An Indigenous Traineeship at our Tamworth branch six years ago was the first step in a promising career for Benson Saulo, who was recently appointed a 2011 Australian Youth Representative to the United Nations (UN).
Benson will take a career break from ANZ to take-up the 12 month appointment with the UN. There he will tour Australia hosting and speaking at youth forums and events before compiling an in-depth report on youth issues and presenting it at the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
Reflecting on his career journey to date, Benson said, “My success in this new role is largely attributed to my time at ANZ and the amazing people I have met along the way.”
“I am proud to say I am the first Indigenous Australian to hold this position with the UN Youth Program and while I know there will be a lot of expectations over the next 12 months, I also know there will be a lot of support,” he said.
Benson is one of 557 Indigenous Australians who have undertaken one of our Indigenous traineeships since 2003.
Almost half of all Indigenous trainees have subsequently gone on to take up permanent roles across our business, including Benson, who joined our Business Banking team in Sydney.
This year, in addition to offering a further 100 Indigenous traineeships, we are also broadening our Indigenous employment focus from traineeships to include recruiting Indigenous people directly into permanent positions with us. Over the next two years, we hope to attract at least 180 Indigenous Australians into permanent positions.
As for Benson’s advice to other Indigenous Australians joining ANZ, he says “At high school I hadn’t considered a career in the finance sector, not because I didn’t think I was capable but because it wasn’t, at the time a career path I felt was attainable for an Indigenous person,” Benson said.
“But when the opportunity to work in the ANZ Branch in Tamworth was offered I applied without hesitation because I saw it as a chance to challenge my perceptions and gain understanding in an area where I had little knowledge,” he said.