Since 2008, NAB, through the NAB Foundation, has provided $12.2 million in grants to organisations to help them innovate and have greater impact in the community.
NAB Chief Legal and Commercial Counsel, Sharon Cook, said NAB aims to help tackle societal issues by funding organisations who have new ways of doing things, or who are thinking about how to use business solutions to make a difference.
“Our aim is to build stronger, more connected communities by helping address the issues that matter to them,” Ms Cook said.
“We invest in the community in many ways – from how we manage our operations, through to our giving and volunteering activities.
“We look to support the big ideas – those that are truly impactful, scalable and provide sustainable solutions to complex societal issues.”
Over the past 10 years, the Foundation’s grant priorities have been aligned to issues important to NAB customers and the wider Australian community, including mental health, domestic and family violence, financial resilience, and environmental wellbeing.
The six recipients of this year’s Environmental Wellbeing: Sustainable Regions Grants include some of the most well respected conservation organisations in the country, two new social enterprises, and a peak body representing key voices in private land conservation.
NAB Executive General Manager of Specialised Banking, Julie Rynski, said NAB is committed to strengthening regional communities by helping them to better preserve the natural environment.
“Through these Sustainable Regions Grants, we want regional communities to respond to challenges such as water quality, land degradation and climate change, and work on solutions to some of these complex issues,” Ms Rynski said.
“We know that industries such as agriculture and tourism are dependent on the management and preservation of natural resources, and supporting the environment is vitally important to regional communities who are reliant on these industries.”
For more information about the NAB Foundation Environmental Wellbeing: Sustainable Regions Grants program, visit www.nab.com.au/nabfoundation
About this year’s NAB Foundation Environmental Wellbeing: Sustainable Regions Grant recipients:
Reef Restoration Foundation (Fitzroy Island, Cairns, Great Barrier Reef, QLD)
This is the first organisation granted a permit in December 2017 by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority to establish a pilot offshore coral nursery. This innovative nursery and reef restoration pilot aims to accelerate the recovery and strengthen the resilience of high value coral reefs to future bleaching events by collecting corals that are naturally more tolerant to higher water temperatures and growing them on offshore nursery frames. This innovative process mimics nature and is similar to taking cuttings from healthy plants to create new plants. Three year funding will help RRF, a new not-for-profit social enterprise, to achieve its aspiration to grow and plant coral in high value locations in the marine park.
Terrain NRM (Great Barrier Reef, QLD)
This project, in partnership between Terrain NRM, a not-for-profit working in the Wet Tropics to promote sustainable use of land and waterways, and GreenCollar, a leading environmental markets developer, will support landholders to improve water quality and health of the Great Barrier Reef though Reef Credits, the first reef water quality environmental market in Australia. Reef Credits place a monetary value on water quality improvements to drive on-ground action. This new approach is designed to engage a new source of reef investment, providing farmers with greater surety, and ability to plan for long-term improvements. Two years’ funding will enable the employment of a Reef Credits engagement officer to accelerate community uptake.
The Nature Conservancy (Yorke Peninsula, SA)
The Nature Conservancy is a respected conservation organisation well known for developing commercial models to generate funding for conservation and restoring landscapes to underpin sustainable economic development. The Windara Reef project, started in 2016, is rebuilding 20 hectares of lost oyster reefs (Australia’s most endangered marine ecosystem) in Gulf St Vincent, South Australia. The reef will improve local water quality, bolster and diversify the struggling aquaculture industry, sustain primary production, and create new regional jobs in science and technology, construction, fishing and tourism. The one year grant will help complete construction of the reef thereby providing a proven model for national reef restoration throughout Australia.
The year-long grant will support the establishment and growth of Odonata, a not-for-profit social enterprise, by supporting core operations enabling them to scale their environmental and social impact and demonstrate the benefits of doing business with biodiversity. Over time, Odonata seeks to develop commercial agriculture models that integrate biodiversity as core production system. The project will build the capability of understanding and the integration of biodiversity into farming practices and production.
Australian Wildlife Conservancy (Kimberley, WA)
AWC is Australia’s largest owner of private land for conservation, managing more than four million hectares of land, protecting some of the largest remaining populations of many endangered species. This project trials an innovative idea – a joint venture between the not-for-profit sector (AWC) and an indigenous organisation (Dambimangari Aboriginal Corporation) – to deliver, in an integrated way, improved conservation and socio-economic outcomes. The initiative, which NAB will support for three years, will see joint-management of nearly 800,000 hectares along the Kimberley Coast, WA, an area of international significance and the only section of mainland Australia to have suffered no extinctions. This unique model will provide a model for use throughout Australia.
Australian Land Conservation Alliance (Australia wide)
With many of Australia’s most threatened plants and animals living on private land, the role of private landholders and land trusts are crucial to conservation efforts. The three year grant will support a significant scaling up of the ALCA from an unincorporated alliance to a stand-alone entity that leads a network of most of Australia’s major private land conservation organisations enabling greater collective impact on national conservation issues.