AFP logo at EBB Canberra

Diversity and Inclusion Strategy 2023-26

Commissioner’s Foreword

I am pleased to launch the AFP Diversity and Inclusion Strategy 2023–26. This Strategy sets our diversity and inclusion priorities and outcomes for the next four years and supports our strategic workforce approach and delivery of agile and adaptive capabilities that meet our future needs.

Diversity and inclusion are critical to delivering operational success and readiness. Delivering maximum impact to the criminal environment requires us to be as diverse and dynamic as the environment we operate in, and the communities we serve.

It is my expectation that all AFP Commands integrate the principles of diversity and inclusion into their day-to-day practices and that we all take equal ownership and accountability for achieving the objectives of this strategy, in support of our operational and strategic priorities.

The different perspectives, approaches and lived experiences of our people are key to our success as a leading law enforcement agency. We must ensure we have an AFP culture that supports our people to feel safe, respected, connected and engaged.

A key focus of this strategy will be to improve psychological safety, and a culture where everyone feels confident to ask questions, seek help, report mistakes, raise concerns and offer suggestions without fear of negative consequences.

A diverse workforce and an inclusive workplace, that values psychological safety, strengthens our ability to innovate and problem solve in new ways, keeping us a step ahead to outsmart serious crime.

We must achieve an AFP workforce composed of people who reflect and understand the community they serve. It is critical we embrace our different perspectives and experiences to strengthen our collective intelligence and build trust internally, with our partners and the community.

Reece P Kershaw APM




Diversity and inclusion vision

A leading law enforcement agency where our people feel safe, connected, respected and engaged.


We feel safe to ask questions, seek help, report mistakes, raise concerns and offer suggestions without the fear of negative consequences.


We share suggestions, concerns and knowledge with each other in order to innovate and solve problems.


We have respect for each other, our capabilities, care about each other as people and have mutual respect for the work all staff do to progress the AFP and our vision.


We are connected and motivated by our mission to deliver maximum impact to the criminal environment.

Who is the Strategy for?

Greater diversity and inclusion benefits everyone, not just those from diverse cohorts. 

Our business:

  • We support the frontline and enable operational outcomes by ensuring the AFP is composed of staff who reflect and understand the community we serve.
  • We will be a diversity and inclusion employer of choice that enables us to meet our recruitment goals and operational needs.
  • We understand that diversity and inclusion assists us to become a high performing, values-driven and innovative policing organisation that holds the confidence of our community, government and partners.

Our people:

  • We value the different perspectives, approaches and lived experiences of our people and recognise that our collective diversity and contribution is what makes us a stronger organisation.
  • We ensure our people feel safe, welcomed, accepted and can contribute their full selves. Everyone has the right to feel valued, included and treated with respect. 
  • We cultivate psychological safety and inclusive workplace practices and culture to improve the experience of all staff throughout the employee lifecycle.
  • We aim to equip our people with the knowledge, confidence and skills to harness diversity, demonstrate inclusive leadership, engage in respectful conversations and identify and dismantle barriers. 
  • We create a shared understanding, ownership and accountability for delivering diversity and inclusion outcomes.

Our networks and allies:

  • We connect, collaborate and celebrate with our diversity networks and take action to address barriers and unconscious bias.
  • We recognise the importance of understanding intersectionality and commit to factoring this into decision making.  

Our community:

  • We strive to represent the community we serve – their ideals, their beliefs and their diversity – and maintain the highest levels of trust and confidence.
  • We understand we have a social responsibility and want to be visible and vocal advocates for diversity and inclusion.
  • We prevent crime and contribute to whole of Government strategies that protect diverse cohorts within our community.

Our partnerships:

  • Our partners can feel confident they are engaging with people who operate with the highest levels of respect, integrity and accountability.

The RESULTS approach

To achieve our diversity and inclusion vision, we will focus on holistic and sustainable change that is embedded in the employee lifecycle. This will be managed through a balance of foundational, enhancement and sophistication initiatives. There are seven key objectives that underpin the AFP Diversity and Inclusion Strategy.

RECRUIT a diverse workforce

The AFP workforce more closely reflects the diverse communities we serve enabling our people to see themselves, their backgrounds and cultures represented and valued throughout the AFP.

EDUCATE our workforce

We have a shared understanding of the importance of diversity and inclusion for the AFP, feel confident to engage in respectful conversations that dismantle barriers to inclusion, and understand it is everyone’s responsibility to build an inclusive workplace culture.

