Recruiting for Diversity

Project Summary

  • HealthWest has been working on economic inclusion for health since 2017. The work has included the development of the Standards for Workforce Mutuality and Community Conversations (see Background).
  • Our current focus is on addressing the recruitment barriers and what will support human resource departments in our sector.



Over the past five years HealthWest has observed increasing interest in workforce diversity from our membership.

In 2018, HealthWest sought to create system level change through the development of the Standards for Workforce Mutuality. The Standards provide guidance for organisations to address the diversity gap identified in the health and community services’ workforce in Melbourne’s west.

In 2019, HealthWest explored member and partner organisations interest in addressing economic inclusion, in the context of race-based discrimination and social inclusion. At a successful forum in October 2019, forum participants expressed ongoing interest in addressing racism in the heath and community sector, progressing workforce mutuality, and collaborating to improve employment pathways.

In 2020 and 2021 we partnered with the Multicultural Centre for Women’s Health (MCWH) and the Centre for Multicultural Youth (CMY) to release the Community Conversations report. The project sought to gather further information on the nature of economic exclusion among refugee and migrant communities in Melbourne’s west, and to source community-informed ideas for reducing barriers to participation.


Recruiting for Diversity


We are planning to continue the partnership with MCWH and CMY, addressing one of the recommendations developed through the Community Conversations project to improve job-seeking processes so that people from all migrant backgrounds can confidently and equitably participate.

Recruitment stage

This phase seeks the participation of Human Resource (HR) personnel in a research interview related to recruitment and workforce diversity. Through these interviews, we seek to identify what supports HR departments in the health and community sector in Melbourne’s west to develop recruitment practices which are fair, accessible, and equitable for people from migrant and refugee backgrounds.

Interview stage

Eight organisations from Melbourne’s west have expressed interest in this work and are participating in the interviews. Taking a strengths-based approach, this work will help to build our collective knowledge for what works and aims to support organisations, in Melbourne’s most diverse of regions, to take more effective action towards greater inclusivity.

Data analysis stage

After completing the interviews, we are now in the process of analysing this data. HealthWest would like to thank the organisations who have shared their insights and experiences through the recent interviews and we look forward to sharing the findings in coming months.



Gail O’Donnell, Executive Officer

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