Indigenous leaders join NAB Indigenous Advisory Group

14 July 2009

National Australia Bank today announced the membership of a newly formed Indigenous Advisory Group bringing together Indigenous leaders and NAB executives.

NAB’s Indigenous Advisory Group will provide external governance on NAB’s engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. This will extend to activities under NAB’s Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP).

The members of the NAB Indigenous Advisory Group are:

  • Dr Chris Sarra (Co-Chair) Director, Indigenous Education Leadership Institute
  • Danny Gilbert (Co-Chair) Managing Partner Gilbert + Tobin Lawyers, NAB Director
  • June Oscar, CEO Marninwarntikura Fitzroy Women's Resource Centre
  • Fred Chaney, Chair of Desert Knowledge Australia, Board Member, Reconciliation Australia
  • Bev Manton, Chairperson, NSW Aboriginal Lands Council
  • Michael Long, Patron of the Long Walk, Essendon Football Club
  • Terri Janke, Solicitor Director, Terri Janke and Company
  • NAB - Warren Shaw (Executive General Manager nab Retail), Tim O’Leary (General Manager, Community & Corporate Responsibility), Spiro Pappas (Managing Director, Institutional Banking), Richard Peters (Head of Community Finance & Development)

Dr Chris Sarra, Co-Chair of the advisory group, commended NAB’s approach to support Indigenous-led solutions to the problems faced by Australia’s first people.

“Corporate Australia has a role to play in helping reduce Indigenous disadvantage and I’m pleased that NAB’s programs are addressing big issues like employment, access to safe and affordable financial services, and employee awareness,” said Dr Sarra, Director, Indigenous Education Leadership Institute.

“While the first step is committing to a Reconciliation Action Plan and outlining what your organisation plans to do; equally important is governance or how you do it.

“The formation of this Indigenous Advisory Group is a clear signal that NAB is taking an approach based on collaboration, respect and most of all – a genuine willingness to listen. Ultimately, an informed approach has more chance of succeeding,” he said.

Tim O’Leary, NAB’s General Manager Community and Corporate Responsibility agrees and stated that while NAB has a good plan, the organisation is still learning.

“NAB’s Indigenous Advisory Group will help provide access to knowledge and advice that can guide the way we do things here at NAB. We thank the members for their involvement and their commitment to both review our progress as well as consider opportunities for our next Reconciliation Action Plan.

“Importantly, this Advisory Group also demonstrates the behaviour we want to model throughout NAB - that is, being open to learning about the issues Indigenous people face, and translating them into informed actions that will make a difference,” said Mr O’Leary.

NAB’s Reconciliation Action Plan can be found at NAB’s website: and details NAB’s initiatives to:

  • Build access to valuable, long lasting and meaningful employment opportunities that are delivered in a sustainable way;
  • Provide greater access to financial products and services to promote financial inclusion;
  • Support greater organisational understanding of and respect for Indigenous Australians, their culture and aspirations.

The NAB Indigenous Advisory Group will report annually on its activities and it is anticipated that its membership will expand over time.

For further information, please contact:
Richard Peters
Head of Community Finance and Development
T: 02 9237 9827
M: 0438 582 919