IBAC Insights (newsletter)

IBAC creates Focus Communities Strategy

Accessibility, accountability and engagement with all Victorians.

As Victoria's independent anti-corruption and police oversight agency, IBAC relies on the trust of the Victorian community to perform our role to prevent and expose public sector corruption and police misconduct. In practice, this means we rely on community members to know about IBAC and contact us about suspected corruption and police misconduct.

We recognise the challenges faced by people making a complaint about suspected corruption or police misconduct and acknowledge making a complaint may be a confronting experience.

To help address these barriers, IBAC has developed our Focus Communities Strategy – a strategy that aims to make IBAC more accessible, accountable and engaged with our diverse Victorian community. Our Focus Communities Strategy is also available in an Easy English version which has been designed with simplified font, language, grammar and layout to make it easier to read and understand. 

IBAC understands that its ability to work with all parts of the Victorian community is critical for it to meet its core function to expose and prevent corruption and misconduct, and it undertakes a wide range of activities to support engagement and communications with focus communities; but we need to do more. We also know that building stronger relationships with diverse communities will take time. Building trust within communities can be complex, and will require our ongoing, consistent and consolidated efforts.

To start, we have identified three communities of initial focus – Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander communities, LGBTIQ+ communities and multicultural communities.  

We recognise the intersectionality of these communities and the overlapping forms of discrimination and vulnerability people in these communities may experience. Importantly, many of the activities arising from this strategy will benefit many people throughout the Victorian community.

To develop and inform the strategy, IBAC consulted with a range of public sector stakeholders including other integrity agencies and organisations that promote the rights and interests or make representations on behalf of our focus communities. Many of these stakeholders have generously committed to ongoing engagement and collaboration.

The key themes from these consultations informed the three broad objectives for the strategy:

  • Build awareness and trust of IBAC’s role and remit and in our ability to manage complaints and investigations appropriately and sensitively.
  • Support and train IBAC officers to have the knowledge and skills to provide culturally appropriate, respectful, and inclusive services to community members.
  • Strengthen accessibility of IBAC’s services, engagement, and communications with focus communities.

Each objective is associated with a number of strategic activities, many of which are already underway. The strategy will cover the next two financial years, with a review and refresh of the objectives to follow. Our aim is to expand the scope of the focus communities as we gather more evidence and information. 

At IBAC we respect the diverse range of life experiences, skills, knowledge and cultural backgrounds that the community and our stakeholders bring to their interactions with us, and with work already underway. We look forward to continuing the implementation of the strategy.

Corruption harms all Victorians. Every Victorian should have the opportunity to make a complaint to IBAC and have that complaint assessed and where appropriate, investigated.