Tag Archives: warrandyte community bank

Getting behind Our Hall

NOT MANY people are aware that the Mechanics’ Institute Hall is a true community asset, it belongs to anyone, and everyone, lucky enough to live within a two-mile radius of the Hall.

And it is up to us all to give “our hall” the care it has provided to the community over the years.

While the Warrandyte Mechanics’ Institute is more than 140 years old, the current Mechanics’ Institute Hall is coming up on 95 years.

A recent grant from Warrandyte Community Bank for ongoing renovations continues a long history of community love for our little green hall.

A board of trustees was established in 1878, and the trustees were given the original schoolhouse in Forbes Street for use as a Mechanics’ Institute for the nominal sum of £1.

The next decade saw a concerted effort to construct a new building.

A meeting in July 1890 saw that good progress had been made to establish a building fund, having raised some £23 5s 9d towards a new building.

In December of that year the new building had passed inspection by the Board of Health and was ready for operation.

The Mechanics’ Institutes Hall opened on December 19, 1890 at the North West corner of Yarra Street and Web Street, on the site of what is now Rush and Hampshire Lawyers.

In 1925, they began fundraising for a new hall as the old hall was considered too small for the community’s needs.

The current hall was built on the site of the Warrandyte Hotel, which burned down in April, 1925.

A public meeting was held in the new hall to approve a set of rules and regulations and granting membership of the Institute to those residents over 21 years who lived “for not less than three months within a two-mile radius”.

The hall was immediately put to use with the first wedding taking place on December 8, 1928 between Alice (Pap) Schneider, the town’s first telephonist, and stonemason George Stringer.

The new hall also became the regular venue for the school’s Fancy Dress Ball and the Lilac Time Ball from 1930 until 1954.

There was an annual New Year’s Eve dance with locals gathering in the hall until midnight, then dancing along behind a Scottish pipe band to the bridge to ring in the new year — some years the young lads would let off a stick of gelignite to welcome in the new year with a bang.

Following WWII there were also regular Debutant Balls.

Moving pictures came to Warrandyte and were shown at the Mechanics’ Hall on Friday nights, providing a regular source of entertainment for the townsfolk.

One local remembers it cost ninepence to enter, however she only earned threepence delivering milk, so she saved her money for a month to go to the pictures, with threepence left over for an ice cream.

Then came Friday, January 13, 1939, and the disastrous Black Friday bushfires.

The fires destroyed some 160 homes — with all three churches, the post office, both cricket pavilions and the South Warrandyte Hall all falling to the flames.

The Mechanics’ became a Relief Centre for the community, which operated for some months, providing assistance to those in need.

On February 4, 1939 a dance was held at the Hall to raise money for the Lord Mayor’s Bushfire Fund.

Organised by Miss Renton and Miss Wagner (Popsy Bone) the dance raised £11 15s 6d for the cause.

Then WWII struck and the hall was the scene of some very emotional farewells to the departing troops, many whom never returned.

For the next six years, the Hall was host to many patriotic events to raise money for the war effort.

During this time, Warrandyte was given a fire fighting truck, and a fire station was constructed at the rear of the hall to house it.

The Fire Brigade leased the land from the hall for a rental of one shilling per year and a building was constructed with stone quarried from Whipstick Gully.

The shed was built in 1944 by George Stringer at a cost of £67.

During the 1962 fires the Hall was again used as a Bushfire Relief Centre.

In 1956, the Warrandyte Arts Association (WAA) was formed, and became an important tenant for the Hall.

Consisting of Craft, Drama, Musical, Paining and Pottery Groups, the main focus of the Association’s activities were classes for children.

The Arts Association was born as a result of a public meeting in November 1955 and the various groups emerged over the following months.

Not only could local people participate in the various groups, but professional musicians, for example, were brought out to perform in the Hall.

During the 50s and 60s the Mechanics’ Institute committee of management faced a constant battle to maintain the hall.

With a lack of film screenings, and lack of attendance at dances, the committee considered selling the land to developers and build a new hall at the Recreation Reserve.

Several meetings were held over the years to consider options, and at one well attended meeting in 1973 the members voted to stop negotiations on the sale of the hall.

