Hobart set to host National Community Bank® Conference for first time
For the first time in the event's 17 year history, Hobart will next week host the National Community Bank® Conference, showcasing the best of Tasmania to almost 700 guests from around the country and highlighting the success of the Community Bank® model across the state.
In May 2003, Geeveston and Dover Community Bank® branches were the first of their kind to open in Tasmania, and now 13 years later more than 150 Tasmanians are employed throughout the network and more than $2.15 million has been returned to local communities via 11 Community Bank® branches.
Bendigo Bank State Manager, Russell Carrick, said Tasmania was the perfect host for this year's conference, which will celebrate the achievements of the Community Bank® model.
"There's no doubt that even though we are originally from the mainland, our Bank has truly embedded itself into the Tasmanian banking and community sectors," Mr Carrick said.
"The Community Bank® model has not only provided local communities with employment opportunities, but also access to a local banking presence and an alternative stream of funding for local projects to help create a strong and thriving community.
"With more than $148 million injected into local communities across Australia since the first Community Bank® branch opened its doors in 1998, this is a great opportunity to celebrate what the network has accomplished.
"Beyond the dollars and cents though are the inspiring community success stories that highlight the true value of this unique model to all those connected."
The conference will not only examine banking trends and products but the issue of youth disengagement will be discussed during sessions with Tasmanian Police and Andrew Blackett from the Eddie Rice Foundation, while local drone farmer, Dr Will Bignell will participate in an innovation panel.
With almost 700 guests from around Australia set to converge on the capital city, the conference will also bring a welcome economic injection to the state.
"Our Bank is a real advocate for Tasmania, which is why we chose to hold this year's conference here – we want to showcase all that Hobart has to offer," Mr Carrick said.
"One afternoon of the conference will even be devoted to highlighting the best of the state's tourism, food and wine sectors with local Tasmanian producers given the opportunity to promote their businesses and their region through our Market Stalls.
"This is a fantastic chance for our interstate delegates to experience the stunning scenery and outstanding produce in the Hobart region, and we expect many will choose to stay beyond the conference to explore the rest of the state.
"We're proud of our bank, we're proud of our communities and we're extremely proud that Hobart has been chosen to host this year's national conference."
About Bendigo Bank's Community Bank® Model
Established in 1998 in the rural Victorian towns of Rupanyup and Minyip, Bendigo Bank's Community Bank® model responded to a growing trend of bank branch closures across Australia.
Eighteen years later, the model has grown to 311 Community Bank® branches across Australia, returning more than $148 million to communities, generating local employment opportunities and supporting future sustainability and prosperity.