More than 3 million Australians are excluded from mainstream financial services or facing financial hardship. Bank Australia’s Financial Inclusion Action Plan guides our approach to make our products and services accessible to people experiencing financial inclusion, and support customers who are in financial hardship. We use our Impact Fund to support programs that will increase financial inclusion, and lead to greater financial independence for people who are vulnerable or experiencing disadvantage in our community.
- We’re proud to support The Big Issue – the social enterprise that works across Australia to create job opportunities for homeless, marginalised and disadvantaged people through its independent street magazine and street soccer program.
- We support WIRE to provide tailored job-seeking support and career confidence workshops for women, nonbinary and gender-diverse people experiencing barriers to employment.
- We’ve partnered with the Australian Mutuals Foundation and the Association of Asian Confederation of Credit Unions to support the establishment of credit unions and cooperatives in Laos, Myanmar and Bhutan to help increase financial literacy, improve access to affordable and sustainable financial microfinance and reduce poverty in rural areas.
Bank Australia was the first customer owned bank to have a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) and in 2018 we launched our fourth stretch 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 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.
- We support our Conservation Reserve partner Greening Australia to employ local Traditional Owners in Western Victoria to develop skills in land management and conservation.
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 support Human Rights Watch to undertake their independent refugee research program which helps to defend the rights of refugees, asylum seekers and displaced people worldwide. Human Rights Watch staff respond to emergencies and chronic situations, document human rights issues, and take their findings to policy makers, legislators and the media.
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 we’re committed to doing our part to equal the playing field in education. We support a number of projects that address educational disadvantage:
- Our partnership with State Schools Relief helps disadvantaged secondary school students access scientific calculators so they can study STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Maths) subjects
- Our partnership with Ladder supports young people in Latrobe Valley who’ve experienced barriers to education and employment by providing coaching and mentoring support to gain confidence and life skills.
- The Bank Australia Learning Potential Fund Scholarship addresses educational disadvantage by offering financial support to a QUT student to help them complete their studies
Other social initiatives
We also host an annual Customer Grants round which supports smaller positive projects run by our community customers. Since their launch in 2016, we’ve awarded 32 grants for amazing social and environmental projects. Find out more.