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Continuing our leadership
Our First Nations Outcome Areas, within our Indigenous Engagement Strategy, define outcomes specific to Australia’s First Nations peoples and consider the unique and diverse needs of Indigenous peoples in Australia and New Zealand. This Reconciliation Action Plan will support delivery of IAG’s Indigenous Engagement Strategy by focusing on the following First Nations Outcome Areas:
Reducing incarceration and reoffending rates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
Justice reinvestment is about building safer and stronger communities. Through a partnership with Just Reinvest NSW and Australian Red Cross, IAG has supported the development of a Learner Driver Mentor Program in Mount Druitt (NSW) which aims to reduce the incarceration rates for driving-related offences among Indigenous Australians.
COVID-19 impacted our ability to commence the program on the initial proposed date, due to the lack of ability to social distance when learning to drive. The program officially launched in December 2021 with over 30 participants signing up in the first two months.
Our partnership with Just Reinvest NSW supported the Mount Druitt local Community Engagement Officer to attend Darwin’s Change Fest in 2020 to continue to bring back and share knowledge to improve justice reinvestment practice in the local area.
CGU Kayku Kumpa Mentoring Program & Awards
In research commissioned in 2015 and 2016 we found low levels of insurance knowledge and coverage among Indigenous peoples. We also researched challenges for the Indigenous business community. Through our discovery process, we identified an opportunity to support Indigenous Small to Medium Enterprises to build their businesses and commercial capability.
This led to the pilot CGU Kayku Kumpa Mentoring Program. By partnering with McCarthy Mentoring, the six-month mentoring program offered business owners a unique opportunity to work one-on-one with an experienced IAG employee. The volunteer mentors drew on their business skills and expertise as well as their broader experience and understanding of small business operations to provide confidential advice and support. Participants were selected as part of an application process via IAG Safer Communities. Eight business owners applied, and all were accepted into the program.
The businesses deliver products and services that support Indigenous cultural heritage and communities. Overall, this program was evaluated by participants as an important and positive program to deliver, whilst also supporting important community engagement activities. The relationships built between the participants and mentors were authentic and valuable. The program successfully helped some owners to clarify goals, build skills and confidence while for others, the program has supported the growth and increased market opportunities for their businesses.
In addition to this, CGU developed the Kayku Kumpa Awards, five $5,000 grants which provide First Nations business owners the support needed for personal and professional development to help their business grow.
The CGU Kayku Kumpa awards takes its name from the local language of the Gringai people of the Wonnarua nation of the Hunter Valley in NSW meaning ‘strong yesterday, stronger tomorrow’.
Last year’s winners included a business that specialises in first aid training and workplace safety supplies, a consulting firm that provides renewable energy and microgrid services, a catering business, an events and conference management organisation, and a business that produces yoga mats designed by Aboriginal artists.
Sorry Business’ funerals financial hardship project
The Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry found “that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, especially those living regionally or remotely, may have been particularly likely to be sold funeral insurance policies in circumstances where those policies help little value for them.”
To address this, IAG continues to work in partnership with Commonwealth Bank, Suncorp, and Social Ventures Australia on the development of a social enterprise that addresses the financial challenges that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples face when paying for funerals of loved ones.
The project will create an enterprise that will offer a regulated financial product and wider funeral support that meets the cultural needs of First Nations communities. The project has identified pilot locations, with an offering to be available to local consumers in 2022 with the aim for the project to create a long term sustainable Indigenous Social Enterprise.
Given the significant issues First Nations communities face when a loved one dies, this innovative and co-ordinated approach by leaders in the financial services industry will provide an urgently needed solution.
Supporting carbon credits projects
We recognise the opportunity for Indigenous communities to benefit from growing climate change mitigation opportunities, including through carbon credit projects.
IAG is committed to purchasing a portion of our carbon offsets from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
In FY21 we doubled the amount of Indigenous owned and managed offsets we purchased year-on-year, by purchasing 7,000 Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs) from the Northern Savanna Project which is run by Alka Bawar (Kalpowar) Aboriginal Corporation.
Contributing to the development of new RAPs
IAG continued to play a leadership role in working with other organisations that are developing RAPs. Our Indigenous Engagement Lead has represented IAG on several steering committees and working groups, including Google and NRMA Motoring & Services.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employment
Over the 2021/2022 summer internship period, IAG welcomed 12 CareerTrackers interns into the business, with a total of 88 CareerTrackers interns employed since the partnership began in 2013. IAG has provided 118 internships overall.
Of those 88 CareerTrackers interns, 13 interns have transitioned into either permanent or max term employment with 7 remaining in the business at December 2021. IAG has a target for First Nations Australians to represent 3% of its workforce in Australia by 2023. At 30 June 2021 our First Nations representation was 1.5%.
First Nations Billboards
Through our focus on building IAG knowledge and connections with First Nations peoples and cultures, IAG through NRMA Insurance engaged with Local Aboriginal Land Councils and Boomalli to create award-winning billboard artworks on the major highways around New South Wales and Queensland.
The billboards helped increase awareness about and respect for the traditional lands of First Nations peoples.
The artworks are a great way for the wider Australian community to learn more about the traditional lands they're driving through, and the 50,000-plus years of First Nations history and heritage in New South Wales and Queensland.
The first NRMA Insurance First Nations billboard in Queensland and was designed with Yugambeh Museum on the Gold Coast to create awareness and help drivers connect with the land while reminding everyone to drive safely on the roads.
Artist Anthony Cora said: “The artwork chosen for the NRMA Insurance billboard is based on the many different rivers and beaches that the Gold Coast is well-known for and the bond that people form with each other while here. It also represents the physical and spiritual connection that people gain to different areas of the Gold Coast”.