Left to right: Martin Tricaud, Beau Champion, David Matthews, Lauren Drayton, Casey Ralph and Chris O’Donnell.
In 2016, HSBC Australia made the decision to put together its first Reconciliation Action Plan, which was endorsed by Reconciliation Australia in March 2017.
A Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) is a documented commitment from an organisation to play its role in closing the gap for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
For HSBC, this is a commitment to:
- Open up employment and business opportunities
- Increase cultural awareness within the organisation
- Continue to invest in community partnerships that deliver education and health related outcomes.
HSBC officially launched its RAP at a small internal event on Thursday 1st June. Fittingly, this fell during National Reconciliation Week, which marked two very important dates for Indigenous affairs in Australia – the 1967 Referendum as well as the landmark Mabo decision. The theme for National Reconciliation Week for 2017 was Let’s Take the Next Steps.
At the launch HSBC Chief Executive Martin Tricaud discussed what the RAP means to HSBC.
“HSBC has a commitment to the communities in which we operate. The documenting of our first Reconciliation Action Plan is not a small step, and is an important one,” he said.
Tricaud explained that HSBC’s RAP will help create the framework for further engagement with more of Australia. This will be done in a way that is culturally appropriate as well as make sense for Indigenous as well as non-Indigenous Australians alike.
“As we strengthen our commitment to the Australian market, our RAP is symbolic of our strong as well as ongoing engagement with the Australian community,” he continued.
The organisation has commenced discussions internally about how it can potentially increase its spend with Aboriginal owned businesses. HSBC also want to roll out cultural awareness training for employees as well as provide employment opportunities for young talent.
A panel discussion took place between KARI’s Chief of Operations Casey Ralph, KARI Ambassador Beau Champion, KARI’s Community Programs Coordinator Lauren Drayton as well as AIEF Alumni Chris O’Donnell. Hosted by David Matthews, Head of Communications HSBC, the group discussed the challenges they’ve witnessed growing up along with what they see as the biggest challenge to Reconciliation.
“This year’s Reconciliation Week theme reminds us that change takes time. More importantly, it takes courage as well as determination,” said Casey Ralph, Chief of Operations, KARI.
She explained that for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians to move forward with reconciliation they need to take these steps together.
Similarly, AIEF Alumni Chris O’Donnell discussed the importance of partnerships between different organisations.
If it wasn’t for AIEF’s partnership with HSBC, O’Donnell wouldn’t have known about the opportunities available to explore tertiary education. Chris is currently studying at the University of Sydney on a scholarship he received through AIEF.
The panel discussion provided a wonderful platform to discuss reconciliation in a positive as well as constructive forum.
We are extremely excited about moving forwards in our partnership with HSBC!