Detail: Utagawa Hiroshige Dyers' quarter in Kanda
1856-58 colour woodblock print
Gift in memory of Lady (Louise) Walker
National Gallery of Australia
click detail to view full image
Workforce planning, staff turnover and retention
The National Gallery’s senior managers have recognised, as part
of the implementation of the Risk Management Plan, the need to focus on
improved workforce planning strategies. This includes succession planning,
recognition of staff skills and appropriate training and development opportunities
where possible. The Gallery will further implement these strategies during
Training and development undertaken and its impact
National Gallery staff participated in a range of corporate and program
training and development activities throughout the year. This included
Information Technology and Occupational Health & Safety training for
all staff and a number of courses directly related to specific Gallery
activities. Expenditure on staff training during 2000–2001 totalled
Staff from a number of programs participated in manual handling classes,
while seminars designed to inform staff of their rights and obligations
in relation to OH&S legislation were well attended, with positive
feedback received from participants.
A significant achievement in relation to training and development was
the introduction in March 2001 of individual development and performance
agreements (IDPAs). The IDPAs will enable staff, in association with their
supervisors, to identify their key activities – aligned to the Gallery’s
strategic plan (to be published later in 2001) – as well as their
training and development needs. The scheme provides for formal feedback
to staff every six months as to their performance against key activities.
While the scheme is designed to identify overall training and development
needs, an emphasis in the first round is being placed on OH&S, to
enable the Gallery to focus its corporate training effort on OH&S
issues. The IDPA scheme is supported by a database that will enable the
prioritising, monitoring and reporting of training and development activities
The Gallery accepted invitations to be Program Administrator for two
management training and development programs in which it participates
with other cultural and collecting institutions. The programs are the
Advanced Workplace Skills Program for staff at NGA Level 2 to NGA Level
5, and the Cultural Management Development Program for staff at NGA Level
6 to Executive Level 2. Eight Gallery staff will join 32 other participants
on these programs in the latter half of 2001, with a similar participation
rate expected during 2002. During 2000–2001 Gallery staff attended
national and international conferences as both presenters and participants.
Impact and features of certified agreements and
The majority of Gallery staff are employed under the Gallery’s Agency
Agreement 1999–2000. The Agreement has provided an appropriate framework
with which to recruit and retain staff. Exceptions have been in areas
where the specific job requirements have necessitated the negotiation
of conditions of employment via Australian Workplace Agreements (AWAs),
and during the year the Office of the Employment Advocate approved AWAs
for seven employees. The AWAs are designed to encourage and reward a high-performance
culture and to provide the flexibility to attract and retain highly skilled
employees at senior levels. Most AWAs provide for employees to access
performance bonuses where their performance meets or exceeds agreed performance
Occupational health and safety performance
In accordance with Subsection 74(1) of the Occupational Health and
Safety (Commonwealth Employment Act) 1991 the following information
is provided. The National Gallery had one incident that was notifiable
under section 68 of the Act. The Gallery recognises its responsibility
and obligations to create and maintain a safe and healthy environment
for all of its visitors and for all of its staff.
The Gallery’s Occupational Health and Safety Policy is currently
under review. The agreement provides for the establishment of an OH&S
committee to deal with occupational health and safety matters. The committee
met five times during the year. The Gallery is covered by five designated
work groups and all staff representatives have attended training run by
the Workwatch Training Centre.
OH&S activities included workplace assessments, workplace audits
including hazard identification, referrals of staff for screen-based vision
testing and health checks, training for first aid officers and fire wardens,
training for other staff in the use of plant and equipment including boom-type
work platforms, scissor and forklifts. The Gallery has also held a number
of general OH&S awareness sessions for both management and staff as
well as manual handling and ergonomic sessions. Regular tests of humidifier,
cooling, tower and fountain water, and air quality were also undertaken.
All tests proved satisfactory. A risk assessment for first aid services
to third parties was undertaken by a consultant at the request of the
Gallery and the first aid policy was revised.
Three trial building evacuations were conducted during the year, one
during opening hours, requiring all staff and visitors to evacuate the
In response to concerns about the management and maintenance of the Gallery’s
airconditioning systems the Gallery commissioned an independent investigation
by AHA Management Pty Ltd into the airconditioning at the Gallery. The
report concluded that while there were a number of risk factors presented,
as expected in a plant close to 20 years of age, the Gallery’s airconditioning
systems were found to be operating within acceptable parameters.
The report advised that ‘after a comprehensive program of testing
of the Gallery’s air and water quality, it was established, among
other things, that neither legionella nor Q fever were detected in water
samples; concerns about the use of hydrogen peroxide as a cleaning agent
were not substantiated; air quality results were within acceptable occupational
The report made a number of recommendations which the Gallery is actively
In response to allegations about a range of OH&S issues at the National
Gallery, Comcare Australia investigated the storage, handling and use
of hazardous substances, pooling of water on the floors of the air handling
units (AHU), the state of maintenance of metal surfaces and insulation
in the AHU’s and whether the confined space regulations should apply
to entry into the air handling units.
No breaches of the Occupational Health & Safety Act 1991 were
detected. A number of largely procedural recommendations were made to
improve processes within the Gallery. An action plan in response to the
recommendations has been developed and is currently being implemented.
Statistics on staffing
National Gallery staff are employed under the National Gallery Act
1975. On 30 June 2001 the National Gallery employed 290 staff, made
up of 185 permanent staff (81 male and 104 female), 46 temporary staff
(19 male and 27 female) and 59 casual employees (25 male and 34 female).
The 185 permanent staff comprised 167 full-time and 18 part-time employees.
The average staffing level during the year was 234.4 full-time equivalent
staff, which includes additional staff engaged to service major exhibitions.
There were 185 permanent employees on 30 June 2001, compared to 183 in
the previous year.
Senior Executive Service
On 30 June 2001, the National Gallery had two male Senior Executive Service
officers. They were the Director, SES Band 3 equivalent, and the Deputy
Director, SES Band 2 equivalent. There was no change from the previous
year. In addition, seven Program Managers were employed. These positions
are not aligned directly with the Senior Executive Service, but remuneration
for these positions exceeds that available for NGA Executive Level 2 positions.
Workplace Diversity and Equal Employment Opportunity
The National Gallery has developed a draft Workplace Diversity Program
to ensure best use is made of the diverse backgrounds, skills, talents
and perspectives of all staff. The program covers a range of initiatives
and emphasises the importance of valuing workplace difference and ensures
that training on equity and cross-cultural awareness issues is provided
The National Gallery is committed to consulting and communicating
about workplace issues with employees and employees’ representatives.
The Gallery Consultative Committee, established under the National Gallery’s
Certified Agreement, provides a forum for industrial democracy discussions
between management, staff and union representatives. The committee met
on four occasions during the year. Its agreed purpose is to discuss workplace
issues in a spirit of cooperation and trust. The committee forum enables
employees and their representatives to receive information on workplace
issues that affect them, and provides an opportunity for them to contribute
and have their views taken into account.
During the period 1 July 2000 to 30 June 2001, a combined total of $32,800
was paid in performance bonuses to six eligible SES and Program Manager-level
employees. The amount of bonus is determined by a performance review.