Regional Australia Bank celebrates 10 years of Community Partnerships in Walcha

ALL SMILES: The delighted representatives from the community groups who received a slice of this year's Regional Bank of Australia Walcha community donation of $18,525  with Walcha membership officer Sara Pittman (centre)
ALL SMILES: The delighted representatives from the community groups who received a slice of this year's Regional Bank of Australia Walcha community donation of $18,525 with Walcha membership officer Sara Pittman (centre)

Community groups in Walcha received a financial boost this morning at the annual Regional Australia Bank Community Partnerships breakfast – and in many cases it was fairly substantial.

Ron Denham from the Walcha Men’s Shed was quite overwhelmed when he saw the amount of  $2,892.58 written on the cheque.

“We can get a grant for almost anything but we can’t get a grant for wood to work with, “ he said.

“This will go a long way towards solving that problem.”

The Walcha Men’s Shed received the biggest payout, and these other organisations were also in the top six: the Walcha Junior Indoor Hockey Association was given $ 2,184.04;  the Anglican Parish of Walcha received $1,923.22; the Friends of Riverview Inc banked $1,895.97; Walcha United Hospital Auxiliaries was given $1,140.14; and the Walcha Bushman’s Campdraft and Rodeo Association Incorporated walked away with $1,063.34.

In total more than $18,500 was divided up between 28 Walcha community groups, with amounts ranging from $10 through to nearly $3,000.

They are the only ones who put their hand up to help fund sport in a little town like Walcha

Edwina Payne - Walcha Junior Hockey Association

“Our Community Partnership Program is now in its tenth year, and we’re delighted that it continues to grow from strength to strength,” said Sally Pittman, member relationship officer at the Regional Australia Bank Walcha branch.

“In fact, this year’s community donations smashed the million dollar milestone for the first time, with a whopping total of $1,028,402.00 nationally. This morning the Regional Australia Bank awarded $18,525.17 to the local community at the Walcha Community Partnership breakfast.”

The Walcha Junior Hockey Indoor Association gives 130 kids a taste of hockey the way ice hockey players do it. With a puck. The junior hockey club first joined up to the Community Partnership program a few years ago.

“It’s fantastic to be in partnership with Regional Australia Bank,” said committee member Edwina Payne. “They are the only ones who put their hand up to help fund sport in a little town like Walcha.”

In the past the association has used donations to buy new hockey sticks, trophies, prizes, insurance (it can get pretty hairy) and for paying the costs of hiring the hall.

“This year we are hoping to use the donations for better prizes, some new hockey sticks and to help subsidise the kids’ annual fee,” Ms Payne said.

The Anglican Parish of Walcha has been involved with the Community Partnership Program since its inception ten years ago. With the donations they have received to date, they have fixed up the speakers on the outside of the church, allowing people outside to listen into services when the church is full.

This year’s donation of will go towards extending the church, allowing more people to attend the services and ceremonies without having to be stuck out in the cold.

“We’re hugely proud of our ability to deliver social and environmental returns to our regional communities,” said Ms Pittman.

“We are passionate about giving back to our community and empowering our customers to support local community groups they feel strongly about. After all, it’s the opportunity to make a difference, to build better communities and to create better places to live that drives so many of us – so it’s fitting that our customers, who are also members of our communities, lead the way in initiatives like this one.”

The community Partnership Program allows new bank customers to open a transaction account and at the same time pledge their support for a group or organisation close to their heart.

Regional Australia Bank then calculates the average annual balance of all supporters’ accounts and donates one percent of the total to the cause on the customers’ behalf – all without costing them a cent.

With more and more people getting on board, the Community Partnership Program has continued to grow at over 30 per cent per year – and provides donations to various local grass roots clubs and community groups.

CEO Kevin Dupé said in addition to the Community Partnership Program, Regional Australia Bank also gives five per cent of its net profits back to the community through sponsorships to local clubs and community organisations, as well as contributing to regional infrastructure projects.

“Our customer owned structure means that not only do our clientele benefit from fairer fees, competitive interest rates and the local expertise, they also know they’re benefiting Regional Australia by helping it prosper and thrive,” he said. 

“The Community Partnership Program represents community activism at its best and we want to thank all our loyal members. Because without your ongoing support, this invaluable donation scheme would not be able to thrive.”

The Regional Australia Bank Community Partnership 2018 Walcha beneficiaries are:

  • Walcha Men's Shed Incorporated
  • Walcha Junior Indoor Hockey Association
  • Anglican Parish of Walcha
  • Friends of Riverview Inc
  • United Hospital Auxiliaries
  • Walcha Bushman’s Campdraft and Rodeo Association Incorporated
  • Walcha Pony Club Inc.
  • Northern NSW Helicopter Rescue Service Ltd Walcha Support
  • Walcha Golf Club Limited
  • Walcha Indoor Hockey Association Inc.
  • Walcha & District Rugby League Football Club Inc.
  • Returned & Services League of Australia Walcha Sub Branch
  • Walcha Garden Club Inc
  • Peel Valley Cutting Club Inc
  • Walcha District Tennis Association Inc
  • Rotary Club of Walcha General Account No.1
  • Walcha Community Radio Inc
  • Walcha and District Historical Society Inc
  • Lions Club of Walcha Inc
  • Walcha Bowling Club Social Committee
  • Walcha Polocrosse Club Inc
  • The Legacy Club of Armidale Inc Welfare fund Walcha
  • Walcha CWA Association
  • Walcha Support Group Inc
  • Walcha RSL Women’s Auxiliary
  • Walcha Rugby Union Football Club Women’s Auxiliary
  • Bobby Jack's Festival Inc
  • Nowendoc Bushrangers Cricket Club