Feeling included, joining in, participating, is what life is all about.
We learn about inclusion – and how good it feels – as small children when we are asked to join a sporting team, go to a friend’s party, act in a school play.
As teenagers, being included stops us from feeling isolated and alone.
And, as adults, we learn to appreciate the power of inclusion and how, as a community, we achieve things much faster if we are all in it together.
We realise that being included is a right, not a privilege. It’s about equal opportunity.
Equal opportunity to get a job, access community services, connect with friends, join a club, have a support network, all the things that many of us may take for granted.
Many Australians through all sorts of reasons aren’t included. They don’t have the same opportunities, the same chances to make the most out of life, to be active, to contribute.
So what does a bank have to do with social inclusion?
Beyond Bank is a customer-owned bank which quite simply means, we are owned by our customers.
This style of ownership means our links to local communities are strong and profound.
It also means that we have an important responsibility to address some of the social inclusion problems in the community.
Our Bank has a Foundation Board that is focused solely on helping to solve issues in this sector and in 2019, has identified three key areas where it will channel its energies: older Australians, people living with a disability and those struggling to obtain affordable housing.
Big challenges that will require big solutions but as a customer-owned Bank, we are doing all we can to help make a difference and make our communities, better, brighter and stronger.