By Stephanie Brown, Marketing and Communication Manager CUFA
Each year, through the Steve Birt Fund, CUFA offer a scholarship opportunity for a staff member of Traditional Credit Union (TCU) to attend the annual Development Education (DE) workshop.
The 2013 DE, nick-named KIWIDE, will take place in Auckland, New Zealand in mid-November as a collaborative event between New Zealand Credit Union Foundation and CUFA. The 5 day professional development program will educate delegates on a number of key areas that are relevant to the Mutual movement in both Australia and worldwide.
The Steve Birt Scholarship was established in memory of Steve Birt for his contribution to the Australian Mutual movement through Teachers Credit Union, now Teachers Mutual Bank. CUFA are proud to use the scholarship each year to fund a participant from Traditional Credit Union to attend the annual Development Education program.
Anne Shew, Manager Human Resources and Training from Traditional Credit Union always supports the opportunity for her staff to engage in the program because of the benefits she sees them get out of it.
“TCU has been sending participants to this program for many years and consider it to be unique. Our participants learn more about Mutuals, past present and future, it is great for personal development.”
Anne recognises the professional development opportunities the program brings to her staff, “They are able to network with other Mutual professionals from around the world and they build on their presentation skills.”
Over the years, Anne and TCU have found their participants always get more than they bargained for and have a lot of fun. Through the program, TCU staff learn that they are not alone in the world of mutual banking. Anne said the opportunity shows participants that their journey and their work is the same yet different all over the world.
Two staff members from TCU are taking part in this year’s DE program. Tania Raymond is the Branch Manager at Arnhemland and she has been with TCU for 3 years. She was chosen because she is a role model employee who has embraced learning and development in both theory and practice.
Each year, TCU invite one employee who is located in a remote community branch to attend DE. Naretta Nunggargalu is the Branch Supervisor in Numbulwar Community and has been chosen to as the recipient of the Steve Birt Scholarship in 2013. Naretta has been with TCU for approximately a year. During that time Naretta has shown commitment to TCU in supporting the branch goals over the past year. This can be quite a challenge for employees in remote communities as they juggle community culture and life with working in a Mutual based on Western culture.
When asked what she hopes to get out of the opportunity, Naretta responded “I want to learn all I can about my job the industry I am in. I want to learn about other cultures and problems they have with dealing with members.”