The strategic objectives and activities included in EPHEA's Strategic Plan reflects the organisation's mission. The objectives have been modelled on feedback collated from Equity Practitioners at the 2020 AGM.
Under the Constitution EPHEA votes in a committee at the annual AGM. The Committee includes executive positions and ordinary members from each state or territory (where feasible) with interests in staff and/or student equity from Australia and New Zealand. The EPHEA Executive is a volunteer committee.
Our mission, history, goals and values
In order to sustain the body of equity practitioners in the Australian, New Zealand and Pacific regions, EPHEA has two goals that it will strive to achieve from 2021-2023:
To undertake a strengths-based approach to building the capacity of equity practitioners and support their wellbeing to empower their work.
To champion systemic change through our collective resources, ensuring that equity is positioned at the forefront of institutional practice and national higher education policy.
EPHEA was originally formed as the Equal Opportunity Practitioners in Higher Education in Victoria in 1987 as the professional organisation for equal opportunity officers employed in higher education institutions in Victoria and in the Australian Catholic University which at that time has campuses in four states. The organisation was expanded across Australia and New Zealand as the Australasian body of Equal Opportunity Practitioners in Higher Education in Australasia known as EOPHEA.
In 2012 EPHEA was renamed the Equity Practitioners in Higher Education Australasia and became an incorporated associated with membership across most Higher Education institutions in Australia and New Zealand with strong activity in both the staff and student equity spheres.
OUR KEY GOALS
EPHEA has two central aims:
we are advocates and influencers for positive change
we aim to strengthen, support and build capacity amongst equity practitioners to empower their work.
EPHEA supports these goals by:
initiating and contributing to the discussion of equal opportunity and affirmative action issues in national and international forums
making policy recommendations to decision-making bodies including government, tertiary education providers and associated bodies to support inclusive education and employment
providing a collegial network for sharing professional knowledge, research and practice among equity practitioners
developing links with organisations that have similar professional aims.
EPHEA’s work is to be guided and informed by our beliefs and commitments to:
Reconciliation and recognition – we recognise the unique and essential place of Australia’s First Peoples acknowledging the deep connections with, and custodianship of, the land and sea. We value the contributions Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples make to Australian culture and society and seek to work alongside Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples towards our shared goals.
As an organization working in Australasia we also recognise the tāngata whenua status of Māori (original inhabitants of New Zealand) and New Zealand’s commitment to the Treaty of Waitangi. We also acknowledge the special relationship indigenous peoples from the Pacific have to Australia and New Zealand.
social justice, equity, fairness and inclusion – we respect people, value diversity and are committed to equality of opportunity and positive outcomes for the groups we work with.
a strengths-based approach – we want to empower people to achieve their employment and education goals from a place of strength
an evidence-based approach – our work is based on best practice combining practitioner expertise and sound research
collegiality and participation – we value and recognise the contribution of our Executive volunteers, the expertise of our members and we are committed to a culture of collaboration and knowledge-sharing
longevity – we have a common sense of purpose and identity; we have a long-standing reputation and endurance within the sector continually empowering members over time.