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Inspiring stories of communities shaping the future of Australia.

Scholarship winner Rhiannon Tree.
Four scholarship winners with staff member Sarah.

Investing in our future leaders

Our Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Scholarship Program delivers more great outcomes as it continues. It's making a positive impact on the lives of young Australians looking to undertake further study. Our scholarships are run in conjunction with our partners and local Community Bank branches.

This year, the 2021 Scholarship Program had more than 85 programs running. We awarded almost $640,000 in scholarships to 177 aspiring students.

Since the program first launched in 2007, scholarships have provided for more than 1,158 students across the country. It has totalled more than $10.2 million in support. We are one of the country’s leading privately funded scholarship programs. This shows our strong investment in future generations and supporting education opportunities.

The recipients selected among the programs all came from a variety of locations. They bring many different lived experiences. One thing they all have in common is their strong aspirations to succeed and passion to make a difference in the communities in which they live.

Darcy Douglas is a recipient of the 2021 Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Scholarship Program. Darcy told us, "This year I will study a Bachelor of Advanced Finance and Economics (Honours) at University of Queensland's St Lucia campus. With this degree I aim to use the gift of education toward the betterment of regional communities. I want to become a financial leader within them. I hope to help to create more favourable economic conditions and serving as a role model for youth. My aim is to create the opportunities and culture necessary so that my children, and the generations to follow, may live a better life than me".

University of Melbourne student and scholarship recipient, Amber Jepsen, said, "I am currently undertaking a Bachelor of Arts degree. I am privileged enough to act upon my aspirations through the power of education. Throughout my life I have experienced many physical and mental challenges. They have seen me rely completely on the support of friends, family, and medical professionals. I understand the overwhelming impact that generosity, compassion, and selflessness can have on a person's life. For this reason, I aspire to use my education to develop a career that helps change someone’s world for the better”.

This year we saw an increase in the number of programs offered via the Community Bank network. They provide the vast majority of program funding. This further cements the Groups investment in strengthening and supporting local communities.

The program is now in its 15th year. It is designed to increase access to tertiary education for students across rural and regional Australia. It aims to nurture intellectual capital within the community. The funds help with the costs of accommodation, travel, course materials, study equipment and tutoring.

Six members of the board of Community Bank Emu Park and Yeppoon at the opening.

Contemporary playground makes a splash on the Emu Park Foreshore

A $5.1 million redevelopment of the foreshore and surrounding area of the Kerr park recreation area is now a welcoming space for all. On the Emu Park Foreshore, this is a great space for families, tourists and the local community to come together and enjoy.

A highlight of this project was the creation of a contemporary playground with special equipment. It incorporates a play space accessible by people of all ages and abilities.

Community Bank Emu Park and Yeppoon saw the importance of the new space and strong benefits to the community. Previously they had provided $300,000 to this project. Since then they have partnered with Livingstone Shire Council and Emu Park Surf Life Saving Club Inc. Their latest grant, totalling $157,300.00, has helped deliver a component of this redevelopment. .

This large grant has highlighted the branches strong investment in community and the importance of giving back. Including a shade structure, the park provides a magical 180 degree views of the ocean.

Community Enterprise Foundation is proud to have supported this program. They have facilitated the funding for Community Bank Emu Park and Yeppoon.

Two painted silos. One with an old man panning for gold. The other two women, one a nurse and one elderly.

Silo art trail gives town local attraction

Have you seen all the amazing silo art popping up around the Wimmera?

The art installation in St Arnaud is a great starting point for visitors taking the Wimmera Silo Art Trail.

The amazing artwork on the silos has piqued the interest of people from other communities and big cities. The revitalised silos, which have not been used in years, have helped bring much needed tourism to the region. Thanks to BUILD100 people are now stopping to take in the sites and explore this wonderful area.

BUILD100 grants program is an initiative of Avoca District Co-operative Ltd. Their vision is to help build strong, connected, and vibrant communities. Through this Community Bank Avoca contributed $10,000 to assist developing this great initiative. Groups in Avoca, Maryborough, St Arnaud and surrounding districts have received $100,000 to date.

Jen and Jeremy from Asteria with their hands in the dirt for the worm farm project.

A worm welcome

Avoca Community Bank and Maryborough branches grants program funded a commercial sized worm farm. The worm farm will help provide employment for workers with disabilities, and be an innovative and hands-on project for the community at ASTERIA services.

