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The establishment of the Australian Mutuals Foundation

Endeavour Mutual Bank is firmly committed to its social responsibility to the community and support the ideals that the mutual industry is built upon. 

The Australian Mutuals Foundation (AMF) was established in 2016 by the Select & Encompass Credit Unions when they merged to form what is now Endeavour Mutual Bank, a division of Australian Mutual Bank, alongside Sydney Mutual Bank. The AMF is a registered charity with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission.

The primary purpose of the AMF is to provide a vehicle for Australian Mutual Bank and other mutuals to assist children and youth at risk in Australia and to alleviate poverty in some of the poorest communities in South East Asia and the Pacific by creating sustainable cooperative financial organisations. The AMF also provides a facility for Australian Mutual Bank members and the general public to accept donations when a natural disaster is declared in Australia, South East Asia, or the South Pacific.

Australian Domestic Activities 

Through Barnardos Australia, the AMF’s domestic activities will provide financial support for programs that assist children and youth who are at risk of abuse or neglect, or who are disadvantaged by lack of housing, medical care or education.

Barnardos is Australia’s leading child protection charity providing foster care and children’s family and youth services. Barnardos Australia believes that many children become abused and neglected when parents do not have the resources to raise children. They are often stressed by poverty, social isolation, mental illness, violence in families or drug and alcohol usage. Barnardos programs directly improve the lives of abused and neglected children.

From 1 January 2017, the AMF has agreed to fund various Barnardos activities with $100,000 per year. This commitment would not be possible without the financial support from Australian Mutual Bank. The AMF is now one of the Major Partners of Barnardos Australia.

International Activities

The AMF’s international activities are intended to provide financial support to programs that encourage the growth of sustainable cooperative financial systems, using the cooperative credit union model, for developing countries in South East Asia and the South Pacific.

International Credit Union Development Programs

The credit union cooperative model aims to provide a structure for the provision of basic banking services, and education in the value of regular saving and the wise use of credit. The AMF plans to provide financial support to activities conducted by the Asian Confederation of Credit Unions (ACCU). ACCU represents credit unions/co-operatives and have over 31 million members.

 

                

 

For more information on the Australian Mutuals Foundation including how to donate, visit www.australianmf.org.au

 

Case Study: Chan – To Save is to Build Wealth for a Better Future

The credit union concept was not at all well known among the youth of Luangnamtha province, until a village meeting was convened in 2010 by the Asian Confederation of Credit Unions and the Khonchan Credit Union. One of the attendees was Chan Thippakeo, a government employee at the district advertising office.

Chan learnt that the mission and work of a credit union is to provide a young independent working woman like herself access to financial services. Born into a family of five and being the oldest child, Chan carries the family responsibility on her back. Her dream, simple enough, is to build a good life where her career can financially support both herself and family members when needed.

This is exactly how the credit union philosophy has come into Chan’s life. After over 6 years of being a member at her credit union, Chan grew to appreciate the value of regular savings.

“To save is to build wealth, and I’m proud that my effort of saving 50,000 kips (AUD$8.50) monthly has awarded me with a sense of security as well as strengthened my capability to financially support my family in case of emergency,” said Chan Thippakeo.

As a happy member, she encouraged her younger siblings who are still students to become members of a credit union where they can start developing the habit of thrift at a young age, solely to pave way for a future where becoming “financially independent” is possible to achieve.