AFDO Diversity Field Officer project



DFO Logo 

The Diversity Field Officer Service is an innovative project co-run by Deakin University and the Australian Federation of Disability Organisations (AFDO), that aims to provide the practical support and coaching needed by businesses to increase their disability confidence to hire and retain employees with disability.

The two year pilot is focused on developing a customised coaching service tailored to small businesses in the Geelong region. Diversity Field Officers will work with up to 50 businesses to:

  • Identify business requirements, goals and areas for improvement
  • Work alongside a leader within each business to identify strategies that can be sustainably implemented, with the view of building the capacity of leadership within the organisation to sustain changes longer term
  • Work alongside the business to undertake a ‘disability friendly check’ which includes accessibility, recruitment and work practices
  • Develop practical recommendations and a customised plan that is readily implementated
  • Establish the right connections for each business as a trusted navigator to build sustainable practice longer term, drawing on disability awareness, recruitment assistance, resources and training to continue confidence post the pilot.


The learnings from this project will be used to inform the 2018 Australian Government review of the Disability Employment Services system. A literature review and international scoping exercise has been undertaken to inform the model design.


To learn more about this exciting initiative, visit or


 DFO Project Manager and colleagues

Photo: The Diversity Field Officer Service - Victoria Strachan, Diversity Field Officer (left), Jessica Zammit, National Manager Workforce Participation (centre) and Rebekah Bryant, Diversity Field Officer (right).