Not your everyday bank
by Deanne Dickson
12th December 2014
Warrandyte Community Bank notches up $1.7m in community grants
SHAREHOLDERS and representatives from organisations in Warrandyte and surrounds filled the Mechanics Institute Hall last month for the Warrandyte Community Bank’s annual general meeting and official announcements of grants and scholarships.
A total of $377,000 was allocated to almost 70 groups to go towards projects, community programs and infrastructure within the community.
Warrandyte Community Bank has now returned an incredible $1.7 million in grants and sponsorships since its inception in 2003.
With an upbeat energy in the room there was a strong sense of gratitude expressed to outgoing chair Sarah Wrigley.
Many of the grants and sponsorship recipients thanked Sarah for the years of dedication and commitment she had made to the program and the bank itself.
One very happy recipient was Warrandyte High School, which received $25,000. In a joint submission with the Lions Club of Warrandyte, the school had sought funding to asphalt the car park behind the school basketball stadium.
Dr Stephen Parkin, principal of Warrandyte High School, thanked Sarah for her “significant contributions to the Warrandyte community and to the learning experiences of students at Warrandyte High School”.
Other major projects to receive a community grant or sponsorship included funding to acquire an inflatable rescue boat for Manningham SES.
Greg Mitchell, controller of Manningham Unit SES said it was a “great privilege” working with our community bank on the project.
“The understanding and support given by Sarah and Mark (Challen, bank manager) to our unit to help us replace a very old rescue boat was outstanding,” Greg said.
“Because of the Warrandyte Community Bank’s efforts and dedication to the community, I was honoured to collect a cheque at the AGM to purchase a new rescue boat that will support our local community and the larger Victorian community for many years to come.”
Manningham SES provides rescue services for a large part of the Yarra River from Wonga Park to Dight’s Falls and requires two rescue boats on the water in any situation.
Also in attendance was Manningham Community Health’s Jenny Jackson, who said Manningham Community Health Services was thrilled to partner with Warrandyte Community Bank to support the mental wellbeing of young people in the greater Warrandyte area.
“As CEO of the not-for-profit health service, I am constantly delighted to see the wonderful work of our local Bendigo Bank branches in bringing all members of the community together in such a meaningful way for the benefit of the whole community,” Jenny said. “Being present at the AGM was yet another opportunity to observe genuine community partnership and I urge all Manningham community residents to support their local Bendigo Bank branches so that this great community partnership work can flourish even further.”
Aaron Farr, in his address as incoming chairman, told the audience he has “some very large footsteps to follow” and in doing so looks forward to embarking on his new role.
“In continuing the role of chairman I look forward to leading our community bank in building on the foundations set in place,” Aaron said.
“With continued and ongoing growth, the Warrandyte Community Bank will be well placed to contribute more financially to the community into the future.”
Also in attendance were the bank’s scholarship recipients, Gabrielle Mitchell (2013), Mitchell Dawson (2014), Nik Henkes (2014) and Joshua McMullen (2014).
Josh said the scholarship had helped him immensely with tertiary studies.
“It took off a lot of stress normally associated with the beginning of a year at university with purchasing textbooks and other supplies, and helped me cruise on in to my year of study with a positive attitude,” Josh said.
“It’s not your everyday bank!”