Corporate Citizenship

Australian bushfire support

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All IBMers are heartbroken to witness the devastation caused from the horrific bushfires impacting much of Australia, and we want to acknowledge and thank the heroes of the fire services across the country as well as the Australian Defence Force, who have put their lives on the line to protect people, property and wildlife.

It is also with great pride that we acknowledge the spirit of the IBMer, which is alive now more than ever, with many giving their time on the front lines through the volunteer fire service or the Army Reserves, donating money and services, and covering for colleagues who are out dealing with emergencies or volunteering in their local communities.

As with any disaster, there are immediate needs and there is the longer-term recovery.  IBM as an organisation is committed to actively supporting both.

And while no amount is never enough when facing a crisis of this magnitude, IBM will contribute more than AU $1 million in cash, in-kind support and expertise to help in the prevention management and recovery of our bushfire-affected communities.

Near-term actions:

  • While IBM has had a leave policy in place for State Emergency Services and Rural Fire Service for many years, we have increased paid volunteer leave to 20 days.
  • Non-perishable food collections have been set up in offices in partnership with Foodbank.
  • IBM’s Blue Day Out volunteering days can be brought forward to a time that works best for local communities in need.
  • IBM has contributed to the Red Cross Australia Bushfire Appeal.

In the longer-term:

  • We will bring an IBM Service Corps team to Australia specifically focused on bushfire recovery efforts. This will see a team of IBM’s top talent brought together to leverage our technologies and solutions, to help the community in conjunction with government agencies or not-for-profits. This commitment requires a minimum of four weeks of dedicated service.
  • Solving problems is in IBM’s DNA, and many local IBMers have offered ideas on how we as a company can assist using our collective expertise. To harness this, we are launching a project where teams of local IBMers can pitch ideas and apply for the business to fund and support these endeavours to aid in the rebuilding of Australian communities and in bushfire prevention management and recovery.
  • We intend to continue our partnership with Lifeline Australia, a non-profit organisation that provides support for Australians with mental health crises.
  • It’s also our intention to further engage with 2019 IBM global Call for Code winners Prometeo, who created an AI-based platform to monitor and act on firefighter health and safety, as well as Compta, who won the 2018 Watson Build Challenge for early fire detection.

While Australia faces a long road to recovery, the spirit of this magnificent country and its people can never be underestimated. We want all Australians to know, that you are not alone and at IBM, we are determined to leverage our most valuable asset – our people – to help rebuild and restore our communities.

Author: IBM Communications team, A/NZ

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