Chapter 4

Building an adaptable organisation

The past year has been marked by significant upheaval, from natural disasters to the COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout these challenges, we have drawn on our strength and our adaptability to send a clear message – we’re here to support you. In shaping our response to different events, we remained true to our core purpose as a mutual, looking out for members and the community. In parallel, we have continued to build adaptability and resilience among our team members and celebrate our team strengths.

Supporting our communities through tough times

We continued our longstanding commitment to supporting our communities this year and, in line with the actions outlined in our Financial Inclusion Action Plan, we dedicated more than $1 million towards improving the financial wellbeing of our members. We have redirected our efforts to focus on socioeconomic challenges exacerbated by COVID-19 including family violence, digital exclusion and financial stress.

We are proud to have provided financial support to organisations including the Financial Counselling Foundation, WIRE, Micah Projects and First Nations Foundation. We also provided further support for our Connected Future partners, the Red Cross and Infoxchange, to make it easier for people seek financial help online.

This year, we donated $150,000 to rural fire services across Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria in response to the summer bushfire catastrophe. We contributed over $30,000 to the Australian Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery Fund, including more than $5,000 pledged through a matched giving initiative with the Brisbane Heat Big Bash League cricket team and star batsman Chris Lynn.

Our team members continued to bring our community spirit to life through volunteering with community organisations. Our team dedicated 446 days of support to our partners before COVID-19 restrictions limited our ability to help on site. These activities included our Red Cross blood donation drive and our Christmas charity hamper drive. In the latter part of the financial year, we shifted to remote volunteering in response to the pandemic, connecting and supporting socially isolated Australians through the Red Cross COVID CONNECT program.

Partnering to grow financial wellbeing

This year we established a network of partners focused on supporting our members’ financial wellbeing:

Adapting our workplace to the challenges of COVID-19

Maintaining a continuous service throughout the pandemic was a priority for our business. Our team – particularly our frontline people – reacted with speed and flexibility to support our members. Our branches have operated safely thanks to social distancing protocols and hygiene measures – including the now familiar ‘sneeze screens’. Up to 90 per cent of our office-based employees moved to remote working during the pandemic’s peak.

We supported our members to bank from home, with many experiencing the security and convenience of our digital banking options for the first time.

Building a culture focused on our members

This year we established a network of partners focused on supporting our members’ financial wellbeing: