We’re making progress towards implementing the requirements of the new Gender Equality Act 2020 (Vic), by conducting our first gender impact assessment on CFA’s new Mobile Education Units (MEU).
The Gender Equality Act (the Act), which came into effect on 31 March 2021, aims to improve workplace gender equality in the Victorian public sector, universities and local councils.
CFA has four key obligations under the Act, one of which includes the need to consider gender equality when developing policies and programs and delivering services to the public by conducting gender impact assessments.
Gender impact assessments (or GIA for short) ask a range of questions about the impact of proposed projects and programs including whether the right people are included in decision-making and what support needs to be considered.
The current project to review CFA’s Mobile Education Units (MEU) was identified by the Fire Prevention and Preparedness team as a great opportunity to test the GIA process.
CFA’s MEU vehicles will equip members with the ability to engage their communities and respond to community needs in locations with little or no existing infrastructure and can be used for promotional, recruitment and community engagement activities.
Many lessons were learnt through the process of conducting the GIA for the new MEU, including:
- Defining the scope of the GIA up front is vital
- Gathering the data from which evidence-based decisions can be made can be challenging but is not impossible
- When people from different minority groups appear to have conflicting requirements, have a look at what the data is telling us about the users of the service – current and future
- Gender considerations intersect with many other end-users needs, like language, culture, disability and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island identity
North West Region Service Delivery Coordinator Rohan Thornton is part of the project team developing the new MEUs and took part in the GIA on the program.
“It was easier than we thought - and the considerations that we identified actually apply to a lot of our work already,” Rohan said.
Craig Hearson Community Risk Program Advisor said it was important that a GIA is conducted early in a project.
“This allows you to feed any intel from the GIA into your project ensuring it is on the correct path from the outset,” he said.
Find out more about CFA’s obligations under the Gender Equality Act by visiting Members Online, or contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you require any further information or have any questions.
Additional information on the Gender Equality Act is available on the Victorian Government website.