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Who we are

At Westpac Foundation, our vision is to open doors to a brighter future for more Australians.

We support not-for-profit organisations taking a fresh approach to addressing social problems, borrowing the best from business to create more opportunity for Australia's most disadvantaged.


The Foundation’s objectives are to:

  • Increase effectiveness and sustainability of the organisations we support to achieve sustainable social impact
  •  Increase levels of awareness, engagement and fundraising through strategic partnerships so that we can increase our financial sustainability and grow our impact
  •  Be recognised in the social sector as taking a leadership role in building the capacity, capability and influence of organisations.


Westpac Foundation is comprised of 2 charitable funds:

 

  1. The Westpac Buckland Fund - a private charitable trust
  2. Westpac Community Trust - a public ancillary fund with deductible gift recipient status.

 

The unique characteristics of each trust means the Foundation can give to both individuals and not-for-profit organisations.

Governance

Westpac Foundation oversees the operation of The Westpac Buckland Fund and Westpac Community Trust. The Foundation's Board is a trustee of both trusts, and consists of 4 members, half of whom are independent of the Westpac Group.

We support not-for-profit organisations taking a fresh approach to addressing social problems, borrowing the best from business to create more opportunity for Australia's most disadvantaged.

Our independence

The work and decisions of Westpac Foundation are entirely the responsibility of the Westpac Foundation Board and are undertaken without regard for the commercial interests of Westpac Group.

While being independent, the Foundation does consider Westpac Group to be its greatest supporter.

It's this close working relationship that allows the Foundation to leverage the skills, knowledge and experience of Westpac employees, which is applied to all aspects of the Foundation's grant-making philosophy and process.

Our history 

In 1879 Thomas Buckland, the President of the Bank of New South Wales, established The Buckland Fund to help families of deceased bank employees who found themselves in financial difficulty. The fund commenced with Mr Buckland's initial donation of $1,000, a bonus he received for services to the bank. 

In 1999, through the vision of the then Westpac Board, the scope of support expanded beyond retired employees to the wider Australian community, with grants to not-for-profit organisations. As a result, Westpac Foundation was formed: a modern charitable trust overseeing the support of retired employees and not-for-profit organisations. 

In 2006, the Westpac Foundation Board, then chaired by non-executive director Helen Lynch AM, set the goal "to be a catalyst for the improvement of community wellbeing in Australia". This was to be achieved through funding social enterprise and innovation initiatives, complemented by a non-financial support program designed to improve the sustainability of the programs funded. 

Today, Westpac Foundation continues its heritage of supporting retired Westpac staff in need, while also helping alleviate poverty and disadvantage in Australia by creating opportunities in the form of jobs and social inclusion. Our Community Grants support local, grassroots organisations that are changing lives for the better, while our new Social Start Up program backs leading social innovators who are creating meaningful employment opportunities for disadvantaged Australians.