Building a career and a community
Emilia Hawcroft, also known as MJ, is a member of the APM Communities team in Western Australia. Her role as a Local Area Coordinator (LAC) is to empower NDIS participants to understand their plans, connect them with the supports they need and oversee their NDIS journey.
MJ’s own APM journey started almost three years ago, when she joined as a LBGTQIA+ Specialist, advising the Communities diversity team.
As an employer, APM is committed to building a supportive and inclusive culture and workplace for our people. Empowering our people with a strong understanding of the diverse nature of the world we live and work in is an important part of this.
MJ’s role was to help APMers build a foundation of knowledge on the LBGTQIA+ community and support them in providing a culturally inclusive and equitable experience for all of the clients and participants they work with.
She says that companies like APM “can lead the way on diversity by having subject matter experts in roles dedicated to building knowledge and awareness of why it’s important to be inclusive. I learnt a lot about making change in this role and formed lasting relationships to help spread the message far and wide.”
During her time in this role, MJ built her understanding of APM, how to communicate with and support clients, and was then able to transfer this knowledge into a client-facing LAC role.
Building a community with APM
While now focused on supporting Australians with a disability and working to achieve APM’s mission of enabling better lives, MJ remains active in APM’s Pride@APM Employee Resource Group – one of APM’s employee-led groups that focus on fostering awareness of and celebrating equality, diversity, and inclusion.
She also continues to lead training sessions to share her knowledge of the LBGTQIA+ community and ensure a better experience for all clients and participants, regardless of their background.
To foster MJ’s leadership in this area, she recently represented APM at the LBGTQIA+ Leadership Summit in Sydney. Supporting opportunities like this for our people is important as it offers both professional and personal growth, and provides pathways for the development of our future leaders.
The summit focused on ways for businesses to embed inclusion measures, engage staff with diverse communities, and not to shy away from conversations with LBGTQIA+ employees and participants.
“It was great to know that a lot of the work APM has already done in this area is best practice, with diversity roles embedded within the business, the development of the ERGs, its commitment to training and also to celebrating moments that matter such as Wear It Purple Day.”
“Working together to appreciate everyone’s differences is the only way we can continue to grow and evolve our understanding of each other. I’m grateful that APM gave me the opportunity to attend the summit and I hope that my insights will help us continue to advance our social inclusion agenda,” said MJ.
We look forward to working with MJ and APM’s Pride ERG to continue making a positive difference for our LBGTQIA+ communities, and to together attracting the most diverse talent by fostering inclusive workplaces and culture.