In the course of their work, Victorian public sector managers will commonly encounter people whose identities, perspectives and interests are significantly different from their own. This will occur within the workplace, within the collaborative environments in which they work and in their contact with members of the Victorian community.

It is important that Victorian public sector managers develop the capacity to appreciate and benefit from different identities, perspectives and interests rather than seeking to deny or remove differences.

Increasing understanding about the different identities, perspectives and interests commonly encountered in Victoria provides the focus for the development topics outlined overleaf.

The focus on developing the knowledge, skills and behaviours for working with diversity is presented here without context. Other Development Guides provide the basis to explore the context in which managers will encounter different identities, perspectives and interests (especially Development Guide#7 – Managing And Developing People in the Victorian Public Sector and Development Guide #10 – Collaborating Across and Beyond the Victorian Public Sector).

Development Guide #4– Advanced Interpersonal Skills provides many of the foundational skills for working with diversity.

What should a development activity cover?

The checklist that follows outlines the core content that development activities focusing on this subject area ought to cover in order to build the knowledge, skills and behaviours required for success in any Victorian public sector management role.

Accompanying the checklist is a list of resources. Use of these resources in the design and delivery of a development activity will help build knowledge, skills and behaviours that are of immediate and clear value in any management role in the Victorian public sector.

Some of these resources describe specific knowledge, skills or behaviours, while others provide information about the context in which Victorian public sector managers operate. In most cases, the resources do not address the topic in full. Additional material will still be required to provide comprehensive development in the relevant content area.

Most resources listed are freely available as downloads from the websites indicated.

Core Content / Resources

Establishing the Context

Understanding the importance of working with diversity to achieve high quality outcomes in the context of the changing and complex environment in which the Victorian public sector operates


  • Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics will be of use in providing contextual information
  • Urban and regional research reports and analysis produced by the Spatial Analysis and Research branch of the Department of Planning and Community Development will also be of interest

Understanding the Underpinning Principles


  • The general principles for achieving meaningful engagement with and between people with significantly different identities or perspectives
  • Legislation relevant to diversity.


* Please note that this is not an exhaustive list of the different identities, perspectives and interests you are likely to encounter. Depending on your own identity and perspectives, the environment in which you work and the people you meet, you may need to undertake further and more specialised development to ensure appreciation of, and engagement with, other specific identities or perspectives.

Understanding Different Identities, Perspectives and Interests*


  • Work-culture identities, perspectives and interests commonly encountered within Victoria
  • Socio-economic identities, perspectives and interests commonly encountered within Victoria
  • Generational identities, perspectives and interests commonly encountered within Victoria
  • Cultural identities, perspectives and interests commonly encountered within Victoria


Understanding the identities, perspectives and interests of people who have:

  • Blindness (or low vision)
  • Deafness (or low hearing)
  • Mobility or communication difficulties
  • A degenerative condition such as multiple sclerosis or motor neurone disease
  • A mental illness
  • An intellectual or learning disability.


Seeking Assistance

Understanding when and how to seek support working with people with different identities or perspectives.