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Corporate Responsibility November 2009

Corporate Responsibility November 2009

ANZ relief efforts in disaster-affected communities

Supporting disaster-affected communities

Recent natural disasters in our region have demonstrated the close link between staff and the local community. The response from ANZ staff in Samoa extended well beyond basic banking services and demonstrated the role of banks as a hub of community support in times of need.

“Immediately following the tsunami, many victims sought assistance from ANZ branches and were provided with clothing donated by ANZ staff and access to a phone to contact family and friends,” said ANZ’s Managing Director Samoa, Steve Rogers.

“This showed extraordinary compassion and resilience from our people, many of whom were dealing with their own tragedies and grief. It’s times like this when being part of the local community means everything,” said Steve.

ANZ has donated a total of AU$275,000 to Red Cross and CARE Australia to help relief efforts in disaster-affected communities in the Pacific, Indonesia, the Philippines and Greater Mekong. Further donations of AU$250,000 collected through our branches across the region reflects the generosity of our customers, staff and the wider community in response to these tragic events.

Longer-term support

Our work with the Victorian Bushfire Reconstruction and Recovery Authority (the Authority), in the wake of the devastating Victorian bushfires of February 2009, has shown us that disaster affected communities also require longer-term support.

We recently convened a forum with the Authority and representatives from 45 of Australia’s largest companies, to discuss how corporate Australia can best contribute to the recovery efforts in impacted communities. Ideas canvassed included linking expertise to a specific community need and creating better opportunities for companies to join forces on specific rebuilding projects.

Speaking at the forum, Chair of the Authority Christine Nixon said: “The rebuilding process for these communities will be long, difficult and at times overwhelming. Support from the corporate sector is critical to our success in helping communities build a sustainable future.

“This forum has been invaluable in furthering discussions around what ongoing corporate support is needed and how we can all work together to ensure these efforts are co-ordinated and efficient.”

We will continue to provide a range of long-term recovery assistance to affected communities, matching the skills and expertise of our people to the recovery needs. For example, we will provide the financial and management expertise of our staff to mentor local traders re-establishing their businesses in affected communities. An ANZ volunteer is helping to plan and manage a series of ‘Leadership Retreats’ for people directly affected by the fires, offering workshops, grief counselling and financial education sessions.

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