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Sustainability and the community
Being socially responsible means making a positive contribution to the community. Westpac has made community involvement part of its organisational culture. As with environmentalism, a good community reputation ultimately leads to better business performance.
Westpac's community involvement is made up of different elements. Employee participation, through its volunteering program, is vital to the program. The causes and events that are supported are widespread. For instance, volunteers in New South Wales helped raise funds for the Royal Flying Doctor Service, by selling pins at the Sydney Cricket Ground during the Ashes series. Queensland employees supported local lifesavers raising funds for surf clubs.
Entering into partnerships with community members is another key part of Westpac's involvement. Working with indigenous communities in Cape York is one such example. Having already put in the equivalent of more than 40 years of effort on the ground, the Cape York program contains two initiatives designed to help build financial independence for the community:
- Family income management, helping individuals and families develop household budgets
- Business hubs, developing business plans and training for budding entrepreneurs.
Employee participation helps the community by targeting effort where it is most needed. It helps the employees themselves in gaining expertise and valuable skills that will improve their work performance. It also reinforces the corporate culture of environmental sustainability and social responsibility.