20th Birthday Messages

When Warburton Community Bank opened its doors 20 years ago, and Yarra Junction opened its doors 12 years ago, we made a promise to the community that we would make things better.

$4 million of community investment later we’ve made good on that promise.

Thanks to you, your business, and your unwavering support, our community is thriving and our future is bright.

Cr Jim Child
Councillor Yarra Ranges Council- O’Shannassy Ward and customer of the Warburton & Yarra Junction Bendigo Bank, Community Bank branches.

Congratulations to the Board, Staff and shareholders of the Upper Yarra Community Enterprise on this the occasion to celebrate twenty years in business. On behalf of the Upper Yarra community I extend our appreciation to those original founding members like the late Don Vickers and Ian De La Rue along with others who worked tirelessly to set the foundation for our Community Bank branches we have today, to the current Board and staff of our Community Bank thank you for your wonderful service to the community.
We all thank you for the $4,000,000+ in sponsorship funds returned to the Community over the twenty years and when you take into account the leveraging ability of those funds the dollar and social achievement is much much more.

Ros Caneva
Community Bank Customer Service Supervisor

I am very proud to have been a staff member of the Warburton Community Bank for the past 20 years.
And to see such a huge contribution to our community.
Congratulations also to the Yarra Junction branch for their 12th anniversary.

Jaqui Hall
Former UYCE Board Member, Former Chair of Yarra Junction Steering Committee

It is with great delight that I offer congratulations to the Warburton and Yarra Junction Community Bank Branches as they celebrate significant milestones. Well done to all the investors and customers who embraced, and continue to support, this community enterprise. It was an absolute privilege to serve on the Board and I offer my best wishes for continued success.

Abigail Szabo
Bendigo Community Bank Scholarship Recipient 2018 and Bendigo Bank Customer since I was a very young child

Congratulations Warburton and Yarra Junction Community Banks! I know I and many other students like me have benefited tremendously from the generosity of this branch and their commitment to the education of youth and young adults in the area who are embarking on tertiary education. I know for me that receiving a scholarship at the start of university helped me tremendously, especially by taking the pressure off me when I had to relocate for study and for other costs such as textbooks, food and fuel. It is comforting knowing that your community supports you through taking such a huge step in your life and I am encouraged that the branch continually supports local students, year after year.

Bob Lillie
Secretary, Millgrove Residents’ Action Group (MRAG)
We at the Millgrove Residents’ Action Group wish to congratulate the Community Bank on their 20 years of supporting the community of our region.

Our community group is celebrating our 15th anniversary this year and we are very grateful for your support over the years, especially for the provision of the two mowers for our members who do so much to maintain our public spaces as well as the High Visibility Vests. Your ongoing support over the years is very much appreciated.

We look forward to many more years of mutual support.
Yours in friendship

Jeremy Crunden
Local business person and resident

It was such a big thing for our community when others had cut and run!
A bank is an integral part of a small community as is a butcher, baker, school, sporting club. It’s very pleasing to see the foresight and efforts of Ian De La Rue, Don Vickers and others become such a success.
Congratulations to former and present directors, staff and the general community for creating something special that has benefitted the whole of the community over the 20 years at Warburton and 12 years at Yarra Junction.

Geoff Vickers
Former Steering Committee Member, Director, Secretary, Treasurer, Executive Officer.

When Warburton Community Bank’s journey began there was only one other in existence, Rupanyup/Minyip, tucked away in rural Victoria, and it was only months old. Plunging into completely uncharted territory, the Warburton Branch Steering Committee took a leap of faith in an effort to curb Warburton’s steady decline. 20 years on, with two retail sites and millions of dollars reinvested into our community, we can be grateful for the courage and foresight of those committed pioneers.
There have since been many outstanding individuals connected with the Warburton & Yarra Junction Community Bank branches; the current leadership continues that proud legacy. In no small part, the Upper Yarra Community is the vibrant and resilient place we love because of these generous, civic-minded people contributing their time and talents, empowered by funding from the community’s own enterprise. What a beautiful thing!
Congratulations to all the hard-working staff, Directors, shareholders and customers for 20 years of outstanding results. You have not only made the dream a reality but far exceeded all expectations.
May your success continue.

Norm Orr
Original Steering Committee

I was on the original steering committee from the first meeting to the last and proud to say I was with 2 stalwarts on that committee being Ian De La Rue and Don Vickers.

It was very hard work with weekly meetings and much work in between and it gave us all such pride in the achievement of Warburton’s own bank.

It certainly now gives me great pride in seeing what the bank does not only for the financial service provided to local business but also its contribution to the town and area with grants and sponsorships.

I pass on my congratulations on the bank’s 20th birthday and also my thanks to everyone involved over the past 20 years including Staff, Directors, Board Members, original shareholders and most importantly the customers.

Here’s hoping the next 20 are just as beneficial for the Warburton Community.

Anne Stenhouse
Principal, Wesburn Primary School

Congratulations on your 20th birthday. Thank you for the support you have provided to the Upper Yarra community and especially to our school. Our students, families and staff greatly appreciate your sponsorship and the many benefits to our school environment and programs that this has enabled us to achieve.

Robert Murray
Position: Treasurer 2000 – 2003, Director on Board 2003 – 2004, Chairman 2005 – 2006

The success of the program to create our own bank in Warburton was essential to the community in 1998 following the big bank closures in our town. Today, the Upper Yarra Community Enterprise has two thriving outlets in Warburton and Yarra Junction. It was an honour and a privilege to have been associated with Don Vickers, Ian De La Rue and the other members of the steering committee, who went on to make up the Warburton Community Bank board. Without the support of the Bendigo Bank at the time none of this would have been possible.

