We believe better schools make a better country. CommBank has an unparalleled pedigree of investing in education and financial education for 85 years.
Last financial year we invested $272 million in the community across Australia as part of our vision to secure and enhance the financial wellbeing of people, businesses and communities. We align this investment with our eight Opportunity Initiatives.
To illustrate our contribution to the community we outline our work in two of those initiatives – teaching children the value of money and helping prepare the workforce of the future.
Start Smart – world’s largest in-school financial education program
Over the past 10 years Smart Start has reached 2,560,182 children, with 798,104 from NSW. In FY17 574,246 children attended Start Smart, including 173,840 children from NSW who attended 6,489 sessions at 704 NSW schools.
Start Smart is designed to give children and their parents the skills they require to be financially secure. It is mapped to schools’ curriculums and has a measurement and evaluation program attached.
School Banking is 85-years old plus a new youth app
Start Smart builds on the foundation of our School Banking program. Since 1931, the program, supported by parents and schools, has been teaching children life-long money and savings skills. School Banking currently runs in 1,331 schools in NSW.
This year we supplemented these flagship programs with the CommBank Youth app. It gives under-14s a fun and secure hands-on money management experience. The app helps children develop their skills in an increasingly cashless and digital society.
NSW wins five teaching awards
Our investment in education extends to our Teaching Awards, which support excellence in education. The awards, run in partnership with Schools Plus, recognise and reward great educators who transform students’ lives.
Ten of the 12 awards are dedicated to teachers working in challenging and socially diverse communities. Each of this year’s winners received $45,000 for their own development and the development of a program in the school.
We also support one of the NSW Premier’s Teacher Scholarships.
Grassroots initiatives for 100 years – CommBank Foundation
We launched our people’s charity, CommBank Foundation, in 1917, making it one of Australia’s longest running workplace giving programs. CommBank Foundation raises over $6 million each year to support the wellbeing of youth, cancer research and awareness and education for disadvantaged youth. In recognising the impact CommBank Foundation achieves, the Commonwealth Bank also makes an annual contribution of $2 million to the Community Grants program, the core employee giving program of the Foundation.
The Community Grants program consists of a national grant, grants in each state and territory and support for community initiatives through the grassroots category. All grants are awarded for a period of three years to support the sustainability of community organisations.
This year we have awarded $9 million in grants over the next three years to 220 organisations across Australia.
The NSW state grant recipient, Little Wings, was awarded a grant of $300,000 over the next three years. Little Wings is a not-for-profit charity that provides air and ground transport to children with life-threatening illnesses and their family. Additionally, 90 grassroots grants totalling $844,196 were awarded across the state. This means an investment of $2,832,588 over the next three years to youth-focused organisations.
Since the program started in 2007, we've awarded more than $20 million in grants to 1,730 organisations nationwide. You can discover the breadth and impact of the Community Grants program by using the postcode search tool on this dedicated website.
Longevity, stability and commitment
Educational outcomes have a profound effect on personal success, health, social engagement and economic growth. That’s why in 2015 we made a 25-year commitment to investing in education, starting with a $50 million investment over three years.
Our education and financial capability programs are helping people acquire the skills our society and economy needs.