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Monday
Oct042010

Directors Report - Will Australia remain the Lucky Country?

Last week I had the privilege of meeting with Tara Cheesman, Executive Director of

Corporate Responsibility Network Australia (CORNA)
and
Executive Women Australia (EWA)

 

We enjoyed an interesting discussion about Australia - current and future...

As Tara explains – Australia is the ‘lucky’ country because it is where we hope to make our fortune and leave a legacy. Whilst contributing to Australian GDP, we can also choose to contribute to our nation’s environmental and social wealth.

Much emphasis is often placed on cultivating our nation’s GDP, however Australia will continue to become the most livable country in the world (note the Business Council of Australia’s mission and vision) as we preserve our nation’s environmental wealth. As we’re reminded at football grand finals ‘our land abounds in nature’s gifts of beauty rich and rare’. We need to empower Australian business to showcase their responsible leadership by contributing to our bountiful natural environments by making decisive actions to implement commercial practices which preserve the planet and reduce (cease) those activities which pollute it.

And Australia will continue to become the most livable country in the world  as we contribute to our nation’s social wealth. We need to prevent travelling down the road of the US, where the gap between rich and poor continues to grow (approximately 1 in 7 Americans are currently falling into poverty). We need to empower Australian business to showcase their responsible leadership by planning for the types of neighborhoods they want to live in – both locally and globally.  By taking decisive action to implement equitable, diverse and flexible working conditions, support non-profits which address cyclical poverty and through supporting broader community contributions such as sporting and arts programs we will continue to cultivate our nation’s harmonious society.

Solutions begin with responsibility, at all levels of business. We all need to create our own portfolio for responsible leadership. One that creates opportunities for environmental gains, social wealth and business capital.

Tara has a strong belief in the involvement of women to influence the future of Australia’s collective prosperity.

Women have the ability to be leaders across all echelons of society... socially, government, corporate and education.

What happens when women are leaders?

AXA surveys show that Australia has one of the most benevolent populations. However when researching who is willing to share their personal wealth it is interesting to note that many contributors are women. A recent UNICEF survey showed that 85% of their monthly contributors are women.  This is a common trend between similar charities and not for profits.

This example extends further when you look into women’s contribution as mothers as and personal carers. Women leave their careers for many reasons - like having a child - and helping them grow up, or looking after family member who needs a carer.

Though when they attempt to re-enter work, its difficult.

There is still much work to be done to develop simple, streamlined methods to provide 'ramp on / ramp off' options for women - so we don't lose their knowledge and skill.

If we are indeed to follow the Business Council of Australia's mission to make Australia the best and most livable country in the world we need to ensure we are creating opportunities for everyone to make their fortune and leave a legacy.

Tara and I discussed many other elements of Australia's future with the input of women – the subject of future discussions.

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Written by Grant Crossley, Director Total Executive

 

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