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Inspiring a future generation of workers

"The issues facing young people have changed and become more complex, including the impact of extended lockdowns and problems re-engaging with school.”

For many young people, achieving big dreams can seem like a distant, unreachable goal.


The journey through school and into the workforce can be daunting, particularly for those who lack connection, motivation or encouragement. Without a clear path and support it can be hard to aim for the stars.


During 2023, high school students from Melbourne’s north visited ANZ for the annual Work Inspiration program.


Run by ANZ’s community partner The Smith Family, the program provides opportunities for students from disadvantaged backgrounds to visit workplaces and learn about career opportunities.


The two-day program highlights a variety of career paths at large companies. It is led by ANZ Group Treasurer Adrian Went and the banks Group Treasury team.


“We were delighted to provide this program again, and it is fantastic for the team to have the opportunity to make a positive contribution to the lives of young people. We hope we have highlighted the many career pathways available to the students and hopefully shown them how fulfilling we find our careers,” he says.


The students gained first-hand experience in what a career at ANZ looks like and participated in practical workshops, developing their communication skills.


Warming up to the experience


Over the time ANZ Treasury has been involved with Work Inspiration, the issues facing young people have changed and become more complex, including the impact of extended lockdowns and problems re-engaging with school. Greater housing insecurity and cost of living pressures have also increased the stress on disadvantaged families.


Against this backdrop, some of this year’s students were understandably reserved. Some started the day focused on limitations and perhaps with a feeling of not belonging.


However, hearing stories and the journeys of ANZ staff began to inspire the students and encourage them to think about different perspectives and brighter outlooks.


Sahar Sohrabi, who is a data analyst in the Australia Retail division, described how she migrated from Iran at a young age, how she strove to get the best education and how proud she was of her career at ANZ.


Now, an internationally recognised, award-winning data expert with 15 publications in international journals on data science, cloud, software development and cybersecurity Sahar Sohrabi is involved in some of the most complex technological areas of the bank, such as AI and cloud.


A cohort of ANZ Graduates also spoke to the students and encouraged them to reach for their goals and not be afraid to fail.


Importantly, practical advice was provided throughout the program. For example, how to write a resume and a career plan to enable students to begin their own career journey.


By the time senior executives addressed the group to reinforce how capable they are – the students were warming to the experience.


At ANZ, we believe every child has the potential to do great things given the chance. Initiatives like Work Inspiration help bridge the gap between corporate expertise and community needs, offering invaluable insights and guidance to young individuals striving for a brighter future.

To learn more about ANZ's Social Impact partnerships and programs, delve into the details in ANZ's 2023 Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Supplement. Discover how ANZ continues to make a meaningful difference in the lives of individuals and communities across the globe.

Brianne Keogh (she/her) is Social Impact Manager Communications and Corporate Affairs, Environmental, Social and Governance Team at ANZ

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