While an important turning point for the hall, it did nothing to improve the financial position of the Institute.

WAA members maintained the building through fundraising, sale of debentures, loans from committee members, hours of voluntary labour and, above all, the drive to maintain the Hall.

At a public meeting in 1986, WAA was given the go-ahead to take over the full responsibility of the Hall and a new, incorporated association — the Warrandyte Mechanics’ Institute and Arts Association — was born.

Grandiose plans for extension as a fully-fledged theatre with foyer, exhibition space, storage et cetera were not fulfilled.

However, the association has devoted hours of work and thousands of dollars raised from theatrical productions, especially the annual Festival Follies, exhibitions and sales to undertake major refurbishment and purchase of equipment.

Major renovations began in 1991 and included, re-stumping, re-plastering and lining, insulation, internal and external painting and electrical work, installation of ducted heating, purchase of a new piano and lighting equipment.

This involved a huge investment of money and countless working bees and fund-raising concerts by members.

The renovations continued into the 21st century with the purchase of a new sound board, new tables, new chairs, new stage curtain, refurbishment of the committee room with cupboards, benches and flooring, installation of air conditioning, re-roofing and external painting and the creation of a garden with ramp access depicting the activities of the association through mosaics and dedicated to the memory of an outstanding volunteer.

More additions and improvements include the sealing of the rear car park, a professional building check for asbestos and some resulting modifications, purchase of additional theatre lighting, digital equipment and a motorised screen, as well as replacement of the rear stage doors and improved access in general.

President of the WMIAA, David Tynan, told the Diary that the Association has found funds largely from its theatre productions and from hiring the hall for community events.

“However, large expenses, such as improving the toilets, preventing the regular flood damage and major rotting of wooden structures in our buildings are beyond our modest budget.

“We have been very lucky to have forged an excellent relationship with the Warrandyte Community Bank, which has meant that we have been able to secure grant funding to refurbish the toilets and foyer area, and recently we have completed a major overhaul of our drainage so that future floods do not impact the buildings as severely as they have in the past,” he said.

Additional improvements are made each year, such as the installation of a toilet in the pottery studio, improved theatrical lighting and digital sound and light equipment, a rear deck and termite prevention work.

To date, the Bank has contributed almost $120,000 towards maintenance and refurbishment of the Hall.

This includes a recent contribution  of $32,000 toward current essential renovations.

“As custodians of the hall, we are conscious of our responsibility to maintain this historic building for future generations of Warrandyte residents, and we deeply appreciate the support of the Warrandyte Community Bank in completing this work,” David said.

He said that grants that come from the Bank “feel like support from our community”.

“The strength of the bank comes from our community’s investment in it, and the breadth and size of the Bendigo Bank Community grant schemes are what helps the local community groups to continue to thrive,” he said.

Direct assistance to the WMAII is also always appreciated, in the form of donations, labour, membership, or attending one of the many events the WMIAA holds each year.

Sources:
Bruce Bence, Celebrating the one hundredth anniversary of the first Warrandyte Mechanics Institute Hall.

Mechanics’ Institute of Victoria

 

Recognising a selfless occupation

VOLUNTEERING is part of the fabric of Warrandyte.
In October the community voted on who they think should be the next recipient of the Community Spirit Award, an award sponsored by the Warrandyte Community Bank Branch in honour of outstanding volunteer work in the community.
Achieving 90 per cent of the vote, Maxine Rosewall, who runs a wildlife shelter out of her North Warrandyte home for Help for Wildlife (HFW), was presented with her award at Warrandyte Community Bank’s AGM.
Sue Kirwan, HFW manager and friend, had these words to say in her nomination for Maxine.
“Maxine has been a wildlife carer for more than 20 years.
“This is a voluntary role with no government funding.
“She rescues and rehabilitates wildlife with a special passion for birds of prey.
“All expenses come from her own pocket and she is on call 24/7.
“She is also an active member of Help for Wildlife a state-wide volunteer organisation and charity.
“Maxine has a strong sense of community and has also been a volunteer at other local charity groups.”
When asked to list three words to describe Maxine, Sue chose dedicated, ethical and compassionate.
After meeting Maxine, it is hard to disagree with Sue’s words.
When I first asked Maxine her  thoughts about winning the award, she seemed perplexed.
“Because it was two volunteers being voted on, I thought that was a bit odd because volunteers do what they do for a different thing.”
But, as Lance Ward, Managing Director of Warrandyte Community Bank, told me — it is because of this that Maxine is the ideal recipient for this award.
“Working in and for the community, our directors see first-hand the good work being undertaken by volunteers and as such our Board decided to acknowledge and celebrate those wonderful folk who demonstrate the values of Community Spirit.
“There are many unsung volunteers working quietly from their homes and within community groups and clubs, the Community Spirit Award was created to put a spotlight on those working behind the scenes.
“Maxine is a shining example of a volunteer who has worked tirelessly ‘above and beyond’ for many, many, years.”
Maxine has had a passion for wildlife since she was a little girl in Eltham, where she used to visit a local wildlife carer and artist who looked after wild birds.
“There was a lady there and birds would fly through her windows… I was always finding an excuse to go up that street to be invited in to have a look.
“I think my fascination with birds started there.”
In 1998, Maxine moved to North Warrandyte and, under the guidance of renowned wildlife carer Ninon Phillips, learnt how to look after wild birds and other wildlife.
Maxine joined Help for Wildlife after receiving her wildlife shelter permit and has an aviary set up on her North Warrandyte property where she rehabilitates birds.
But Maxine’s compassion for birds does not just come from a childhood passion.
Maxine had a career in aviation but had to give it up for medical reasons and said “because I was winged, I can help them get their wings back.”
But work as a wildlife rescuer is emotionally taxing and there are, unfortunately, more bad news stories than good.
Maxine recounted several experiences where the animals had been involved in road accidents, animal attacks (from domestic pets) and of birds who end up tangled in barbed wire fences.
“There are rules of what gets saved, they have to be viable – the eyes have to be open, the ears have to be up and it is really hard to tell someone ‘I know it is alive but the chances that they will not make it are very high’.
“So we have to deeply think about that and how it will affect the public, but all of this is because of the public,” she said.
She said that nature and society living in close proximity is a large part of why these animals come off second best.
Bushfire can also inflict extended suffering on Australia’s indigenous species.
“Two months after the Bunyip fires we were getting called by farmers to come down and assess some of the larger roos — they had obviously been burned two months before, but it takes that long for the infection to get up their legs and then they just can’t move, and then it goes to organ failure and it is quite a long, torturous death actually.
“So we would go down there every weekend for a few months there and that will never leave me.
“And they weren’t all big old ones, they were little ones too — but it’s the kindest thing to do.
“There is a lot of that in what you do.”
While there is some support for wildlife shelters, carers and rescuers — Maxine spoke about a compassion fatigue session she attended, run by Help for Wildlife, which allowed Maxine and her peers to “get some things off their chest”.
The job is often distressing for both the carers and the wildlife and the opportunities to vent are limited.
Which makes Maxine’s recognition even more significant.
She also spoke about the recent bushfires in New South Wales and Queensland and the devastating impact that has had on the koala population.
“The politics involved in the koalas getting all that money has put a lot of other groups out, but that money can set the reseeding of that area with the koalas for the next 25 years and that is a wonderful thing.
“If I lived up there and looked after another species there is no way I would be jealous or anything like that – it’s all in.”
She says she tries to avoid the politics.
“It’s also an area that has a lot of politics in it, but working on my own I never got to see that side — really — so much time and effort goes into [politicking], you could be doing something else that is beneficial.”
While Maxine’s work and attitude is inspiring, she recounts how she is also inspired by some of the random acts of human kindness she has witnessed.
From donations by locals to Help for Wildlife to the community of Doreen who rallied together, with help from the Doreen Produce shop who bought vital food and equipment to help farmers affected by the Bunyip bushfires.
Maxine dedicates her life to helping injured wildlife and making sure the other Help for Wildlife shelters around the State are OK.
She liaises with Sue Kirwan during the summer, keeping her informed on the fire danger rating and weather conditions.
Maxine offered her congratulations to co-finalist Louise Callaghan on her  nomination and wished her the best for her community projects, and gave thanks to the Warrandyte Community Bank and to Sue for her nomination.
Maxine does not expect recognition for her passion which is why she is fully deserving of this award.

