Local bank supports refugee students and women’s football

Local bank supports refugee students and women’s football

The Mutual Bank has stepped in with funding to continue a successful support program for refugee students studying at high schools in the Hunter region.

The Mutual Bank is supporting ten Mentor Support Network (MSN) refugee scholarships, which is set to be announced on 30 March.

Mentor Support Network is a not-for-profit organisation that, through the provision of education and mentoring support, encourages disadvantaged youth within the Hunter region to reach their full potential.

Since 2003 it has provided nearly 300 educational scholarships, with the refugee scholarships being awarded for the first time in 2019.

Chair of MSN’s Refugee Scholarship Committee, Pat O’Flaherty, said the program was at risk of not proceeding this year until The Mutual Bank stepped in.

“The financial assistance from The Mutual Bank of the MSN program is wonderful news,” Pat said.

“The Mutual Bank has shown a keen interest in the community-based program one of its own staff members has even volunteered to be a student mentor.”

The scholarships assist marginalised students to have equal access to high school resources and technology (uniforms, ancillary fees, excursions, books, computers, equipment, software and internet access).

“Students from a refugee background can lack access to a range of positive role models and mentors to support their expectations, aspirations and career goals,” he said.

“So, a valued component of the support is a 13-week mentoring program, which for some students can be as fundamental as how to open and manage a bank account through to managing their scholarship funding or more complex mentoring about life and career choices.”

The Mutual Bank CEO, Geoff Seccombe said, as it is member-owned, the bank looks to support the communities in which its members live.

He said these MSN scholarships make a real difference to young people and mentoring is a great professional and personal development opportunity for The Mutual Bank’s staff.

“We’re about investing the Hunter and these scholarships are a great investment in the potential of some of our newest community members,” Geoff said.

The bank’s Finance Officer, Martha Nyabadza is excited for the opportunity to mentor local youth. Martha said she moved to Australia in 2016, so she has first-hand experience of settling into a new community and a new life.

Meanwhile, the bank is playing its part in boosting women’s football in the Hunter, with its sponsorship of the Maitland Football Club’s inaugural Herald Women’s National Premier League (WPL) team.

Geoff said The Mutual Bank has a long history of grassroots support for community organisations and sporting teams. He said having more Hunter NPL clubs with WPL teams will help to grow women’s football.

The bank joins the Burton Automotive Group as well as existing sponsors, The George Tavern and Easts, as the Club’s WPL sponsors.

“The Mutual Bank will be with the players every game, with our logo on the playing shirt sleeve, and front and centre on the training shirt.”

The Maitland women have their first game on 27 March against Broadmeadow Magic at their home ground at Cooks Square.

IMAGE | Mutual Bank CEO, Geoff Seccombe, Finance Officer, Martha Nyabadza and Chair of MSN Refugee Scholarship Committee, Pat O’Flaherty (left-right).

The Mutual Bank

Your partner in business, The Mutual Bank specialises in supporting local business owners to achieve their goals with effective banking solutions. Member-owned and local to the Hunter Region, The Mutual Bank has been #heretohelp local people since 1888.

The Mutual Bank’s branches are open six days a week offering a full range of banking services in Dungog, East Maitland, Edgeworth, Maitland, Mayfield, Raymond Terrace, and Rutherford. Talk to us… themutual.com.au or 1300 688 825.

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