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St John to benefit from Westpac staff

30 November 2004

The Order of St John to benefit from Westpac staff volunteer award

An outstanding volunteering contribution by a Westpac staff member has been rewarded with a valuable financial boost for the Order of St John, with the bank donating AU$10,000 in a ceremony yesterday in recognition of this exceptional individual effort.

Michelle Corkindale has been awarded Gold in the 12th annual Westpac CEO Community Volunteering Awards. The awards are held across the Westpac Group, including New Zealand, Australia and the Pacific Islands.

Westpac CEO Ann Sherry said, “I’m delighted that some of our New Zealand employees, as well as the charities they support, have been recognised for their contribution to their local communities. It’s a pleasure to reward this effort by donating additional funds to the very worthy community organisations supported by our staff, such as the Order of St John.”

Michelle started out as a cadet with the Order of St John 36 years ago, and for the last sixteen years has been on a member of the Christchurch Area committee and also spent 6 years on their regional Trust Board. She volunteers an average of 40 hours per month over and above her full-time management position with Westpac.

As well as her strategic involvement with the Order of St John, she assists in youth training and has a strong focus on Competitions for which she was Chairperson of this years National and International Emergency Care Competitions. She is also a role model to her staff actively encouraging their participation in community work with has resulted in their support with organisations such as Ronald McDonald House, Salvation Army, City Mission, Youthline and Korucare.

“St John has taught me many life skills, caring for people, caring for the community, teamwork, leadership, dealing with life threatening decisions and the joy of watching Cadets grow and develop,” said Michelle Corkindale. “I believe this has made me a better person and I am happy to give back to an organization that has given me so much.”

Tony Blaber, Chief Executive Officer for St John’s Northern Region South Island said, “I would like to congratulate Michelle on her win and acknowledge the valuable contribution that she has and continues to make to St John. It is also nice to see a company supporting its staff in their voluntary work.”

Other New Zealand winners were Adrian Baker, a Customer Consultant at Auckland’s Birkenhead branch and Rosita Gilbert, Call Centre Manager in Wellington, both of whom won Bronze prizes in the individual category. As Bronze recipients they have $1,000 to donate to their nominated charities, the Scout Association and the Fa’avae Mautu Educate Early Childhood Centre in Porirua.

Adrian has been involved with the Scout Association for 25 years and is now a National Training Leader as well as an Area Scout Leader, overseeing 17 troops. Rosita is Chairperson of the Fa’avae Mautu Educare Early Childhood Centre, and leads a committee of unpaid volunteers who are responsible for its running.

Since the awards began a total of AU$612,000 has been donated to charities supported by Westpac staff members.

“Making a difference to the communities we operate in is part of the culture throughout Westpac, and to make it as easy as possible for our people to get involved we have recently launched two new programmes to do just that – Staff Matching Gifts and Staff Volunteer Days,” said Ann Sherry.

Staff Volunteer Days gives all permanent employees a day’s leave to volunteer at a charity of their choice, and Staff Matching Gifts sees personal donations by employees to a registered charity matched by the bank. Both of these programmes have been operating successfully in Westpac’s Australian arm since 1998.

Westpac was named the global sustainability leader in the banking sector by the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for the third year running and the only company to receive a AAA rating in the Reputex Social Responsibility Ratings.

Michelle was presented with the award at a ceremony hosted by Westpac’s Group Chief Executive David Morgan on 16 November in Sydney.


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