In 2010 Bank Australia became the first customer-owned bank in Australia to sign a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP.) Now, we working on our most ambitious RAP yet – one that builds on eight years of action that seeks to move us forward on the journey to reconciliation.
Over the course of these eight years we believe there are some achievements that are worth sharing. While there is still a long way to go, we believe these achievements have improved cultural awareness, built capacity and empowered individuals within the bank and in communities across Australia.
Some of our achievements include:
- Providing training and employment opportunities for 13 young Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people through our traineeship program, and having two Aboriginal staff members employed at Bank Australia.
- Providing Community Leadership Program scholarships to emerging Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander leaders to increase their leadership skills and knowledge so they can grow their positive impact in the community. So far we have supported 20 emerging leaders from across Victoria and one in Adelaide. In 2016 we formed an alumni group to create an network between these emerging leaders and to support their ongoing work in the community after completing the program.
- Supporting local events for NAIDOC Week and National Reconciliation Week that have helped raise awareness across our workforce and in the community. This includes sponsoring the annual Community HART (Helping Achieve Reconciliation Together) Awards which recognise effective and meaningful reconciliation projects run in the Victorian community.
- Securing a major partnership with CSIRO Through the Bank Australia Impact Fund which has brought western science and Indigenous ecological knowledge of the country closer together in remote community schools in the Northern Territory.
- Since 2016 over 100 Bank Australia staff have experienced on-country cultural education at the Bank Australia Conservation Reserve in Western Victoria. This has been delivered through our partnership with Barengi Gadjin Land Council.
Acknowledgement and recognition
- Since mid-2017, the Bank Australia Board and Executive team have conducted an Acknowledgement of Country at the commencement of their regular meetings and played an active role in encouraging all staff to follow their lead.
Bank Australia’s RAP working group, which consists of representatives from across the Bank including Executive Management, consults with external Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stakeholders in order to ensure the most effective and culturally appropriate implementation of our RAP actions.
We’ve been working closely with Reconciliation Australia on our next RAP and can’t to be able to share this with our staff and our customers later this year. Stay tuned.