IBA Media Release: Indigenous customers prove impact

IBA Media Release: Indigenous customers prove impact

Posted 8 February 2021
  • Indigenous customers share social, economic and cultural impacts in inaugural report.
  • Research project finalised in 2020 leads the way for impact versus outputs focus.
  • IBA is generating positive impacts for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
  • Report launched at live online event with the Minister for Indigenous Australians and the external partners in the research study.

In partnership with Dr Kevin Dolman (Eastern Arrernte) and Professor Sheree Cairney from the Interplay Project, IBA undertook an inaugural impact research project throughout 2020. The findings are now being released.

Over 1,200 customers participated in this ground-breaking research which is already playing a significant role in helping IBA understand how the social, economic and cultural well-being of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is impacted by IBA’s products and services.

The research assesses short, medium- and long-term impacts and aligns with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the Sustainable Development Goals to progress Australia’s commitment towards economic empowerment of Indigenous people.

Led by an Indigenous evaluation expert, Dr Dolman, the Impact Report presents eight months of research, survey responses from over 1,200 customers and 15 hours of in-depth interviews. Partnering with the Interplay Project enhanced IBA’s ability to assess the evidence and data in a way that could assist in driving systemic change towards greater equity with customers.

Across all IBA divisions (Home Ownership, Business Solutions and Investment & Asset Management), the report concludes that IBA is generating positive impacts in relation to empowerment, financial resilience and wellbeing.

While the report found that customers experience positive impacts from the very beginning of their relationship with IBA, it was concluded that the further you are in your customer journey with IBA, the stronger the economic empowerment will be.

Overwhelmingly this report concludes there is a strong correlation between IBA Support (support, care and strong relationships) and positive impacts for customers. When customers feel understood and supported by IBA staff, they experience significantly increased levels of empowerment, resilience and wellbeing.

The external evaluators have made 15 recommendations to IBA in areas that will directly correlate to stronger results demonstrating positive improvements in the customer’s social, economic and cultural wellbeing. IBA is committed to implementing actions against each of these recommendations throughout 2021.

IBA Executive Director, Government & Public Relations, Sean Armistead, explains the Impact Framework and report were years in the making and was the first step in a long journey towards ensuring that products and services delivered by IBA are creating a positive impact across a customer’s life.

“We are attempting to flip the norm of reporting that has traditionally focused on outputs rather than impact.”

“The survey was about our customers, not the numbers. It represents everything they’ve told us.”

“IBA has been on a journey to understand the economic, cultural and social impacts our customers experience as a result of engaging with our products and services. This report is the culmination of that work that started with the Board approving the development of an Impact Framework in 2018.

“This report is only possible because of the generosity of over 1,200 of our customers and we are deeply grateful for their valuable contributions.”

“Providing 20,000 home loans to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people over the life of our program is one thing but knowing they feel more financially accepted or have created intergenerational wealth for their families is our ultimate goal.”

“The correlation between support and positive impacts is clear. Our findings only accentuated what we already knew but it also emphasised we were working in the right direction. We want to expand this awareness and incorporate it into everything we do.”

Dr Kevin Dolman was the lead evaluator on the project, which included managing the research collaboration and ensuring compliance with cultural and evaluation ethics, as well as guiding the survey design, data analysis and reporting.

“By maintaining and increasing a strong focus on customer relationships, IBA will generate even greater positive impacts towards its statutory purpose of self-management and self-sufficiency for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.”

The Hon Ken Wyatt, Minister for Indigenous Australians, supports the research and its findings.

“This in-depth study demonstrates the impacts that can be made with investment in Indigenous people. Economic empowerment is crucial in efforts to reduce disadvantage, and this work shows the opportunities that are present to drive this progress.”

IBA will continue to track impact on an annual basis for years to come. The report was launched at an online event on 8 February 2021 with Minister Wyatt, Dr Dolman, Prof Cairney, and IBA Board Director Rosemary Addis.

Interviews available on request. A video recording of the launch event will be available soon. Link to the IBA Impact Report.

Media contact: Tara Toohill 0427 011 938 or tara.toohill@iba.gov.au