Here at Regional Australia Bank, community is at the heart of everything we do! We are immensely proud to have given back over $2.75 million dollars in donations to the regional Australia community through our Community Partnership Program. In this exclusive interview with David Heine, our CEO, we dive into the essence of the program, its profound impact on regional communities, and what makes it such an integral part of our mission.
Hi David. Can you explain to our readers what the Community Partnership program is and how it works?
The Regional Australia Bank Community Partnership Program provides financial assistance to community groups across Regional Australia allowing them to focus on what they do best rather than fundraising. Our members choose the local community organisation they wish to support from our list of 1,900 registered groups and causes. The amount we donate to each group is calculated by crediting an additional 1% ‘interest’ on the average monthly balance of our nominating member account balances.
Where did this idea come from and what was the process like of bringing it to life?
Now in its 15th year, the Regional Australia Bank Community Partnership Program has grown with us. It started out as an idea to demonstrate the good that money can do within our local communities. As we’ve grown, so has the community Partnership program. In 2018 we gave away just over 1 million dollars. This year, we gave away almost 2.75 million dollars to community groups in regional NSW
Can you tell us about some of the benefactors of the program so far?
The Community Partnership Program reaches over 1900 community groups in regional NSW. These range from sporting groups, healthcare support groups, arts groups, preschools, animal shelters and more.
In what ways has the program supported these people and groups?
The Community Partnership program provides financial support to groups that have registered to the program. Each Regional Australia Bank branch runs their own community event which provides a platform for sponsored groups to raise awareness of their local activities and the initiatives that our donations will support.
What has the feedback been like from both the groups that have received funding and members of the community?
The feedback we receive from the community is immensely gratifying. Each of our sponsored community groups have an amazing and often emotional story to tell. To be able to stand along side them is a privilege that we hold dear. Every dollar that we are able to donate is another sausage sandwiches they DON’T have to sell or another regional family that they can assist.
How can RAB customers and members of the community get involved?
If you have a transaction account with Regional Australia Bank, you can be a part of the Community Partnership Program. Give us a call on 133 067 or come into the branch and see our team, they will assist you with choosing a community group to support. If you’re a community group looking to join our program, it’s as easy as talking to the staff.
Do you have any future plans for the program or others like it?
The plan is for the Community Partnership to continue growing with us. As an organisation we strive for excellence, and this program is no different. We are looking to grow the recipients, and of course grow the donations.
How does it feel for you personally working within a business that gives back to the local community like this?
The community Partnership program is a great example of why I love leading the team at Regional Australia Bank. I challenge any of the other financial institutions to follow our lead and donate nearly 10% of their profits where it really matters – in our communities. We truly are here to empower regional Australians, we live and breathe the local spirit, and it feels bloody great.