Diversity and Inclusion at MAT Health Clinic

People are the heart of what we do at MAT Health Clinic (MHC) and we believe that equality, inclusion, and diversity is a business imperative. Our goal is to create a culture that is diverse, inclusive and respects and celebrates our differences.

We acknowledge our community is multi-cultural with varied beliefs, values, religions and languages and pride ourselves on ensuring that every individual is treated with respect to their beliefs, age, gender, ethnicity, values, religion and language. We will provide an environment where our cultural awareness is not tokenistic, but integrated throughout our policies to engender real cultural standards.

What is the difference between Diversity & Inclusion?

What are the types of Diversity groups in our workplace

Here’s a list of the different types of diversity in the workplace:


So what’s culture?

Essentially, culture refers to a people’s way of life – their ideas, values, customs and social behaviour. There are a number of factors that make up different cultures, including traditional food, language, religion and customs.

Culture includes things like the way we do weddings and funerals, the way we dress and the music we like. Culture is passed down from generation to generation, and while cultural practices and beliefs change and evolve, many of the basic aspects remain the same.


Race is biologically determined. Examples of races are Caucasian, Asian, African American.


This type of diversity refers to the presence of multiple religions and spiritual beliefs.

The diversity of religions around the world creates challenges for health care providers and systems to provide culturally competent medical care. Cultural competence is the ability of health providers and organisations to deliver health care services that meet the cultural, social, and religious needs of patients and their families.

We recognise and respect our patient and staff’s religious and spiritual needs and accommodate and provide opportunities to discuss any specific needs relating to those beliefs.


Age diversity means working with people of different ages and generations.

Each generation has its own distinct differences defined by the time period people were born and the unique social, political and economic changes that occurred during their upbringing.


There are various types of disabilities or chronic conditions included here, ranging from mental to physical. Around one in five Australians has a disability. Many face significant barriers in work, study, sport, getting around and simply taking part in everyday activities.


Sex and gender can be used in the traditional sense of male and female employees. For example, you may sometimes hear the term “gender balance” used by companies trying to achieve a 50-50 balance between employees who identify as male and employees who identify as female.

Gender identity is how you perceive your gender, how you show this to others, and how you want others to treat you.

Gender expression, which may be different from an individual’s sex or gender identity, refers to the external appearance of an individual’s gender identity. Gender expression may be interpreted through clothing, hair, makeup, voice, behavior, mannerisms, interests and preferred pronouns.

Sexual orientation is also different from gender identity, gender expression and biological sex. Sexual orientation is defined as “an inherent or immutable enduring emotional, romantic or sexual attraction to other people.” Common sexual orientations include heterosexual, gay, lesbian, bisexual, asexual, pansexual and questioning.


Workplace diversity does not only related to gender, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, and/or age. There is another kind of workplace diversity.

That is the differences in work style — or the way in which we think about, organize, and complete tasks.

In our workplace, there is a variety of personalities and working styles. There are times this level of diversity can lead to miscommunication or conflict, but it most often results in the development of solutions that are creative and effective.

In our office you will find four basic types of people:

  • Logical, analytical, and data-oriented
  • Organized, plan-focused, and detail-oriented
  • Supportive, expressive, and emotionally oriented
  • Strategic, integrative, and idea-oriented

By discovering your working style, you can recognize the roles and responsibilities that you excel in, allowing you to maximize your own productivity and, therefore, success. It’s also helpful to understand your own biases and tendencies because it allows you to work past them in certain situations. To determine your working style Click here


Benefits for Employees

  • All employees feel empowered to make a contribution to the workplace based on their individual talents, skills, knowledge and experience.
  • Employee well-being, morale and job satisfaction is enhanced when employees feel respected and valued.
  • Employees are confident about any disclosure, in the knowledge that MHC truly recognises and values diversity.
  • Reasonable adjustments for staff will be available.