SUPPORT our people

Our people feel safe and empowered to be their true self, without fear of negative consequences for self, status or career.

UPLIFT our practices

Our people are supported by leading employment practices and our policies and procedures are designed to support our people deliver outstanding operational outcomes.

LEAD with confidence

Our leaders are bold and assertive role models of inclusive behaviour, understand how to harness diversity and are empowered to support the diverse needs of the workforce.

TRACK our progress

We effectively capture and record data to enhance our understanding of our people. We are recognised internally and externally as an employer of choice that continually strives towards building an inclusive workplace.

SUSTAIN and grow

The benefits of a diverse, inclusive and healthy workforce are actualised and our people feel a strong sense of connection to the AFP and are empowered to pursue meaningful careers.

How will we measure the results?

The following measures will be monitored and reported in line with the AFP’s Diversity and Inclusion Governance Framework.

The Diversity and Inclusion implementation plan provides the roadmap for ensuring accountability and delivery against these measures.

These measures will remain agile and be reviewed regularly to enable changes in response to shifts in the external environment and to account for internal workforce drivers.

  • 30% female sworn workforce by 2028
  • First Nations people represent 3% of the workforce by 2028
  • People with disability and/or neurodivergent people represent 7% of the workforce by 2028
  • Higher conversion rate of diverse candidates through the sworn recruitment pipeline
  • Increased positive feedback about recruitment experience from diverse candidates
  • Increased cultural capability through partnerships and learning and development opportunities
  • Positive staff sentiment in relation to diversity and inclusion initiatives
  • Increased staff engagement with diversity and inclusion initiatives
  • Improved development and leadership pathways for diversity cohorts
  • Established processes for capturing and responding to reported incidents of bullying, harassment and discrimination both internally and from members of the public
  • Improved inclusivity staff survey results for diversity cohorts
  • Improved engagement staff survey results for diversity cohorts
  • Reduced gender pay gap
  • Enhanced community liaison and partnerships through the provision of culturally competent policing services
  • Established processes for capturing examples of where diversity and inclusion has supported operational readiness, enhanced operational capability and/or delivered operational outcomes
  • Improved capability and confidence of SES to lead on diversity and inclusion
  • Increased SES sponsorship of, and involvement in, diversity and inclusion initiatives
  • Improved staff survey results for senior leadership
  • Gender representation at EL and SES meets 40:40:20 ratio
  • Increased First Nations SES representation by 2028
  • Increased understanding of diversity that exists within the AFP
  • Improved systems and processes for capturing diversity data
  • Improved external benchmarking scores
  • Enhanced accountability for delivering diversity and inclusion outcomes and managing risks through regular reporting
  • Improved systems and processes for continuous review


How will we stay on track?


In Australia, it is unlawful to discriminate on the basis of a number of protected attributes. Australia’s federal anti-discrimination laws are contained in the following legislation:

  •  Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986
  •  Age Discrimination Act 2004
  •  Disability Discrimination Act 1992
  •  Racial Discrimination Act 1975
  •  Sex Discrimination Act 1984


A robust governance structure will ensure that diversity and inclusion is everyone’s business and business as usual:

  •  The Strategy and Performance Board is the main oversight and risk management committee for the D&I Program. The Enterprise Operations Board has responsibility for allocating and managing resources.
  •  The Chief Operating Officer is the main advocate for implementation and accountability.
  •  The Diversity Networks and the Culture Committees will support inclusive practices and represent diverse voices within the AFP.
  •  The Senior Leadership Forum and the Diversity Network Champions are responsible and accountable for championing and driving diversity and inclusion initiatives and change.
  •  The Culture and Inclusion Team is responsible for development, coordination and evaluation of the D&I Strategy and supporting implementation plan.


We recognise the value of collaboration and external partnerships to ensure we remain accountable in our approach and are continually applying contemporary best practice.

  • The five-year Australian Human Rights Commission partnership will ensure we prioritise actionable and pragmatic approaches to sustainable cultural change and will underpin our work towards promoting an inclusive workplace culture.

Your role

  • All members are responsible for championing D&I at the AFP, and for respecting and actively including each other.
  • All leaders have further responsibility for enabling their teams to actively engage with D&I initiatives and for leading by example and setting expectations for inclusive behaviour and practices.
  • All business areas are responsible for contributing to the AFP’s culture and inclusion program. Teams should apply a D&I lens to their work practices and where relevant, partner with the Diversity & Inclusion team to deliver outcomes for the AFP in line with the RESULTS Approach and implementation Road Map.