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Deakin and Bendigo Bank launch Australian-first collaboration

1 August 2016 |Community

An Australian-first collaboration between a tertiary and financial institution is set to create the Deakin University Community Bank® initiative, a unique banking service that will return profits to the university community for programs, capital projects and more. 

Deakin University Vice-Chancellor Professor Jane den Hollander and Bendigo Bank Managing Director Mike Hirst jointly announced the new initiative today, which will operate under the Bank’s successful Community Bank® model.

“This innovative collaboration was borne from Deakin’s mission to constantly improve the experience we provide the communities we serve, and to build external partnerships that add value to all involved, socially and financially,” Professor den Hollander said.

“In a world where banking is an essential service each of us must pay for, Bendigo Bank’s Community Bank® model is unique because it takes its revenue and returns it to local communities.

“The real benefit lies in the long-term return to the Deakin community, through the creation of a sustainable income stream that will grow as the business grows and will be invested back into meaningful projects.

“By choosing to bank with the Deakin University Community Bank® initiative, our staff, students, alumni and stakeholders will be contributing to the profits that could, for example, one day fund new scholarships to help young people follow their dreams, grants for researchers to become world leaders in their fields, and sustainable capital projects that make our university the best place to work and study.”

Traditionally, Community Bank® companies invest locally into services and people, through projects like scholarship funds, skate parks, community buses, sports stadiums and health centres.

Since the model was established in 1998 more than $148 million in banking profits have been reinvested in this way.

Mr Hirst said the expansion of the Community Bank® model into a university recognised that community wasn’t just bound by geography – a town or a suburb – but was also created through shared interests and objectives.

“Today’s announcement is the culmination of a long engagement with the Deakin community about the value they see in a community banking service and how it could support their goals,” he said.

“What we heard overwhelmingly was that they see this as a win-win, a true example of shared value.

“It means that for staff, students and alumni, just by doing their everyday banking through the Deakin University Community Bank® initiative, they can contribute to supporting projects that matter to them and their university.”

Bendigo Bank and Deakin University signed a Memorandum of Understanding in January 2015, with collaborative projects since then including a rural and regional employment development program and a scholarship fund for country students.

Bendigo Bank

Bendigo Bank provides banking and wealth management services to individuals and small to medium businesses. Bendigo Bank is represented in all states and territories with almost 600 outlets including 312 locally-owned Community Bank® branches. For more information about the Community Bank® model, visit the Bendigo Bank website here.

Deakin University

Established in 1974, Deakin University became Victoria’s first regional university and the first to specialise in distance education. Deakin today is Australia’s eighth largest university. It has 53,000 students across five campuses, located in Melbourne, Geelong, Warrnambool and in the cloud, which is its fastest growing learning mode with 24 per cent of students enrolled here. Deakin aims to lead the digital frontier, with a network of technology-rich learning centres across metropolitan Melbourne and international offices in India, China and Indonesia.

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