International Recognition - Cape York Partnership
17 October 2003 at 1:10 pm
Westpac has been awarded global recognition for its innovative partnership with Indigenous Enterprise Partnerships (IEP) for fostering self-sufficiency in Cape York indigenous communities.
In their 17th year, the Corporate Conscience Awards, organised by Social Accountability International, honour outstanding social and environmental performance to encourage widespread adoption of responsible business practices.
Westpac is the first Australian company to receive a Corporate Conscience Award.
IEP, through the stewardship of Aboriginal leader Noel Pearson, devises indigenous led practical programs to generate employment, economic development as well as financial literacy and self-sufficiency in Cape York communities.
The partnership involves organisations such as Westpac, The Boston Consulting Group, The Body Shop and the Myer Foundation.
Through IEP, Westpac operates an employee secondment program to provide families education and awareness on the effective use of family income and funds.
Westpac also supports the Balkanu Cape York Development Corporation Business Hubs strategy which includes providing assistance for the incubation of new indigenous business ventures.
Westpac’s CEO Dr David Morgan says corporate Australia has a major role to play in assisting indigenous communities improve their standard of living and sustainability. Through schemes such as this, not only do the communities benefit from business know-how, participating staff feel enriched and energised.
Morgan says these communities need more than dollars to improve the quality of their lives. They need skills, business acumen and a knowledge of how to get things done.
Through Westpac’s employee secondments in communities across the Cape, over the last 12 months 500 people have signed up to the Family Income Management programs, several successful business start-ups have occurred and new direct full time jobs for indigenous people have already been created.
Westpac was nominated for the global Corporate Conscience Award by Monash Sustainability Enterprises, a specialist in evaluating corporate sustainability practices.