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Rosie Batty headlines Community Bank® conference


Bendigo Bank will proudly host the 16th Annual Community Bank® National Conference in Bendigo this month, with Australian of the Year, Rosie Batty as its headlining speaker.

More than 700 delegates representing Community Bank® branches from 350 towns across regional cities and metropolitan suburbs will visit Bendigo for the two-day event.

Bendigo Bank Executive Robert Musgrove said the national conference provided an important opportunity not only to update key stakeholders of Bendigo Bank’s progress, but to hear back from these ambassadors of the Bendigo Bank brand throughout Australia.

"It's an exciting time in our Community Bank® network - reaching an important stage where some communities are coming to understand the purpose and value in the Community Bank® model, while many others have been delivering the benefits of their Community Bank® branch into their communities for a decade or more.

"This pivotal point in our history is quite exciting as we find ways to collaborate with one another and with government and other influential groups to bring about further positive outcomes for regions.

"We warmly welcome Rosie Batty to the conference to share her experience as a family violence campaigner, encouraging victims to seek help and just as importantly, ensuring that programs and funding are available for those needing help.

"Anecdotal evidence suggests that our Community Bank® partners are already providing financial support in this area.

In nearby Maldon, the Community Bank® company supports the Solving the Jigsaw program in the local secondary college; in Highett the Community Bank® company financially supports a group which makes quilts for a local women and children's shelter and in Warburton the local Community Bank® company is currently in discussions with local government about working together on this issue.

Mr Musgrove said that feedback from delegates helped form the content theme for this year's conference – harnessing the strength of the network to influence change at a regional, state and national level.

"Our national scholarship program is a perfect example of how individual communities can collectively achieve exponentially more.

"Thanks to program partners - Bendigo Bank's Community Bank® network, Rural Bank, La Trobe University and Melbourne University - the Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Scholarship Program is one Australia's largest privately funded scholarship programs with more than $4 million handed out to 370 students since its inception in 2007.

"The scholarship program targets specific skills shortages in our rural communities and gives students everywhere the opportunity to achieve their dream of going to university," Mr Musgrove said.

Other speakers at the conference include the 2013 South Australian Entrepreneur of the Year Vinh Giang; Director of Futures at the City of Greater Bendigo Stan Liacos; and co-founder and CEO of StrEAT Rebecca Scott.

Delegates will also hear from Bendigo Bank's Managing Director Mike Hirst and Chairman Robert Johanson.

The Community Bank® conference will be held at Ul