Home' Border Enterprise : Winter-Spring 2010 Contents 9
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has been one of the
great success stories
youngsters this year.
Sixty young people aged between 12 and 18,
including several indigenous students, have
taken part in the first eight-week tournament
designed to reduce anti-social behaviour while
they learn a sport and life skills.
The second tournament is planned for October
Midnight Basketball is an initiative of the
Commonwealth Bank and is organised by a
local committee led by the bank's Albury-based
executive manager for corporate financial
services, Rod Bramich.
Mr Bramich says it's just one way the bank
gets involved in supporting the community, in
this case partnering with Midnight Basketball
Australia, the PCYC, Albury Council, Rotary,
Wodonga TAFE Institute, Kalianna and others.
Many of the volunteers who helped manager
Shannon Reynolds run the tournament at the
Albury Sports Stadium and PCYC on Friday
nights were Commonwealth Bank staff rostered
from around its different Border branches.
While four teams were on the courts, two
others attended workshops on such topics as
managing money, handling pets or getting a job.
The youths were picked up by bus and given
a meal, all at no cost to them, and all get home
"It's been well worth it,'' Mr Bramich says.
"We have seen the change in the kids.''
While only two tournaments a year are
planned, the organiser hopes the experience will
lead the participants to join regular sports the
rest of the year and will be encouraged to keep
out of trouble.
Commonwealth Bank North East area
manager Sheree Ralston says staff are
involved in supporting several projects in the
Border through community partnerships
"We invest time and money into programs that
benefit Australian communities,'' she says.
"Our commitment to these partnerships helps
guide communities and organisations to achieve
outcomes that make a genuine impact on
North Albury branch manager Cameron
O'Connor has been exceptionally busy in
community activities outside work.
This year Mr O'Connor was Clean-up Australia
site co-ordinator for Noreuil Park in Albury (and
spent the day cleaning up with other bank
volunteers in driving rain).
He helped with Midnight Basketball and
also assisted in getting colleagues to register
He was part of the Grassroots Cricket Grants
program, and continued work with Murray
Catchment Authority on its corroboree frog
Mr Bramich says that most people didn't realise
how active bank staff were in such activities but
they were, after all, part of the community.
His regional office is located in Swift St opposite
the Albury Library-Museum and has 15 staff.
It covers a region within about 100km of
Albury and a mix of "town'' and rural businesses
and reports to general manager Tim Harvey in
While backed up by modern technology, bank
staff still like to see clients face-to-face in their
own environment if possible, so a lot of travelling
Many of their clients have struggled through
drought conditions though conditions have
improved this year.
Staff encourage clients to be optimistic and to
look at ways of adapting to changed conditions,
embracing new methods and new technology.
Bank staff are qualified to advise on a range of
issues for existing businesses and newcomers
to the region.
Tips are available on managing cash flows,
starting a business, buying a business, trading
offshore, growing a business and getting out of
There are secure online products such as
CommBiz and NetBank, and the website
www.commbank.com.au has many links to
Staff understand that most businesses don't
work 9 to 5, and neither does their Business
Banking Service Centre.
Customers can speak to a business banker 24
hours a day, 365 days a year.
A Commonwealth Bank community initiative is
helping local youth, writes HOWARD JONES.
ON THE REBOUND
● Koori students Dominique Heath-Kennedy, 14, William Galbraith, 16, and Donovan Bulmer, 15.
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