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Championing diversity and inclusion at the AHRI Awards

Dec 12, 2022

AHRI awards group photo

For the second year in a row, Jobsbank supported the Australian HR Institute (AHRI) through their annual Awards.

The Glasshouse Melbourne is buzzing with joy and excitement; the room is filled with fresh flowers and the view of the Yarra is spectacular; as the AHRI team is adding the final touches, SBS World News presenter Janice Petersen is getting ready to host an enthusiastic crowd of amazing professionals arriving from across Australia.

The midday celebration enabled many of them to be present for the face-to-face event. “It’s always exciting when people come together to celebrate excellence and recognise those making a difference,” says Jobsbank Board Director and Deputy Chair Sam Sondhi. “There are so many organisations, individuals and leaders who are passionate about accessible, inclusive workplaces. For us, at Jobsbank, it is exciting to get to know them, celebrate them and take a closer look at the way they work.”

At the 2022 event, Jobsbank is sponsoring the CEO Diversity and Inclusion Champion Award and the HR Diversity and Inclusion Champion Award. 

The CEO Diversity and Inclusion Champion Award is awarded to the CEO who has made an outstanding contribution to building diversity and inclusion within their organisation, both role modelling diversity and inclusivity, and championing diversity and inclusion initiatives and programs within their organisation.  “To me, diversity means representing the communities we serve, and inclusion means ensuring our staff and customers feel multiple views are valued and respected, ultimately impacting how we deliver services,” says winner of the award for 2022, Emma Hogan, Secretary of the NSW Department of Customer Service.

Jobsbank Board Director Sam Sondhi with 2022 AHRI CEO Diversity and Inclusion Champion Emma Hogan
Jobsbank Board Director Sam Sondhi with 2022 AHRI CEO Diversity and Inclusion Champion Emma Hogan

Emma and her team are delighted to win the award.

“It speaks to the efforts we are making on diversity, inclusion, care and belonging. We have 13,000 people serving 8 million customers across our state and we place real value on representing the communities we service, so to get this recognition is a lovely milestone,” she adds. “It shows we’re heading in the right direction.”

(L-R) Edel Conroy, Jobsbank Strategy, Business & Governance Director, Emma Hogan 2022 AHRI CEO Diversity and Inclusion Champion
(L-R) Edel Conroy, Jobsbank Strategy, Business & Governance Director, Emma Hogan 2022 AHRI CEO Diversity and Inclusion Champion

Meanwhile, the HR Diversity and Inclusion Champion Award recognises HR professionals who empower others and drive cultural change within their organisation around equity, diversity and inclusion. This year’s winner of the award is Tara Keast of DesignInc Sydney.

“The award revealed the incredible progress HR has made in moving towards acknowledging and celebrating initiatives that foster diversity and inclusion in business, rather than suppressing it,” says Tara.  “Diversity is so important and if supported and celebrated in an organisation, it brings so many incredible benefits. Diversity brings different ideas, different perceptions, different designs – it’s an incredible advantage which makes a business stand apart from others. Whether it be gender, culture, religion, age, sexuality, disability etc. Our life experiences and our diversity mean we all bring a unique offering, which makes our business a better place.” 

(L-R) Jobsbank Board Director Sam Sondhi, Jobsbank Strategy, 2022 AHRI HR Diversity and Inclusion Champion Tara Keast, 
Business & Governance Director Edel Conroy
(L-R) Jobsbank Board Director Sam Sondhi, Jobsbank Strategy, 2022 AHRI HR Diversity and Inclusion Champion Tara Keast, Business & Governance Director Edel Conroy

This year’s nominees and winners are an encouragement to everyone working towards better workplaces. “I think we are really starting to see maturity in this space, so I’m excited about sustaining momentum,” says Emma.  

Tara echoes this sentiment.  “Hopefully one day, diversity and inclusion will be the norm for all businesses and not something that’s awarded for being exceptional,” she concludes.

About Jobsbank

At Jobsbank we are passionate about inclusion and the difference it makes – not just to one person, but to teams and whole organisations. We believe in an Australia where everybody belongs. That’s why we’re helping to build more inclusive workplaces one business at time. Whether you have specific focus areas or you’re looking to achieve transformational change – our services are tailored to meet your specific needs and provides you with the insights and tools to deliver sustainable solutions.

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