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NAB calls on corporates to be more accountable to Indigenous Australia

by Kelly Quirke 21 February 2014


ational Australia Bank (NAB) called on corporate Australia to be more accountable in its commitments to Indigenous Australians. The Prime Minister, the Honourable Tony Abbott, this morning launched NAB’s sixth Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) with NAB Group CEO, Cameron Clyne, outlining NAB’s continued commitment to Indigenous Australia. The only RAP in Australia to be independently assured by an external auditor, the document outlines NAB’s performance and targets in the areas of financial inclusion, employment, business relationships, cultural understanding and a new focus on innovation.

Glen Brennan, Head of Indigenous Finance & Development, NAB, Prime Minister Tony Abbott, Cameron Clyne, CEO NAB and Warren Mundine, Chairman, PM’s Indigenous Advisory Council at the launch of the NAB Reconciliation Action Plan at NAB, Sydney. Image: National Australia Bank

In 2013 NAB ensured that: - More than 1,150 clients improved financial capability through the Indigenous Money Mentor program. A report on the program found that it created $4.20 in social value per dollar invested. - The number of Indigenous employees at NAB increased by 13% to 161. - 74% more Indigenous trainees were offered real jobs at NAB following their traineeship. - The number of staff seconded to Indigenous organisations was up by 71% to 29. - More employees received cross cultural training, increasing by 31% to 230. - More than 15 Indigenous suppliers were engaged with NAB

To access a copy of NAB’s 2014 Reconciliation Action Plan (above), visit

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Above: Michael West from the Metropolitan Land Council provided the Welcome to Country address, Image: Michelle Lovegrove

procurement via education sessions, direct engagement and tier 1 supplier introductions. Cameron Clyne, NAB Group CEO said NAB has chosen for its RAP to be reviewed by EY for the second year running to ensure that its corporate Indigenous programs are effective and outcome focused. “Corporate Australia is transparent in its promises to shareholders. We need to extend the same courtesy to Indigenous Australia if we are to play a role in addressing Indigenous disadvantage. “This is why we have invested in having our RAP independently assured and focused on measuring the impact of our programs. We believe our promises to Indigenous Australia should be opened up to scrutiny and I would encourage other corporates to join us in this practice,” he said. A recent report commissioned by Reconciliation Australia found

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First Nations Telegraph features in NAB RAP as a recipient of a micro enterprise loan for small businesses.

that the Australian economy would grow by $24 billion a year if employment levels of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders matched those of other Australians by 2031. In 2014 NAB will continue its focus on encouraging Indigenous employment and converting traineeships into permanent jobs and careers within the organisation. Reconciliation Australia CoChair Melinda Cilento said NAB’s new Elevate RAP reflected the organisation’s strong long term commitment to building relationships and providing opportunities to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities. “The embracing of reconciliation as part of a commitment to greater social responsibility by the Australian corporate sector has been one of our great success stories and NAB has been a leader in the process,” she said. “NAB’s employment strategy has

provided jobs and traineeships to young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and its low- and nointerest loans scheme has allowed families to access credit, sometimes for the first time.” “We congratulate NAB and CEO, Cameron Clyne, for playing such a decisive role in Australia’s movement towards reconciliation.” The NAB RAP also outlines a commitment to provide more than 5,000 new no and low interest loans to Indigenous customers. The inaugural NAB RAP was launched in 2009 with a vision to address Indigenous disadvantage and build opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, as well as for the business. NAB is one of a few companies to be awarded the elite Elevate status, recognising its annual reporting and leadership in reconciliation planning.