Benefits for Employers

  • By letting potential candidates know you’re committed to diversity and inclusion an organisation can attract talented and skilled workers.
  • Employees who feel respected, valued and recognised are more likely to remain loyal to MHC which improves employee retention, and reduces costs associated with turnover.
  • Greater innovation results from a broad range of perspectives, ideas and insights being brought to policy development and implementation.
  • Research shows that more diverse workforces increase organisational effectiveness, lift morale and enhance productivity, which in turn leads to financial performance.

Policies and Procedures

Discrimination, harassment and bullying

Discrimination occurs when a person, or a group of people, is treated less favourably than another person or group because of their background or certain personal characteristics.

Federal discrimination laws protect people from discrimination of the basis of their race, including colour, national or ethnic origin or immigrant status, sex, pregnancy or marital status and breastfeeding, age, disability, or sexual orientation, gender identity and intersex status.

Discrimination, bullying and sexual harassment are unacceptable at MAT Health Clinic and are unlawful.

Providing equal opportunity employment 

Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) is the principle that everyone can have equal access to employment opportunities regardless of attributes such as race, gender or sexual orientation, without fear of discrimination  or harassment. Some of the pieces of equal opportunity legislation at the federal level are included in the Legal Framework list below.

EEO in Queensland is protected by the Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 (Qld).

View workplace recruitment guide here

Our Policies and Procedures

The aims of equality and diversity are simple: to ensure that everyone has access to the same opportunities and the same, fair treatment.

MHC Clinic Diversity and Inclusion Policies:

Other resources can be found here:

  • View Workplace Discrimination Fact Sheet here

Legal Framework

  • Age Discrimination ACT 2004 – Makes it unlawful to discriminate against someone on the grounds of their age in areas including work, education and access to premises. To remove barriers for older people participating society and change negative stereotypes about older people
  • Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986 – Provides an avenue of redress for those alleging discrimination and provides for the rights of these persons.
  • Carer Recognition Act 2010 – To increase recognition and awareness of the role Carers play in providing daily care and support to people with disability, medical conditions, mental illness or who are frail aged.
  • Disability Discrimination Act 1992 – Makes it unlawful to discriminate against someone on the grounds of a disability (including disease).
  • Fair Work Act 2009 – Provides a safety net of minimum terms and conditions of employment through the National Employment Standards (NES).
  • Racial Discrimination Act 1975 – Makes it unlawful to discriminate on the grounds of race, colour, national or ethnic origin.
  • Sex Discrimination Act 1984 – Makes it unlawful to discriminate against someone on the basis of a person’s sex, marital status, pregnancy or potential pregnancy or to sexually harass another person
  • Work Health and Safety Act 2011 – Requires that employers and employees must maintain a secure, healthy and safe workplace environment; and an employer must take practicable precautions to prevent harassment.
  • Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012 – Provides a regulatory framework for the Australian Government to assist employers to improve gender equality outcomes within their workplaces.

Who works at MAT Health Clinic?

Born in Pakistan, Dr Jeanette Zali knew as a child that she wanted to become a GP. Dedicating all her time to study, she graduated as dux of her school which resulted in her being offered a scholarship to the prestigious Cambridge University in England. Dr Zali completed her Bachelor of Medicine at Cambridge University in 2013 and migrated to Australia in 2014. Dr Zali is proud of her Parkistan heritage and is passionate about developing the education system and in particular the research facilities in her home country.
Dr Zali is also completing her Masters in Education and is the Director of the charity ‘One World’ which aims to provide educational supplies to children in developing countries.

To meet the rest of our Medical team and find out more about them click here

The Importance of sharing knowledge

MAT Health Clinic employees have lots of knowledge that is crucial to the running of the clinic and to their colleagues. Sharing knowledge helps our team to connect, perform better, and become stronger as professionals.

Knowledge sharing in the workplace ensures that all employees have access to information. They don’t have to wait until an employee with specific knowledge returns from lunch, or spend an hour looking for the answer to their question. They can find it when they need it and apply it to their work, and perform better and more effectively.

