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Commonwealth Bank announces commitment to reconciliation

6 December 2007

The Commonwealth Bank has further enhanced its commitment to Reconciliation with Indigenous Australians by announcing its intention to put in place a formal commitment to reconciliation.

According to Ralph Norris, Commonwealth Bank Chief Executive Officer, the Group will commit to helping improve the lives and livelihood of Indigenous people and communities.

"We believe that a sustained effort and enduring commitment by Governments, business and the community can help to improve the lives of Indigenous Australians."

As part of the commitment to reconciliation, the Bank will convene a group to oversee the development of the Group’s Indigenous reconciliation strategy.

"Our strategy will include developing and strengthening relationships with Indigenous stakeholders; the employment, development and recognition of Indigenous people across the Group; and strengthening the Bank’s customer service focus for Indigenous customers," said Mr Norris.

Barbara Livesey, Chief Executive, Reconciliation Australia said, "The Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) program encourages organisations in all sectors to sign up to specific, measurable targets towards closing the unacceptable 17 year life expectancy gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous children".

"As a great Australian company, the Commonwealth Bank’s involvement gives all Australians a sense of how much we can do when we work together to make our communities stronger".

"With such a significant footprint across the country, we welcome the Commonwealth Bank to the growing RAP community and look forward to working with Ralph Norris and the team as they develop their plan as part of this nation-building effort."

Mr Norris said the Bank currently supported a number of Indigenous groups and was looking at further developing relationships with key Indigenous bodies, leaders and groups. The Bank supports:

  • Aboriginal Employment Service (AES)
  • Indigenous Consumer Assistance Network (ICAN) "Personal Finance and Consumer Assistance" program
  • Caritas/Centacare "Manage Your Income, Manage your Life" program
  • St Joseph’s College Indigenous Scholarship Fund
  • Croc Festival

The Commonwealth Bank Foundation has brought together selected leaders in Indigenous education to participate in a roundtable discussion focusing on Indigenous education, particularly as it relates to financial literacy. 

The Bank plans to launch its Reconciliation Action Plan in May 2008.

ENDS

For more information contact:

Steve Batten
Media Adviser, Communications
Commonwealth Bank
Ph: (02) 9378 2504
M: 0411 080 268
E: steve.batten@cba.com.au