Behind the glitter
ANZ staff together with ACON are proud to campaign the Welcome Here project: L-R Sara Salaj, Darren Sibson, Matt Buck, Michael Atkinson (ACON), Matthew Hastings, Dane Nikoloski.
Glitter [glit-er] verb; to shine with a bright, shimmering reflected light.
Shining bright is exactly what ANZ does in August as it celebrates the sixth anniversary of the official ANZ Pride charter which recognises ANZ’s continued support of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer (LGBTIQ+) diversity and inclusion.
It’s no secret ANZ is well known as a supporter of the LGBTIQ+ community. It’s the Principal Partner of Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras and is involved in other pride events across Australia, New Zealand, the Philippines and Hong Kong.
While involvement in these events shows our commitment to championing diversity, inclusion and respect, it is the work that happens behind the scenes throughout the year that enables ANZ to play an active role in this space and has a lot to be proud of.
ANZ Business Analyst Caitlin Monnery-Korving highlights the importance of volunteering her time to ANZ Pride.
“For me, working on LGBTIQ+ initiatives in addition to my day job is hugely important, not only because I’m part of this community, but I also know the work we do ensures ANZ is a safe, welcoming and inclusive space for all our customers and employees.”
“I feel very lucky to work at ANZ,” she says.
Follow the rainbow
An important part of the work we do for Pride at ANZ focuses on employees bringing their whole selves to work and feeling comfortable and welcome in doing so. This year, we’re broadening this to our customer’s experience of ANZ. Recently ANZ became the largest organisation to join the ‘Welcome Here’ Project which supports businesses in creating and promoting visibly welcoming environments inclusive of LGBTIQ+ communities.
All major ANZ locations, starting with all branches in Australia, will display the ‘Welcome Here’ sticker on the front door, shining a light on the bank’s ongoing commitment to creating safe and welcoming spaces
Cairns Branch, QLD
Dalby Branch, QLD
Hamilton Branch, NSW
Dubbo Branch, NSW
While the world has come a long way in acceptance and equality, alarmingly violence is still inflicted on people, simply because of who they are.
According to the Australian Institute of Family Services, LGBTIQ+ people may face abuse and violence across the lifespan as a result of their gender or sexual identity, including from within their own families. A national survey found significant rates of young people had experienced abuse:
- 61 per cent of young people reported verbal abuse as a result of their gender identity or sexuality;
- 18 per cent reported physical abuse as a result of their gender identity or sexuality;
- 80 per cent reported the abuse occurred at school; and
- 24 per cent reported they had experienced verbal and physical abuse in the family home.
An initiative of the AIDS Council of NSW (ACON), the ‘Welcome Here’ project was originally started in 1998 as the Safe Place Project, in response to high levels of street based violence directed at the LGBTIQ+ community. The stickers let members of the LGBTIQ+ community know they could seek refuge if they were under the threat of violence.
ACON Chief Executive Officer Nicolas Parkhill stresses the importance of welcoming and inclusive environments , noting its positive effect on communities.
“ACON’s Welcome Here Project aims to support local businesses and organisations to create and promote environments that are visibly welcoming of LGBTIQ people. Environments that are inclusive helps strengthen the health and wellbeing of our communities.”
Nicolas also says partnering with organisations such as ANZ is an important step toward creating positive change in communities.
“Over the years, ANZ has demonstrated its commitment and support for the LGBTIQ+ community. We commend ANZ’s involvement with the Welcome Here Project – its membership sends a strong message of the importance of celebrating inclusion and diversity in our society,” he says.
Matthew Hastings from the Retail and Commercial business at ANZ, who worked behind the scenes to bring this initiative to life, says it’s not just a one off. “It’s an enduring and visible statement to our customers, employees and the community that everyone - no matter who you are or who you love – is welcome here. We celebrate diversity and welcome inclusion and we’re proud to wear it on our hearts and our doors,” he says.
Darren Sibson is a bluenotes contributor and is part of the leadership group for ANZ’s Pride Network.
To nominate a business in your local area visit Welcome Here.
If you or anyone you know has or is experiencing violence or needs help and support, please visit www.lifeline.org.au.
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