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Media Release

Business bankers learn lots from Bendigo locals

Business bankers learn lots from Bendigo locals

A Commonwealth Bank event highlights the importance of multiculturalism in regional areas.

Commonwealth Bank’s Business and Private Banking leadership team has visited Bendigo as part of a regional listening tour, hosting several local businesses, government representatives and community leaders at a multicultural community event held at The Capital Theatre on Wednesday 3 July.

Event organiser and CBA’s General Manager of Multicultural Community Banking, Huss Mustafa OAM, said: “The event was an opportunity for local businesses to come together and celebrate the successes of Bendigo as a multicultural community and to look ahead at how businesses can better partner together to identify and meet the needs of local communities.”

Aleem Ali, CEO of Welcoming Cities – a national network that helps connect local governments and community stakeholders – was Master of Ceremonies and spoke about the importance of cities being welcoming and inclusive, highlighting how Bendigo was one of the first municipalities that signed up to the accreditation program run by Welcoming Cities.

Attendees at the event included Mayor of Bendigo City Council, Margaret O’Rourke, and Victorian government officials, as well as representatives from the local multicultural community, including recently arrived refugees and various community service providers.

Many who attended shared insights, learnings and showcased achievements on current initiatives happening in Bendigo, including Nate Perry, Strategic Engagement Officer from the Department of Premier and Cabinet Victoria. Mr Perry spoke about the migration and settlement trends in the City of Greater Bendigo, highlighting the benefits of the settlement program for the growth of Bendigo businesses and how they have become role models within the community.

Commonwealth Bank’s Group Executive of Business and Private Banking, Adam Bennett, said he valued the opportunity to connect with local businesses, government and community leaders to understand how the bank can better support the needs of regional communities, such as Bendigo.

“It was fantastic to be here in Bendigo – there have been so many inspiring stories of local government, community groups and businesses working together to create jobs and foster social inclusion in their increasingly diverse and multicultural community,” Mr Bennett said.

“The feedback we’ve had from the Bendigo locals we’ve met is invaluable. It was wonderful to hear how much they value the support our Multicultural Community Banking team provides, but it’s also been really helpful to listen to their perspectives and their ideas on what else we can be doing to support multicultural communities – both in Bendigo and other parts of Australia.”

About the Multicultural Community Banking team:

  • The team was established in September 2016 to better support multicultural communities across Australia in an authentic and meaningful manner.
  • They work with governments and multicultural communities across Australia to promote social cohesion, financial inclusion and to foster equal employment opportunities.
  • The team has a tiered approach in establishing strategic relationships and partnerships within government, as well as engaging with consular corporations and multicultural communities.