30th October 2019
Another exciting financial year has passed for our Community Bank with in excess of $85,000 contributed back to the community in grants, donations and sponsorship. At a well organised event on the 30 October, the Mirboo North & District Community Bank held its combined AGM and Grants night.
This year Warren Warner has taken on the role as Chair of Strzelecki Ranges Community Enterprises Limited (the company holding the Bendigo Bank franchise and trading as Mirboo North & District Community Bank), after the resignation of former Chair, Kerry Peachey. Warren’s drive and passion will assure the continued excellent progress of the company.
Importantly, Warren pointed out, “The Strzelecki Ranges Company employs the Community Bank staff and manages the franchise. This involves the Board managing the annual budget, human resources, the property, marketing and advertising, business and development, and overall governance. I always stress that it’s the bank manager and staff who deal exclusively with customers; the Board has no knowledge of individual customers’ banking. We directors are only aware of the aggregate amount that customers’ business generates”.
Warren confirmed a fully franked dividend of 5 cents which is 5% on shareholders’ investment and thanked shareholders for their trust and support. He also mentioned that thanks to the loyal customers, staff and Board it has been possible for $1,036,190 to be contributed back to the community in the form of grants, sponsorships and donations since the Community Bank’s inception.
The AGM saw the election of new Director, Kerry Ives, to the Board. Kerry will be an excellent addition to the business with a long list of experience in both the public and private sector. Marg Lynn was farewelled from the Board; her expertise in many areas over the years has seen consistent growth of the business. Marg will become Ambassador for the Community Bank and in this capacity her knowledge and expertise can still be drawn upon. She will make a fine representative of the company.
Branch Manager, Alan Bannister, highlighted the excellent progress the Community Bank has made since opening in 2010 with substantial growth and a good gain in customer numbers. Alan thanked the staff who continue to provide friendly, professional service and are branch’s biggest asset. After thanking Directors, shareholders and the community, Alan encouraged all to recommend the Community Bank to the businesses and groups they are involved with to ensure that new customers continue to be gained.
After the official AGM business concluded, Jan Head, Chair of the Grants Committee, began the exciting presentation of the grants with Directors and staff handing out nine grants to the lucky community groups. Grants were awarded to community groups in the districts of Mirboo North, Boolarra and Yinnar.
It was truly inspiring to hear about the projects the grant recipients had selected. One such project was replacing lower weather boards on the Budgeree Hall with cement sheeting and building a small verandah, to fire proof the building. The Hall is situated in a wildfire area and narrowly missed being razed in the March 2019 fires. Another was ARC Yinnar, a unique centre for creativity and contemporary arts, receiving a grant to remove asbestos enabling the commencement of a much needed re-development of the building. Here in Mirboo North our beloved Op Shop’s grant assisted the purchase of retail premises to provide improved fund raising opportunities to the many community groups who use the Op Shop.
In total, in excess of $40,000 was awarded for a range of fantastic community projects.