With the release of Cufa’s 50th History book, we want to highlight some fascinating and key moments from Cufa’s history. Whilst we have some great stories from our work in Bougainville, Cambodia or Myanmar, we want to share a little-known part of Cufa’s history. In 1993, the World Conference on Credit Unions invited Cufa to look into reviving the dormant Credit Union movement in Russia. Having recently transitioned from the Soviet Union, there was renewed interest in Credit Unions to provide local financial stability.
Cufa assembled a team from Australian Credit Unions to visit the Kuzbass region in Siberia, one of the largest coal mining regions in the world. The representatives visited mines and factories, speaking with workers and residents about the effectiveness of credit unions. Following this, Cufa invited representatives from the communities they visited to come to Australia and visit four member coal and related industries Credit Unions in NSW
The relationship between Cufa and the Russian Credit Unions continued, with records showing that Cufa and the Russian Credit Unions continued to have a colorful dialogue, following returning to Australia, including a friendly debate over whether Australian or Russian alcohol was better.