Public Sector Unearthed – EP#3: Inclusive by design with Danni Woods and Olympia Sarris from the Disability and Carer’s Network
In episode 3 of the Public Sector Unearthed podcast, we explore the journeys of Danni Woods, director of people and diversity, New Ways of Working program, and Olympia Sarris, departmental officer in the lived experience section at the Department of Health and Aged Care, who are dedicated to fostering inclusivity and promoting diversity in the public sector.
Danni leverages her background in communications to advocate for those with diverse needs through the Disability and Carer’s Network (DCN). In her day job, she has the unique opportunity to create workplaces with dignified access, from making corridors wide enough to fit wheelchairs to creating quiet rooms with dimmed lighting.
Meanwhile, Olympia, also a member of the DCN, is motivated by her personal experiences with the healthcare system, and is keen to ensure that the voices of those with lived experiences shape mental health and suicide prevention policies.
Together, Danni and Olympia discuss the DCN’s significance in raising awareness and advocating for people with disabilities, neurodivergent individuals, and carers.
This episode’s Unearthed wisdom: The insights of people with lived experiences are invaluable. Listen closely to them.
With a background in communication and change management in the public, private and non-profit sectors in Australia and internationally, Danni Woods is director of people and diversity for the Department of Health and Aged Care’s New Ways of Working program. NWOW is about adopting more modern, digital and collaborative approaches that support individuals and teams to do their best work. It builds inclusivity into how work is done, and offers more flexible work practices and workspace options and improved technology. Danni is part of the department’s Disability and Carer’s Network and is a passionate advocate for those who have diverse needs.
Olympia joined the Department of Health and Aged Care in 2021 with a background in public health. Inspired by personal experiences in the health system, she aspires to enhance equitable and accessible health services. She has worked in diverse sectors, gaining insights from various health professionals. An active member of the Disability and Carers Network (DCN) Committee, she promotes workplace inclusivity. Now in the lived experience section of the mental health and suicide prevention division, she ensures policies incorporate lived experiences. Olympia is passionate about empathetic listening and community collaboration. Outside of work, Olympia enjoys dabbling in the arts and, in 2022, presented a solo exhibition exploring experience with invisible illness and mental ill-health.