Defib your community

Photo: DEE DICKSON

WARRANDYTE Community Bank Branch has recently purchased seven new automatic external defibrillators which have been installed throughout the greater Warrandyte area.

The defibrillators, which were purchased as part of the bank’s Defib Your Community program, were part of a $20,000 contribution by the local branch.

Branch Chair Aaron Farr said the defibrillators were one of the most important investments the bank has ever put into the community.

“Over the next 20 years, if one of our new defibrillators can be used to save one life, it will be worth all the money we’ve invested”.

Community liaison officer Dee Dickson said the program was something the bank was very passionate about.

“The directors are volunteers on the Board because they believe in community and want the best outcomes for our community.

“As soon as they heard about the program, they unanimously said ‘we’re in, let’s do it’.”

Ambulance Victoria figures show approximately 6,000 people suffer a cardiac arrest outside of hospital each year in Victoria.

The new defibrillators, which are fixed externally to buildings throughout the community, are accessible 24/7 and are designed to assist in these exact emergency scenarios.

Advanced Life Support Paramedic Bec Hodgson said with greater access to a defibrillator in the community, chances of surviving a cardiac arrest are greatly increased.

“The management of a patient between the time of collapse and the arrival of an ambulance is vital.

“Survival rates nearly double when a defibrillator has been used prior to paramedic arrival,” she said.

While most businesses will have a defibrillator, it may only be available during business hours, these new externally mounted units give people a chance when a cardiac arrest occurs outside of business hours — like on a Monday.

“If you’re going for a 7am walk along the river, they’re not available.

“Hopefully the community doesn’t need them, but these new external defibrillators are an insurance policy in case they do.”

As well as providing a priceless benefit to the community, the new defibrillators will relieve some of the stress for emergency services workers and volunteers, who respond to these calls.

“They may make the difference between a patient still being in cardiac arrest or having come out of it when the ambulance arrives,” said Ms Hodgson.

Aside from funding the program, the bank is also working with emergency services organisations to encourage those members of the community who already have defibrillators to register them with Ambulance Victoria.

The more defibrillators which are registered means an Emergency Services Telecommunication Agency worker can direct someone calling 000 to the nearest unit, potentially saving someone’s life.

“There’s no point in someone calling 000 and the operator not knowing there is a defibrillator two doors down because it’s not registered,” said Mr Farr.

The defibrillators were purchased through non-for-profit organisation Defib For Life, which also provides on-going support for the machines, including regular checks and training.

The bank will be working with Defib For Life to organise training sessions in the coming months for those interested in building confidence with the defibrillators.

Although proper training on how to use one of these units will mean they are used properly, and promptly during an emergency, Ms Hodgson says they are also designed so anyone can assist someone suffering from a cardiac arrest.

“The unit will talk you through what you need to do in simple steps and you will have the support of the 000 call taker also helping you through the process”.

Mr Farr said the training will be directed at building confidence with the machines.

“If you’re more confident in using something, you’re more likely to pick it up and use it.

“When people actually feel confident in using it, it empowers them to say, ‘I know how to make a difference myself’.

“So, it’s no longer just this daunting box on the side of the wall,” he said.

Warrandyte Community Bank will continue to fund the Defib Your Community program, and have two more defibrillators already lined up.

“We’re going to keep rolling them out until you can’t go 10 minutes without seeing one,” said Ms Dickson.

“By us dotting them around the community, with some even only 200 metres apart, we’re really increasing the outcomes for members of our community if something drastic happens.”

Ms Dickson reminds us that it is the profits gained from banking with Warrandyte Community Bank which goes towards funding projects like this and through locals and businesses banking locally, they can be proud knowing their money is being reinvested in the health of their local community.

“People are making a difference just by banking here — it’s so simple,” she said.

Members of the community with defibrillators can register them with Ambulance Victoria via www.reigstermyaed.ambulance.vic.gov.au or call 1800 233 734.

