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ACT Women’s Plan 2010-2015

C22 ACT Women’s Plan 2010-2015

The ACT Women’s Plan 2010-2015 provides a shared approach across ACT Government agencies for working with the community to improve the status of all women and girls. The plan identifies three key priorities to achieve this: economic, social, and environmental. These priorities are underpinned by strategic outcomes, priority areas, and indicators of progress.

Activities of the Department in relation to the plan’s key priorities, where applicable, are detailed below.




Strategic outcome

Strategic outcome

Strategic outcome

Women and girls equally and fully participate in and benefit from the ACT economy.

Women and girls equally and fully participate in sustaining their families and communities, and enjoy community inclusion and wellbeing.

Women and girls equally and fully participate in planning and sharing an accessible and sustainable city.

Priority areas

Priority areas

Priority areas

  • Responsive education, training and lifelong learning
  • Safe and respectful relationships
  • Safe and responsive transport and urban planning
  • Flexible workplaces
  • Good health and wellbeing
  • Sustainable environment
  • Economic independence and opportunities
  • Safe and accessible housing
  • Leadership and decision making

Indicators of progress

Indicators of progress

Indicators of progress

Education and training pathways for women and girls

Recognition of women and girls’ contributions to the community

Available opportunities for women and girls in decisions about urban planning, transport and the environment

The Department recognises the importance of providing women with access to high quality vocational education and training that is relevant and flexible.

Not applicable.

Not applicable.

In 2009–10, programs (discussed below briefly, and in section C15) administered and or funded by the Department provided opportunities to receive training or skills recognition for female apprentices and trainees; mature-age women returning to work; women from a non-English speaking cultural background; women who are carers; women with a disability; women in small/micro business; Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and girls; and women who are looking for a career change.


Increased opportunities for the advancement of women in the workforce

Increased community leadership and decision making opportunities for women and girls

Consideration towards women and girls’ safety, security and accessibility when designing, building or retrofitting public facilities

The Department manages the Productivity Places Program (PPP) for Australian Government funded places for job seekers and jointly funded places for existing workers.

Women have considerable representation in departmental advisory bodies and actively participate in decision making processes.

The Department assists schools in using security options such as perimeter fencing to provide additional security for students thereby controlling school entry and exit points.

As at 30 June 2010, 46 percent of job seeker and 52 percent of existing worker places had been taken up by women. Of the places allocated to people from a non-English speaking cultural background, 48 percent were women. Participants in PPP can also apply for recognition of prior learning (RPL). Sixty-three percent of participants seeking RPL under this program were women.

The Minister’s two education advisory committees, the Government Schools Education Council (GSEC) and the Non- government Schools Education Council (NGSEC), are both chaired by women. In addition, women constitute 83 percent of GSEC (72% in 2008-09) and 50 percent (46% in 2008-09) of NGSEC members.

The Department works closely with schools and the Australian Federal Police to assess and develop strategies to improve security and safety at school sites.

Under the User Choice program, 43 percent of apprentice and trainee commencements in the ACT in 2009-10 were women (45 percent in 2008-09). Of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander apprentice and trainee commencements, 43 percent were women, lower than in 2008-09 (46%).

Four of the nine members of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Consultative Group are women.


All students can commence an Australian School-based Apprenticeship (ASBA) whilst in high school or college. Of all ASBAs in 2009, 43 percent were young women or girls compared with 41 percent in 2008-09).


In 2009-10, training initiatives purchased by the Department through the Priorities Support Program totalled more than $2.32 million. Of the participants commencing training courses under this program, 61 percent were women. Of these women, 54 percent were of mature age (40 years and over). Of the participants with a disability, 60 percent were women. Of the people participating in courses targeting small business employers and workers, 55 percent were women.


Increased economic leadership and decision making opportunities for women and girls

Affordable and accessible gender and culturally sensitive services


Women are well represented at senior decision-making levels in the Department.

Every school has a dedicated pastoral care coordinator responsible for coordinating whole of school pastoral care programs that take a personalised approach to supporting student wellbeing.


As at 30 June 2010, three of the Department’s five senior executive and six of the 13 senior managers were women (one position was vacant).

The Families and Schools Together program, School Youth Health Nurse program and Disability Support Officers also support student wellbeing.


In the 83 ACT public schools, 54 principals (65%) were woman as at 30 June 2010 compared with 56 principals in the 83 schools (67%) at 30 June 2009

Indigenous Student Aspiration Workers support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to reach their full potential by successful completion of secondary school and progression to higher education, training and employment options.


Every ACT public school has a school board with the board chairperson elected by the members of the board. Women comprise 46 percent of ACT public school board chairpersons.

The Department provides additional support to apprentices who require culturally sensitive learning practices through mentorship arrangements.


Improved financial equity

Pathways for Women experiencing disadvantage, social exclusion and isolation


The ACT Career and Transitions Framework is currently being established to support young people aged 11 to 25. Girls and young women will be able to access the online service which will provide career planning, support and advice.

The Department administers and funds programs that provide the best possible means for women to participate actively in community life through schooling, vocational and community education and training.


The Department continues to promote work-life balance and employment flexibility across the Department to support women and parents in the workforce. This includes the development of strategies to facilitate part time employment arrangements where desired.

The ACT Adult and Community Education (ACE) Grants Program is designed to support quality adult and community- learning opportunities in a range of formal and informal settings, using flexible and learner-centred activities. In 2010, the ACT Government provided $250,000 to fund a range of ACE courses (discussed in section C15).


Through ACE, the Department provided $14,500 for the Engaging in a Supporting Work Preparation Program. This program targeted parents seeking to return to the workforce after a long absence. The aims of the program included increasing participants’ confidence and self-esteem, teamwork, communication and personal management skills, and understanding of the requirements of a workplace.


The Marymead Family Skills Program is also under ACE and aims to address disadvantage by providing greater access to learning for women. This program delivered self-care and self-advocacy training to young mothers to fill an identified community need for them to have the skills to take care of themselves physically and emotionally. Another objective of the program was to develop women’s ability to negotiate with public and government instrumentalities to meet the needs of themselves and their families.


The Canberra College Cares (CCCares) program is conducted by the Canberra College in partnership with ACT Health and community organisations. Through the CCCares program, education and support are provided to young carers, pregnant and parenting students and students experiencing significant life changes and challenges that may pose barriers to the continuation of their education.


As at 30 June 2010, 103 of the 114 students were female and 78 children aged under five participated in the CCCares program. This compared with 84 of 95 students and 73 children aged under five during 2009.


Addressing violence against women and their children and protection and support for victims


The Safe Schools Taskforce brings together key stakeholders to discuss the safety of children and young people in ACT schools. Women represent 56 percent of members on this committee.


A suite of policies, such as Providing Safe Schools P-12, and the Countering Bullying, Harassment and Violence in ACT Public Schools policies, assists schools to protect all students and staff from violence and to support them if they are victims of violence.


The Department provides advice, support and professional learning opportunities to schools to facilitate a safe and supportive school environment.


For more information contact:
Information Services
Telephone: (02) 6205 7200

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