Diversity and Inclusion

At Cafs, we actively celebrate diversity and inclusion. We believe that the differences our people and service users bring to our organisation add to our strength.

We are committed to providing an inclusive environment, supportive of diversity. And we encourage full participation of all employees, carers and volunteers, alongside engagement with all service users and community members.

We foster creating a culture of equality for all and ensure we are a powerful platform and leader in the community for social change.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples

Cafs is a workplace which respects Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, values and practices.


We offer a safe and welcoming environment for everyone; as an employer of choice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People and as a service provider of choice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community members.


Cafs’ Reconciliation Action Plan supports Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander inclusion.

Indigenous Australian Flag and Torres Strait Islander flag

Access and Disability

Cafs is committed to creating a fully inclusive and accessible community for all people. We are also committed to being a confident organisation that is equipped to identify and remove barriers for people with disabilities.


We support strategies that deliver on the needs and aspirations of people with a disability; those who work with us and clients who access our programs and services.


Accessibility Action Plan 2022

Cafs - Access and disability, woman with a little girl beside her

Our objectives


  • Reduce barriers to people with a disability in accessing goods, services, and facilities.
  • Reduce barriers to people with a disability in obtaining and maintaining employment.
  • Promote inclusion and participation of people with a disability in the community.
  • Achieve tangible changes in attitudes and practices which discriminate against people with a disability.

Cultural and Linguistic Diversity

Cafs services a geographically broad area, which in turn encompasses a number of culturally and linguistically diverse communities. We value and embrace the richness of our communities’ diversity and are committed to ensuring our services meet the needs of all community members.


We also have a diverse workforce, reflective of the cultural backgrounds of the wider community. This diversity helps us to make policy and program decisions that best meet the needs of the community and staff we serve.

Cafs - Cultural and linguistic diversity, kids smiling at the camera

Our objectives


  • Have equitable and responsive services and programs.
  • Build a culturally responsive workforce.
  • Have partnerships with diverse communities.
  • Develop effective and evidence-based approaches.


CALD Action Plan 2022

Gender Diversity

Challenging gender roles and stereotypes is an important priority for us.


We are committed to ensuring equal treatment opportunities and outcomes for everyone in our workplace, as well as in the broader community.

Gender Equity Plan 2022

Traffic light with a gender symbol

Inclusive Employer


Our commitment to building an inclusive workplace has resulted in Cafs being officially recognised as an Inclusive Employer by the Diversity Council of Australia.


The Inclusion Index is based on a national survey of over 3,000 Australian workers and seeks to determine how inclusive is the Australian workforce for a diversity of employees, and what impact inclusion has on performance and wellbeing.

Cafs Ballarat Reception Ludbrook House

Rainbow Tick

Cafs is Rainbow Tick Accredited and provides an LGBTIQA+ inclusive environment for our staff, clients and community; free of unconscious bias and discrimination.


Our Rainbow Tick status means we are demonstrating our commitment and ability to deliver LGBTIQA+ inclusive services and will continuously review and improve the quality of care we provide to gender diverse people.


Our objectives

Wendy Sturgess happily carrying pride sign
  • As a Rainbow Tick accredited organisation we embed LGBTIQA+ inclusive practice across all our systems and continuously seek opportunities for improvement.
  • All staff and volunteers will understand their responsibilities to LGBTIQA+ consumers and are trained and able to deliver LGBTIQA+ inclusive services.
  • LGBTIQA+ consumers, staff and volunteers will feel safe to provide personal information including their sexual orientation, gender identity and/or intersex status because they know the information will be treated respectfully and there are systems in place to ensure their privacy
  • Services and programs will identify, assess, analyse and manage risks to ensure the cultural safety of LGBTIQA+ consumers.
  • Building a culture of respect for all people and communities forms part of our Values. The Inclusion of LGBTIQA+ clients and staff is an important part of that work.


LGBTIQA+ Action plan 2022

Learn more at Rainbow Health Victoria

White Ribbon Workplace

We were proud to be one of the original eight organisations in Australia to receive White Ribbon
accreditation; an accreditation which we retain today.


In line with our values, we do not tolerate any form of violence against women. Many of our programs support individuals who have been adversely impacted by violence.


Learn more White Ribbon Australia

Woman wearing a white ribbon shirt with sign

CAFS stories

Cafs Thread Together is leading the change in the local community

The new Cafs Thread Together clothing hub in Ballarat is a life changing moment for those who walk through its doors. However, it isn’t just the “shoppers” who are discovering its power but also the volunteers.

Read more

How Step Up helped a young boy overcome violent behaviour toward his mum

Dylan was the last child anyone expected to be violent or aggressive. He’s the quiet one in the family. When Dylan was nine, he started lashing out at home.

Read more

How June and Robert found the right time to become Cafs foster carers

Becoming foster carers can be a life affirming experience. June and Robert always knew that fostering would be in their future; it was just a question of timing. 

Read more

How Cafs financial counselling helped
a dad battling with cancer

When you’re a self-employed dad, being sick comes with more concerns than your own health. With no money coming in, Tony was stressed about his family. 

Read more

Housing Support: How Cafs ATAR team helped a father avoid eviction

Bruce was admitted to hospital for three months, and while he was in there, he asked his adult sons to take care of the home he'd been renting for the past eleven years.

Read more

How Cafs helped Chloe and her family find hope

Chloe was 16, and her young life was falling apart. She’d dropped out of school and had started drinking and taking drugs. She also started stealing and self-harming.

Read more

How Cafs day stay helped one young family establish a healthy bedtime routine

For Bianca and Josh, the excitement of becoming new parents was giving way to exhaustion. They were desperate for more sleep.

Read more
Client Engagement Team 1800 692 237

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Head Office
115 Lydiard Street North
Ballarat VIC 3350

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Cafs acknowledges our past. In the spirit of reconciliation, we give deepest respect to Australia's First Nations Peoples. Their histories, their stories, their resilience. Their connection to culture and land. The wisdom of their Elders past, present and emerging.

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