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Community Bank® profits to benefit youth

26 August 2003 |Media centre

Two months ago 18-year-old Kara Tatt replaced her L-plates with P-plates and hit the road.

Five days later, Kara was being pulled from her overturned vehicle on Crusoe Road.

Driving from Maldon to Bendigo, having visited relatives for the day, she lost control of her vehicle, the car written off and Kara escaping shaken, but unhurt.

Maldon businessman and Community Bank® Chairman Mark Boyd-Graham was one of the first on the scene, having witnessed the accident.

“Ironically, Maldon Community Bank® Branch board had only days before formalised its decision to allocate bank profits to pay for the community’s young people to undertake a driver education course,” Mr Boyd-Graham said.

“Our local Community Bank® branch is making regular monthly profits and we wanted to spend those profits within our community.

“What better way to do that than to equip our young people with driving skills which could save their lives?”

Today, Mark Boyd-Graham and his board has launched a $20,000 project to give 80 young locals the chance to undertake a DECA or DTA driver training course during the next 12 months.

Maldon Community Bank® Branch will pick up all of the costs.

“From what we understand, our Youth Driver Training Program is the only one of its kind where the community actually pays for young people to undertake driving education,” Mr Boyd-Graham said.

Every time Kara, who attends Year 12 in Bendigo drives from Maldon to Bendigo, along Crusoe Road she thinks about how lucky she is not to have become a statistic.

“Having now done the course, my driving has improved and so has my confidence behind the wheel,” Kara said.

The $20,000 allocated by Maldon Community Bank® is the first major financial contribution the locally owned Community Bank® branch has made.

“When we opened our bank branch four years ago, our aim was to return traditional branch banking to Maldon,” he said.

“Profits, if they ever came, were going to be a bonus.

“As a community we have a social obligation to our young people.

“By establishing Maldon Community Bank® we secured banking for future generations. Our branch’s profits are actually going towards helping our young people actually make it to that future by surviving on the roads.”

As part of this program, Bendigo Bank’s Insurance department, in conjunction with insurance provider CGU, will offer the young participants a reduced car insurance rate.

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