Our employees support each other in acquiring a new skill set. This makes knowledge sharing especially beneficial for our new recruits and it helps to create an environment where everybody feels comfortable asking questions and rewarding the employees who are eager to learn.

To view our Skills, Knowledge and Experience Register click here

What does it mean to be inclusive?

Education Hub

Cultural Awareness

Someone’s cultural awareness is their understanding of the differences between themselves and people from other countries or other backgrounds, especially differences in attitudes and values.

Our Inclusive Practice

Multicultural inclusion is one of MAT Health Clinic’s greatest assets. We have developed an environment where acceptance of diversity, knowledge of other cultures and an understanding of relevant issues can be developed. We have a number of bi-lingual staff at MAT Health Clinic which establishes a sense of belonging for everyone. By supporting our diversity we can grow together as an organisation that values and embraces the different skills, knowledge and experience each of our staff brings to our practice.

The Cultural Atlas is an educational resource providing comprehensive information on the cultural background of Australia’s migrant populations. The aim is to improve social cohesion and promote inclusion in an increasingly culturally diverse society. View here

Indigenous Culture

It is important as a healthcare provider dealing with Indigenous cultures to be aware of the culture of community with which one is engaging. Cultural awareness shows respect for the culture with whom one is working, which can aid people working with these communities to build better relationships and be more effective in their work.

Our Inclusive Practice

This practice identifies the cultural background of our patients, particularly those of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) status to assist with disease prevention and delivering culturally appropriate care.  To do this, the Practice performs the following activities:

  • Patients are encouraged to self-identify cultural background (eg Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander self-identification), with this information recorded in active patient health records.
  • Patients can self-identify when first registering with the practice on our new patient registration form or at any time with staff.  The Practice offers participation in the Closing the Gap Scheme CTG for patients self-identifying as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.  We also offer ATSI Annual Health Checks.
  • Doctors to ask during consultation if patients identify with any particular type of  culture and document in patient’s medical file.

We identify significant cultural groups within the Clinic and implement strategies to meet their needs including:

  • Accessing resources from the local ATSI support groups in regard to specific cultural groups and services.
  • Accessing government literature and contacts which have specific application to the cultural group.
  • Accessing patient information on health through Queensland Health in a variety of different languages.

The importance of cultural, family and kinship obligations

Like all employees, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have pressures and responsibilities relating to their home and community life. However, there are some specific cultural issues that employers need to understand, including:

  • the importance of family and kinship ties
  • cultural obligations
  • significant dates and cultural events
  • the need for time away from work for issues such as Sorry Business.

For many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, responsibilities to family, community and culture are extremely important. These responsibilities can sometimes conflict with workplace responsibilities. These are serious issues, which employers should discuss with sensitivity and respect, in order to find a solution that’s best for everyone.

Due to family obligations, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples may have more of a role in caring for children and elderly family members. Care may include financial care, health care and general care. This means Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples may have more responsibility outside their immediate family.

To help employees meet these obligations, employers may need to consider offering flexible work arrangements. You can find more information about flexibility in the workplace on our Flexible working arrangements page.

It’s also important to be aware of significant cultural events and dates, including key events such as:

  • NAIDOC Week
  • Sorry Day
  • National Reconciliation Week
  • local and regional events.

It’s a good idea for employers and employees to discuss these dates. Where possible, employers should encourage and support staff who want to acknowledge and participate in these events.

Sorry Business

Many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples mourn the loss of a family member by following traditional ceremonies and practices, often known as ‘Sorry Business’.  When someone passes away, the whole community comes together to share that sorrow through a process called Sorry Business. Sorry Business is a period of cultural practices that take place after someone’s death.  

Within some Aboriginal groups, there is a strong tradition of not speaking the name of a dead person, or depicting them in images. This is to ensure that the spirit is not held back or recalled to this world.

