Monday, 1 December 2008
National Australia Bank’s first Reconciliation Action Plan was launched today at Parliament House, Canberra by The Hon. Kevin Rudd MP, Prime Minister of Australia.
National Australia Bank Chairman, Michael Chaney AO, said NAB’s response to the daunting challenge of Indigenous disadvantage represents the culmination of nearly two years of listening and engaging with Indigenous people and organisations.
“Together, we have defined how NAB can best make a difference to Indigenous Australians – Australia’s First Peoples and our most disadvantaged community,” Mr Chaney said.
“There is a considerable gap in life expectancy between Indigenous children and non-Indigenous kids – as one of Australia’s largest businesses we have a role to play to close this gap.
“Developing this action plan was a great opportunity to improve our focus on and involvement with Indigenous Australians; based on a framework of mutual respect and partnership,” he said.
Commenting on the launch, the Hon. Kevin Rudd MP, Prime Minister of Australia said NAB’s action plan contains an ambitious and significant commitment to Indigenous Australians.
“It is pleasing to see a leading Australian company delivering a genuine and public commitment to improve the wellbeing of Indigenous people. I commend NAB for its leadership,” the Prime Minister said.
NAB sees its commitment being delivered in three key areas:
- Access to valuable, long lasting and meaningful employment opportunities that are delivered in a sustainable way;
- Improved access to financial products and services to promote financial inclusion;
- Building a greater organisational understanding of and respect for Indigenous Australians, their culture and aspirations.
Mr Michael Chaney stated the path to building strong, inclusive and sustainable Indigenous communities is not an easy one and requires long-term commitment.
“I’m confident the plan will change NAB for the better: I believe it will make a real difference to Indigenous Australians and contribute to the progress of our nation,” Mr Chaney said.
NAB joins a growing community of organisations across all sectors implementing Reconciliation Action Plans. The program was developed by Reconciliation Australia and after two years, NAB’s RAP brings the total number of plans to 100. Reconciliation Australia’s Co-Chair Professor Mick Dodson said it was a great outcome that the 100th RAP was of such high quality.
“NAB’s RAP demonstrates what this program is all about, in terms of the commitments themselves, as well as real, public accountability and performance measures,” said Professor Dodson.
“This plan has real integrity – not only for the clear social benefits it brings to Indigenous and non-Indigenous stakeholders but because it’s framed in terms of the business benefits as well, demonstrating the RAP as a win/win for all,” Professor Dodson added.
NAB’s Reconciliation Action Plan can be found at NAB’s website: http://www.nab.com.au/indigenous
Kerrina Lawrence National Australia Bank T: (03) 8641 3409 M: 0417 034 738