McAuley Wins $50,000 NAB Community Grant

McAuley Community Services for Women has been awarded a $50,000 NAB Community Grant. The grant will be used to strengthen our ground-breaking Engage to Change program, which assists employers and their employees deal with family violence in the workplace.

The funding means the Engage to Change program can be expanded and push into corporate Australia in order to achieve awareness and cultural change in workplaces. It will also allow the business development role to be extended into 2016.

Karen Dynon, the Business Development Manager who delivers the Engage to Change program to business, welcomed the funding and said it strengthened the growing relationship between McAuley Community Services for Women and the NAB, particularly its Technology department. Four training sessions have already been held for senior managers with a further six planned. NAB is also considering the Engage to Change e-learning tool for employees.

“This grant from NAB really secures the future of Engage to Change and makes it possible for us to push further into big business,” Karen said.

NAB awarded $1 million in Community Grants to 26 not-for-profits across Australia last week. NAB’s Head of Social Impact & Community Investment, Rebecca Kotow, said: “We see the significant impact that community and charitable organisations are making every day and we are focused on playing a part in helping our not-for-profit customers make and even bigger difference.”

McAuley Community Services for Women received the grant under the category of Women and Girls which is for initiatives that will meaningfully and measurably address the unique circumstances, challenges and needs of women and girls in order for them to thrive in our communities.

Karen said Engage to Change was a ‘perfect fit’ for the Women and Girls category as it educates employers and staff about family violence, its impact on business and what can be done to support women experiencing violence.

Family violence puts all workers at risk and can lead to stress related illness and physical injuries in the workplace. Recent surveys in Australia and overseas have estimated between 10–30% of employees may be affected by family violence in any 12 month period. Family violence costs Australian business around $13.6 billion each year, due to lost productivity, increased use of sick leave, poor performance, absenteeism and recruitment costs. By 2021 this figure is expected to rise to $20 billion (according to The Cost of Violence Against Women and their Children, KPMG 2009). McAuley Community Services for Women's Engage to Change program was developed in response to the growing number of women affected by family violence and who try to maintain their employment. The Engage to Change program has already been delivered to several large employers and senior executives. As well, facilitated training sessions have been conducted for senior staff in a large private hospital, for Department of Justice and a number of local government authorities.

“Research has shown that employment is the pathway for women to have economic security and the ability to counter the affects of family violence. Employment also has a major positive effect on a woman’s mental and physical health. Empowering employers to recognise, support and refer women experiencing family violence is a major step in enabling women to maintain meaningful employment and economic stability,” Karen said.

“We are very grateful to NAB for this funding and for supporting our social enterprise, which can make a big difference to women in the workforce who are experiencing family violence,” Karen said.

Caption: Rebecca Kotow, Karen Dynon, and Paula Benson, and NAB's General Manager Corporate Affairs at the cheque presentation.