Anyone wishing to participate in training with the defibrillators can contact Dee Dickson via

community@warrandytecb.com.au

Investing in a “richer” community experience

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!

Community bank pays big dividends to local projects

CHRISTMAS just came early for more than 55 community groups in Warrandyte and surrounding areas.

They all received a share of $400,000 in grants and sponsorships thanks to the Warrandyte Community Bank’s Community Investment Program, which sees up to 80% of its profit returned directly to our community.

To celebrate, the bank held its Annual General Meeting and Grants Presentation with more than 100 volunteers and community leaders on November 13 at the Warrandyte Sporting Group clubrooms.

Staff and Directors heard first-hand how grant funds will be spent over the coming year.

Aaron Farr, Chairman of Warrandyte Community Financial Services, the company which operates the Warrandyte Community Bank Branch, said the grants would be used to carry out improvements to local infrastructure, resources and projects which will benefit the entire community.

“This year’s grants ranged from $850 to more than $56,000; $400,000 has been committed for the year, with $2.8 million reinvested in the community since we opened in 2003.

“It is really rewarding to see the Warrandyte clubrooms full of people, many volunteers who work hard with the greater good of their community at heart and all benefitting because the community banking model ensures funding is directed at a local level,” he said.

Grant recipients include local CFA’s, environmental and arts groups, schools, kinders, sporting groups, community services and church groups.

The Park Orchards Pettet Family Foundation gratefully accepted sponsorship of $5,000 to support its work in the local community — the Foundation provides crisis intervention for children and their families.

Foundation Director Graham Whiteside said: “we are continually striving in our efforts to increase our reach and are consciously expanding our horizons when caring for those in need in our community.

“There are a lot of people who have been assisted by the Foundation and this is due, in no small part, to the funds you make available to us.”

Veronica Holland told guests what Christmas Hills Fire Brigade will be doing with its grant of $16,995, which will ensure the replacement of the brigade’s manual bi-fold door.

Operation of the existing door is slow and arduous, it can take up to 20 minutes to be opened, requires two personnel and the brigade’s Tanker can barely pass under safely.

“The bi-fold door on the south station is old, warped, pernickety and tired, much like many of the firefighters,” said Veronica.

She went on to say “getting an automated push button magical door is going to make us all very very happy”.

Sports Chaplaincy Australia (SCA) was awarded the banks’ inaugural Strengthening the Community Philanthropic Award.

Warrandyte Community Bank Director Lance Ward made the surprise presentation sharing his thoughts on the significant impact of sports chaplains and how in times of crisis our young people need options to turn to that might not be their mum and dad, medical professionals or their teachers.

“It’s so important for young people to have someone to talk with when times get tough.

“The chaplains from SCA work alongside the young people in our sporting clubs and are making a genuine and far reaching impact in the everyday; that is, when things are going well and in times of need, this is both unique and special.

“On behalf of the Warrandyte Community Bank, the Directors and Chair Aaron Farr, we want to say thank you to the men and women of SCA for serving so selflessly in our local community,” Lance said.

The presentation night was showered with stories of change, hope and inspiration and on the back of a national Bendigo Community Bank “BE THE CHANGE” ad campaign, where customers are asked if they would like to see what difference their support makes.

In a sum up of the night, you may not think who you bank with matters — but it does, and for Warrandyte Community Bank customers their banking is making a real difference.

Every day customers help provide facilities, resources, community programs and change lives simply by banking with our local branch.

Their home loans are refurbishing pre-schools and supporting our CFAs, creating sporting facilities and providing classroom resources.

Personal loans, business banking and credit cards are funding rescue boats, conserving and rehabilitating native bushland, supporting the arts, festivals, Christmas Carols, the aged and relieving the hardships of those in need.

Everyday banking is providing all this and more.

In fact, $183 million has been returned to communities and initiatives Australia-wide via the community bank network.

Do you need a bank to give you the products and services you need?

Warrandyte Community Bank provides a full suite of banking products at competitive rates.

You can make a real difference in your community simply by banking locally.

