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Values-Based Leadership Program In Australia


The two Australian Member Banks – Teachers Mutual Bank and Bank Australia – have joined forces to establish a Values-based Leadership Program in Australia.

The objective of the program is to develop leadership skills that help the organisations to address the nowadays challenges, to foster and emphasise values-based banking activities and to create strong networks between both banks. Australia’s banking industry has been shaken by huge misconduct of the big conventional banks which has led to mistrust among the sector. There is a great momentum for values-based banks to showcase that they put people before profit and not the other way around.

The overall program is based on the theories and concepts of the international GABV Leadership program (that includes change management, engage with the whole system, practice innovation techniques and self-reflection work). It has three modules over a course of 8 months:


Module 1: Sydney hosted by Teachers Mutual Bank (2.5 days)

Module 2: Retreat in Nature (2.5 days)

Module 3: Melbourne hosted by Bank Australia (2.5 days)


Sonia Reinhardt who is part of the facilitation team of the international GABV Leadership Academy (and works for the GLS Bank in Germany) moved to Australia to work with both banks for a period of 2 years. After a needs analysis of both organisation the tailor cut program was launched in May 2019. 20 managers and senior managers have been selected – 10 from each bank.

The first module held in Sydney was focussed on the topic of affordable housing. A big topic worldwide and especially urgent for these banks that have a substantial amount of their loan book sitting in mortgage loans. It was hosted by TMBL and we had various opportunities to learn about the bank. We listened to Steve James to long-standing CEO of TMBL, and we went to see members and partners of the organisations through Learning Journeys. The second module held in Lancefield/ Victoria focussed on self-reflection practices, putting ideas into practice through prototyping and had a thematic focus on indigenous Australia.

Being back in their respective organisations, the participants engaged in discussing how to integrate values-driven decision making more thoroughly into the organisation. They came up with several ideas and had brainstorming sessions on how to reduce the footprint of the organisation itself (like printing, reducing waste, etc).

This innovative approach is something the two banks can be really proud of. It shows the power of the global network GABV as well as the courage of the two biggest mutual banks in Australia to sit together, discuss and learn together. The strong relations between the participants will foster eco-system development and will support cross-organisational learning. We are looking forward to the third and last module that will be held in Melbourne and is hosted by Bank Australia with a thematic focus on climate change.


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