The Workplace Contact Officer (WCO) network is a group of staff who have volunteered and been trained as a point of contact for colleagues experiencing harassment, discrimination, bullying, victimisation or family violence. The network contributes to the Department's commitment to a respectful and equal opportunity workplace — one that strives towards everyone having the right to be treated with respect and a responsibility to act respectfully towards colleagues. The WCO network provides valuable support across the Department and schools, contributing to a safe and productive workplace where staff are treated fairly and with respect.

Fundamental to a respectful workplace culture is an effective system to deal with concerns or issues of inappropriate behaviour. The WCO as a fellow staff member is a useful point of contact when employees want to know what they can do when they experience harassment, discrimination, bullying, victimisation or to understand what the Department can provide to support them if they are affected by family violence.

Any WCO in the network can be contacted for a confidential discussion and to seek information, and they can be contacted at any time during work hours. The flow chart below shows a useful way of using the support of a WCO as part of the available options.

Workforce Contact Officer Network Flow Chart

Workforce Contact Officer Network Flow Chart: policies, actions and processes
Workforce Contact Officer Network Flow Chart

Workforce Contact Officer Network Flow Chart

Staff member experiences an issue or has a concern

  1. directly managed by staff member, or
  2. seeks guidance

Directly managed by staff member:

  • resolved or,
  • not resolved (refer to staff member seeks guidance)

Staff member seeks guidance

  • contact Workplace Contact Officer (WCO) for confidential discussion, or
  • discuss with manager, or
  • confidential discussion between WCO and staff member's manager


  • Department policies and processes
  • Department employee and manager support systems
Download Workforce Contact Officer Network Flow Chart

The Resources tab contains WCO posters for display in Department workplaces.

How a Workplace Contact Officer can assist you

A Workplace Contact Officer (WCO) can assist staff who have general enquiries or concerns about workplace conduct and, or family violence by:

  • providing information, guidance and support on options to resolve issues and explain choices to prevent issues before they reach escalation point
  • provide information, guidance and resources to assist with matters related to family violence
  • outlining Departmental policies, processes and principles
  • referring staff to the Department’s key support services, both internally and externally, for example, Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
  • guiding them to explore other options, if they are not able to solve their issue or manage the situation (for example, steps to take in formalising a complaint, or engaging formal resolution processes)

Seeking assistance

WCOs are represented in central offices and the regions. Any WCO across the network can be contacted — they do not have to be from the same location or work group. A list of available Workplace Contact Officers is available on the Resources tab.

Becoming a WCO

The 2018 intake for interested employees to join the WCO network has closed. For further information, please contact the People and Culture unit by email

Additional information

Relevant legislation

Overview of guidance and resources for Department Workplace Contact Officer Network policy

Reviewed 13 April 2021

Policy last updated

15 June 2020


  • Schools
  • All Department staff


People Division People and Culture Branch

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