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Helping people and the planet

28 October 2019 at 7:45 am
12,000 Australians are set to benefit from Westpac Foundation grants. 

Contributor | 28 October 2019 at 7:45 am


Helping people and the planet
28 October 2019 at 7:45 am

12,000 Australians are set to benefit from Westpac Foundation grants. 

Westpac Foundation has announced the 100 organisations across Australia that are set to receive one of its 2019 Community Grants. An estimated 12,000 Australians will benefit from the grants, which help to deliver educational opportunities, employment pathways and improve quality of life for people who need it most. 

Amongst the recipients is Green Collect, a social enterprise that creates jobs and employment pathways for people facing barriers to mainstream employment by delivering a waste collection service that keeps hard to recycle items out of landfill. 

“This support from Westpac Foundation will allow us to increase our workplace support programs, which will help us better equip jobseekers with the tools they need to fulfil their work and life goals,” Sally Quinn, CEO of Green Collect, said. 

“By offering more mentoring in the workplace, we will be able to ensure that every person can address the particular barriers they face in gaining and maintaining employment to help build confidence, dignity and a secure future.

“From an initial grant in 2012, our relationship with Westpac Foundation has deepened over the years enabling us to grow and scale, through funding, pro bono support and now also procurement opportunities.”

Green Collect is now a supplier to Westpac, partnering with the bank to find a new life for office equipment when branches are refurbished. In a recent article, Going green “for people and the planet”, Quinn talks about the impact their organisation is having on individuals, and the environment.  

 “As a social enterprise it was significant for Green Collect to gain this contract with Westpac to deliver environmental services to branches. It was exciting for me to see our staff rise to the challenges of this work,” Quinn said. 

Green Collect employees at their Melbourne premises.

Green Collect employees at their Melbourne premises.

Through the procurement opportunity, the social enterprise has so far removed over 1,000 office items and surplus furniture, resulting in 99.7 per cent of these items being diverted from landfill. 

The work to collect and process these items generated 670 hours of employment for people previously excluded from work due to barriers such as English language skills, homelessness and mental health challenges.

Like Green Collect, 77 per cent of the 2019 Community Grant recipients have been previously funded by the foundation, helping to build long-term partnerships to drive greater impact. 

According to Susan Bannigan, CEO Westpac Foundation, “it takes more than funding to create sustainable change”. 

“That is why each grant recipient is also matched with a passionate Westpac employee volunteer to provide support through sharing their time and skills, beyond the monetary grant,” Bannigan said. 

“Of last year’s grantees that received non-financial support, 95 per cent have told us they found it effective or very effective, which is a testament to the commitment of our people.” 

As well as the Community Grants program, Westpac Foundation invests in social enterprises with a proven model for job creation to support people facing barriers to mainstream employment. 

In September, the foundation announced the first four social enterprises to secure funding through a new collaborative funding model designed to attract more funding to the sector. 

Since 2012, Westpac Foundation Community Grants have provided $8.6 million to organisations nationally. To find out more visit

See here for the full list of 2019 Community Grant recipients.

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