PSP Investments and Australian partnerships of its Natural Resources group, which include some of the nation’s leading farming companies (the Group), have entered into a three-year agreement to support the Clontarf Foundation (Clontarf) and the Stars Foundation (Stars), as part of a commitment to help young Indigenous Australians succeed.
The seven partners are best-in-class farmers covering nearly every major Australian agricultural commodity and operating across every state, including large parts of regional and remote Australia.
Under the agreement, the Group will contribute a total of $500,000 in funding to the foundations, and will open up mentoring, work experience and employment opportunities in order ultimately to provide career pathways for Indigenous boys and girls participating in Clontarf and Stars programs.
The Clontarf Foundation
The Clontarf Foundation started in Western Australia in 2000 and now operates 139 academies within 149 schools across Australia, supporting more than 10,000 participants. The program leverages football to attract Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to the academies and encourages them to embrace a healthy lifestyle, study and self-discipline practices through sport. To date, Clontarf has helped more than 5,500 young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men complete Year 12 and find employment.
The Stars Foundation
The Stars Foundation was established in 2015 to help Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander girls attend school, complete Year 12 and transition to tertiary study or the workforce. The program provides a culturally safe and nurturing environment for girls and young women aged 10-25 years to give them the skills and confidence needed to successfully participate in school and transition toward an independent future. In 2020, an outstanding 97 per cent of Stars students completed Year 12 and 87 per cent found employment.
Gerard Neesham, Clontarf Foundation Founder and Chief Executive, said:
“Clontarf relies heavily on its partners because they provide so much rich, developmental activity for the young men in our program. Our boys relish the opportunity to grow their confidence and skills through participation in the workforce, and I’m excited at the prospect of more young Clontarf men entering the farming industry thanks to our partnership with PSP Investments’ Natural Resources group and its Australian partners.”
Andrea Goddard, Stars Foundation Founder and Chief Executive, said:
“We are very grateful for the generous support of PSP Investments and its leading farming partnerships, and the commitment they are making to our important work of empowering First Nations girls and young women through education. Education creates opportunities and with a three-year commitment we have greater certainty for the future of our existing programs and expansion to support more First Nations young women succeed.”
Marc Drouin, Senior Managing Director, Real Assets and Global Head of Natural Resources Investments, PSP Investments – one of Canada’s largest pension investment managers – said:
“PSP Investments and its operating partners strive to make a beneficial contribution to the communities in which they operate, making Clontarf and Stars ideal partners throughout regional Australia. Since the Australian agriculture sector presents a wealth of employment and training opportunities, the Group believes Clontarf and Stars are the best partners to help make a meaningful difference for Indigenous Australians. The Group looks forward to working with both organisations.”
Joe Robinson, Chief Executive Officer, AFF – an integrated cotton producer across NSW – said:
“The AFF team’s commitment to the communities it works with across regional NSW includes investing in our people and providing real opportunities for those seeking self-development. We are proud to continue that investment program, including through the Clontarf Foundation and Stars Foundation initiative.”
Ben James, Chief Executive Officer, Aurora Dairies – a dairy producer across Victoria and South Australia – said:
“Aurora has a proud history of making a positive contribution to the communities we operate in, and we are thrilled to work with PSP Investments and its other partners to support Clontarf and Stars on this important initiative. We look forward to actively facilitating opportunities for young Indigenous boys and girls to help them advance toward a career in Australian agriculture.”
Shane Bird, Chief Executive Officer, BFB (soon to merge with Daybreak Cropping) – an integrated row crop growers across NSW, Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia – said:
“Our group is actively involved in many areas of the Riverina community and is excited to be extending this support to the Clontarf and Stars programs. With an integrated farming business, including farms, storage, merchandising, agronomy, freight and a piggery, we will be able to offer work experience and hopefully long-term employment in an array of agriculture businesses to further support these programs and the young men and women involved in them.”
Nick Gill, Chief Executive Officer, Fresh Country Farms – a permanent crop landlord across Victoria, South Australia, Queensland and Tasmania – said:
“The Fresh Country Farms team has been able to watch first-hand incredible mentoring undertaken by Clontarf Foundation on the football field, behind the BBQ and in the classroom. We’re excited to be working with both Clontarf and Stars to provide further opportunities for future development of Clontarf Foundation boys and Stars Foundation girls in both regional and metropolitan Australia.”
Mick Hewitt, Chief Executive Officer, Hewitt Cattle Australia – an integrated organic and conventional livestock producer across Queensland, the Northern Territory and NSW – said:
“Hewitt is pleased to be able to support young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men and women by providing mentoring and work experience opportunities across the breadth of our rural operations. We truly value the connections we’ve built with our local communities, and we’re looking forward to continuing to expand on these relationships through our partnership with the Clontarf and Stars foundations.”
Ross Burling, Chief Executive Officer, Stahmann Webster – a diversified tree nut grower and processor across NSW, Queensland and Tasmania – said:
“Stahmann Webster is proud to be part of this terrific initiative, which aligns with our commitment to ESG and sustainability and our participation in the communities in which we operate. With a footprint stretching from Bundaberg in Queensland to Swansea in Tasmania, we look forward to providing genuine work and learning opportunities to help young Indigenous Australians get ahead.”
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About PSP Investments
The Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSP Investments) is one of Canada’s largest pension investment managers with C$230.5 billion of net assets under management as of March 31, 2022. It manages a diversified global portfolio composed of investments in capital markets, private equity, real estate, infrastructure, natural resources and credit investments. Established in 1999, PSP Investments manages and invests amounts transferred to it by the Government of Canada for the pension plans of the federal Public Service, the Canadian Forces, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Reserve Force. Headquartered in Ottawa, PSP Investments has its principal business office in Montréal and offices in New York, London and Hong Kong.
More info: investpsp.com