SAGE is delighted to welcome the federal Government’s 2024 federal budget, which has earmarked $38.2 million over eight years to support a thriving science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) workforce.

The funding demonstrates a strong commitment to reducing workforce segregation through systemic change to enable equity, diversity and inclusion.

This funding puts into action the recommendations of the Pathways to Diversity in STEM Review, which emphasised the importance of “changing the system, not the people”.

“Improving equity, diversity and inclusion in higher education has been an important goal for this government, and this budget shows they’re willing to put aside quick fixes and instead support evidence-based interventions that will produce sustainable change,” said SAGE CEO Dr Janin Bredehoeft.

The independent assessment of the Pathways to Diversity in STEM Review showed that SAGE’s systemic change approach is a critical tool for EDI transformation.

“We’re excited to continue working with other best-practice service providers to expand support for organisations that want to tear down the barriers to equity,” said Dr Bredehoeft.

EDI highlights from this year’s budget

Workforce equity

  • $38.2 million over eight years to support a thriving, skilled and diverse STEM workforce
  • $55.6 million over four years for the Building Women’s Careers program to advance women in key male dominated industries
  • $1.1 billion over four years to pay superannuation on Government-funded Paid Parental Leave
  • $239.7 million over five years to cap indexation of Higher Education Loan Program debt
  • Delivery of the Working for Women National Strategy

Higher education and skills

  • $18.7 million to introduce a National Higher Education Code responding to gender-based Violence
  • As part of Universities Accord reforms, $27.7 million to break down barriers between higher and vocational education
  • $1.6 billion over 11 years to provide paid work placements for teaching, nursing, midwifery and social work students
  • $4.4 million in 2024-25 for Vocational Education and Training support, including the creation of 15,000 fee-free TAFE places and 5,000 places for pre-apprenticeships


  • an additional $1.4 billion over 13 years for the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF)
  • commitment to a strategic examination of Australia’s research and development system