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Annual Report 2004

The Bank and the Community — A Profile

The Commonwealth Bank has been actively contributing to the Australian community since it commenced operations in 1912. The Bank combines the work of the Commonwealth Bank Foundation, our community partners and our people to achieve social outcomes and improve the communities in which we live and operate.

The Commonwealth Bank Foundation

The Bank began supporting the education of young people more than 70 years ago through student banking and more recently the DollarsandSense website. In order to extend this commitment, the Commonwealth Bank Foundation was established in 2002.

The Foundation seeks to encourage the development of financial literacy skills of young Australians and aims to create awareness, skill and understanding of the benefits of a more financially literate community. This comes from the Bank's view that eduction is a key requirement to empowering individuals to take effective decisions to achieve their financial goals.

In the past financial year, the Commonwealth Bank Foundation has supported many programs including:

e-learning grants: Now in its third year, the Bank has donated more than $1million in grants to primary schools nationally to allow them to develop e-learning initiatives. Projects have included online year books, creation of school websites and production of animated films.

National Literacy and Numeracy Week: An initiative of the Commonwealth Department of Education, Science and Training, the program highlights and encourages the development of effective literacy and numeracy skills.

Macquarie Business Mathematics Competition: An annual national secondary schools mathematics competition focusing on financial literacy. This is the only fully online, national mathematics competition for secondary school students.

GirlSavvy: A series of one day workshops for high school girls aimed at motivating and educating young women about the importance of being financially aware. Participants undertake a range of activities which aim to boost self esteem, inspire them about the diversity of job options available and focus on the benefits of sound financial planning.

Nova: Science in the News: The Australian Academy of Science's highly acclaimed website promotes science education and communication to secondary school students, their parents and teachers.

The Foundation is building on its current achievements in the education sector and developing a suite of educational resources and programs, for launch in the 2004/05 financial year, to support financial literacy skills in secondary schools. To achieve this, the Foundation works with a variety of experts including NSW Department of Education and Training, Business Educators Australasia and the Enterprise Network for Young Australians to create the best possible resources to improve financial literacy skills.

In the Community

The Commonwealth Bank recognises the important role it plays in the community, not only as an employer and provider of banking services to millions of customers but also in the wider community. We are working to make banking services as accessible as possible to all Australians and support programs and organisations that are working to create a better community for everyone.


The Commonwealth Bank is the bank for all Australians and works to ensure everyone can access its financial services. Not only does the Bank have the largest branch, ATM and EFTPOS networks with a total of more than 130,000 points of access for customers, but we also partner with Australia Post, Woolworths and Big W to make banking even more accessible.

The Bank's commitment to improving access for all customers is evident through its work with community groups including the Royal Blind Society, National Council on Intellectual Disability and the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission to develop a Disability Action Plan. This plan will ensure greater access to our services for disabled customers and provide our staff with disabilities a better work environment. Some of this year's achievements include:

The Bank is also committed to providing fee free banking products for customers with special needs.


The Bank currently supports organisations in health and medical research, sport, the arts, youth, environment, business, disaster relief and meeting community needs. These sponsorships are carefully selected to offer long-term benefits to Australians. In 2004 these sponsorships included:

Our people

An integral part of the Bank's community involvement is the contributions of our people. Bank staff donate their time and money to causes such as the Clown Doctors and Conservation Volunteers Australia. The Bank assists employees to support these causes through the Staff Charity Fund and Lending a Hand partnership and encourages involvement in other volunteering and fundraising activities.

Staff Charity Fund: was founded in 1916 by staff who wanted to provide cots and blankets for Australian children during the First World War. Today, the Fund contributes each year to the well-being of Australian children with most support going to the Humour Foundation's Clown Doctors.

This money comes from regular fortnightly contributions by current and retired staff, and also through special fundraising days, like Make a Kid's Day. Across the Bank our people took part in a variety of activities this year to raise more than $470,000 for the Staff Charity Fund.

Lending a Hand: is a three-year partnership between the Bank and Conservation Volunteers Australia ("CVA"). CVA is Australia's largest practical conservation organisation with the Lending a Hand program working specifically to restore local habitats. The program funds 100 week-long and 100 weekend community-based environment projects undertaken during each year of the partnership.

Since the launch of the program in 2002 Lending a Hand, with the help of many Bank employee volunteers, has planted over 150,000 trees, grasses and shrubs revegetating approximately 179 hectares involving over 10,000 volunteer days.

For more information on the Bank's community support and work in the community visit

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