objectives, cover the scope and deliverables of a staff member’s position, the support required to deliver them, and a documented agreement on relevant learning and development opportunities.

Sustaining a consultative culture

The Museum is proud of its consultative culture and has successfully embedded a consultation framework that provides all employees with the opportunity to be an integral part of the decision-making process. The Museum Consultative Forum, consisting of the Director, representatives appointed by the Director and staff representatives, oversees and engages on strategic issues impacting on the Museum. This forum is supplemented by a Workplace Consultative Committee that monitors and consults on operational matters affecting Museum staff.

The Museum also works closely with the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) on all relevant matters affecting staff. A CPSU representative sits on the Museum Consultative Forum and the Workplace Consultative Committee.

Supporting and making workplace diversity a priority

The Museum is committed to developing and maintaining a diverse workplace by fostering, recruiting and retaining a workforce that reflects, and makes the best use of, the diversity of the Australian community. The Museum aims to achieve this through the development and implementation of specific strategies and, wherever possible, participating in Australian Public Service recruitment programs. The Museum has published a commitment to diversity statement on its website (nma.gov.au).

The Museum will consult with key stakeholders to review and implement a revised Workplace Diversity Plan in 2013–14 that strengthens and supports a broad range of diversity initiatives. In 2012–13 the Museum continued to support the Museum Workplace Diversity Reference Group and three supporting workgroups – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Working Group, Disability Working Group and Cultural and Linguistic Working Group. These groups work collaboratively to develop and implement strategies that support and promote diversity within the workplace.

This year, progress has been achieved on a number of diversity initiatives, including:

  • an ongoing commitment to Indigenous employment, through the Indigenous cadetship program
  • creation of a Diversity and Wellbeing Officer position
  • development and implementation of a Reasonable Adjustment policy
  • ongoing, active support for ill and injured staff and return to work programs
  • ongoing support for employees and job applicants with disabilities through Job Access
  • creation of identified positions for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders
  • ongoing support for employees who may be the subject of bullying and discrimination.

Museum staff diversity

Group No. % total staff
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples 11 4.2
People with disabilities 11 4.2
Culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds 38 14.5
Females 179 68.3

Enhancing our leadership capability

The Museum focused on developing management capabilities in 2012–13 and introduced the Management to Leadership program for senior managers. The program builds on the existing capabilities of executive level staff and strengthens their capacity to work collaboratively to deliver the Museum’s strategic priorities.

Recognising people

Staff recognition at the Museum is usually expressed formally between those involved in individual performance management via the Workplace Conversations framework. This is a critical level of recognition, stressing the importance of having constructive conversations throughout the year that are aligned with strategic and business priorities.

To provide wider recognition of significant contributions and achievements by its staff, the Director presented Australia Day Achievement medallions to four employees who had made noteworthy contributions to the work of the Museum during the past year, or over a number of years. The recipients were Sara Kelly, Keryn De Majnik, Greer Gehrt and Vicki Humphrey.

The contribution of volunteers

This financial year 69 volunteers contributed 3671 hours to areas including curatorial and administration, and events, such as festival days.

The Museum’s largest volunteer program supports the 134-year-old paddle steamer, PS Enterprise – the crew being drawn entirely from volunteers. Depending on qualifications and experience, the 34 volunteers perform various roles aboard the vessel: master, mate, engineer, leading deckhand, deckhand and galley hand. The crew brought the PS Enterprise to life each weekend from September to December 2012. In 2012–13 the volunteer crew contributed 1173 hours.

Volunteers also contributed to:

  • Education: Thirty volunteers contributed 2183 hours assisting in the delivery of the Museum’s Education programs, enhancing the students’ and teachers’ experience of Australian history
  • Public Programs: Six volunteers contributed 148.75 hours assisting in delivering school holiday programs to families and providing assistance with festival days
  • Library: One volunteer spent 59 hours assisting Library staff
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Program: Two volunteers contributed 24.50 hours providing office assistance
  • Records Management: One volunteer contributed 83 hours scanning and organising files.
A volunteer assists a young Museum visitor at Discovery Space in the Hall.
A volunteer assists a young Museum visitor at Discovery Space in the Hall.

Post-separation employment

There were no applications for post-separation employment during the year.

