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Leadership Series Proudly Supported by Westpac

3 November 2014 at 4:00 pm
Xavier Smerdon
Westpac recently hosted two breakfast leadership seminars in Sydney and Brisbane for senior leaders from the Social Sector and Education industry sectors.

Xavier Smerdon | 3 November 2014 at 4:00 pm


Leadership Series Proudly Supported by Westpac
3 November 2014 at 4:00 pm

Westpac recently hosted two breakfast leadership seminars in Sydney and Brisbane for senior leaders from the Social Sector and Education industry sectors.

At the event in Sydney on 24 October, there was an address from Malcolm Turnbull on the importance of technology education for children and Australia’s future and there was also an overview of the Westpac Bicentennial Foundation by the Chair, Phil Coffey.

In his speech, the Minister showed his passion for the importance of teaching children how to create rather than to merely consume technology.

“Our future, our prosperity depends on our being more innovative, more competitive and we simply cannot do that unless we are as technically literate as the other nations with which we compete,” Turnbull said.

The Minister said he envisioned a positive future, enabled by students trained in logic.

“In a nutshell we need knowledge and imagination. The former on its own is a dull resource, the latter on its own is a hallucination. Combined they will ensure an Australian future which is more exciting, more prosperous than ever before.”

Technology and innovation represents one of the three key themes of the Westpac Bicentennial Foundation, along with forging ties with Asia and strong and supported community leadership.

In his address, Phil Coffey, Chair of the Westpac Bicentennial Foundation said, these themes in shaping Australia will also be critically important for the future of the Westpac Group.  

“After nearly 200 years of operating in Australia it is clear to us that what is important for Australia is important for Westpac.  Our success is deeply connected to the health of the nation.”

At the event in Brisbane on 30 October, there was an address from Catherine Yeomans, CEO Mission Australia, on dynamic and strategic leadership to manage challenges and seize opportunities in social sector industries in the future. Also there was an update from Jon Nicholson, Director of the Westpac Bicentennial Foundation on the development of Westpac’s community programs and the role Westpac will play in backing education as a foundation for developing Australia’s capabilities.

In her speech, Catherine Yeomans, encouraged those in the Social Sector to join voices together and act as powerful and credible group to achieve social change. By doing this, Catherine said, “our capacity to overcome the challenges we face and harness the opportunities ahead will surely grow.”

Catherine said that the values driving community organisations are what differentiate the social sector, “So what is it about our sector that makes us different – and that we as leaders need to be completely conscious of in order to ensure our organisations succeed? From my perspective it’s our values framework.  The community sector is not just about delivering services. It is about protecting the social fabric of the nation.”

In his address, Jon Nicholson commented on the role Westpac will play in shaping the nation through education scholarships, “An educated workforce helps drive a dynamic and productive economy and the power of education goes beyond the individual. It has a multiplier effect helping to change the lives of an individual’s family – all to the positive impact on the economy. That’s why we launched the Westpac Bicentennial Foundation.”

National Head of Education and Social Sector Banking Barry Thatcher, host for both events, said, “From these interactions we know that new connections and friendships are formed which in time leads to new opportunities being developed in both sectors.”

For more information:

  •        Follow the latest from the Westpac Bicentennial Foundation via Twitter: @WestpacScholars and online
  •        Read the Hon. Malcolm Turnbull, Minister for Communication speech on the importance of tech education in our schools (will include link to the Minister's speech on his site
  •        Read Catherine Yeomans, CEO of Mission Australia speech
  •        Follow updates from the Westpac Bicentennial Foundation: The Twitter handle used for both breakfast events is @WestpacScholars and #WBFBreakfast
  •        Find out more about Westpac Social Sector Banking

Xavier Smerdon  |  Journalist  |  @XavierSmerdon

Xavier Smerdon is a journalist specialising in the Not for Profit sector. He writes breaking and investigative news articles.

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