50 years ago our story began as a credit union that was established to service Mount Isa Mine employees. Today, we have grown into a financial institution with a state wide footprint of 29 branches and over 400 employees, but we still retain our home grown ethos of serving our Members in regional communities.
Our Group Chief Executive Officer Aaron Newman says it is a meaningful milestone for our organisation and a chance for us to reflect on our values and achievements while planning ahead for the future.
“It is no small feat for a financial institution to not only last fifty years, but to be in the strongest position it ever has been,” says Mr Newman.
“This achievement is testament to the leadership the organisation has had from its Board and senior managers and the ongoing support from our growing Member communities over our 50 years.
“Not only did our previous leadership set Queensland Country up for strong strategic growth and financial security, but they’ve implemented a strong organisational culture which enables staff to thrive and deliver the best outcomes for our Members.”
Mr Newman says there have been many significant changes over the years, most notably mergers with the Electrical Credit Union in 2017 and Queenslanders Credit Union in 2018, and our transition to a member-owned bank in 2020.
“Through our own strategic efforts and mutually beneficial merger acquisitions, the credit union enjoyed significant growth, and in February last year transitioned to a member-owned bank.
“This transition has enabled us to increase our service offering and attract new Members, which has seen us achieve record lending growth despite challenging economic conditions.
“Our group originally expanded through the merger with MIM Employees Health Society, which transitioned to Queensland Country Health Fund and has continued to grow and introduce dental and Care Navigation services for Members, and a new health insurance brand, Territory Health Fund.”
Our organisation has remained committed to its values of helping all Queenslanders live better lives through better financial and health services.
“While other financial institutions have exited communities, we’ve continued to invest in refurbishments and new locations because we understand that face to face service is still important to our Members,” says Mr Newman.
“We have a long history of supporting local communities through grants to the value of over $2.4 million, and made significant donations after natural disasters to assist with community recovery.
“Our organisation provides rewarding career opportunities for regional Queenslanders, with an emphasis on training and promoting within, and staff actively participate in our community volunteer program which allows up to two paid days volunteer leave annually.”
Mr Newman says that while Queensland Country is in an enviable position with a bright future, the Board and executive team will not be resting on their laurels.
“In recent years we’ve proven our strength and resilience as we’ve weathered natural disasters and a global pandemic,” he says.
“We have to keep getting better all the time, adapting to changing conditions and making strategic decisions that position the organisation well.
“As a people-focussed organisation, our staff, Members and communities are at the forefront of every decision we make. They are the reason we are still standing strong today and why we’ll continue to grow over the next 50 years.”