nib foundation announces new million-dollar grant

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The nib foundation has announced it will donate $1 million to help fund programs aimed specifically at 'closing the gap' in health and life expectancy outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.

The foundation said the initiative will provide $1 million in funding over four years to support a range of Indigenous-led programs.

It said the aim is to work with local communities to tackle the current ten-year life expectancy difference between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians and address other significant gaps in health outcomes.

"Through our foundation we will actively look to partner with local community groups including  Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations and other experts in this field as we build our understanding of current community needs and best practice responses to then trial and deliver specific projects," said nib chairman, Steve Crane. 

Mr Crane said the donation had been made possible after changes to the insurer's constitution. In 2017, nib shareholders voted overwhelmingly to allow nib to transfer unclaimed dividends - unclaimed over five years - to nib foundation.

"The change in our Constitution, which we think is a first for corporate Australia, means unclaimed dividends are put to work directly funding charitable organisations or initiatives that support community focused health and wellbeing programs," he said.

The foundation said the new initiative will leverage nib's existing partnerships, including with the Richmond Football Club, and other programs that are designed to support young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.

Over the past five years, nib foundation has committed more than $350,000 in grant funding to seven Aboriginal youth mental health and wellbeing initiatives.

According to nib foundation executive officer,  Amy Tribe, said it is committed to supporting the health and wellbeing of all Australians.

"Our Aboriginal communities experience disproportionate disadvantage compared to non-Indigenous Australians, across education, employment, health and life expectancy," Mrs Tribe said. "We believe more needs to be done and we feel we have a responsibility to play our part," she said.