Bendigo and Adelaide Bank launches Reconciliation Action Plan
Bendigo and Adelaide Bank has marked its journey to further reconciliation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in Australia with the launch of its Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan.
The launch was held at the Bank’s Bendigo headquarters with special guests DJAARA General Manager Cassandra Lewis, a Welcome to Country and Smoking Ceremony performed by Djaara Traditional Owner Peta Hudson, an appearance from Yorta Yorta and Dja Dja Wurrung artist Troy Firebrace and choir performances by students from Catherine McAuley College and St Killian’s Primary School.
Bendigo Bank’s CEO and Managing Director Marnie Baker said that while the Bank had significant experience in partnering with communities across Australia it recognised it had much to learn from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
“In our experience, making a meaningful difference starts with taking the time to really listen to people in order to understand their needs and circumstances. Our Community Bank model, which is built on the principle of empowering communities, is testament to that,” Ms Baker said.
“Our Reflect RAP commitments include building and strengthening our connections with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, working closely together to understand where we can have the greatest impact, and the role we can play in creating a more equitable and inclusive future.
“This is the first step to being a more coordinated and focused organisation in our reconciliation efforts and seeks to increase the cultural competency of all our employees, with a focus on cultural recognition, strengthened relationships and partnerships, growth and employment.
“Bendigo and Adelaide Bank is committed to reconciliation and supports the Voice to Parliament. We believe that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples should be enabled to have input into policies and decisions that impact
them,” Ms Baker said.
One of the Bank’s first actions is to establish an ongoing RAP working group who will manage the day-to-day delivery of the plan. This is being sponsored by Chief Customer Officer Consumer Banking Richard Fennell, with his appointment demonstrating the importance of the initiative to the Bank.
Recognising that their employees play an important role, the Bank is also establishing a First Nations Employee Network to guide conversations at every level of the organisation.
Bendigo Bank will continue to seek advice on its reconciliation activities from DJAARA and other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders from the communities the Bank operates in. For more information or to read the Bank’s
Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan visit our website.