About this project
How do you ensure that a richly diverse community is effectively represented by the health and community services organisations that serve it?
Like many regions in Australia, the community in Melbourne’s west includes a great deal of diversity on multiple dimensions including cultural and linguistic background, gender, sexuality, age, religion, different levels of ability and other factors. HealthWest Partnership works collaboratively within this community to support an integrated approach to health and wellbeing.
Workforce mutuality describes the extent to which the diversity of an organisation or a sector’s workforce reflects the diversity of the community it serves, as well as the level of responsiveness of an organisation or sector to the needs of a diverse community. Workforce mutuality can increase the participation of people from diverse backgrounds in the delivery of health and community services. It can also improve the ways in which organisations meet the needs of their communities.
During 2017-18 HealthWest Partnership worked with a cross-sector expert advisory panel to develop the HealthWest Partnerships Standards for Workforce Mutuality.
Workforce mutuality can increase the participation of people from diverse backgrounds in the delivery of health and community services. It can also improve the ways in which organisations meet the needs of their communities.
Lirata partnered with HealthWest to lead the evaluation of the Workforce Mutuality Standards pilot. The pilot involved testing the Standards with five large service providers ranging across the health, aged care, child and family services, education and legal assistance sectors. The evaluation involved targeted stakeholder interviews, consultations with content experts and collection of detailed online feedback from each participating organisation.
The findings indicated that the Standards are broadly fit for purpose, and show good interim effectiveness and feasibility of assessment. The report captured important learnings related to implementation, and included a range of practical recommendations for improvement of the Standards and accompanying resources. The findings informed the development of a second edition of the Standards, and helped create an action plan for promotion and use of this resource.
For further information about the Workforce Mutuality Standards, please visit: healthwest.org.au/projects/workforce-mutuality