Source: https://www.fairwork.gov.au/find-help-for/aboriginal-and-torres-strait-islander-people


Improving Racial and Ethnic diversity in the Workplace

To effectively improve racial and ethnic diversity in the workplace, you need to understand some of the key terms and definitions including:

Racial Discrimination: Racial discrimination in the workplace can be defined as any exclusion, restriction or preference based on race, color, descent or national or ethnic origin which has the purpose of impairing an employee’s ability to exercise their rights to equal standing in the workplace.

Ethnic Group: The term “ethnic group” refers to a group of persons whose members identify with each other through such factors as common heritage, culture, ancestry, language, dialect, history, identity and geographic origin.

Ethnic Minority: Ethnic minority does not only refer to ethnic groups that are a numerical minority. Instead, it refers to any ethnic group that is not dominant socially, economically or politically.

Implicit Bias: Also known as unconscious or hidden bias, implicit biases are negative associations that people unknowingly hold. They are expressed automatically, without conscious awareness.

Our Inclusive Practice

At MAT Health Clinic we understand the value of recruiting and retaining diverse employees, as these workers play a critical role in our clinic’s ability to adapt, grow and sustain a competitive advantage in the modern business landscape.

Inclusion: We authentically incorporate traditionally excluded individuals and/or groups into our processes, activities and decision/policy making.

We have effectively communicated new policies aimed at protecting workers belonging to certain racial and ethnic groups.

Our complaints processes make it easy for workers to raise their complaints, concerns and issues surrounding diversity.

We offer translation services on request to our patients from a non-English speaking background. We can organise to have a translator by phone hook up with 24 hours’ notice to interpret a consultation.  The patient on their consent may have a third party at their consultation to assist in communicating their needs with their Doctor.

Please see below a list of web-links and phone numbers for Translation & Interpreter Services:
PH: 131 202 (Languages)

TIS – Translation & Interpreter Service
PH: 131 450 To Pre-Book: 1300 655 081

NRS – National Relay Service
PH: 1800 555 660 (Help line)
TTY/Voice Calls: 133 677
Speak & Listen: 1300 555 727
SMS Relay: 0423 677 767


Find out more about Human Rights

What are human rights?

Human rights recognise the inherent value of each person, regardless of background, where we live, what we look like, what we think or what we believe. View Fact Sheet here

The Australian Human Rights Commission is an independent statutory organisation, established by an act of Federal Parliament. We protect and promote human rights in Australia and internationally. View here

Children’s Rights

Just like adults, children have human rights across the full spectrum of civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights. As well as the human rights that are laid out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, children and young people are entitled to additional rights which recognise that young people have special needs to help them survive and develop to their full potential. Children also have the right to special protection because of their vulnerability to exploitation and abuse.

Most children and young people in Australia grow up in a safe, healthy and positive environment. However, vulnerable groups of children and young people continue to lack adequate human rights protections.

Our children, young people and families have the right to receive the best possible care. We respect the rights of our children and families and know that children receive the best care when the health service and families work together.

Children have a right to the privacy and confidentiality of their personal information.


In order to address workplace inequities potentially faced by LGBTIQ individuals, MAT Health Clinic has committed to providing a safe and inclusive workplace environment where employees can be totally comfortable being themselves, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Our Inclusive Practice

Inclusive Language Guide: View here

Inclusive Language fact sheet: View here

Gender Equality

Australia has made good progress towards achieving gender equality in recent times. However, women still experience inequality and discrimination in many important parts of their lives.

At work, women continue to face a gender ‘pay gap’ and barriers to leadership roles. Many encounter reduced employment opportunities because of the time they give to family and caring responsibilities.

Our Inclusive Practice

At MAT Health Clinic we see gender equity being achieved when people are able to access and enjoy the same rewards, resources and opportunities regardless of their gender. We are passionate about improving and promoting equality and outcomes for both women and men in our practice for both patients and staff.

We will ensure equal rights and opportunities for our people through regular remuneration reviews to identify any gender pay gaps, attract and develop female talent and educate our people leaders about gender equality.

Addressing Ageism

Ageism, stereotyping and discrimination against individuals or groups based on their age. Ageism can include prejudicial attitudes, discriminatory practices, or institutional policies and practices that perpetuate stereotypical beliefs.

Age discrimination occurs when a person is treated less favourably, or not given the same opportunities as others in a similar situation, because he or she is considered to be too old or too young.

A mature age employee is defined as aged 50 years and over. Research shows that over a quarter of the Australian workforce is a mature aged worker. It is important to encourage experienced workers to stay in the workforce and pass on their skills and knowledge to others.

Our Inclusive Practice

At MAT Health Clinic we have found that our workforce becomes more valuable as they age. Those lived experiences are treasured and we have found that their perspectives and talents have improved our organisation. We have developed a long-service-leave program that rewards our employees above and beyond what their award entitlements would be. Our patients enjoy seeing a familiar face at the practice and our long-term employees make significant contributions to our organisation.

Be Self-aware

Ageism is pervasive and often difficult to detect. Staff need to be aware of their own ageist attitudes, language, and behaviours. Staff are encouraged to avoid exclusive and discriminatory language against older and younger adults and children.

Speak out against ageism

Staff are encouraged to speak out against ageist attitudes expressed by others, including Management, co-workers and guests of the clinic. Many people are not aware of ways their language and behaviours negatively portray others.

Elder Abuse

Who can be affected?

Abuse can be experienced by men and women from all cultures and races and by both rich and poor. An abused older person may live on their own or in a household. They could be taking care of themselves, caring for someone or being cared for by someone. The person doing the abusing is often someone the older person knows and should be able to trust; such as a daughter or son, grandchild, spouse, other family member, carer or friend. 

Types of abuse

Financial abuse – the illegal or improper use of an older person’s money or property, including the misuse of an Enduring Power of Attorney document.

Psychological abuse – causing mental anguish, fear of violence, feelings of shame, humiliation and powerlessness.

Physical abuse – inflicting pain or injury. It includes hitting, slapping, restraining or over/under medicating.

Social abuse – preventing a person from having social contact with family and friends or accessing social activities.

Neglect – in intentional or unintentional failure by a carer to provide necessities of life to a person who depends on them.

Sexual abuse – sexual assault, rape or any activity that makes an older person uncomfortable about their body or gender; for example unwanted text messages. 

Our Inclusive Practice

Health professionals are in an important position to help identify elder abuse and to support patients who may be experiencing it. Medical staff are trained to identify the warning signs of elder abuse, know where to refer the patient, and how to best respond sensitively and confidentially.

Understanding Disability

Understanding disability

Our Inclusion Practices

MAT Health Clinic’s focus is on ability – not disability. We are committed to building an accessible and welcoming environment for all patients and staff. We are proactive about ensuring that our facility is accessible to patients and staff who may have disabilities.

Employing People with Disability

Interviewing People with Disability

Evacuation procedures

Workplace Practice Adjustments

Also referred to as a ‘reasonable adjustment’, a workplace adjustment is a change to a work process, practice, procedure or environment that enables an employee with disability to perform their job in a way that minimises the impact of their disability. As an example, reasonable adjustment assisting those with a visual impairment to participant in a workplace would include speech recognition software or large print business documents.

Our access for patients with disabilities

  • wheelchair access is provided to reception, toilets and consulting rooms
  • designated disabled parking is provided in close proximity to the entrance
  • the practice is located within a shopping centre, we are located on ground level
  • Pictorial signage is provided to assist patients with a physical or intellectual disability

To communicate over the phone with a person who is Deaf, hard of hearing or who has a speech impairment, assistance will be offered through the National Relay Service.

How to hold an inclusive Meeting

An inclusive meeting is when each person in your team feels like they have the chance and confidence to take part. When you run an inclusive meeting, you’ll get more diverse opinions, which may lead to better outcomes.

Here are some ideas you can try out to make your meetings more inclusive.

Ask people what they need

When you send out your meeting invite, put a line in there like this: “If you need any support to take part in this meeting, let me know.” This gives people a chance to let you know if they need any adjustments or have specific needs.

Have an agenda and send it early

Write an agenda for all your meetings. Don’t just list generic topics. Be descriptive about what you want to discuss and hope to achieve for each agenda item. Send your agenda to your participants as early as you can. This shows respect and gives people time to reflect on what you want to discuss.

Keep the size small

Only invite people if they’re needed as per your agenda. If a meeting has a lot of people in it, this makes it harder for everyone to contribute. Some people may feel nervous speaking in front of large groups, but not in small groups.

What is an Acknowledgment of Country?

An Acknowledgement of Country is an opportunity for anyone to show respect for Traditional
Owners and the continuing connection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to
Country. It can be given by both non-Indigenous people and Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander people. Click here

Lay some ground rules

Set some basic meetings rules at the start, such as:

  • put your mobile phones away
  • no speaking over other people
  • stick to the agenda
  • there are no silly ideas

Call out behaviour against your team’s values

If you see any behaviours that break your ground rules, politely call these out. For example, if you see someone talking over the top of someone else, reiterate your ground rules again. If the person keeps doing it, have an informal chat with them after the meeting. They may not be aware of how their behaviour impacts others.

Don’t let one person dominate

A lot of teams have a mix of people with different communication styles. If you’ve got someone who dominates a conversation, try asking them to take notes or scribe. This will refocus their attention from talking to listening. You can also use the concept of a ‘talking stick’, which you hand from person to person. Only the person with the ‘stick’ can speak.

Ask people what they think

If someone isn’t taking part in the meeting, you can:

  • ask the group to write down a response to a question and each share their written answer with the group
  • directly ask the person not taking part what they think, but be careful this doesn’t make them uncomfortable

Send out minutes or a summary

After the meeting, send out minutes or list of key decisions with:

  • actions and who is assigned to do them
  • request for anyone who wants to discuss any of the items to get in touch

Watch video below

Campaigns and awareness days for inclusion of people with disability at work

MAT Health Clinic celebrates the diverse nature of our team. Cultural activities can be anything from asking each member of the team to cook a meal from their own country, Listening to music or reading a book suggested by other team member to raise awareness.

Plan for and contribute to key global and national campaigns for inclusion of people with disability in 2021. 

Body Language

Body language is a type of nonverbal communication in which physical behaviours, as opposed to words, are used to express or convey the information. Such behaviour includes facial expressions, body posture, gestures, eye movement and touch and the use of space.

It’s not always easy to notice, but body language tells a lot about how interested you are in an outsider’s involvement in a conversation or a meeting. If you and your colleagues are standing close to one another, shoulders practically touching, it becomes especially difficult—perhaps impossible—for another person to feel comfortable “breaking-up” that seemingly exclusive conversation.

There are many ways to display a more inclusive body language. Simply taking a step back and opening up the circle so as to allow others to join creates the impression that you’re eager for others to participate in your conversation.

View this useful video on body language below:

Words and what you say matters.

Walk the Talk

MAT Health Clinic is a member of:

  • The Australian Network on Disability – a national, membership based, for-purpose organisation that supports organisations to advance the inclusion of people with disability in all aspects of business.
  • Pride in Diversity the national not-for-profit employer support program for LGBTQ workplace inclusion, specialising in HR, organisational change and workplace diversity.
  • The Diversity Council of Australia – the independent not-for-profit peak body leading diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
  • JobAccess – a national hub for workplace and employment information for people with disability, employers and service providers. Through our partnership we utilise the National Disability Recruitment Coordinator and commit to supporting and recruiting people with disability in a barrier-free process.