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.
At the core of our community activities is our commitment to providing education and access, for Australians, to the cultural, financial, social and artistic aspects of Australian life.
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 (www.dollarsandsense.com.au). 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 education is integral to empowering individuals to make 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 fourth year, the Bank makes 70 grants of $5,000 each available to primary schools annually to improve literacy, numeracy and financial literacy skills through the use of technology.
Financial Literacy Grants: Launched in 2004 and available to all secondary schools in Australia, the grants help to develop awareness, skill and understanding in financial literacy of students in Years 7 to 12. One hundred grants of $3,500 each are available annually.
Australian Financial Literacy Assessment: Developed with the assistance of Educational Assessment Australia, this is a free and voluntary annual Financial Literacy Assessment for secondary school students in Years 9 and 10.
Financial Literacy Curriculum Resource: Provides financial literacy support materials, mapped to curriculum in each state and territory, to support the teaching of financial literacy in schools across Australia.
DollarsandSense website: The DollarsandSense website was launched in 2002. It is a valuable financial literacy education support tool for teachers, developed in consultation with educators. It helps young people aged 14 to 17 to develop money management skills.
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 works to ensure greater accessibility to our 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 runs Banking Made Easy workshops nationally, providing training to promote greater understanding of electronic banking, for seniors and disability groups. The Bank also offers fee free banking for many special needs customers.
PartnershipsThe Bank has established rewarding partnerships with many community organisations providing education and greater access to services for all Australians. Our support is spread across metropolitan, regional and remote Australia. In 2004/05 these partnerships included:
- Breast Cancer Institute of Australia
- Children’s Cancer Institute of Australia
- Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia
- Australian Chamber Orchestra
- Country Arts SA
- Opera Australia
- Queensland Opera Company
- Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra
- Commonwealth Bank Cricket Academy
- Netball Australia – Commonwealth Bank Trophy
- Conservation Volunteers Australia
- Council on the Ageing (COTA, NSW)
- Frontier Services
- Link Disability Magazine
- Museum Victoria
- National Trust of Australia (NSW)
- Regional Achievers Awards
- St Vincent de Paul Night Bus
- Very Special Kids
- Wesley Mission
- Zoos Victoria
An integral part of the Bank’s community involvement is the contribution of our people. Bank staff donate their time and money to support the wellbeing of Australian children through the Staff Community Fund.
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 more than $450,000 each year to organisations promoting the wellbeing of Australian children with the majority of support directed 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’. At present there are around 3,000 active members making contributions to the Staff Community Fund.
For more information on the Bank’s community support and work in the
community visit www.commbank.com.au/community.