August 24, 2012
A crowd of more than 200 guests packed Nanango State High School’s Assembly Hall last night for the presentation of the Heritage Nanango Community Branch’s 2012 Community Grants.
Guests were told that the branch – which is celebrating its 10th year in Nanango – has steadily grown to become the most profitable community branch in Heritage Bank’s network (on a monthly basis).
And to prove it, this year’s annual grants night saw the branch distribute more than $332,000 of its profits back to community groups in the former Nanango Shire area.
Branch Secretary Wendy Zerbst – who acted as emcee for the presentation – said the branch only existed for two reasons: the dedication of staff to the concept of community banking, and the support of the Nanango community itself.
Ms Zerbst said this year’s grants brought the total amount of money the branch had given back to the community over the past decade to $1.9 million.
“However, when we take into account all the things the branch has spent money on – like our building, our office equipment, staff wages and so on – our total investment has been closer to $4.8 million,” she said.
Ms Zerbst also congratulated this year’s winners on the high standard of their applications and encouraged other community groups in the former Nanango Shire to consider submitting grant applications next year.
“We have guidelines for what’s eligible and what’s not,” she said, “and some years we don’t have enough to fund every application we receive.
“But there’s absolutely no favouritism involved. If your community group has a good idea that fits our guidelines, then we’d like to talk to you. And if some groups seem to get funded more often than others, it’s simply because they apply more often.”
Guest speaker Mayor Wayne Kratzmann congratulated Heritage on bringing banking back to Nanango after the big banks had deserted it at the start of the decade.
“I think one of the reasons the Nanango community branch of Heritage does so well is that the big banks seem to have forgotten the values Heritage demonstrate every day,” he said.
“These days our country’s big banks only seem to look at the interests of shareholders. They appear to have forgotten the customers they serve and the communities they do business in, and that’s a shame.
“This community branch shows that there’s another way and I sincerely congratulate everyone involved in it for the good they’ve done for this area and our region.”
This year’s Community Grant Award winners were: