The TAL Community Foundation is aligned to our strong desire to make a contribution to the community that goes beyond providing life insurance. We launched our Foundation to build on our focus of contributing to the communities we serve.
The Foundation’s aim is to make a real difference through a combination of monetary donations and skilled based volunteering in three focus areas: helping children from disadvantaged backgrounds, supporting indigenous communities and promoting positive mental health.
In its first full financial year, I’m proud to say that 2016 was a massive triumph for the Foundation. Last year our people donated a staggering $359,450 to 21 charities. On top of that, 148 people made use of their TAL community day to volunteer at an organisation of their choosing during the working week – a total of 1,110 hours or 29 weeks in donated time.
Working with Jawun to support Australia's Indigenous communities
Jawun mobilises the resources of corporate, government and philanthropic Australia to enable Indigenous-led change. In 2016, we worked with Jawun to send four of our staff members on secondments in Indigenous communities, offering their time and expertise to charitable organisations and foundations.
Two staff travelled to Shepparton in the Goulburn Murray region of northern Victoria, while another two went to Alice Springs in the Ngaanyatjarra Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara lands. They led a range of tasks such as a cost of living analysis and IT infrastructure development, resulting in a contribution worth $160,000 in dollar terms – but far more to the lives of those involved.
Supporting children from disadvantaged backgrounds
The Australian Business and Community Network (ABCN) is a not-for-profit organisation intent on using the expertise of Australian business people to better the education of disadvantaged children through mentoring and partnership programs. Across TAL, 97 people participated in volunteering or mentoring opportunities with the ABCN last year, helping a total of 214 students.
Everyone involved proudly contributed to the ABCN’s proven ability in helping disadvantaged children achieve excellence: 58% of participating students accepted university study offers last year, compared to a national average of 38% and just 17% when it comes to similarly disadvantaged students. Meanwhile, 93% of students who participated in ABCN programs completed Year 12, compared with 74% nationally and 61% of disadvantaged students.
Improving mental health
During our first Movember last year, 101 TAL people either grew a moustache or “Moved for Movember” to raise funds and awareness, resulting in a total donation of $115,377 – including $50,000 of matched funds from the Foundation – making us the highest corporate fundraising team in Australia!
We also continued our partnership with SuperFriend, the national mental health foundation that works with superannuation funds and group insurers to respond to the industry’s mental health needs. We hope to expand this partnership further in 2017 to support their mission of creating mentally healthy workplaces across superannuation funds and group insurance.
2017 is set to be another bumper year for the Foundation and our partners, as we expand on last year’s success, deepen our relationships with partners and encourage even more of our people to fundraise and volunteer.
We also have some exciting new projects in the works, including a new long-term partnership with the world-famous Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia, which was announced in May.