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Safer Children, Safer Communities

We are committed to helping to reduce the human impact of financial crime, protect children, create safer communities, and contribute to long-term change within Westpac Group, across business and in society.

The Safer Children, Safer Communities work program involves a series of actions and investments that we intend to deliver in Australia and across the Asia Pacific Region over a three year period (2020 – 2023) to make a meaningful impact on child safety and protection. The program emerged from the third pillar of Westpac’s Response Plan to the AUSTRAC November 2019 Statement of Claim.


To guide our approach, we have established the Safer Children, Safer Communities Roundtable of experts in human rights, child safety, online safety, and law enforcement. Together, with the Roundtable and our wider Advisory Group, we have developed a work program, also known as a theory of change. The work program focuses on our ambitions for impact and our target areas, with associated funding principles to support long lasting change for children and their communities. 

We will focus our efforts on the ambitions across four streams of impact:


Internal External
Westpac Group Upstream Midstream Downstream
Catalyse change in the company to create deeper awareness and accountability and be an advocate in Australia for safeguarding children.  Raise awareness of the issue of online sexual exploitation of children, and the role of business and the community in acknowledging and taking responsibility for safeguarding and protecting children. Accelerate unity of action on OSEC, through the development and adoption of collaborative technologies and capabilities to better detect, monitor, report and prevent harm to children associated with financial crime. Help safeguard children in Australia, and in those APAC countries where children are at highest risk, by supporting and scaling the efforts of organisations to empower, protect and support children, survivors, their families and carers, and improve their access to restorative justice.

This will support work across our target areas to provide a holistic approach to child safety and protection:

Raising awareness and understanding Technology Education and prevention Response and recovery
Raising awareness and understanding of child exploitation, including online child sexual exploitation and creating a sense of urgency to act in business, across industry and society. Investing in technology or other means of collaboration to help detect, monitor, report and prevent harm to children. Investing in the delivery of effective educational, e-safety and child sexual exploitation and abuse prevention programs and initiatives particularly to at-risk and vulnerable youth and children and their families. Investing in the provision of trauma-informed services including response recovery, and remedy to survivors in a way which complements and/or enhances existing services and puts children’s needs first.

And will guide our investments by the following funding principles:

Outcome focused and measurable Expansion Long-term impact Engage and empower children Collaboration
We invest in programs and initiatives that create meaningful and measurable change and specifically align with the outcomes we have prioritised for Safer Children, Safer Communities. We seek to deepen and scale the efforts, reach and effectiveness of programs, initiatives and organisations safeguarding and protecting children. We prioritise programs and initiatives that endeavour to create positive impact for children and their families beyond the period of our funding We support organisations that prevent harm to children by engaging them in the design of programs and initiatives using a child safe approach which empowers children and young people of their rights. We look for programs and initiatives run by organisations that will share learnings, research and insights and collaborate with other child-focused stakeholders working to safeguard, protect and care for children.

Our 2020 Impact Grants Program opens on 20 July 2020. For more information and to apply please head to the Safer Children, Safer Communities Impact Grants page.

Related information: