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18 November, 2019

$3.5m given back

THE Mareeba and Dimbulah communities are $3.5m better off thanks to their local Bendigo Bank.

By Rhys Thomas

THE Mareeba and Dimbulah communities are $3.5m better off thanks to their local Bendigo Bank.

Last Wednesday night the Mareeba and Dimbulah Community Bank branches of Bendigo Bank held a Community Grant Program presentation night that saw $150,000 in grants given out to 14 community groups. This was in addition to the more than $40,000 in sponsorships to 20 community groups already contributed in 2019.

The amount contributed as part of the 2019 Community Grants Program saw the Bank reach a milestone of $3.5 million dollars given back to the communities in grants, sponsorships and shareholder dividends since 2005.

Gilbert Teitzel Chairman of Mareeba and Dimbulah Financial Services, the company which operates the Mareeba and Dimbulah Community Bank Branches, said the grants would be used to carry out improvements and projects which would benefit the entire Mareeba and Dimbulah communities.

“2019 grants ranged from $2,000 to $50,000” Gilbert said.

“We were very impressed with the quality of applications received and are delighted to be able to support a range of projects, many of which may not have been financially viable without the support of our Community Bank Branch,” Director Gilbert said.

Administered by Community Enterprise Foundation™, the philanthropic arm of Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, the Mareeba and Dimbulah Community Grants Program has received a large number of applications from local community organisations seeking funding for projects.

“The partnership with the Foundation enables local community organisations to share in our success.

“We aim to support accessible and valued community services and partnerships leading change which strengthen and unite our community.”

“Our grants went to 14 community groups in the region, who can use the funding for infrastructure and building purposes,” Mareeba and Dimbulah Financial Services Limited’s Administration, Support and Marketing Officer Rhonda Stevens said.

“The mantra of the Community Bank is to bring the community together.

“When the community decides to bank with us we make sure we inject it back, and it’s through these programs that we can help better the groups who do such important work in our region.”

The QLD network was also kept busy this year with appeals to help communities affected by floods and bushfires across the State.

At a time when upholding community expectations in banking has never been more important, Bendigo Bank has announced its Community Bank network returned more than $24 million to Australian communities in the last financial year.

The investment has supported important local sporting, infrastructure, education, arts and cultural initiatives and other unmet community needs.

Since its establishment 21 years ago, the unique Community Bank model has returned more than $229 million to Australian communities, in addition to over $57 million in dividends to local shareholders.

In many cases, these investments have unlocked further government and local business funding, realising community projects that have exceeded many multiple millions of dollars nationally - as well as supporting local job generation and economic growth.

Bendigo Bank’s Community Bank model is based on a ‘profit-with-purpose’ philosophy, which means profits are returned directly to the local community that helps generate them.

Importantly, the community decides where those profits are invested and the fact that branches are locally owned and operated with funding returned to that particular community is a distinct point of difference.

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