“In time, we hope to be able to produce and sell worm castings and worm tea to the public, and also produce enough worms so that we can sell them for bait” said Annie Constable, CEO of ASTERIA Services.

Jen and Jeremy are so happy that the farm has been delivered and the worms have now taken up residence!

Plaque at Emu Park

Emu Park QLD Anzac Precinct

Community Bank Emu Park worked closely with the Shire of Livingstone, RSL and other local organisations and businesses to turn one man’s dream into a reality.

The $2 million Anzac Precinct project consists of a memorial to local ANZACs, a gatehouse project and a boardwalk linking the memorial to the foreshore.

The unveiling of the ANZAC Memorial Walk on the 100 year ANZAC anniversary in 2015 and the $165,000 investment has been identified as a significant milestone for the its Community Bank branch.

Community Bank Emu Park has since committed a further $300,000 to the project.

Representatives of Bendigo Bank and the project

Lang Lang VIC Field of Dreams

Lang Lang’s $18 million ‘field of dreams’ 10 year plan to build a community recreational reserve is today well on the way to becoming a reality.

Community Bank Lang Lang committed the initial $3.3 million to the project and, importantly, lobbied government and the private sector to provide the additional $15 million.

The remaining funds will be used to fulfil stage one plans which includes the construction of two football ovals, four netball courts, car parking, access roads, wetland and storm water re-use system, irrigation and lighting.

Representatives of Bendigo Bank and local committee in the park

Wallan VIC Community Playground

The Adventure Playground in Wallan is the toast of the state after taking out a major award, and will now vie for a national title later this year.

The playground won the prestigious Major Playspace Award at the Parks & Leisure Australia (Victoria/Tasmania) 2017 Regional Awards of Excellence on Tuesday night.

The award celebrates play spaces in Victoria/Tasmania over $500,000 that create a sense of ‘place’ in the community, and exhibit innovative designs that aid childhood development.

Since opening in December last year, the innovative Community Bank Adventure Playground has been a hive of activity, with people travelling from all parts of the State to play at the all-abilities space.

The playground was funded by the State Government’s Growing Suburbs Fund ($950,000), the Community Banks of Wallan and Kilmore ($520,000) and Mitchell Shire Council ($520,000).

Presentation at opening of the hub

Inglewood Community Hub


The Inglewood Community Hub project delivers the restoration and re-invigoration of the local town hall, transforming the 130 year old building into a well utilised centre for community engagement.

Now, a modern facility that features multipurpose rooms for community activities, music and computer rooms, a business hub with offices that house outreach services, and a kitchenette with a board room, stands two stories tall.

Community Bank Inglewood & Districts $100,000 commitment to this exciting project played a vital role in attracting funds from the Loddon Shire, Regional Development Victoria and Regional Development Australia. Resulting in a total combined financial contribution of $2.1 million.

Representatives of Bendigo Bank and the committee

Mareeba Recreational Complex


Having looked for a major community project to support for some time, Community Banks Mareeba and Dimbulah chose to commit $1 million to the Mareeba Recreational Complex.

In partnership with various sporting clubs in Mareeba and the Mareeba Shire Council, the $850,000 project has developed from a standalone sports complex into a major sporting and recreational precinct, including walking paths and bikeways for the broader community.

The establishment of accredited sporting facilities in Mareeba will allow Basketball, Netball and Cricket to attract regional and district carnivals that will drive increased visitation to Mareeba and raise the profile of the town.

The new infrastructure will also provide better training facilities for young sporting professionals who are wanting to pursue State and National opportunities.

Representatives of Sandringham hospital

Sandringham VIC Hospital

A $500,000 commitment from Community Bank Sandringham kicked-off a campaign to help the Sandringham Hospital reach its $2.5 million funding target to open a much needed Day Procedure Centre.

The locally owned branch began working with the hospital when the emergency department was at risk of closing its doors.

The hospital cares for more than 68,000 people each year, with the majority living in the municipalities of Bayside, Kingston and Glen Eira.

Demand for same-day surgical procedures had increased by 50 per cent locally, stretching the hospital resources to capacity.

The new centre will offer same-day surgical procedures locally, meaning patients can be cared for close to home.

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