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Our approach

Westpac Foundation Community Grant recipients, The Social Studio, Collingwood VIC


We believe that we can help to create a more inclusive Australia, together. Our mission is to help change 100,000 lives by 2030, by providing funding and programs to support social enterprises and community organisations in Australia creating jobs and opportunities for those who need it most.

To help achieve this goal, we commissioned the Centre for Social Impact (CSI) Swinburne to undertake research to identify additional insights into employment-focused social enterprise. The research report, Social Enterprise: A people-centred approach to employment services (PDF 1MB) examines employment as a pathway out of disadvantage, and helps to identify where the gaps are and what is needed to help employment-focused social enterprises scale to create greater long-term sustainable change.

Why we focus on employment

A job means an income and being part of something. Yet there are many people that find it difficult to find a job in the mainstream job market. This could be due to a mental health condition, disability, a young person at risk, homelessness or lack of opportunity. We believe that employment is a powerful pathway out of disadvantage and helps to build stronger more inclusive communities.


Labour force participation for people with disability is 45% lower than overall population¹


11.2% youth unemployment is double the overall unemployment rate², increasing to 20%+ in some regional areas³

Humanitarian Migrants

Only 17% humanitarian migrants are employed after 18 months in Australia⁴

Indigenous Australians

18.2% unemployment for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples⁵

Future of Work

Technology is changing the future of work, requiring new skills and new ways of working


Sources: 1 Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers, Australia, 2015. 2 Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), October 2018. 3 An unfair Australia? Mapping youth unemployment hotspots, March 2018, Brotherhood of St Lawrence. 4 Settling Better, 2017, Centre for Policy Development. 5 Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) 2016 Census.

Our approach

We’re proud to invest in social enterprises that have a proven model for creating jobs for people facing barriers to mainstream employment.

Since 2015, Westpac Foundation supported social enterprises have created 4,704 jobs.  

We provide:

  • Grants for Social Enterprises - designed to help social enterprises with a proven model for job creation transition to their next stage of growth.
  • Non-financial support including business mentoring and tailored banking support
Westpac’s Skilled Volunteer Network – here to help you. 

Westpac’s Skilled Volunteer Network has a team of passionate employees available to offer their skills across a broad range of areas from marketing and communications, and strategy and business planning, to human resources, governance, risk and finance.

Is your organisation looking for an extra pair of hands on a particular project? Do you have a current skill gap where a volunteer could support? Download and complete this form (PDF 317KB) and return to and we will help find you the right skilled volunteer support.


Any questions? Get in touch at