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Australian Unity’s purpose—to help people thrive—underpins our approach to building community value, whether through the products and services we deliver to our members and customers, or through our broader contribution to the communities in which we live and work. We believe that a sound community value strategy, culture and practices translate to a strong business that delivers for all of its members, customers, employees and the community.


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Philanthropy

Now in its 13th year, the Australian Unity Foundation is an important part of the Group's community strategy. Since it was established in 2006, more than $1.7 million has been distributed to deserving organisations that support community wellbeing.  This year, grants totalling $160,000 were awarded to Jigsaw, First Nations Foundation, Women’s Information and Referral Exchange (WIRE), Purple House, Red Cross and Black Dog Institute. Our employees contributed more than 300 volunteer hours (valued at over $20,000) and donated almost $17,000 to various community groups.

Partnerships and Sponsorships

In partnership with Deakin University, we have been measuring the wellbeing of Australians since 2000. Known as the Australian Unity Wellbeing Index, it’s one of the most enduring and credible studies of wellbeing in Australia. The Index tracks how satisfied people across Australia are with their lives, using seven key areas of wellbeing, such as standard of living and future security.
We continued our community partnership with The Resilience Project, supporting its program of evidence-based, practical strategies to build resilience and promote gratitude, empathy and mindfulness in schools and businesses. The partnership has given us exposure to a large new audience that aligns with our organisation’s values.

Our sponsorship of the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra also continued, highlighted by performances at four of our retirement communities throughout the year.

Australian Unity is an active member of the FIAP (Financial Inclusion Action Plan) Community of Practice, attending regular forums and sharing opportunities and ideas. We continued to partner with Good Shepherd Micro-finance to increase awareness of financial hardship and resilience in the community. Our partnership with First Nations Foundation has enabled the digitisation of the My Moola Program, targeting financial literacy for Indigenous Australians. Some of our employees and customers participated in ‘My Moola’ financial literacy workshops. 

As part of our ambition to practically support Indigenous communities’ economic empowerment, we continued to develop accessible products and services that better meet the needs of Indigenous peoples and support their communities in the areas of Home & Disability Services, Trusts & Estates, Banking and Healthcare. Our banking and health insurance businesses developed referral pathways and tailored support solutions for customers experiencing financial hardship.

Reconciliation

Australian Unity’s Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) outlines our commitment to building strong and respectful relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, communities and businesses. In the 2019 financial year, we increased our spending with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander suppliers by  
300 percent to more than $1.8 million, in turn enabling business owners to further develop their business and operational capabilities to continue to grow their community impact.

Australian Unity supports the work of Reconciliation Australia, Supply Nation and the Business Council of Australia in shaping the Reconciliation agenda of Australia through meaningful consultation and advocacy.
The Aboriginal Home Care (AHC) service, which was defined as a new and important business unit within home and disability services in July 2018, provides services for more than 2,000 Aboriginal clients and employs over 300 people, most of whom identify as being of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander descent. AHC remains one of the largest employers of Aboriginal women in NSW and is also a significant employer of women in rural and regional areas, with at least 60 percent of female employees located outside of major metropolitan areas.
Australian Unity offers leadership pathways for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees.  Many of our employees have undertaken cultural awareness training, and we have supported key events such as NAIDOC Week and National Reconciliation Week.
Australian Unity hosted four Indigenous CareerTrackers interns across finance, people and culture and procurement during the summer and winter university holidays. Indigenous CareerTrackers provides opportunities for Indigenous university students to gain internships with some of Australia’s largest corporations in the field of their studies.

Our People

We work to build a culture and environment where our employees are valued, engaged and safe. Our values of being bold, warm and honest and our core purpose, to help people thrive, drive us in these efforts.

Due to the nature of our workforce and working environments, we have a diverse risk profile. Our employees work in environments ranging from offices and clinics to residential aged care facilities and clients’ homes.  With close to 60 percent of our employees working remotely, the health and safety challenges of our workforce are a key priority. For the 12 months to 30 June 2019 the total incidents reported across the Group decreased by 14 percent.

Our first Listen to Grow - Values in Action survey was conducted with a group of almost 400 Australian Unity leaders in the year under review.  This was the first step in a three-stage Culture Development initiative that will continue through the calendar year.

More than 120 people attended the Australian Unity Business School in 2019, which included 64 participants in our new Foundations of Adaptive Leadership program. A rejuvenated suite of leadership and management development programs are scheduled for release in the 2020 financial year.

Across the Group more than 7,000 employees engaged in learning events, such as face-to-face training, induction sessions, systems training workshops, compliance modules, e-learning modules and online webinars, up from 2,852 the previous year. More than 86,100 learning events were delivered, of which 27 percent were face-to-face and 73 percent were online. The attainment rate was 91 percent.  Close to 70 percent of the learning events were undertaken by employees within the IAL platform.

We celebrated the first anniversary of the launch of our Pride Network, which was established to support employees and customers who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer or Questioning, or Intersex (LGBTQI). We also once again completed the voluntary Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI), a national benchmark on LGBTQI workplace inclusion, with an improved score on the prior year. We continued to support our charity partner StartOut.

The annual review of workplace gender equality indicates all management cohorts at Australian Unity have achieved a gender balance above the target range, and, in addition, at the board level, Australian Unity has maintained a 50 percent gender balance—an increase from 40 percent in recent years. We have also seen an increase in female management representatives within the Group to 70 percent, up from  50 percent in the prior reporting period. Encouragingly, more than 25 percent of women within management or senior management positions at Australian Unity are under 40 years of age, suggesting a strong pipeline of leadership potential for ongoing investment and development. Pay parity at each level of management continues to be lower than the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) 2017/2018 full-time base salary gender pay gap of 16.2 percent. An actuarial analysis of FY2019 performance and remuneration outcomes suggests gender is not a significant factor in the assessment of performance or pay related decisions.

  • $1.8m spent with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander suppliers
  • $160,000 given in Australian Unity Foundation grants
  • 70% of management representatives are female

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