Inclusion is perceived to be more favourable than “supporting” First Nations (FN) people because the idea of support can be interpreted as favouring FN people, which might alienate their profitable customers.
We need to change the way we think about inclusion. When I say inclusion, I mean a space that is inclusive of everyone. Our society needs to stop including people and start supporting them. It’s important to give people the opportunity to succeed rather than just including them for show.
This can be done by providing more opportunities, funding, and resources, not less. But our current (Western) society has trouble with this because it feels like it may be wasting money or providing an “unequal” playing field.
What are some ways for you to support those who have been left out in your community since Australia was “founded”?
Loan interest rate linked to company’s Reconciliation Action Plan
NSW Land Registry Services is the first Australian company to tie its loan interest rates to Indigenous reconciliation goals through a new $300 million loan. The loan was made by a syndicate of banks including Westpac and the Commonwealth Bank, and it comes as lenders are jostling for a piece of the fast-growing sustainable finance market.
This $300 million loan offers cheaper funding for non-financial targets, and penalties if they don’t uphold them.
Although beggars can’t choose their plight and better than nothing is still better than nothing, and it’s reassuring that companies will now face penalties if they don’t hit non-financial targets. However, the $300 million is NOT to invest in First Nations people…
We’re grateful to be included in your event catering contracts but we need you to invest directly in our communities and businesses too.
We know we shouldn’t get out of line and should just accept trickle-down economics, but bear with us for a minute…
With that in mind, you would think that the NSW Land Registry Services, Westpac, and CBA would want to invest directly in Indigenous people since they are trying to capitalise on the sustainable finance market trend.
First Nations entrepreneurs
First Nations entrepreneurs are supposedly over 100 times more likely to hire Indigenous workers than non-Indigenous businesses. These opportunities help block the cycle of poverty and unemployment in communities, so why not invest in them!?
The Banker’s survey of the top 1000 banks around the world puts Australia’s banks at number one with the highest profit as a share of GDP.
Australian banks have Reconciliation Action Plans in place, but none of them has publicly committed to hitting loan targets for First Nations people.
It’s time for NSW Land Registry Services, the big banks and other large corporations to step up their game and make a commitment to investing in a better world for everyone.
FN people have been innovating for millennia, and have left a legacy of innovation. They constructed the oldest aquaculture structure in the world (Budj Bim) to farm fish and eels. FN people are still innovating today despite challenges they face, such as accessing capital to start and grow their business.
They’ve been talking about reconciliation for years but never doing anything to really help us… It’s time that they put their money where their mouth is and really SUPPORT us, instead of including us.