To find out more contact Cheryl and the team at 144 Yarra St, Warrandyte or phone 9844 2233.

Our bank is a beauty

NOTHING says helping the community quite like $2 million and that’s exactly what the Warrandyte Community Bank Branch has done – returned $2 million in grants and sponsorship contributions to the community in its 12 years of operation.

That’s money for schools, sporting clubs, the CFA, for our students and teachers, small businesses and people in need in our community, and even the community newspaper you’re reading right now.
It’s money Warrandyte deserves and money Warrandytians have earned by banking locally. That’s the key to opening the vault for money flowing back into our community – you bank with your Warrandyte Community Bank and everyone benefits, including you. It’s a bank like no other in that it givers back, not always ‘take’ like the others.

The Warrandyte Community Bank Branch is part of the Bendigo Bank group and has been an important fixture of the Warrandyte community since 2003. It was created thanks to funding and pledges from local people, who are now shareholders, with a team of professional directors made up entirely of volunteers.

SES

It’s a bank steeped in community spirit and which is determined to create new avenues for community benefit. And the vast majority of the profit is returned to the local community in several ways to the tune of $2m.

Every year, money from the bank goes towards local projects, programs, resources and infrastructure. It’s money used to support local people, keep them safe and improve their lives.

It’s an initiative the bank’s board chairman Aaron Farr is proud to be a part of.

“We’ve given $2 million back to the community, and $390,000 in the past 12 months, and we hope to increase that number every year exponentially,” Aaron says. “We’ve given money back to the CFA, to local pre-schools and schools, we’ve given money to help with the development down at the local sports club.”

Every year, $50,000 is awarded to the local CFA to ensure Warrandyte’s fire fighters have the resources to keep the community as safe as possible. Funds have contributed towards a new generator, new trucks, vehicles, lockers, defibrillators and more.

Warrandyte Kinder kids

But even the small grants can make a big difference – the kinder kids of Burch Memorial Pre-School have received over 100 new books, CD books, parent resource books and an upgrade to their Burch Bookworm Library thanks to a grant of $1518.

The Warrandyte Community Bank’s scholarship program has also changed lives, contributing $25,000 in the past year to university-aged students who may be facing disadvantage. Last year five students received $5000 to put towards their education.

“Our scholarship program has also provided funds to young people attending university who, without the money maybe wouldn’t have been able to attend university due to financial hardship or personal hardship,” Aaron says.

“I’ve been very proud of being involved in that because we’ve assisted those young people to grow and to develop and get back involved with the local community, and further their education.”

Community funding is only generated by accounts opened at the Warrandyte branch, which is why it’s important to bank locally. Money banked at the Warrandyte Community Bank Branch finds a meaningful purpose and helps not only improve the Warrandyte community, but to change lives in big and small ways.

For more info about how to make the move and change banks, or to find out about the Warrandyte Community Bank Branch’s Community Funding initiative, bendigobank.com.au/public/community/our-branches/ warrandyte

Community bank delivers

MORE than 130 representatives from local community groups and organisations along with shareholders, directors, regional and branch staff filled the Warrandyte Sporting Group clubrooms last month for the Warrandyte Community Bank Branch AGM and grants presentation night.

The substantial sum of $350,000 was allocated to almost 70 groups to be used over the coming year in a range of projects, community programs and infrastructure within the community. Warrandyte Community Bank Branch has now returned an impressive $2 million in grants and sponsorships to local community groups.

It clearly sends a message for locals to bank with our community bank.

With a buoyant energy in the room there was a strong sense of gratitude and inspiring stories of community hope, compassion, growth and change.

One very happy recipient was Warrandyte Primary School, which received $30,000 for its project, All Sports, All Year Round. The school sought funding to upgrade the school oval and create a space that can be used by students, teachers and community groups all year round.

WPS principal Gill Binger was thrilled upon hearing about the school’s successful application.

“We look forward to getting rid of a dry, rocky and dusty area that is difficult to play on in winter and prickly in summer, we now hope that a new oval with synthetic grass can be used all year round,” Principal Binger said.

“The redevelopment of the school oval has only been a dream so far.

“The area where the school oval is was developed with money received from the sale of the pine trees being cut down in 1991 to make way for the oval (like many state schools, WPS had a pine plantation; often a commercial venture for schools). It sits on the side of a hill where rocks/shale tumble onto the playing surface and grass is difficult to grow. Past students often talk about looking for fossils on the shale embankment.

“Warrandyte Primary is a large site but has limited ‘flat’ spaces or areas for a structured physical education. Physical education is a very important element of school activities as we recognise it can boost self-esteem and confidence. The new improved oval will enable students, teachers and other community groups to have access all year round.

“We are thrilled to have received this grant from the Warrandyte Community Bank. It will make a huge difference to the school and the students.”

Sports Chaplaincy Australia (Eastern region), represented by Doug Lyte and Stuart Rooke, shared stories of engagement with youth in sporting organisations across Australia and more specifically within the eastern region.

“Chaplains provide healthy strategies for club communities to care for players, coaches and members who can occasionally struggle to connect,” Doug said.

Sports Chaplaincy Australia is a network of volunteers relying heavily on community funding to implement their programs. It takes a fresh approach to caring for our youth with meaningful and emotion- al engagement.

“Our chaplains discretely and carefully work with vulnerable youth to bring about real change for individuals and sporting groups as a whole,” he said.

Also in attendance was Diary editor Scott Podmore, who said “it’s a fantastic result and we’re super appreciative of what and how the Warrandyte Community Bank can benefit our community.”

“It really sends a simple and clear message: imagine how much this amazing local institution could benefit the community if we all changed our banking over to our Warrandyte Community Bank? There are nowhere near enough local singles, couples, families and businesses banking with them. If you aren’t already, it’s time to wake up and make the change. There’s still only a small percentage with them, but just imagine the benefits if we doubled or tripled the amount who committed to the simple process of getting our bank to help us change over to bank with them and use its products. Way better, smarter and of much greater benefit to the Greater Warrandyte community than going with the Big 4.”

The Warrandyte Community Bank Branch Grant has already resulted in our “communication hub and heartbeat” of Warrandyte purchasing multimedia equipment for cadets and contributors. The Diary has been able to purchase a state of the art camera, recording and editing equipment for Diary TV.

If you are interested in seeking sponsorship from Warrandyte Community Bank branch, 2016/17 grant and sponsorship applications will be accepted in July/August 2016. It pays to plan ahead. Speak with your committee sooner rather than later. Look out for the grants information night in June 2016.

More can be found at bendigobank.com.au/public/community/ our-branches/warrandyte, by visiting the branch or contact Dee Dickson, assistant to board and marketing, on 0414 505 533 in the new year.

$2mill in 12 years

WARRANDYTE Community Bank Branch has ticked over the $2million mark in grant and sponsorship contributions in its 12th year of operation.

Warrandyte Community Bank chairman Aaron Farr said the Warrandyte and surrounding communities had thrown its support behind the locally owned and operated branch, transferring banking business across since the bank opened its doors in 2003.

“Local residents, traders, business owners and community groups have all seen the benefits of banking close to home,” Aaron said.

“We are extremely proud of reaching this milestone because it reflects not only the ongoing success of our business, but most importantly, shows how much of a difference we have been able to make in the community.”

Aaron said Warrandyte Community Bank Branch was a true community venture, which offered a full range of banking products and services in a business model designed to strengthen the local community.

“Achieving $2 million in funding shows that taking control of our community’s financial future is not only possible, but profitable,” he said.

“And the more people who choose to bank with us, the more profits we can return to the community through sponsorships and grants.

“Reaching the $2 million mark is such a fantastic achievement for a community enterprise that many per- ceived as a far-off dream 12 years ago.

“But we have taken this dream for a locally-owned and operated bank and turned it into a reality, financially sup- porting hundreds of community initiatives in the process. Thanks to the support of our shareholders, branch staff, company board and customers, we have been able to grow to be one of the biggest sources of community funding in the local area.”

