It’s not enough to build relationships with customers or partners. We believe American Express has a responsibility to build connections with the wider communities in which we live and work. This is why we’ve invested in our first Social Impact Framework that helps us tackle the key issues that make meaningful change.
Our community partnerships and business initiatives are aligned to four social impact priorities: 1. Backing communities in times of need, 2. Supporting future-ready youth with inclusive skills and educational opportunities, 3. Fostering leaders and entrepreneurs of tomorrow and 4. Enabling vibrant, diverse and creative local communities.
American Express acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we work and meet each day, throughout Australia. We acknowledge the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation, whose ancestral lands and waters are where the American Express Australia headquarters now stand. American Express recognises Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ continuing connection to land, waters and culture. We pay our respect to the past, present and future Elders and to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
We believe we’re in a unique position to tackle hardship and inequality by creating educational and professional opportunities for Australians and New Zealanders. This helps build more inclusive, resilient communities – which benefit everyone.
Much of our contributions are made through our community partners. These include: Two Good Co., a social enterprise that employs vulnerable people to empower them with a pathway out of living in crisis; The Australian Literacy & Numeracy Foundation that supports early literacy programs in the Indigenous communities of the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands of remote South Australia; and the Redfern Legal Centre, providing legal support and mentorship for people experiencing financial abuse.
Photo credit: Indulkana Anangu School in the Anangu Pitjantjatara Yankuntjatjara (APY) Lands in South Australia. Photo Credit: Australian Literacy & Numeracy Foundation.
Small businesses are essential to a thriving high street, a successful tourism industry, a fair and resilient society and much more. Small businesses are crucial to the economies of both Australia and New Zealand – they employ huge portions of the workforce, support local organisation and often give young people their first jobs.
We’re proud to lead initiatives that help these businesses reach their potential and navigate challenging moments. One of those is our annual Shop Small campaign, a movement bringing together the business community, governments and consumers to support small businesses. It sees us partner with many of our merchants to promote their products and services, and connect businesses with platforms, marketing and support they might not be able to access otherwise. We also invest in initiatives and offers that encourage our Card Members to spend in small businesses.
Photo credit: American Express colleagues participate in Ambassador Day to launch Shop Small to small businesses in the Sydney CBD.
Backing communities entails certain responsibilities to – and an acknowledgement of – place. In Australia, our offices are located on Country traditionally owned by First Nations peoples. Our business has an important role to play in supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and voices, which is central to our vision for reconciliation.
Created in consultation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, our Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) outlines how American Express will learn from First Nations communities, create culturally-safe working environments, and explore mutually-beneficial projects and opportunities. The RAP is championed by senior leaders and representatives across American Express, including colleagues from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
Artist Credit: Growing and Soaring Together By Kristie Peters, 2021.
The artwork symbolises American Express’ ongoing and deepening commitment to Reconciliation. It is a soulful expression of our values that celebrates a diverse community, colleagues, and customers joining in harmony on a journey of Reconciliation while paying respect to history both past and present.
Social enterprise Two Good Co. employs vulnerable people to create beautiful gifts and food, empowering them with a pathway out of living in crisis. Two Good Co. also donates meals and 'gestures of worth’ to domestic violence refuges and shelters across the country.
Our support for Two Good Co. dates back to 2017 when we funded the donation of 20,000 meals, allowing for the initial establishment of the Work Work employment pathway program. Through the program, Two Good Co. bridges a 'love and skills gap' within the community, rebuilding people’s self-worth and independence. They support, train and employ women who have experienced trauma, who have been denied the rightful opportunity to work or may have little or no previous work history. The 12-week stepping stone program builds work-readiness and it’s participants are supported to find longer-term employment after graduation.
In 2019, seven of our female staff members participated in the inaugural Work Work program as coaches to support the women on a one-on-one basis. This involved working together in the Two Good Co. kitchen, building out a CV, conducting mock interviews and ongoing weekly catch-ups for approximately six months, providing support while participants transitioned into work after Two Good Co.
Photographer credit: Petrina Tinslay