Research shows that educational disadvantage is a large and growing problem in Australia, particularly for students from regional, indigenous and low socioeconomic backgrounds.
We have a long history of involvement with the education sector and are committed to doing our part to equal the playing field in education. We support a number of projects that address educational disadvantage:
- The Bank Australia Learning Potential Fund Scholarship addresses educational disadvantage by offering financial support to a QUT student to help them complete their studies
- The Intech Bank Scholarship in Information Technology at the University of Technology Sydney and the Intech Swinburne Scholarship help financially disadvantaged IT students to complete their first year of study
- Our partnership with State Schools Relief helps disadvantaged school students access essentials like school uniforms and scientific calculators
Bank Australia is one of 12 trailblazing organisations to have developed a Financial Inclusion Action plan (FIAP) to address the disadvantage faced by more than 3 million Australians excluded from mainstream financial services or facing financial hardship. The national initiative is run by Good Shepherd Microfinance, with EY and the Centre for Social Impact, and funding from the Australian Government.
As part of our FIAP we are exploring a model to meet multiple needs, including products, financial literacy and supporting projects through our Impact Fund. There is a strong link between our financial inclusion work and areas that are important to our customers, like reducing family violence and its impacts, reconciliation with indigenous peoples, and fair treatment of refugees. Read our FIAP here.
Latrobe Youth Choices
In 2014, Bank Australia undertook a series of roundtable discussions to understand issues that were relevant to the La Trobe Valley community. The key issue was identified as ‘young people are disengaged and disempowered from employment and education’.
We are working with the community to develop ‘Latrobe Youth Choices’ to promote and create opportunities for employment, education, mentoring and training for young people in the region.
Bank Australia was the first customer owned bank to have a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) and we are now developing our fourth plan. We also use our Impact Fund to support initiatives that promote reconciliation and help close the gap between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians.
- We support Reconciliation Victoria’s Community HART Awards, a program that recognises the diverse reconciliation projects taking place in the Victorian community
- We fund a number of Community Leadership Scholarships for people from an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander background to support emerging community leaders to develop their leadership potential. We are supporting scholarships in Mildura, Bendigo, Gippsland and Adelaide.
- CSIRO Science Pathways for Indigenous Students works with primary and middle school students in remote indigenous communities, combining scientific and traditional knowledge in on-country learning projects
Our customers have told us that they want to see us address human rights issues affecting a number of groups including indigenous Australians and people seeking asylum and/or refugees. We are currently investing in a number of human rights initiatives across the business, most recently supporting Human Rights Watch.
We are currently identifying more ways to support people seeking asylum and refugees.
Other social initiatives
Through our 2016 and 2017 Impact Fund Customer Grants, we supported a number of projects aimed to support people and the community. All funded projects are run by Bank Australia’s community customers. Read about our supported projects here.