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Malini Raj works as the Head of Strategy for Multicultural Community Banking at the Commonwealth Bank and has a passion for promoting cultural diversity and social cohesion.

This is her story.


Born in the UK to parents of Sri Lankan heritage, my family and I moved to Australia when I was two. I grew up near Parramatta and studied a Bachelor of Accounting and Finance at the University of Technology in Sydney. Since then I've worked in the finance industry for over 18 years across domestic and international institutions, sat on the board of several not-for-profits and volunteered fortnightly at the Starlight Children's Foundation for seven years.

My current role as Head of Strategy for Multicultural Community Banking at the Commonwealth Bank allows me to work in my area of passion - promoting cultural diversity and social cohesion. This division of the bank is focused on authentic and meaningful engagement with multicultural communities.

Advocating for women from culturally diverse backgrounds is a key priority for me and CBA has supported me in introducing the hijab into our corporate wardrobe. This small act celebrates our Muslim women employees and demonstrates to our people and customers that we value and acknowledge different backgrounds and experiences. We've built a culture where people can bring their whole selves to work and the positive ripple effects are invaluable.

As part of my role, I am also heavily involved in CBA's internal cultural diversity network, Mosaic. I am incredibly blessed to have this opportunity to meet with people from various cultures, religions and backgrounds. However, what I've come to realise through this program is that the true beauty of diverse cultures is not represented in mainstream media.

There is a great need to showcase the achievements and stories of our multicultural communities and make individuals recognise that everyone has a role in creating social harmony and breaking down barriers.

I want to continue building CBA’s reach as a corporate role model and engage our multicultural communities to help us build bridges and create a financially inclusive and socially cohesive society. It is vital for us to champion the importance of diversity as a tremendous strength, competitive advantage and opportunity for corporate Australia, government and communities alike. Our differences are our strength and diversity of thought creates better business outcomes and a richer Australian culture.

We must remember that everyone has their own experience and perspective to share and that you can never be wrong when sharing your journey, it is often the way you can make the most impact.

By using our platform to tell these stories in an authentic and meaningful way we are actively creating a sense of belonging for all.