Funding granted by Warrandyte Community Bank Branch has gone towards supporting a range of community groups, projects and events including:

Manningham SES – Inflatable Rescue Boat

An inflatable rescue boat is an essential and important piece of Manningham SES’s range of life-saving equipment. Receiving $18,254.60 in the 2014/15 grants program ensured the SES was able to replace a very old rescue boat with a new up-to-date model to be used in emergency situations.

Wonga Park Primary – Raising the Roof project

Wonga Park Primary School has been able to complete stage one of its Raising the Roof project. A $35,000 grant enabled the school to build the framework and raise the roof over an existing basketball court.

The undercover area is used for physical education, general play, before school tennis, after school basketball training, OSHC outdoor activities and community events.

Park Orchards Primary School – running track

February 23, 2015 saw the official opening of the new running track at Park Orchards Primary School (POPS). POPS received a Warrandyte Community Bank Branch grant of $33,000 making the school’s dream a reality. The two lane synthetic running track has been a hit with the school’s children who have been putting it to the test ever since.

Greater Warrandyte CFAs – Thermal Imaging cameras

A grant of $42,900 enabled the Greater Warrandyte CFA brigades to purchase much needed thermal imaging equipment. This is a huge asset for the whole community as it enables firefighters to check for hotspots which could reignite fires, to locate persons in burning structures or for search and rescue missions that were previously unseen or difficult to detect.

Warrandyte Pavillion

The Warrandyte Sporting Group with members of the Warrandyte senior and junior football clubs, Warrandyte Cricket Club and Warrandyte Netball Club along with the general public has been able to enjoy the newly built sports pavillion following its completion in 2014. Warrandyte Community Bank Branch contributed $150,000 to this local project.

Scholarships

Since 2011, local tertiary students have been able to kick-start their further education with a scholarship from Warrandyte Community Bank.

With $10,000 each over two years to pay for study related expenses such as course fees, equipment, book and travel expenses a scholarship can help ease some of the financial burden of tertiary education.

Bank boost for youth

SIX Warrandyte students have been able to kick-start their further education with a scholarship from Warrandyte Community Bank.

Maddy Edsell, Josh White and Zac Ratcliffe have been announced as this year’s scholarship recipients and will join Mitch Dawson, Nik Henkes and Josh McMullen in their second year of financial support.

Passionate about the program, now in its fourth consecutive year, outgoing chairman Sarah Wrigley conducted the evaluation of the scholarship applications.

“We had a fantastic response to the call for applications again this year, our biggest year so far,” Sarah said.

“We had a number of very worthy applicants, and it was a hard decision.”

The Warrandyte Community Bank is proud to support students in their tertiary study. It is part of the branch’s commitment to building a stronger Warrandyte community and another way in which the bank is supporting local youth.

With $5000 to pay for study related expenses such as course fees, equipment, book and travel expenses the scholarship can help ease some of the financial burden.

“It’s a big step moving from school to university and is made much bigger if students have financial issues and other stresses,” Sarah said.

Other stresses have played a significant role in the lives of two of our young 2015 recipients with the loss of a parent. Josh’s mum lost her battle with cancer late last year.

He expressed his gratitude in telling the Diary: “Mum always dreamed of me going to university and chasing my dream job. With the Warrandyte Community Bank scholarship it will make this dream less stressful and more achievable.”

“$5000 will allow me to buy books, and commute to university without the stress of financial burden,” he added.

Josh, Zac and Maddy have all expressed sincere gratitude for the financial support awarded to them by the Warrandyte Community Bank.

Josh and Zac have commenced separate courses in Exercise and Sports Science and Maddy has started her four year degree in Occupational Therapy at Latrobe University.

Maddy sees her scholarship as an honour and a great relief, noting the connection between the bank and our community. She said, “Thanks to the Warrandyte community for supporting our Warrandyte Community Bank”.

In summing up, Sarah said: “I know the board is very proud of its ability to fund these three new scholarships and help Josh, Maddy and Zac in their academic endeavours.”

The annual Warrandyte Community Bank scholarship helps first-year university students on their path to tertiary education with a $10,000 bursary over two years ($5,000 each year). To be eligible, applicants must meet various criterion including residing in the local area, be academically motivated, actively involved in the community and be able to detail financial or social challenges which hinder their ability to undertake further study.