Council showcased in human rights report

East Gippsland Shire Council features in the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission’s 2017 report on the operation of the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities, which was tabled in Parliament on 23 August.

This year’s report showcases five examples of public authorities that took steps during 2017 to grow their human rights culture.

One of these examples is how East Gippsland Shire Council worked with the Charter Education Project, a collaboration between the Human Rights Unit at the Department of Justice and Regulation and the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission, to develop a best practice approach to dealing with difficult customers, and a best practice human rights approach to providing customer service across Council.

Council conducted an audit of infrastructure, knowledge and practice to develop an understanding of the human rights dimensions across all functional units and to identify challenges and opportunities.

Based on the audit, a program was designed to address Council’s specific operational environment.

Training sessions were held for councillors, executive leaders, managers and coordinators and team leaders from all business units and key actions assigned to progress the integration of human rights across the council.

Following on from these sessions, the Charter Education Project is providing further support to team leaders in facilitating Charter skill development workshops with frontline customer service staff.

The Commission is also supporting the incorporation of human rights practice into governance and strategy processes, in particular, customer service protocols and guidance materials.