18 April 2011
National Australia Bank (NAB) will today renew its commitment to sustainable economic and social development for Indigenous Australians. At the launch of NAB's third Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) Group CEO Cameron Clyne will announce the Bank's intent to partner with key claimants who seek to commercialise their Native Title wins for the benefit of the community.
This additional strategic focus comes off the back of independent research commissioned in 2010 into the financial services needs of Aboriginal communities in Northern Australia. This research revealed an uneasy intersection between the resources boom; large native title settlements and Indigenous disadvantage.
Mr Clyne said: "Native Title agreements provide a once-in-a-generation opportunity to take advantage of the resource boom while also improving the social and economic conditions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
"We have a unique opportunity to partner with Indigenous organisations to support sustainable economic and social development and harness significant emerging commercial opportunities. It's a practical way for NAB to leverage our experience and commercial capability for Indigenous Australia."
Mr Clyne will make the announcement at the launch of NAB's third Reconciliation Action Plan, which details the bank's three-fold commitment to Indigenous Australia and progress to date on: Indigenous employment; creating access to inclusive financial products and services; and building greater understanding and respect for Indigenous culture and aspirations among the bank's staff.
Senior Manager, Indigenous Finance and Development at NAB, Glen Brennan said working within the framework of a RAP had enabled the bank to identify the opportunity to help Native Title holders take advantage of commercial and cultural benefits from native title settlements.
"In most cases Traditional Owners have fought long and hard to secure their land. We believe that we can work together with these owners to help create opportunities for them and future generations. It's a very tangible way that NAB can drive Indigenous economic development where it's needed most.
"NAB has a number of important large Indigenous customers who are grappling with the challenges associated with commercialising native title victories. Over the next 12 months we will be working on two of Australia's most important Native Title opportunities - the NT's Blue Mud Bay and WA's James Price Point, ensuring these opportunities create sustainable economic development for the years ahead."
NAB's third RAP will be launched by Dr Chris Sarra, Co-Chair NAB's Indigenous Advisory Group and Mr Kim Hill, CEO of the Northern Land Council, as well as several graduates from the bank's School Based Trainee Program.
The Reconciliation Action Plan can be found at NAB's website: http://www.nab.com.au/indigenous
Tim O'Leary, GM Corporate Responsibility 0414 446 826 Glen Brennan, Senior Manager, Indigenous Finance & Development 0410 448 929