Speech by National Australia Bank CEO Cameron Clyne

I would like to thank Michael West for his warm welcome to country. And I too, acknowledge and pay my respects to the Gadigal people of the Eora nation, their Elders past, present and future. I’d like to welcome The Honourable Prime Minister Mr Tony Abbott, Warren Mundine, Chair of the Prime Minister’s Indigenous Advisory Council, members of NAB’s Indigenous Advisory Group, and the many distinguished guests who have joined us today. At NAB we believe all Australians should have the opportunity for a better future. I’m pleased to be here today as we launch NAB’s sixth

Reconciliation Action Plan with our Indigenous Advisory Group’s CoChairs Dr Chris Sarra, and Danny Gilbert, who is also a member of NAB’s Principal Board. I would also like to personally thank all the members of our Indigenous Advisory Group for their contributions. This year’s RAP has once again been assured by Ernst & Young. We know that evaluating our performance sets us apart from our peers. For NAB the assurance enables us to demonstrate to the Indigenous community how serious we are, while also giving our employees, customers and shareholders confidence that we’re delivering results. We want to

continue to build trust and deepen our relationship with Indigenous Australia, by being as accountable and transparent as possible. This goes to the heart of how we do business and our work over the past few years to make banking fairer and simpler. I’m surprised to learn that after 12 months we’re still the only organisation that has our RAP commitments independently assured. We’re also still one of a select few that has received Reconciliation Australia’s elite Elevate status, acknowledging our stretch targets, thought leadership and annual reporting on achievements. Addressing financial exclusion is a key part of our work to help

Danny Lester, CEO, Aboriginal Employment Strategy, Troy Cassar-Daley (performer on the day), Terri Janke, NAB Indigenous Advisory Body, Glen Brennan, Head of Indigenous Finance & Development, NAB and Stephen Hagan, Managing Director, First Nations Telegraph at the NAB RAP launch. Image: Michelle Lovegrove

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all Australians have a healthy relationship with money. And last year we assisted more than 5 000 Indigenous customers to access our microfinance products. Since 2009, we’ve funded Indigenous Money Mentors who have helped over 6,000 community members across Australia better manage their finances and improve their financial literacy. And last year we took extra steps to demonstrate that the program really does work. In 2013 NAB completed a Social Return on Investment evaluation to measure the effectiveness of our Money Mentors and demonstrate the value created. And as a result, we know that for every dollar invested in the program, $4.20 in social value is created. We know that when people were better equipped to manage their money, their standard of living improved, and their family relationships. People are more in control of their lives and their future as a result of the support provided by Money Mentors. We recognise that Indigenous employment is equally as important, which is why we are continuing to build a more inclusive workforce and community, and at last count there are over 160 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people working in the bank. When we launched our first RAP six years ago, there were fewer than five Indigenous people working at the bank. This is hardly the kind of statistic of which we were proud. Over the last six years our employment program has steadily grown to 114 trainees last year– but we know that there is more to be done. We want and we have to continue to convert traineeships to ongoing jobs and careers in banking. I am really pleased that we’re joined today by Anthony Lew-Fatt. Anthony is an associate business banker in our Darwin office who helps manage the NT Government’s

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NAB Indigenous Money Mentor Gordon Simon

banking relationship. He was our first NAB Indigenous trainee in 2008 and became a full-time employee in 2009. There would be a temptation to declare that we have only succeeded once we have moved an intern into a full time job, however, we think that this is just the beginning. This year Anthony was a key member of NAB’s new Emerging Leaders program which targets former Indigenous trainees who are now full-time employees. We encourage our future leaders to actively pursue their career advancement at NAB and climb the corporate ladder. Pleasingly stories like Anthony’s are becoming the norm at NAB as we continue to focus on creating real jobs and opportunities for Indigenous Australians. And we

look forward to seeing more of these careers develop and grow. Prime Minister and guests, I’m mindful that we’ve presented our RAP with what NAB has contributed to Indigenous Australia. But the reality is the knowledge and relationships we have built continue to make us a better organisation. I am pleased to present our 2014 Reconciliation Action Plan and, through it, renew and deepen our commitment to closing the gap in Indigenous disadvantage. As we continue with this important work I am confident that NAB can truly become the bank of choice for Indigenous Australia. And this is just one way in which we hope to create more prosperous communities and contribute to an Australia which offers opportunities for all.

Nab calls on corporates to be more accountable to indigenous australia  

by Kelly Quirke 21 February 2014 National Australia Bank (NAB) yesterday called on corporate Australia to be more accountable in its commitm...

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