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Community Bank® conference rolls into town

11 September 2018 |Community

Celebrating 20 years of the unique community-led banking model.

Bendigo Bank will host its 19th Annual Community Bank® National Conference in Bendigo today, bringing together more than 700 delegates from all states and territories across the country.

The conference will focus on The Next Twenty, celebrating the Community Bank® model’s 20th anniversary and planning for the future evolution of the model, focusing on community, partnership, people and technology.

The Community Bank® model, which has long bucked a trend of banks pulling out of regional Australia, has sparked a community-led movement across the country, delivering more than

$200 million in profits in 20 years back to local communities, generating jobs and local economic growth.

The three-day event, held from 11 - 13 September and hosted in the Ulumbarra Theatre, will feature keynotes from: Kurt Fearnley, three-time Paralympian gold medallist and disability sports advocate, demographer and Australia’s leading voice on Generation Z, Claire Madden and renowned motivational speaker Peter Sharp. Delegates will also hear from key Bendigo and Adelaide leaders including Managing Director, Marnie Baker and Director, Jacqueline Hey.

The annual event has been running since 1999 and brings leaders from across the country together to harness the strength of the network to influence positive outcomes for all at a regional, state and national level.

“The conference provides a great opportunity for attendees to hear about the exciting work being undertaken in communities across Australia, to focus on new innovations in the network and plan for future growth opportunities,” said Marnie Baker, Managing Director, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank.

“The original purpose of the Community Bank® model, which began 20 years ago, remains today – to feed into the prosperity of communities, not off them. Together, we look forward to celebrating our achievements and contributions of the past and focusing on the future evolution of the unique and highly successful community-led banking model.”

The conference is also set to provide a strong economic benefit to local retailers, food and beverage organisations and hoteliers in Bendigo and surrounds as the more than 700 delegates and their families roll into Bendigo for the week.

A key highlight of the conference calendar will be a vibrant street party held on the evening of Wednesday 12 September, to mark the 20-year anniversary. The City of Greater Bendigo will close Bath Lane for the community, Bendigo Bank staff, families and Community Bank® representatives to revel amongst food venues, a sausage sizzle raising funds for local emergency services groups, music and kids’ entertainment. The event provides opportunities for local Bendigo businesses to show their wares to a national audience.

“We look forward to the Community Bank® conference coming to Bendigo,” said Margaret O’Rourke, Mayor, Greater City of Bendigo.

“It’s events such as this that demonstrate all Bendigo has to offer to the region, the state and the country.

“Bendigo is one of Australia’s leading regional cities and we are proud to have the headquarters of Australia’s fifth largest retail bank located here. Our city’s strong finance sector dates back to the gold rush and is an important source of employment locally.

“A key focus for Council is to sustainably grow our city and support the development of a diverse economy and create an appealing environment for people to live in.

“I am pleased to welcome visitors from across Australia to experience the liveability of our great community,” she said.

The first national conference for the Community Bank® network was held in Bendigo in 1999 on the eve of opening of Australia’s 10th Community Bank®

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