Heartiest congratulations to all who have been an integral part in our bank’s success over the past 20 years. Best wishes for the future.

Kate Barratt
Manager- ADRA Redwood Community Centre
Happy birthday Warburton Community Bank! You are the backbone of our town and a truly valued proponent of the ADRA Redwood Community Centre.
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

Kate Baker
Artist and Community Project Leader

The Upper Yarra Community Enterprise has had such a profound impact on our community over the past 20 years. It is truly difficult to overstate how positive this has been and how supportive I know we as community members feel knowing our choice around banking directly impacts our own community and the lives or our friends, families and neighbours. It is with pride we pull out our blue cards to pay for our groceries and other life expenses. It is with pride we walk into the branch or go to the ATM. So many of us have directly benefitted from the various projects that have been funded, whether socially, economically or through services made available to us. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all you have done and continue to do–you help facilitate all that is good about community.

Anne O’Shaughnessy
New member UYCE; life member U3A Upper Yarra.

The Warburton and Yarra Junction Bendigo Bank & Upper Yarra Community Enterprise has enabled many groups and individuals in our community to achieve their goals. Congratulations to the Upper Yarra community for their courage in developing the Community Enterprise and supporting it over the past 20 years. Please continue to support our Bendigo Bank.

Raegan Charlton Smith
Winner Ian De La Rue 2019
Wishing the Upper Yarra community and Yarra Junction Bendigo bank a very happy birthday, your ongoing support binds us as a community to further our pursuits and passions to make us and the wider community better for generations before and after we are gone thanks to all your staff for being wonderful.

Rod Barnard
Principal–Millwarra Primary School, Millgrove/East Warburton
On behalf of the Millwarra Primary School Community I would like to congratulate Warburton and Yarra Junction Community Bank Branches on their respective anniversaries. We thank them for their amazing support to groups within our community. Millwarra has benefited greatly from the Enterprise Grants over many years.

Thanks to them we have had a floor installed in our basketball stadium at Millgrove, shade shelters at both campuses, basketball towers, computers and new furniture. This has been achieved over a number of years, but it has enhanced our school enormously. We hope to have many more years in partnership with the Community Banks.

Sometimes when we talk to the kids about the bank they assume that all banks give money to the community. “Ha Ha isn’t innocence beautiful.”

Richard (Dick) Leith
Original Steering Committee, resident and longest standing account holder

I was on the original working group that set up the Warburton branch. We took approx. two years to gather enough support to have a branch open in Warburton.
In my opinion the Community bank helped save the Warburton community as the other banks had withdrawn from the town.
I would like to commend the staff and the committee on their ongoing support of Warburton. So much has been given back to the community over the past 20 years.
Good luck for the next 20 years.

Simone Jonker
Owner of BTDubs Cafe

Happy 2oth birthday Warby Community branch of Bendigo Bank. Thanks for the many laughs, endless particular coffee orders and generous support.

Peta Godenzi
President Warburton Valley Community Economic Development
The support of UYCE through sponsorship and in-kind support through their staff has enabled CEDA to deliver on their mission statement to help and encourage economic development in the Upper Yarra region , particularly tourism. Our Communications officers, both past and present have been excellent ambassadors and with UYCE financial assistance we have extended our reach to members and visitors, mainly through social media.

Aleksei Bondarenko-Edwards
President 2018 – 2019/ 2019-2020 Rotary Club of Upper Yarra
20 years is an impressive feat for any local business, and 20 years of meaningful change in a community is no small achievement. The WYJ Community Bank has created a lasting change in the valley for everyone and has been a fantastic partner to work with supporting our local community.

Keep up the great work! The valley wouldn’t be the same without you all!

Jeff Gill
President Warburton Advancement League (WAL), shareholder

There have been so many wonderful and exciting projects in the Upper Yarra Valley that have only happened because of Upper Yarra Community Enterprise.
WAL has been involved with UYCE right from the start, and we have been delighted to auspice many sponsorship applications for community projects that have made Warburton what it is today.
I am especially grateful for the sponsorship support UYCE have given WAL for the Community Bus, a service to our community which returns all profits directly back into the town.
As one of the original shareholders, I offer my congratulations to both the Warburton branch on its 20th birthday, and the Yarra Junction branch on its 12th birthday and send a big THANK YOU to the staff in those branches for the friendly atmosphere they have created that other banks still don’t get.

Cire Services Team – Yarra Junction

Cire Services Inc would like to commend the Upper Yarra Community Enterprise (UYCE) for its philanthropy and vision over the past 20 years in making a positive difference to the lives of so many within our reach.
Cire delivers services and program to people of all ages in the Yarra Ranges through Cire Community Hubs and Training, Cire Community School, and Cire Children’s Services. The Upper Yarra is of special significance because it was from its humble beginnings at Yarra Junction that Cire has emerged to become one of the largest and most reputable not-for-profits in the region and beyond, as well as being unique to the area.
Through the generosity of the UYCE, Cire has been able to add a further dimension to its initiatives through the Gumboots Supported Playgroup, interest-free loans for accredited training students, a therapeutic arts program for primary school children, and double prams for the Yarra Junction Child Care Centre.
It is with sincere gratitude that Cire extends its congratulations to UYCE and the tireless efforts of its board for all the enterprise has helped achieve, and continues to do, to help ensure the Upper Yarra is a strong and resilient community.