Name: Anne-Marie Corboy
Position: Bank Australia Board Director
Years on the Board: 5 years
What city do you live in? Newcastle
Why did you join Bank Australia?
I have been a member of Bank Australia and one of its predecessor organisations (Ed Credit) for around 30 years. I always admired the values of the organisation and wanted to be part of its governance. I was unable to stand for election as a Director while I was CEO of HESTA due to a conflict of interest, so when I left HESTA in February 2015, I was free to stand for election and was subsequently elected to the Board in November 2015. One of the great things I discovered – but was not surprised by – is that the public values espoused by the bank is how it works internally. The whole organisation is committed to responsible banking and wanting finance to make a positive impact.
What do you feel are the most essential qualities for being a Bank Australia director?
Bank Australia Directors should possess the basic qualities needed for any directorship – integrity, respect for others, inquiring mind, high calibre judgement and influencing ability, big picture thinking, and in some cases, particular technical skills.
As a Bank Australia Director, I think you also need a personal commitment to making a tangible positive impact in the real economy. Our strategy around Clean Money and making a difference in the lives of our customers and our communities is something that you cannot pay lip service to.
What does responsible banking mean to you?
To me responsible banking is about making the right decisions for our customers’ benefit but it is very much more than that.
We can use finance to make a real difference so being proactive about issues and causes which our customers care about and - can make that difference - is a tangible demonstration for me of a responsible bank.
How have values and a sense of purpose guided your career choices?
I undertook a leadership course at Wharton a few years ago where you had to articulate your personal purpose. This was done through survey questions and discussion with the other participants.
My purpose was ascertained to be a voice for those that did not have a voice.
I hope that throughout my different careers I have demonstrated that I have made a difference to - and advocated for - women, working people and human rights.
What advice would you give someone wanting to work in a values led business?
The most important criterion is to have a values-based approach to all that you do.
If you don’t share the same values of the organisation you work for you won’t be happy in your work and you will have a different persona when you are at work and in your personal life. It is important that you can bring your whole self to work. This will contribute to both personal and organisational success.
What’s something you do in your life to help protect the planet or support your community?
For many years I have actively supported the Mothers Day Classic which raised funds for breast cancer research. The 5 year survival rates over that time increased dramatically. I am now part of the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation raising funds for ovarian cancer research where we desperately need an early detection test and more targeted treatment options. The statistics for ovarian cancer are the worst for all the gynaecological cancers and we must do all that we can to improve them – research is the key!
What’s one way you believe the COVID-19 pandemic will change to the way people will live in future?
I am in two minds about this. My optimistic side hopes that we will be a much more caring and inclusive world and exhibit much more flexibility and adaptability in both our working and personal lives. My less optimistic side sees that human behaviour often reverts to type but I hope the pandemic has been of such an impact that optimism can shine through.
What’s a book, film or TV show from the last 12 months you loved, and why?
I liked Cable Girls on Netflix – a bit melodramatic but had great messages about women’s rights and strengths, human rights and workers rights.
Two books I found interesting were A Wunch of Bankers by Daniel Ziffer and Two Captains by Phil Dwyer.