Equity Trustees on Monday announced it has “formalised its commitment to reconciliation” with its Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP).
“We support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to manage their wealth through various community and native title trust models, and by directing philanthropic funds towards a wide variety of Aboriginal programs assisting our First Australians,” Equity Trustees’ chairman elect, Jeff Kennett AC said.
“Equity Trustees has a rich history in managing wealth for all Australians, this experience places us in a unique position to use our expertise to improve social and economic outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities.”
Continuing, he said the development of the trustee model within the Australian context has also involved adapting the technical trustee service to community trusts.
“Our services continue to evolve to ensure our products and services meet the needs of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients, and we work closely with Aboriginal communities and their representatives in partnership,” Mr Kennett said.
Managing director Mick O’Brien added that Equity Trustees has a “strong corporate responsibility to actively pursue reconciliation”.
He said the RAP is the first step in formalising the commitment.
Currently, Equity Trustees has community trusts serving Indigenous communities. According to the trustee company, it also has a growing profile within these communities for its independent trustee service.
Chairman Tony Killen OAM joined Mr Kennett and Mr O’Brien in calling the RAP a public commitment to building on these relationships.
In a joint message, the three said: “This is the beginning of our long-term commitment to contribute to reconciliation between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and the broader Australian community.
“Our first RAP will focus on raising awareness of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture among employees and clients, and providing economic and social opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and individuals through tailored financial and trustee services.”
They said the RAP will be reviewed each year with a view to progressively increase Equity Trustees’ impact on reconciliation, while reaching greater equality of wealth and social outcomes.
The RAP said Equity Trustees has a vision of an Australia which honours Indigenous Australians as the First Australians while respecting their “long and enduring connection to this country”.
“We recognise that while we assist many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people through our existing community trusts and our extensive philanthropy program, it is time to formalise our commitment to reconciliation.”