4 May 2024

Sponsorship is more than financial for Auto & General

In 2022, Yalari welcomed Auto & General as a major sponsor. You may know Auto & General through their multi award-winning brand Budget Direct and their partnerships with leading brands – Qantas, ING and Virgin Money, delivering insurance solutions for their customers.

Their focus on making a positive difference to the communities in which they live and work, underpins A&Gs purpose ‘to safeguard a brighter future,’ which is what led them to Yalari’s door.

Auto & General staff members with Yalari students

When Vanessa Taylor’s daughter started her high school years at Logan’s John Paul College, she forged a new friendship with a Yalari scholarship recipient. Over the next six years, the two friends became part of each other’s families, sharing many experiences, learning about each other’s cultures and family values.

“Learning more about Indigenous culture by having a Yalari student as part of our extended family gave us first-hand experience of the value and impact that the scholarship program has,” says Vanessa.

“It was invaluable to learn more about Indigenous customs and traditions that govern the roles of men and women, and that sense of extended family where cousins, aunts and uncles are regarded as brothers, sisters, mother, father.”

As General Manager – Employee Experience, Communication & Community at Auto & General (A&G), Vanessa identified that Yalari would be a great fit alongside existing community partners supported by the insurance underwriter.

“A&G works with a number of not-for-profit community partners that our employees feel passionate about, across a diverse range of causes – from local organisations like the Kawana Surf Club and the PCYC Deception Bay through to issues-focussed charities such as OzHarvest, Act for Kids, The Sunlight Centre and World Wellness Group.

Supporting Yalari presented us with an opportunity to work within the youth and education space, as well as making a difference for Indigenous families from rural and remote areas.

For A&G, it always needs to be more than a financial investment. We’re looking for a long-term partnership where our corporate donation can be supplemented by employee-driven fundraising, volunteering, in-kind support and workplace giving.”

A&G are sponsoring four scholarship students – two at St Margaret’s, one at Toowoomba Grammar School and another at Clayfield College.

“In addition, to the four scholarships, our Group MD and CEO Asia Pacific, Ram Kangatharan related with how the Yalari team fly all over Australia to interview applicants and their families in their homes, so we’ve also contributed toward some of those travel costs.

In 2023, we were able to provide Yalari staff members with a vehicle so they can easily drive between the different Brisbane partner schools, and in 2024 we provided additional support for Yalari’s well-being

Our team members have volunteered as Yalari tutors and we’re considering ways we can support alumni through Yalari’s Pathways team.”

One of the ancillary benefits of corporate partnerships with major corporations like A&G is the opportunity to raise awareness about Yalari’s work and share learnings about First Nation’s culture.

“The first time I heard Waverley tell the story of Yalari was at the Brisbane Gala Dinner. Now as sponsors, members of the A&G team attend this event annually.

We’ve also attended strategic planning breakfasts in Brisbane and Melbourne and for NAIDOC Week 2023, Yalari Chair, Bruce Davidson brought alumna Jondayah Martin to our offices to share her story with our employees. In January this year, a couple of team members including myself went along to the 2024 Orientation Camp to meet and connect with students through activities.

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