Community banking has been around in Australia for many years, according to Jason Chuck, Senior Manager of Kilmore, Wallan and Broadford Community Bank.
The model, which was developed by Bendigo Bank, allows branches to reinvest up to 80 per cent of profits back into local communities through grants and sponsorships.
Operating since the 1990s, there are more than 313 Bendigo Community Bank® branches throughout Australia. Together they have collectively reinvested $183 million back into local communities.
Simon Halman, Kilmore Bank Manager, was in the police force for many years before he made the move into banking. “I made the shift from one of the Big Four (banks) to Kilmore so I could work closer to the community,” he says.
Simon is married with young children and lives in Kilmore. He also volunteers with the local SES. “The move has been a great one he says. “Collectively, Wallan, Kilmore and Broadford Community Bank have invested over $3 million into the local community over 10 years,” he says.
“While I’m still fairly new, this is something to be proud of.”
Jason, who has been with the bank for most of this time, agrees. “The best part of my work is being able to do something real that flows into the community,” he says. “The Wallan splash park for which we contributed $520,000, is one of our proudest achievements. It’s a great example of what business, local and state governments can achieve when they work together.”
Both Simon and Jason say that Kilmore has a strong community mindset and is a great place to live, work and bring up a family. “I love the atmosphere, the friendliness of people, the laid-back lifestyle,” says Simon. Jason, who lived in Kilmore in the 1990s and now commutes from Gisborne, agrees.
“There is a real sense of community about this town. People in this town are doers, which I love. Being part of the bank means that I get to work with great people.”
75A Sydney Street, Kilmore Phone 03 5781 0066