Gender Equality Act

Victorian public sector organisations, universities and councils legislated to take positive action towards achieving workplace gender equality under the state’s first Gender Equality Act (which came into effect on March 31, 2021) have support from the ‘Commission for Gender Equality in the Public Sector’ to meet their obligations.

The Commission’s website is is the government’s central point for information about the Act, obligations, reporting and compliance and has published a range of guidance materials and best practice resources to help defined entities to meet their obligations.

In addition, Women’s Health and Wellbeing Barwon South West has developed a hub of resources (below) specifically tailored to meeting the needs of our local defined entities. This hub will be constantly updated and we advise you to keep checking back.

We can also support you to meet the Gender Equality Act requirements, by:

Holding leadership forums to introduce the Gender Equality Act and the supports available; Facilitating sector-specific Communities of Practice to support key staff in the implementation of the Act.

For more information please contact Carly Dennis, Regional Manager on or 0438 010 475

Resources Hub

Workplaces are a key site to undertake primary prevention work as they:

1. Have reach across the population and into communities (we spend more time at work than with our families or friends)

2. Can change societies norms, behaviours and structures as well as set a cultural and systemic standard.

The following resources will support your organisation’s leaders to understand their requirements under the Act and how to communicate effectively to support cultural change in your workplace and your community:

Gender impact assessments are a way of critically thinking about how policies, programs and services will meet the different needs of women, men and gender diverse people.

In many circumstances, women and gender diverse individuals may not have the same access to decision-making processes, resources, economic or social opportunities. This means that policies, programs and services are likely experienced differently, and have different outcomes for people of varying genders.

The aim of gender impact assessments is to create better and fairer outcomes and ensure all people have equal access to opportunities and resources.

From March 31, 2021, Gender Impact Assessments are required for all new and reviewed policies, programs and services that have a direct and significant impact on the public.

Workplace gender audits are an essential part of helping your organisation understand how it is performing in regards to the systems, structures, policies and practices that promote workplace gender equality.

The workplace gender audit will establish baseline organisational data on gender equality from which you can:

  • Identify any critical gaps, areas for improvement and challenges to address in your Gender Equality Action Plan

  • Monitor and assess progress made in relation to workplace gender equality including whether strategies and measures are effective.

The Audit process is required to commence as soon as possible after June 30, 2021.

Gender Equality Action Plans (GEAP) explicitly set out your organisation’s commitment to achieving gender equality by helping you plan, implement and measure change.

Organisations are required to develop a GEAP every four years and report on it every second year.

The first GEAP under the Gender Equality Act is due by October 31, 2021.

Women’s Health and Wellbeing Barwon South West acknowledges the support of the Victorian Government.