The Big Issue and Westpac Join Forces
4 August 2015 at 11:21 am
National unemployment street magazine The Big Issue’s Women’s Subscription Enterprise is the recipient of the Westpac 2015 Mary Reibey Grant worth $240,000 over three years.
The social enterprise will receive the funds to further its work in providing job opportunities for homeless, marginalised and disadvantaged women and girls and the award announcement coincides with Homelessness Prevention Week.
The Big Issue CEO Steven Persson said that while women are currently employed by The Big Issue magazine in Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide to hand-pack subscription copies of the magazine for distribution, this year’s Mary Reibey Grant will allow The Big Issue to expand to Perth over the next three years.
“This important program gives female employees an income, as well as access to training, mentoring and support,” Persson said.
“This grant enables us to expand our successful Women’s Subscription Enterprise into Western Australia. This will allow disadvantaged West Australian women to experience the benefits that come from being employed and socially connected.”
To coincide with Homelessness Prevention Week, Westpac hosted a special event which saw more than 60 guests roll up their sleeves and pack magazines alongside employees from the Women’s Subscription Enterprise, creating a large-scale version of the shift work offered to them each fortnight.
“More than 45,000 women in Australia sleep homeless every night and they really need our support,” Director of Women’s Markets, Inclusion and Diversity at Westpac, Ainslie van Onselen said.
“The Big Issue helps women by providing income-generation opportunities. Our grant will help empower and support women in the WA community, fostering independence and contributing to a better future.”
Westpac’s Mary Reibey Grant, named after a transported convict to Australia in 1792 who became a successful business woman, aims to support a Not for Profit organisation that enables opportunity for disadvantaged women.