The foundation aims to "unite telcos to create a unique and wide-reaching platform for social change by drawing on the industry's core capabilities, strengths and access to technology."
The foundation says the main focus of its work will be "the development of industry-wide community investment projects that provide widespread, innovative solutions to social problems."
It adds: "We have partnered with HSC & Company, a specialist philanthropy and community investment consulting firm, to assist with the development of this program of work. This will be a long-term project - the cornerstone of the Foundation's community involvement." Charities currently being reviewed for funding include Second Bite - food for people in need; The Cathy Freeman Foundation and Lifeline.
It says that: "As an industry with annual revenues of $40 billion and over 25 million direct customer communications made monthly, telcos are in a unique position of collectively having a relationship with almost every business and consumer in Australia.
"By taking advantage of these characteristics and gaining access to the 70,000+ people employed by the industry, an exceptional opportunity for the Telco Together Foundation to become a massive vehicle for social change exists."
Bowen, (who with lawyer Peter Leonard was named a Communication Ambassadors for 2012 in the ACOMM awards), is chairman and founding benefactor of Telco Together. Renee Bowker, former marketing manager at M2 Telecom, has been named its CEO.
Bowen said: "The foundation is a fully-compliant, not-for-profit entity with no affiliation to any one telco. Its sole purpose is to foster positive social outcomes and coordinate the use of telecommunications technology to promote and increase giving across Australia. It is a very exciting opportunity for our industry to take a leadership position in the delivery of sustainable improvements to disadvantaged communities."
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