The thing we've noticed is people are responding to that. They actually like the hybrid vehicles because they're quiet and they're smoother but what they like most of all is we are prepared to invest in those initiatives for our community. They see it as something that they're part of.
Thwaites: Tony, what about the Brotherhood and welfare organisations. How do you operate in that place-based way?
Nicholson: Look, it's critically important to think place, because when you think about it one of the problems in a lot of our social policy programs in Australia is they're targeted to individuals and households - forgetting those individuals and households actually live in a community.
To be effective in working in these communities you've got to be part of those communities. You've got to have your people participating in those communities, going to the food court of the local shopping plaza, for example.
This concept of place is critically important to our work and our work is increasingly about building local leadership in those communities, working with people rather than doing things to them.
Renwick: It's about relationships and actually being in those relationships for the long-term, not just to be in and out while throwing a bit of money around.
It is actually being there, rolling up your sleeves and doing something that makes the difference. I can see that's starting to translate to the people within the Latrobe Valley which is really encouraging.
Thwaites Louise, are there any particular environment, sustainability or governance themes ACSI members are particularly focused on currently?
Davidson: There are, and it is a challenge to distil it down to a manageable number of issues to pursue. The key things on our list at the moment are climate change and incorporated within that is the concept of a ‘just transition’.
We have to make this transition but all of us need to be involved in making sure that the transition doesn't leave behind big swathes of our community.
The other one occupying our minds at the moment is corporate culture. We meet with the chair and non-executive directors of company boards. That's our main contact point at companies and we frequently have a conversation with them, asking them to describe the culture of their organisation.
You'd be surprised at the number of times these very senior people are not able to articulate what the culture of their organisation is, and that's a red flag for us, obviously.
Thwaites: Tony, all the focus has been on business but what about civil society and organisations like the Brotherhood? Do they need to lift their game in some way if there's going to be better collaboration and better outcomes?
Nicholson: I would say yes. Part of the challenge is for us all to break out of the stereotypes we have of each other and of other sectors.
I think there has to be preparedness in civil society organisations to have an open mind about who they're going to collaborate with and how they can collaborate with them.
Professor John Thwaites is Chair at the Monash Sustainable Development Institute