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Zurich in the community

Community is at the heart of Zurich’s sustainability strategy. 

Through investment from the Z Zurich Foundation and our local offices, we share our resources and expertise to help build more resilient communities, adding value beyond our core business activity to help us create a brighter future together.

Zurich’s community strategy focuses on our role as insurer, investor, employer and member of society, bound by our company purpose to create a brighter future together. Zurich’s global social impact programs are delivered via the Z Zurich Foundation, a charitable foundation with a registered office in Zurich (Switzerland) established by Zurich Insurance Company Ltd and Zurich Life Insurance Company Ltd in accordance with Swiss law.

The Z Zurich Foundation invests in global, regional and local community programs around the world, focusing on three strategic pillars: adapting to climate change, improving mental wellbeing and enabling social equity. By 2024, it aims to create transformative change in the lives of more than one million vulnerable people and positively impact the lives of 10 million others.

Zurich Australia & New Zealand supports this global vision through its local programs, explored below.

Strategic collaborations

Tackle Your Feelings

In 2019, Zurich and the Z Zurich Foundation launched Tackle Your Feelings, a five-year national program delivering mental health training at community AFL clubs across Australia. The program supports the wellbeing of community coaches and provides them with the tools to understand, recognise and manage the signs of mental health among their players, fellow club members and their extended community and families. The initiative is a partnership with the AFL Coaches Association and the AFL Players Association. The program aims to train 10,000 coaches and committee members at 1,000 clubs around the country, which will support more than 100,000 young people and their families.

This campaign has been designed based on the framework of the successful ‘Tackle Your Feelings’ campaign launched in 2017 in Ireland with the support of the Z Zurich Foundation.

The Raise Foundation

Since 2016, Zurich and the Z Zurich Foundation have collaborated with the Raise Foundation, a registered Australian charity committed to youth wellbeing and engagement through early intervention mentoring programs in high schools.

This support has helped Raise expand its programs beyond NSW to become a national charity in 2018. In 2020, Zurich and the Z Zurich Foundation renewed the collaboration for a further five years to help Raise with its ambitious goal to offer its mentoring program in every Australian public high school by 2026. Each year, Zurich employees engage as mentors in the program.

Beyond Empathy

In late 2017, Zurich, through another local grant funded by the Z Zurich Foundation, began its collaboration with Beyond Empathy (BE), an organisation that uses the arts to influence change and enrich the lives of individuals and communities facing recurring hardship. Many of BE’s community arts and cultural development workers are from the First Nations communities in which they work. They teach new skills to build confidence and a sense of purpose for young people and encourage them to achieve personal and artistic outcomes. In 2019, our collaboration Excursions delivered a large-scale public art exhibition at the building site of Zurich Tower in North Sydney. Our second collaboration, Parting, involving young people in the Illawarra was recently completed

Melbourne Football Club

Zurich Australia & New Zealand has been a proud Co-Principal Partner of the Melbourne Football Club since 2018, and we extended our partnership to include the Dee’s AFLW team in 2020.

This sees us partner with one of the AFL’s foundation clubs, with a proud heritage stretching back to 1858. They lay claim to being the oldest professional sporting club – of any code – in the world.

Partnering with Melbourne allows Zurich to play an active role in many important community and charitable programs affiliated with the Club. See more of our strategic collaborations in partnership with MFC here.

Variety – the Children’s Charity

In New Zealand, Zurich has partnered with ‘Variety – The Children’s Charity’.

Variety is an organisation committed to levelling the playing field for disadvantaged Kiwi kids. Every year Variety helps over 10,000 local children meet their health and education needs providing them with brighter futures.

Variety funds a broad range of requirements, from much-needed medical equipment, to life-changing mobility needs, to innovative educational initiatives.

The partnership sees Zurich host a variety of fund-raisers and also provides staff with multiple volunteering opportunities to pro-actively assist Variety in their work. Working bees at low decile schools, the Bikes for Kids Programme and volunteering at the annual Monster Book Fair are some examples.

Mitey

The Z Zurich Foundation has pledged a two-year grant to improve the mental health and wellbeing of New Zealand’s primary and high school students through an education approach called ‘Mitey’. This local grant program is run in collaboration with the Sir John Kirwan Foundation and Zurich New Zealand.

Mitey takes a school-wide approach to mental health education, bringing teachers, students and communities together around a common goal – mentally thriving children. The program is being rolled out to schools in Auckland and is set to go nationwide, reaching thousands of students and positively impacting the lives of tens of thousands of people, including teachers, students and their families.

Employee engagement

Community investment is an important part of our employee engagement strategy, and the knowledge and experience employees gain from our community programs often help us shape our products and services, leading to better customer outcomes.

Zurich encourages a vibrant culture of employee giving and volunteering in support of charities and community initiatives that are important to our employees. Zurich’s Employee Resource Groups and special interest clubs drive participation in frequent national fundraising events.

Zurich also offers uncapped dollar matching for employee fundraising efforts and one paid volunteer day per year. Since 2018, Zurich Australia has been recognised as one of Good Company’s Top 20 Best Workplaces to Give Back.

Zurich employees participate in regional and global community initiatives via the Z Zurich Foundation, including an annual global community champions conference, community hero awards, competitions, and fundraising initiatives.

Our Reconciliation Action Plan

In November 2020, Zurich Australia launched its first Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP). With a proud Australian heritage, we have a responsibility to use our core skills to help our local communities and society become more resilient. The Reflect RAP is a strategic commitment to positive actions towards celebrating, connecting and collaborating with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and their unique contributions to the communities we serve in Australia. The RAP, endorsed by Reconciliation Australia, is underpinned by Zurich’s global sustainability strategy with investment in local communities at its core.

Disaster support

Zurich, through the Z Zurich Foundation, has been involved in disaster preparedness and support in multiple ways. Read more here.

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