Telco Foundation Announces Community Partners
20 November 2012 at 8:55 am
A newly launched Foundation, forged by some of major players in the Australian telecommunications industry, has partnered with a number of community organisations to support programs in disadvantaged communities.
The Telco Together Foundation has partnered with the Inspire Foundation, Red Dust Role Models, SecondBite, and Sports Without Borders as part of the Foundation’s first project since its launch in July 2012.
The Foundation launched with ten Founding Members, which included Optus, Vodafone, NBN Co, Dodo, M2, AAPT, Community Telco, Eftel, Telcoinabox and Vocus Communications. More recently Alcatel-Lucent, Globe Telecom and Smart Business Telecom have joined the Foundation.
Telco Together says the Inspire Foundation, Red Dust Role Models, SecondBite and Sports Without Borders will jointly benefit from funding support and access to volunteers coordinated through the Foundation.
“The long-?term benefits to the Foundation’s community partners will likely include sharing expertise and access to resources from within the industry to enhance charity operations,” the CEO of the Telco Together Foundation Renee Bowker, said.
“The Foundation has worked steadily over the past six months, assessing hundreds of worthwhile charities, to find one best-fit community partner within each of the Foundation’s areas of focus – Indigenous communities, homelessness & food insecurity, mental health & personal crisis and social inclusion.
“It has been extremely rewarding to discover how many effective charities operate within the Foundation’s four key focus areas, and the wide range of support programs offered at both local and national levels within Australia,“ Bowker said.
“With many charities and programs in need of support, it was essential that the decision making process was strategic and streamlined.
“Three key components considered during the selection process included; the impact of community partner programs on disadvantaged communities, transparency of operations, and financial responsibility.
“All four organisations have adopted a unique approach to addressing challenges within their respective areas,” Bowker said.
"The level of engagement that is building throughout the industry is fantastic, and we will be working hard to ensure that this translates into a significant contribution to our community partners, and the communities that they support.”
In addition to member donations, the Foundation has raised almost $100,000 with two industry fundraisers involving member staff.
The Foundation is governed by an Advisory Board that is chaired by NBN Co. CEO Mike Quigley and has CEO level representation from members.
A number of the telcos have signed up to the new Foundation despite already having their own corporate Foundations.
“The Foundation's aim is to harness the collaborative power of the industry over and above the great work that is already being done on an individual level by Foundation's such as the Vodafone Foundation,” Renee Bowker said.
“Although many telecommunications companies already have very effective CSR projects in place, the Foundation represents a unique opportunity to focus on initiatives that require industry-wide collaboration in order to be successful.
“As an industry, with annual revenues of $40 billion and over 25 million direct customer communications made monthly, telcos are in a unique position of collectively having a relationship with almost every business and consumer in Australia.
“By taking advantage of these characteristics and gaining access to the 70,000+ people employed by the industry, an exceptional opportunity for the Telco Together Foundation to become a massive vehicle for social change exists,” she said.