Investing in a “richer” community experience
by Dee Dickson
10th December 2018
WITH $400,000 returned to the community this year through grants and sponsorship for a vast array of community projects, Warrandyte Community Bank has now returned a mammoth $3.2million back to the community as it enters its 15th year of operation.
The bank’s commitment to “community” is pretty powerful; its goodness showcased every year via its Community Investment Program which sees up to 80 per cent of the Warrandyte Community Bank’s profit being directed straight to groups within the community in which we live.
As well as the annual grant and sponsorship program, Community Banks across Australia are committed to funding life saving Automatic External Defibrillators which will be installed in Warrandyte and surrounding suburbs in the coming months.
More than 100 guests were hosted at the banks AGM last month for the annual Community Investment Program presentation.
Members from local CFA’s, kinders and schools, sporting, environmental, arts, and community support groups, expressed words of real gratitude, reminding everyone in the room Warrandyte Community Bank is certainly “the better big bank!”.
Projects receiving a share of the $400,000 of community investment included:
Greater Warrandyte CFAs
In line with the bank’s yearly commitment of $50,000 to support the Greater Warrandyte Fire Brigades, this year was no exception.
Warrandyte CFA: Black Start Generator — $39,545
The installation of a Black Start Generator at Warrandyte’s CFA station is considered a vital piece of equipment.
In the event of a power outage the station needs to be operational.
Currently the doors to the station are required to be opened manually (involving the removal of security pins).
They are an occupational health and safety hazard, with potential risk of injury to personnel.
Once installed; in the event of a major emergency in the area, the station would be able to be used as a staging area thanks to the Black Start Generator.
Wonga Park Wizards Junior Football Club: lighting project — $50,000
The objective of the Wizards lighting project is to allow the community to make greater use of facilities all year round.
The Wonga Park Reserve is the sporting and recreation hub for the Wonga Park community.
Lighting on its top oval will allow users to continue to train and keep active during the winter months and will benefit the wider community, as the reserve will be able to be used for night time events.
Project spearhead Annette Felicissimo was thrilled upon hearing the news of the group’s successful application for funding.
“We were so honoured to be the recipients of a major grant and this will make an enormous difference to our community.
“Attending the evening was truly heart lifting, to hear about the projects in the community focused on inclusion and wellbeing,” she said.
Spectrum Journeys Inc (SJI): Warrandyte SJI Outreach — $10,000
Spectrum Journeys aims to equip and empower Carers and Educators as they support children on the autism spectrum, to flourish.
This is achieved via a range of programs and projects including autism carer counselling, mentoring groups, dads groups, workshops and SJI’s very special blessing bag project.
Spectrum Journeys is passionate about seeing carers supported in their local area.
The Warrandyte Outreach programs will help local families with a child on the autism spectrum.
Run out of Warrandyte Community Church, services include an Advocacy and Mentoring program which equips carers with skills to advocate effectively and wisely in the kindergarten and primary school environment, as well as connect carers with peers who experience similar life circumstances.
Also on offer, will be a Parent Connect program, which works alongside mums who have a child newly diagnosed on the autism apectrum and to navigate mental health challenges, new routines, accessing support and self-care.
Part of Outreach will be accessible and heavily subsidized workshops for carers and educators with leading professionals including Hannah Gamble, a Paediatric Occupational Therapist who lives and practices in the Warrandyte area.
These workshops are a wonderful way to equip many people with strength based strategies for the home and classroom.
Both carer support and education are pillars of this project and are core services at Spectrum Journeys workshops.
Friends of Warrandyte State Park Inc.: Protection of FOWSP nursery — $3,549
The Friends of Warrandyte State Park (FOWSP) plant nursery, located at the Warrandyte State Park is dependent on one old cement tank and water from the Yarra River to irrigate 60,000 plants a year, most of which are planted out from Warrandyte State Park to the Kinglake Conservation Link.
Water from the Yarra is pumped up to a concrete tank.
The 30 year old pump continually requires maintenance and when it breaks down it can take two to three days to repair, leaving the nursery without water.
This grant will enable the group to replace its old tank and fit a shade sail over the propagation area, providing a more congenial environment for volunteers all year round.
Following the presentations, Chairman Aaron Farr spoke of his pleasure on hearing about, the almost 60 different projects, benefitting members of a very diverse range of community groups.
“This year we are returning $400,000 in community contributions, representing 80 per cent of our profit.
“Our full suite of banking products are very competitive, imagine what could be achieved if more locals took them up,” he said.
Thanks to the support of its shareholders, branch staff, company board and most importantly its customers, the Warrandyte Community Bank Branch of the Bendigo Bank, Australia’s 5th largest bank, has been able to grow to be one of the biggest sources of community funding in the local area.
Drop into the branch at 144 Yarra St, to find out more.
COMMUNITY GRANTS. COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION. THE BETTER BIG BANK!