Big week ahead as Bendigo Community Bank State Conference descends on Creswick
Australia’s regional cities and towns are becoming increasingly competitive when bidding to be the chosen location in the lucrative meetings and conferences industry. In keeping with Bendigo Bank’s philosophy of strengthening communities across Australia’s regions, Creswick has been chosen as the ‘epicentre of ideas’ to host the 2017 State Conference for Community Bank® Branches from around Victoria and Tasmania.
Backed by Bendigo Bank, Community Bank® branches are owned by local shareholders, run by volunteer directors and staffed by locals. Some 220 Community Bank® directors and staff will be in attendance at the conference to be held at the RACV Resort on Monday 20th and Tuesday 21st March, with delegates expected to inject more than $200,000 into the Creswick community during their stay.
The Community Bank® Conference theme for 2017 is:
Working to our strengths >> Realising our potential >> Harnessing our power >> Sharing our successes
The objective of the State Conference program is to provide a forum for Community Bank® directors and branch staff to engage and interact with both each other and the Bendigo Bank team and to share in their successes. Several senior executives, including Managing Director, Mike Hirst, will address delegates and see presentations from six Community Choice Award finalists who will provide details about significant locally funded projects in their communities and funded by their respective branches. Delegates will then cast a vote for their favourite project, with the winner announced at a gala dinner on the Monday night.
Bendigo Bank Executive, Engagement Innovation, Robert Musgrove said: “The continuing feedback we get from delegates is that they value hearing about initiatives from within their States and the time spent networking and workshopping with their peers and hearing from both internal and external experts in their fields.
“The content of the State conference has a localised focus, with community companies receiving tangible and practical support, advice and guidance that they can take away and utilise back within their own communities. This year, we have an outstanding Keynote Speaker, Darren Hill, Behavioural Scientist, author & Executive Director at Pragmatic Thinking.
“As always, we’ll be looking beyond the dollars and cents to some of the inspiring community success stories that underscore the true value to all those connected with this unique banking model. We also have the announcement of the Community Choice Award winner which is a real highlight at this important event.”
“The Community Bank® point of difference is the financial return back to community. Every time a customer banks with one of our 313 locally owned branches, a percentage of revenue stays in and benefits the local community and the organisations and projects they’re involved with.
“We’re reinvesting back into Australian towns, regional cities and metropolitan areas too - and today that investment has totalled more than $165 million. That’s $165 million Community Bank®dollars reinvested in local communities - and this figure continues to grow every day across the country.
“It’s great to be celebrating our successes and planning for the future this week in Creswick. The Community Bank® story was born in Victoria back in 1998 when Bendigo Bank partnered with the Victorian rural communities of Rupanyup and Minyip to establish a banking pilot to return banking services to those towns. Since then, the model has been exported to all States and Territories and embraced by hundreds of other communities across the nation”.
“Next year sees us celebrating the 20 year Anniversary of the Community Bank®model with a different location yet to be chosen - and even more stories to share about strengthening and empowering local communities with unmet needs. Rest assured that the ideas, energy and success stories we take home with us will ripple outward from our stay in Creswick and resonate to the benefit of people and their communities around Australia”, Mr Musgrove concluded.