Westpac employees share 100 years with Indigenous community organisations through Jawun
7 July 2016
Westpac Group announced today the time shared by its employees on secondment in Indigenous Australian community organisations through the Jawun Indigenous Corporate Partnerships program had surpassed the equivalent of 100 years.
Westpac Group CEO Brian Hartzer said this significant milestone showed Westpac's support for Jawun is as strong as ever, having co-founded the program over 15 years ago.
"Westpac has been a strong supporter of the Jawun program for over 15 years given its clear success in contributing to the empowerment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people," Mr Hartzer said.
"Around 750 of our employees have been supported by the bank to take up secondments of between six to 12 weeks each, to share their professional skills with Indigenous Australian organisations."
Mr Hartzer said that while these secondments have had a direct benefit to the Indigenous organisations involved, the secondees have also found their experience and new skills to be personally and professionally transformative.
"When our people return from their secondments, they come back with a richer understanding and respect for Indigenous culture, but also having had an incredible leadership and life experience," Mr Hartzer said.
A recent independent report by KPMG into the impact of Jawun highlighted that 70-90% of Jawun's Indigenous partners reported a positive uplift within each of the seven capacity domains assessed by KPMG, including organisational culture, planning, governance, systems and skills development.
The report also found that 92% of returned secondees experienced personal growth, 72% reported a substantial increase in their knowledge and understanding of Indigenous people and 69% of partner organisations reported a greater overall knowledge and understanding of Indigenous Australian people.
Jawun CEO, Karyn Baylis, said employees of corporate and government partners offer a range of skill sets, advice and influential connections that would otherwise not be available to Indigenous leaders.
"This formula has a positive and life changing impact on the employees who go on secondment. With over 2,000 people partaking in secondments, there is a strong ripple effect of greater engagement with and understanding of Indigenous Australians.
"Westpac, which has contributed the majority of these secondees, has set an impressive benchmark of Indigenous support and engagement via Jawun," she said.
Jawun patron and founder Noel Pearson commented, "In Jawun, we've built a great engine for social change. There is no better way of corporate and philanthropic Australia supporting a disadvantaged people to rise up in the world."
As part of Westpac's ambitious Reconciliation Action Plan (rated the highest 'Elevate' status by Reconciliation Australia), Westpac has committed to supporting the ongoing participation of employees in Jawun secondments into the future.