Educational and developmental opportunities

The Museum continued to be a sought-after venue for secondary and tertiary students seeking work experience, with a number of students undertaking work experience placements or undertaking internships with the Museum, including three students from Germany.

Promoting a healthy and safe workplace

The workplace health and safety (WHS) of all staff, volunteers, visitors and contractors continued to be a priority for the Museum during 2012–13. This was achieved through the Museum’s well-established framework for WHS management, which includes:

  • WHS Committee meetings held every two months
  • health and safety representatives and deputies in each of the five designated work groups
  • targeted safety improvements
  • incident reporting and investigation
  • provision of timely information to employees via a dedicated intranet page and the use of dedicated display boards in staff areas.

The Museum continues to review existing WHS procedures and guidelines to ensure that they meet the requirements of the WHS legislation.

In 2012–13, the Museum formally established a wellbeing program for staff and volunteers. Some of the wellbeing initiatives undertaken during the year included voluntary health assessments, a flu vaccination program, health and wellbeing information sessions, regular lunchtime walking groups and lunchtime exercise groups.

Training for staff and volunteers is recognised as one of the key elements in achieving and maintaining a high standard of workplace safety. Training provided during 2012–13 included:

  • online WHS training courses for all new employees
  • induction presentations for all visitor services hosts focusing on their WHS obligations to each other and to the public
  • an all-staff presentation on WHS obligations
  • ongoing recruitment and training of building wardens, first aid officers, and health and safety representatives
  • manual handling training.

The Museum continued to ensure that all contractors working on Museum sites received a site induction prior to commencing work. Site inductions are aimed at increasing contractor awareness of WHS obligations and reducing the risk of injury and/or damage to collection items. The Museum identified, assessed and rectified safety hazards in a functional and practical way that also took environmental and aesthetic aspects into consideration. Following review, inspection and reporting tools were disseminated to health and safety representatives to help them conduct regular workplace inspections and report findings to the WHS Committee.

Advice on WHS issues also informs the exhibition and gallery development programs and other key projects. Input was provided at all stages of these projects, from design to installation.

There were a total of 53 minor injuries (those that require no medical treatment or only first aid treatment and include potential exposures to chemicals) and two serious injuries (those that require emergency medical attention by a doctor, in a hospital or in an ambulance) reported by staff, visitors or contractors during the year. There were also five dangerous incidents (those incidents that could have, but did not, result in serious injury or death). The serious injuries and dangerous incidents were reported to Comcare. There were no fatalities or provisional improvement notices recorded during the year.

Category and number of reported incidents, 2007–13

Year Minor
injuries
Serious
injuries
Dangerous
occurrences
2007–08 60 3 5
2008–09 85 6 3
2009–10 89 1 1
2010–11 98 5 8
2011–12 79 3 5
2012–13 53 2 5

Security

The Museum continues to prioritise the safety and security of visitors, staff, contractors and collections, including the National Historical Collection. This is achieved with a combination of controls and the use of education and awareness programs.

In November 2012 the Museum upgraded the role of the security coordinator to an agency security advisor. This new role brings together responsibility for security, ICT security, risk management and internal audit coordination.

The agency security advisor is also tasked with increasing the Museum’s focus on security compliance based on security best practice, which is detailed in the Australian Government Protective Security Policy Framework (PSPF).

The partnership between the Museum’s security officers and its contracted security service providers continues to be supportive and vital in enabling the Museum to achieve its business objectives. A range of significant projects were completed in 2012–13, including:

  • defining security controls for the new administration extension and cafe spaces
  • establishing interim security controls for temporary work spaces
  • introducing email archiving for compliance
  • introducing an online incident reporting system, shared by the Museum and contractors
  • enhancing visitor management processes, including incident response
  • presenting staff information sessions on security matters, including the implications of the new PSPF.

The security infrastructure contract was approved with a three-year tenure period and options to extend for a further one-year period.

Indemnities and insurance

In accordance with Section 19 of the Commonwealth Authorities (Annual Reporting) Orders 2011, which requires reporting on indemnities and insurance premiums for officers, the Museum confirms that it has:

  • director’s and officers’ liability insurance cover through Comcover, the Commonwealth self-managed fund
  • not entered into any deeds of indemnity in relation to the director’s and officers’ liability.

The Museum reviewed its insurance coverage during the year to ensure that it remained appropriate for its operations.