The drought continues and our farmers in Australia are doing it tough. Ordinary Australians and organisations have had to step up and lend a helping hand, and the team in our Contact Centre in the Latrobe Valley were no different.
“In November 2017, we discovered that the Gippsland Farmers Relief were looking for volunteer delivery drivers, so I met with them and discussed what was required and then extended the invitation out to our entire Contact Centre Team” says Terri Marsden, Senior Manager in our Bank Australia Contact Centre.
Gippsland Farmer Relief is a solely volunteer-run not-for-profit that relies on people just like Terri. The volunteers provide practical assistance to farming families, regular food aid hampers for families and are a gateway referral service, referring farming families to existing services in their communities.
“We started making monthly deliveries with them immediately and have done so every month since. It’s very important to us as we are getting out in the community and seeing first hand the impacts of the devastating drought in Gippsland.”
“We’re playing a vital role in helping and building strong relationships amongst the community and currently have collection points in our Moe and Morwell branches to help with hamper items.”
The hampers are providing food and basic essentials to local farmers on a monthly basis and it has been a rewarding experience for our staff.
“The farmer’s details are always confidential, some farmers like to chat and so we do. Others prefer us to just leave the hampers and we respect that. All of our team members involved have found it extremely rewarding… confronting at times but they love being able to do their small part to help,” says Terri.
Bank Australia team members are encouraged to take volunteer leave, which enables them to take one day of paid leave each year for volunteering opportunities that help create positive impact in the communities where they live and work.
If you’d also like to help our local farmers in need, please visit the Gippsland Farmer Relief website here.