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The Gold Coaster tackling modern slavery

He’s one Gold Coast local who is doing his part to make the world a better place and in ways many of us couldn’t even imagine.

We sat down for a chat with Nicholas Bernhardt about abolishing modern slavery and exactly what we can do to help.

How long have you been a Gold Coast local?
I moved to the Gold Coast in 1999. I first lived in Tallebudgera and have now been in Currumbin Valley for seven years and love it there.

What do you love most about living here?
I love the combination hinterland / beaches plus the beautiful weather.

Can you give us an overview of your business Informed 365?
Informed 365 is a tech company that helps businesses in the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) space. We manage, monitor and visualise data to ensure our clients make better, more informed decisions.

How are you tackling modern slavery in Australia and abroad?
With the passing of the Modern Slavery Act in Australia in late 2018 companies with a turnover of over $100 million have to prepare an annual Modern Slavery statement. We provide our clients with real-time dashboards and easy-to-use analytics functionality to drive visibility and transparency in their supply chains.

People may not be aware that slavery still exists, can you give us some more information…
This may surprise some people but in Australia there are currently an estimated 4,000 – 10,000 people living in slave-like conditions. In America, the number is a staggering 400,000 and worldwide there are between 40 million to 80 million slaves. After the drug trade, slavery is the second largest criminal “industry”. The Modern Slavery Act defines that modern slavery includes eight types of serious exploitation: trafficking in persons; slavery; servitude; forced marriage; forced labour; debt bondage; deceptive recruiting for labour or services; and the worst forms of child labour. The worst forms of child labour mean situations where children are subjected to slavery or similar practices, or engaged in hazardous work.

How did your business come about?
I used to be an investment banker and decided I wanted to help the corporate world “do the right thing” with regards to both their environmental and social activities. Corporations have in the past, solely been focusing on profits and shareholder value. It is time that purpose, environmental and social stewardship become an embedded, equally important part of every organisation’s vision and strategy.

What’s the plan for the future for you and the business?
Last year Andrew Banks (Morgan & Banks, Talent 2 and Australian Shark Tank) became an investor in Informed 365 and we are looking to expand into new markets with more innovations in the CSR space. We are continuously looking for new tech solutions to help organisations navigate their sustainability journey.

How can we help?
Be conscious – live a more sustainable life, be kind to your fellow human beings and animals and plant trees.

Tell us your favourites on the Coast:
Cafe for breakfast:
Pasture & Co in the Eco Village in Currumbin Valley or simply at home with my family and dogs!
Coffee spot: I’m a tea man but I do love the Pavilion in Burleigh (not that tea is my beverage of choice there…). Having said that, there are some great little tea / coffee places in James Street in Burleigh.
Restaurant for dinner: We love heading to Balboa or trying out any of the restaurants in the casino. A couple of weeks before COVID-19 struck, we discovered a very nice little Italian restaurant in Coolangatta called Radici and are looking forward to going back again, once the world returns to normal.
How does your weekend usually look: Bushwalking, gardening and playing with our 7-year old daughter Florence. I love spending time in the garden where we are revegetating a 10 acre block to bring back the native wildlife.

Photo by Zeyn Afuang on Unsplash
Photo by Zeyn Afuang on Unsplash

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