The Australian Institute for Infectious Disease (AIID) has won The Faculty’s Diversity and Inclusion Project of the Year Award at a ceremony in Sydney on Tuesday 9 May, 2023. The AIID Project was recognised for embedding Indigenous reconciliation and gender equality into the selection criteria of the design team.
The Faculty is a procurement leadership organisation connecting practitioners across Asia-Pacific and driving best practice in the field.
The University’s AIID Project Team is majority women-led and is passionate about gender equality, diversity and inclusion. They therefore wanted to reflect the University’s Diversity and Inclusion Strategy’s 2030 vision for a “thriving, fair and diverse University community working together respectfully to make a difference to each other and in the world”.
To ensure the design team embodied this vision, firms tendering for the project were evaluated on:
This structured procurement approach resulted in the design team having a strong representation of women (including in senior positions), First Nations representation, succession planning, plans to create pathways and address gaps.
Notably, women make up approximately 16 per cent of the engineering industry and 20 per cent of the architectural industry, but the AIID design team has minimum of 40 per cent women across these professions. Employment of First Nations people to support the project has also been a key outcome, and plans to sponsor an Indigenous undergraduate cadet are underway. A cultural awareness program embedded in the design team onboarding is also an important feature of the project.
Associate Director Commercial Services, Jacqueline Gava (pictured) said she was proud to have the AIID Project Team recognised for its efforts.
“Due to the AIID’s specialist nature and relevance to Australia’s pandemic preparedness, the team was confident that the opportunity to design the facility would generate significant market interest and participation,” she said.
“The objective was to procure the best design team, and being the best design team included being inclusive and diverse. We therefore took the opportunity to expand the selection criteria to include advancing gender equality and reconciliation.
“This approach has allowed us to build a design team with a strong cultural fit to the University, and we are confident this approach will improve the design and development outcomes for the AIID building.
“Procurement can be an enabler of inclusion and diversity through third party spending and using economic influence to improve gender diversity and reconciliation through the supply chain.”