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Independent review of Ambulance Victoria

Ambulance Victoria has engaged the Commission to complete an independent review into workplace equality in Ambulance Victoria, following reports of alleged discrimination, sexual harassment, victimisation and bullying in the organisation.

Bendigo, Australia - October 28, 2018: Ambulance Victoria Mercedes Sprinter vans outside the emergency department at the Bendigo Hospital.
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Why is this review happening?

Ambulance Victoria has been confronted with strong evidence of discrimination, sexual harassment, victimisation and bullying in its workforce. Ambulance Victoria has engaged the Commission to undertake a review to improve their understanding of these issues and the culture within Ambulance Victoria and to identify solutions to drive positive and enduring change.

The review has been informed by current and former Ambulance Victoria staff and first responders/volunteers who have experienced or witnessed discrimination, sexual harassment, victimisation or bullying within Ambulance Victoria.

Is the review independent?

The Commission is an independent statutory body with the power to conduct independent reviews of an organisation’s compliance with the Equal Opportunity Act.

We must receive a request to conduct an independent review. This is what Ambulance Victoria has asked us to do. As part of the review, the Commission will collect and analyse evidence, determine findings, develop any recommendations for change, and develop and publish two volumes that will make-up the final report of the review.

The Commission is conducting the review independently of Ambulance Victoria and is not acting on behalf of Ambulance Victoria.

Who can participate in the review?

Any current or former Ambulance Victoria employees or first responders/volunteers who have experienced or witnessed discrimination, sexual harassment, victimisation or bullying was able to participate in the review.

The review has not collected information from members of the public, including individuals who have received services or treatment from Ambulance Victoria.

How can I participate in the review?

The Commission provided a variety of avenues for individuals to engage with the Review. This included participating in confidential interviews, focus groups or making  a written submission. These processes have now closed.

Will reports of discrimination, sexual harassment, victimisation and bullying be investigated?

The Review will not address or investigate individual complaints. Individuals who share their experience can choose – but are not required – to lodge a formal complaint with the Commission’s Dispute Resolution Service. We can provide information to individuals about their options to make a formal complaint and support them through the complaint process.

I’ve signed a confidentiality agreement – can I still participate?

To enable as many people as possible to come forward and share their experiences through the review, Ambulance Victoria issued a limited waiver of confidentiality obligations in non-disclosure agreements (NDAs).

Download a copy of this waiver


How will information from individual submissions be used?

Information provided by individuals has been aggregated, de-identified, and analysed to identify themes and shape the recommendations to Ambulance Victoria. Your personal information will only be used to allow us to contact you in relation to your participation.

Individuals can also elect to have their de-identified story or quotes included in the Review report. This will not occur unless an individual agrees and provides their informed consent. All quotes and stories will be de-identified and approved by individuals before publication.

Will I hear back from the review about my individual submission?

If you chose to make a written submission to the Review, we will have contacted you to let you know that your submission was received and confirm the next steps. You will also be provided with a copy of the Review’s findings, which will be published in a report (comprising two volumes) and made available on the Commission’s website.

Will submissions be made public?

A summary of the Review’s findings, including recommendations for Ambulance Victoria, will be published and made publicly available on the Commission’s website. Individual submissions will not be published and all information provided by individuals to the Review will be treated in confidence. We will seek participants informed consent before publishing any de-identified quotes or case studies in the final report.

Why do individuals need to provide their personal information?

Individuals wishing to participate in the Review will be asked to provide their name and contact details. This is to allow the Commission to communicate with participants about the Review and their participation.

We may also ask you to confirm whether you are a current or former Ambulance Victoria employee or first responder / volunteer to ensure that your experience is within scope for the Review.

Only authorised Commission staff will have access to personal information, which will be stored electronically in secure, locked files.

How will my privacy be managed?

Your privacy is one of our key concerns. The Commission has strong experience in the sensitive, careful management of issues around discrimination, sexual harassment, victimisation and bullying.

We have established processes in place to ensure only a small group of authorised Commission staff have access to names and contact details of individuals participating in the Review. No identifying details will be published.

We will collect and store all personal information in accordance with the information privacy principles contained in the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 (Vic) and the Public Records Act 1973 (Vic).

We will seek your informed consent before publishing any de-identified quotes or case studies.

Read the Commission’s privacy policy

Can I still participate in the Review?

The Commission has published Volume I of the final report detailing our findings and recommendations in relation to safety, respect and trust. In March 2022, the Commission will publish a further Volume, detailing our findings and recommendations in relation to equality, fairness and inclusion within the organisation.

The Commission invited current and former employees and first responders at Ambulance Victoria to participate in confidential interviews between February and 31 May 2021, and this process has now closed.

The Commission can receive further contribution through providing written submissions. As we are completing detailed analysis of the information we have received, any written submissions provided will be used to broadly inform the work of the review, but will not be able to be used for de-identified quotes or a case study.

Any written submissions provided will be read and considered by Commission staff to inform our understanding of themes and will support shaping our understanding of the state of workplace equality at Ambulance Victoria.

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