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 APAC 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.
- 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.
We have established the Safer Children, Safer Communities Roundtable of experts in human rights, child safety, online safety, and law enforcement to guide our approach.
We also work closely with representatives of civil society groups, national child protection organisations and experts in modern slavery, trafficking and human rights working on the frontline of preventing child exploitation and abuse in Australia to provide us with insights on how our programs can help make a difference.
International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (ICMEC)
We partnered with ICMEC – an international not-for-profit organisation – providing a three-year $25 million data-sharing and innovation grant, to be managed by ICMEC. Our partnership builds on scoping and discovery work conducted in FY20 and aims to drive cross-industry data and knowledge sharing to better detect, monitor, report and prevent the use of Australian payments platforms being used to process payments that relate to Child Sexual Exploitation.
Australian Childhood Foundation in partnership with Y Australia
Australian Childhood Foundation in partnership with the Y have established a cross-sector business led initiative to drive action on child safeguarding across Australian businesses and improve outcomes for children and young people. With seed funding from Westpac Group’s Safer Children, Safer Communities program, the Coalition will work collaboratively to assess risks to children and young people, develop policies and practices and share resources to help enhance organisational child safeguarding within their businesses. Westpac, TikTok, IHG Hotels & Resorts, The GPT Group and TBWA are the founding members of the Australian Child Safeguarding Business Coalition, with other businesses set to join the Coalition in the coming months.
The Benevolent Society has received funding from Westpac Group’s Safer Children, Safer Communities program to partner with communities to co-design innovative solutions that address local child protection and wellbeing needs. These place-based initiatives will build the capability of communities to support the safety and wellbeing of every child. In 2023, several partnerships have been established in communities across NSW, QLD and SA, including a partnership with Port Augusta City Council to fund two family-based programs.
International Justice Mission (IJM)
We have partnered with IJM – an anti-slavery organisation - providing $18 million in funding over three years to expand the IJM Philippines national program – their flagship casework and community protection program; establish an ENDOSEC Centre – a centre of excellence providing subject matter expertise, consulting, and access to experts and an OSEC Hub that serves as an umbrella body to advance anti-OSEC efforts in APAC and globally.
Save the Children Australia
Through our partnership with Save the Children Australia, we will be providing $6 million in funding over six years to support the delivery of the ‘Protect Children – Philippines’ project to strengthen the skills and knowledge of local child protection service providers, increase access to child protection services, build the resilience of children and families as well as tackle community level attitudes to better protect children from OSEC.
Our grant recipients
The Safer Children, Safer Communities Grants have been designed to scale the efforts of Australian organisations to empower, protect and support children and their families.
Find out more