4125.0 - Gender Indicators, Australia, Feb 2016  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 23/02/2016   
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Australian Public Service (APS)

Australian Government departments and agencies where staff members are employed under the Public Service Act 1999. The APS provides the support needed to undertake the Australian Government's roles and responsibilities on behalf of the Australian people. It achieves this by providing policy advice and managing and facilitating the delivery of programs, regulations, information and services agreed by the Government.


The Government's pre-eminent policy-making body, consisting of senior ministers and presided over by the Prime Minister. Major policy and legislative proposals are decided by the Cabinet.

CEO (Chief Executive Officer)

The CEO or head of business in Australia is intended to refer to the highest ranking corporate officer (executive) or an administrator in charge of management of an organisation. The CEO may be known under different titles, for example, vice chancellor, managing director, general manager, managing partner or principal.

Council for the Order of Australia

An independent advisory body, including representatives of every state and territory, public office holders (ex-officio) and community representatives, that considers all nominations for appointments and awards in the General Division of the Order of Australia. The Council consists of 19 members from across Australia who are appointed by the Governor-General on the recommendation of the Prime Minister. The Council meets twice yearly to consider all nominations and make recommendations to the Governor-General on who should receive awards in the Order of Australia, as well as the level of award.

Governing board/ body

A governing body is defined as the board of directors, trustees, committee of management, council or other governing authority of the employer. This includes voluntary boards of not-for-profit organisations. A governing body/board can be one person (e.g. sole director) or more.

House of Representatives

The House of Representatives is one of the two houses of the Australian Federal Parliament, the other being the Senate. It is sometimes referred to as the 'people's house', the 'house of government' or the 'lower house'. The House has 150 members and each member represents an electoral division. Members are elected by a system known as preferential voting, under which voters rank candidates in order of preference. Each House of Representatives may continue for up to three years, after which general elections must be held.


An industry is a group of businesses or organisations that undertake similar economic activities to produce goods and services. Industry is classified according to the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC), 2006 (cat. no. 1292.0).

Key management personnel

'Key management personnel' are persons who have authority and responsibility for planning, directing and controlling the activities of the entity, directly or indirectly, including any director (whether executive or otherwise) of that entity, in accordance with Australian Accounting Standards Board AASB124. A defining feature of KMPs is that their influence is at the entity level. They participate in organisation-wide decisions with the CEO. They are likely to be functional heads such as head of operations or head of finance and direct how that component contributes to the entity’s outcome, with a strategic focus.

Non-public sector employer

Includes any employer that is a natural person, or a body or association (whether incorporated or not) that is not part of the public sector/government, be that federal, state, territory (including state/territory owned organisations/ enterprises), local or an authority. For example, non-public sector employers include higher education institutions, privately or publicly listed enterprises/companies, religious entities, schools or medical institutions that are not government owned, clubs, unions and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO's).

Other executives/general managers

Other executives/general managers hold primary responsibility for the equivalent of a department or a business unit. In a large organisation, this manager might not participate in organisation-wide decisions with the CEO. Alternatively, this manager could have influence in organisation-wide decision making forums to provide expertise or project development but because they do not actually hold authority at an entity level they would not be defined as a KMP.

Order of Australia

The highest recognition for outstanding achievement and service to the nation or humanity. There are two divisions of the Order of Australia: the General (or Civil) Division and the Military Division. Each Division has the following four levels:
  • Companion of the Order (AC) - Australia's greatest civic honour, awarded for eminent achievement and merit of the highest degree in service to Australia or humanity at large
  • Officer of the Order (AO) - awarded for distinguished service of a high degree to Australia or humanity at large
  • Member of the Order (AM) - awarded for service in a particular locality or field of activity or to a particular group
  • Medal of the Order (OAM) - awarded for service worthy of particular recognition.
Nominations for the General Division come directly from the community, which are then considered by the Council for the Order of Australia. In assessing a nomination, the Council seeks to satisfy that the nominee has:
  • demonstrated achievement at a high level
  • made a contribution over and above what might be reasonably expected through paid employment, or
  • whose voluntary contribution to the community stands out from others who have also made a valuable contribution.
The Council makes recommendations direct to the Governor-General, including the level of award. The Governor-General also makes appointments to the Military Division of the Order of Australia on the recommendation of the Minister for Defence.

Appointments to the Order of Australia are publicly announced on Australia Day (26 January) and the Queen's Birthday public holiday (June).


A member of parliament.


The Senate is one of the two houses of the Australian Federal Parliament. It is sometimes referred to as the 'upper house'. It consists of 76 senators, 12 from each of the six states and two from each of the mainland territories. It shares the power to make laws with the other house of the Parliament, the House of Representatives. The Senate is elected by proportional representation, so that its composition closely reflects the voting pattern of the electors.