NAB has today announced a new partnership with the QLD Rural Fire Service (RFS) to support the wellbeing and resilience of the RFS volunteers protecting Queenslanders from natural disasters.
The partnership will also see NAB employees working with the RFS to improve the onboarding process for new volunteers.
This partnership with the RFS is part of NAB Ready Together, a new initiative from NAB to support Australians before, during and after natural disasters.
Through NAB Ready Together, the bank has committed funding and resources to customer and community support projects including the annual $1.2 million NAB Foundation Community Grants program. NAB has provided more than $4 million in disaster relief packages for customers in regions impacted by events such as Tropical Cyclone Seroja and NSW flood-affected areas.
NAB has also committed funding to the NAB Foundation Environmental Resilience Fund of up to $10 million over ten years.
NAB Group CEO Ross McEwan said the bank’s role went beyond supporting just the initial recovery of unplanned events and that customers and the wider community needed extra support in the face of increasing natural disasters.
“Floods, fires and cyclones have torn apart communities and left many Australians to put the pieces of their lives back together afterwards. That includes many of our customers and the businesses we support,” Mr McEwan said.
“Forecasts indicate these disasters are only going to come more often. As a bank that’s here to serve customers well and help our communities prosper, we must help. The QLD Rural Fire Service is at the coalface fighting these challenges, which is why we’re backing them.
“We’re also very mindful that about 60 per cent of all Australian natural disasters occur in Queensland, meaning the need for support is significant there.
“NAB is here to support Australians before, during and after natural disasters. We are also here to support our 31,000 colleagues, many of whom give their time and talents to community and emergency service organisations such as the RFS.”
QFES Commissioner Greg Leach said the vision for the partnership was to establish a relationship based on the shared values and objectives of both organisations.
“From bushfires to floods, Queensland is the most disaster-prone state and we all need to be prepared for whatever we could be faced with,” Mr Leach said.
“This partnership recognises the important role our RFS volunteers play in their communities during natural disasters, when they are needed most.”
The programs that NAB is initially supporting the RFS with include:
RFS Volunteer Wellbeing Project: Providing practical personal mindfulness and resilience tools to RFS volunteers to deliver prevention and proactive wellbeing and resilience strategies to support them in their roles within the RFS and community.
NAB Community Strategy Challenge: Facilitated by Australian Business Volunteers (ABV), this unique, immersive skilled volunteering experience will harness the skills and expertise of up to 12 NAB employees to deliver sustainable change and improvements to the RFS volunteer on-boarding process. The dedicated project will provide process improvement recommendations for their volunteer on-boarding process, identifying efficiencies and blockages.
Additional Information – Summary of NAB Ready Together initiatives
NAB’s disaster relief support:
Provided more than $4 million in emergency grants to assist those impacted by the floods in NSW and cyclone Seroja in WA during 2021. These grants were provided to impacted colleagues and customers to help cover personal costs such as temporary accommodation, food and clothing and business costs such as reopening, covering damaged property, and loss of stock.
Committed $5 million to relief and recovery efforts for the ‘black summer’ bushfires, this includes $1.4 million for long-term recovery projects, $400,000 to the Australian Red Cross’ Relief & Recovery Fund, made through direct and matched fundraising donations and $163,500 in donations made to local charities in impacted regions via NAB’s Donate Local Funds in NSW South, NSW North/QLD, Victoria and South Australia.
Approximately $770,000 collected via public fundraising for the Australian Red Cross.
More than 1,700 days of bushfire related leave taken by NAB colleagues to visit areas impacted.
Around 4,000 volunteering hours contributed.
NAB Foundation Community Grants:
The NAB Foundation Community Grant program aims to make communities more prepared for natural disasters, support long-term recovery and build community and environmental resilience to natural disasters and climate change.
In May, 55 local and regional communities across Australia were named as the inaugural recipients of the 2021 program and in September a further 57 local and regional communities were awarded as part of the second round of grants. A total of $1.2 million is awarded every year to communities across Australia.
Applications for NAB Foundation Community Grants are open all year. The next round closes on February 28, 2022 and will be awarded in April 2022.
NAB Environmental Resilience Fund
The NAB Foundation’s Environmental Resilience Fund has been established to help support practical projects that build environmental resilience to natural disasters and climate change.
The NAB Foundation will provide funding of up to $10 million over 10 years, for regional projects that build the evidence base for investments and interventions that improve resilience to natural disasters, particularly flood and fire hazards.
Through the Fund, we are looking to support either:
Projects or initiatives that are in early development stages, where funds can be used to build, test, and pilot an innovative idea or model. Where beneficial, the NAB Foundation may be available to assist in co-design of the project or initiative.
Projects and organisations with proven models or solutions that are operational, where funds will help scale and increase impact.
More information at nab.com.au/nabfoundation