SBS staff to address inclusion


SBS has outlined new measures to address claims of racism and improve on diversity, representation and inclusion in the workplace.

Media reports also claim an independent lawyer will investigate criticism of workplace culture after current and former staff spoke publicly about their experiences.

Late yesterday SBS issued a statement, which notes a review of procedures as part of its measures. All staff will complete an SBS Inclusion Program.

SBS is committed to being an increasingly diverse organisation, reflecting the diverse communities it serves, and ensuring it is an inclusive workplace for all. 

SBS recently outlined to its employees a range of actions and measures to support ongoing improvement in diversity, representation and inclusion in the workplace. These initiatives build on the existing three year SBS Inclusion Strategy launched in 2018, and are outlined against the categories of Representation, Organisational Capability, Transparency and Measurement, and Process and Systems.


With effect on 6 July 2020, SBS elevated two of its most capable and respected senior leaders to the Executive Leadership Team, in newly created roles:

Director of Indigenous Content – Tanya Denning-Orman. Tanya is responsible for SBS’s Indigenous content strategy, including the management of NITV.
Director of Corporate Strategy – Sarah Yassien.  Sarah is responsible for SBS’s Corporate Strategy and the Audience, Data and Insights function.   

Additional initiatives to drive improvements in representation across SBS include:

A voluntary register of staff with a range of lived experiences to participate in job interview panels, to avoid risks around unconscious bias.
A candidate development fund to incentivise SBS hiring managers to select from internal talent pools. This will help lift representation more rapidly and create more opportunities for professional growth.
Identified positions across disciplines and seniority levels to enhance representation of Indigenous employees outside of NITV.
A program to identify high-potential talent from under-represented backgrounds and invest in a comprehensive development plan across a 12-month period to accelerate their growth.

Organisational Capability

Identify and train a number of SBS inclusion champions to provide support and information to staff, as an alternative avenue to a formal complaints or investigative process.
Appoint two Indigenous Elders in residence to provide support and cultural empowerment to staff.
All staff to complete the existing SBS Inclusion Program, developed in partnership between SBS and key peak bodies and community organisations. This will form part of onboarding for new staff and be mandatory for all existing staff.
Develop a guide to support the production and assessment of multicultural and Indigenous content, in alignment with existing guides or, where appropriate, to lead changes to existing style guides or resources that reflect best practice.

Transparency and Measurement

Clear information to be available to all staff after each Inclusion Council meeting, to increase transparency on actions and initiatives internally.
SBS website to include more information about the makeup of our workforce at all levels, and about our diversity initiatives.

Process and Systems

Conduct an end-to-end review of production procedures and practices.
Reviews of core SBS processes to identify where they can be improved.


  1. I hope that those with a political point to prove don’t undermine the SBS’s role as a broadcaster of multi-national content whose sole purpose is to entertain.
    The SBS is no different from any other work environment that employs people who don’t speak English as their first language, the only difference may be the conflicts over personal status, both academic and hierarchical, which tax payer funded departments usually attract.

  2. I would like to suggest a little increase in the amount of foreign language films, or films in languages other than English on SBS World Movies. I understand that the English language foreign films are popular though. Or to have the anime films in the original or foreign languages with English subtitles instead of the English language versions.

    • You mean like SBS did in the 80s and 90s. Except it never worked and SBS TV audience was always wealthy English people looking for exotic entertainment. Once they started taking ads meant it was more important to seek wealthy fluent English speakers and they couldn’t use subtitles which put off most viewers. These days it is so easy to access foreign language content from overseas without subtitles via streaming, posting DVDs or satellite. Scandinavian or French speakers don’t want to watch version of their premium TV with an approximate text in bright Yellow English all over the top of them. It just doesn’t make sense to broadcast in languages other than English.

      SBS Radio does multicultural but they do programmes for different languages at different times throughout the day. And they are posting versions with Arabic and Simplified Chinese subtitles on On Demand where they are…

      • I can understand the popularity of English language films and people who are able to understand other languages preferring to view without subtitles. The reason I mention the suggestion is for aiding the learning of foreign languages through subtitles. I think it helps to provide that service for people who are wanting to learn foreign languages and for people who understand foreign languages to learn English wording and grammar through the subtitles. It helps to enhance knowledge of the context and meaning of words from foreign language learning and helps in maintaining an active mind.

    • The SBS are doing okay at the moment especially with streamed content, in some ways they are becoming more diverse than their SVOD competition.
      The fact that the SBS show foreign language shows and films with subtitles has long been part of the SBS’s DNA and long should it remain.
      It would be pointless not having English subtitles in an English speaking country.

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