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2021 Progress Report, Child Safeguarding Position Statement and other updates

Young carers enjoying respite at Little Dreamers' overnight programs. Little Dreamers are the recipient of a 2021 SCSC (Seed) grant valued at $50,000.


29 March 2022
 

The Safer Children, Safer Communities 2021 Progress Report (PDF 26MB) details the efforts of our grant recipients, strategic partners, employees, and our stakeholders to keep children and young people safe in Australia and across the Asia Pacific Region in Year 2 of our work program.
 

This year, we are proud to release our Child Safeguarding Position Statement (PDF 12MB), a first published statement for an Australian bank. The Statement sets out the principles that guide our approach as we work to embed a child safe culture within our organisation and seek to reduce the likelihood of harm to children and young people across our operations.

2021 Year in Review*

Now in its second year, the Safer Children, Safer Communities work program continues to deliver across its four ambitions.

Help protect children in Australian and Asia Pacific Catalyse change within the Bank Raise awareness of Online Child Sexual Exploitation (OSEC) Accelerate unity of action on OSEC through collaborative technology
  • $18.4million in multi-year funding committed to over 50 Australian organisations since 2020
  • 14,000+ children, young people and adults reached through programs delivered by our domestic grant recipients and international partners
  • 440+ child abuse prevention sessions delivered across domestic and international programs
  • 15 programs supporting vulnerable children, including Indigenous children, refugee, migrants, LGBTIQ+ or culturally and linguistically diverse children and children with disabilities since 2020
  • Child Safeguarding Position Statement published
  • Under18s default gambling block launched
  • >350 products and channels assessed against risk typologies including Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE)
  • Provided customers the ability to report abusive messages via online and mobile banking and block inappropriate language from outgoing payments
  • 230,000+ views of The Children in the Pictures documentary through online, in-person and SBS screenings
  • Three-year partnership with Australian Childhood Foundation and the Y (formerly YMCA) to drive action on child safeguarding across businesses
  • 7 research grants funded to support new insights on tackling child abuse and exploitation
  • $25m over three years to the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (ICMEC) to better detect, monitor, report and seek to prevent CSE
  • Scoping and discovery work completed to better connect over 35 organisations from ICMEC’s wider AU Financial Coalition Forum

*Westpac Group financial year: Oct 1 2020 – Sept 30 2021

First for an Australian bank – Westpac Group’s Child Safeguarding Position Statement

As one of the largest financial institutions in Australia and New Zealand, we acknowledge our reach across the community and our responsibility to respect human rights and to mitigate known child safety risks.


Our Child Safeguarding Principles
 

  1. Safety by design for products and services focused on children and young people
  2. Include the voice of children and young people in decision-making
  3. Promote responsible financial behaviours for children and their parents and carers
  4. Set clear expectations of employees, contractors, and suppliers in relation to child safety
  5. Mitigate risks for children across financial transactions
  6. Partner for progress
More information: