Cufa Chair Receives Order of Australia

Cufa congratulates our Chair Margot Sweeny.  

The Cufa team is proud to congratulate our Chair, Ms Margot Sweeny for receiving an Order of Australia today.

Ms Margot Sweeny has played an active role in the Australian community for more than 40 years. Arriving from her native Canada as a teenager in the 1960s, Ms Sweeny has worked tirelessly to create a cohesive and robust community in regional New South Wales, as well as contributing to international outreach. Her work has often focused on financial inclusion and providing appropriate and accessible financial services to local communities, otherwise underserved or excluded.

Ms Sweeny is the Chair of Cufa (previously known as the Credit Union Foundation Australia). She has held this office since 2010. Under Ms Sweeny’s leadership, CUFA has gone from strength to strength. The organisation now reaches 4,000,000 people directly and indirectly, and achieves a social return on investment of $8.07 for every $1 invested. Ms Sweeny takes a hands-on approach to her board role, willingly travelling to remote communities in Cambodia, Myanmar, Timor-Leste and Papua New Guinea. She has guided the organisations strategic direction and worked to support both the operational staff and her fellow board members. Additionally, Ms Sweeny is a financial donor to Cufa, providing public philanthropic leadership and encouraging other like-minded individuals to support the organisation.

Ms Sweeny has been the Chief Executive Officer of Summerland Credit Union in Lismore since 1999, having previously participated in the credit union as a member and on the board. Under her leadership, Summerland Credit Union has grown in membership and now plays an important role in the identity of the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales, as well as serving the financial services needs of locals.

Ms Sweeny is an active corporate citizen in the Northern Rivers of NSW and has participated in various regional development organisations and advisory groups over the past two decades. She was a founding member of the Northern Rivers Community Foundation and served five years as Secretary of the Northern Rivers Area Consultative Committee and five years as Chair of The Northern Rivers Regional Development Board, both positions were Government appointed.

Ms Sweeny also has a strong academic background in finance and accounting, having eight years of experience as lecturer at the Southern Cross University, where she has held several governance roles such as the member of University Council, Chair of Finance Committee and Deputy Chair of Audit & Risk Committee. Additionally, Ms Sweeny is a tireless advocate for the environment and the preservation of wildlife. At present, she is the Patron of Friends of the Koala Inc in the Far North Coast of NSW.

Ms Sweeny is known and recognised for her unbridled energy and enthusiasm, as well as her willingness to tackle all issues big or small. She is generous with her time and supportive of the individuals around her. She believes in the importance of the community and uses her finance and banking skills to grow communities by promoting inclusive and accessible financial services.

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