Your One Stop Shop for information about Diversity, Equity & Inclusion within Space and Astronomy

The purpose of these pages is to collate and communicate the policies, resources, and support structures already in place within CSIRO around Diversity and Equity issues and to highlight the new initiatives being implemented by the S&A Diversity Committee.

What is Equity

Staff have the right to a workplace that is free of inappropriate workplace behaviour. Equity means more than ensuring equitable treatment of staff; it also directs that differences among people should be celebrated.

Care must be taken that personal prejudices against certain groups do not intrude into work practices and relationships. Discriminatory treatment or harassment in the workplace will not be tolerated.

What is Diversity

Diversity is the collective mixture of characteristics that exists amongst staff or the community in general. It can refer to function, experience, discipline, education, socio-economic background, marital status, personality profile, gender, age, language, ethnicity, culture, sexual orientation, religion, family responsibility or physical/mental impairment.

It is critical to the achievement of our business goals that we have a culture which respects, values and actively pursues the benefits of the diversity we have in CSIRO.


The principles of E&D that underpin fair and equitable human resource practices have an impact on our daily conduct and interactions with people in the workplace and involve having respect for an individual's rights and dignity. CSIRO is also bound by law to provide a workplace that is free from all forms of discrimination and harassment.

Managers at all levels in the Organisation are responsible for the management of their staff and implementation of CSIRO's policies and procedures in a fair and equitable manner. They are also accountable for ensuring appropriate legislative compliance. All staff are expected to behave appropriately in the workplace in accordance with CSIRO's Code of Conduct, including E&D and values.


CSIRO is an equal opportunity employer.

Staff are appointed or promoted on their individual merits and capacity to perform, regardless of sex, age, sexual orientation, marital status, race, ethnic origin, religion or disabilities. We recognise the diversity that different people bring and value the contributions they make to their team and the whole organisation.

If you experience inappropriate workplace behaviour, you are encouraged to be proactive about improving the situation by talking to a trusted colleague.

In addition to HR, you can also contact CSIRO Equity and Diversity Contact Officers for help and advice, as well as the anonymous Employee Assistance Program (EAP).


Diversity, Equity & Inclusion initiatives within Space and Astronomy

Indigenous Engagement

CSIRO initiated its Indigenous Engagement Strategy in July 2007. The strategy aims to achieve greater Indigenous participation in CSIRO's research and development agenda and activities.

CSIRO's Learning & Development team also offer an Indigenous program Seeing Through Both Eyes. Staff may book to attend this through the SAP Learning Management System.

Nursing mothers

Facilities have been provided in all First Aid rooms within CSIRO to assist nursing mothers to express breast milk during working hours or when required.

Prayer rooms

Facilities are available within CSIRO for those wishing to make use of a prayer room during working hours or when required.

Diversity Council for Australia

As members of the Diversity Council for Australia, CSIRO has access to a wealth of best practice research and publications, along with the benefit of an exciting calendar of events providing the latest in diversity thinking.


S&A Diversity & Inclusion Committee

For internal staff, more information on the current actions and contacts of the Diversity Committee can be found on our Confluence page, here.

In March 2020, Kevin Ferguson was appointed as the new Diversity Champion for the business unit.

The two-year role comes with a time allocation of 20% FTE and a dedicated budget, allowing for adequate support and time to plan, implement and deliver actions aimed at improving diversity, inclusion and equity within CASS. (Until May 2021, the Space and Astronomy business unit was known as CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science.) Feel free to contact Kevin with any questions, comments or concerns relating to the D&I space:

In 2014 we established a Diversity Committee within CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science with a mission:

To identify, implement, and monitor issues and initiatives around Diversity and Equity within CASS to ensure that all staff are treated fairly and equitably within our workplace regardless of gender, age, ethnicity, culture, sexual orientation, religion, family responsibility or physical/mental impairment.

Our highest priorities are:

  • Work toward a workplace that is welcoming for all, and that is free from bullying and harassment.

  • Increase knowledge and awareness of diversity issues and relevant policies.

  • Increase engagement to identify areas for change within CASS research programs that have historically had low female representation.

  • Continue to monitor the status of women working in our organisation.

  • Continue to ensure appropriate representation on our advisory and organising committees.

  • Continue to adhere to family friendly policies and flexible work hours/locations.

Our current specific action items are:

  • Establish an engineering visitor program with a focus on female engineers.

  • Continue to compile and analyse the demographics of staff, including job applications and hiring, memberships of research programs, salary levels.

  • Continue training of CASS Diversity officers to provide a skillset across a full range of diversity and equity issues

  • Ensure our CASS Diversity web site is up to date with all relevant policies and information including minutes, actions and annual reports from the CASS Diversity Committee.

  • Increase the publicity around existing diversity within the workplace via staff profiles.

  • Establish multipurpose rooms at the CASS Sydney and Perth sites to provide spaces for breast feeding/parenting, prayer and other cultural requirements.

  • Continue involvement in broader CSIRO initiatives including PRIDE@CSIRO group meetings,  reporting relevant issues/actions.

  • Continue to prepare annual reports, which include results of the annual demographic review and updates on other actions taken by the committee.


CASS Diversity & Inclusion Committee Annual Action Plans


CASS Diversity & Inclusion Committee Annual Reports


Who we are & Points of Contact

The current membership of the committee is spread across the Space and Astronomy sites.

Marsfield (Sydney), NSW

  • Kate Callaghan

  • Phil Edwards

  • Mia Baquiran

  • Liz Tearall (Administrative Coordinator)

  • James Leung (Student Representative)

Tidbinbilla, ACT

  • Kevin Ferguson (Chair and Space and Astronomy Diversity Champion)

  • Korinne McDonnell

Geraldton, WA

  • Rochelle Desmond

  • Steve Hathway

Kensington (Perth), WA

  • Katie Jameson

  • Minh Huynh

  • Jimi Green

  • George Heald

  • Nick Carter

  • Beth Cloake (Administrative Coordinator)


  • Greg Dowling (HR)

North Ryde

  • Gabby Russell (Communications)

For more information on the Space and Astronomy Diversity Committee please email the committee Chair, Kevin Ferguson (



Page last updated: 28-may-2021, pge