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Buninyong & District Financial Services Ltd.
Strategic Vision
2021 - 2025

Image Above: Courtesy of Helen Davies


First, second and third horizons, setting the path ahead.


Community Bank Buninyong celebrated its 10th year in operation in August 2020.  This milestone provided the opportunity to reflect on what has been achieved to date, revisit the vision, mission and values and ensure that new Board members could participate in the setting of the path ahead.  Consequently, Bendigo Bank's Head of Community Development, Col Brady facilitated a planning session in April 2021 with the Board focused on imagining the next chapter.


The concept of “third horizon” thinking was introduced and in the context of the planning session, could not have been more appropriate.

The focus of the first horizon is to maintain and strengthen, the second challenges us to explore and discover new opportunities and the third challenges us further to anticipate the future and create entirely new possibilities.

The planning session, through a process of iteration, identified the need to move from a predominant position of ‘maintain and strengthen’ into the second and third horizons.  The need for a greater collective approach to decision making was also identified, ultimately leading to a deliberate and purposeful approach to community development.

By its very nature, community development is an exercise of participation, so to start with the Board, ensuring equal participation, was a logical step.

The Board’s focus on the second and third horizon mirrors the thinking of the Regional Australia Institute who participated in several future state workshops during the previous review of the Community Bank model.  The third horizon thinking, and approach, positions the BDFSL Board as potential trail blazers in this yet to be explored territory. It also defines an approach to community impact that focusses on connecting, coordinating, leveraging and leading.  This is a powerful combination when you add cash and the prospects of steady profits to the equation.

Future Ambitions to Consider

(Source Regional Australia Institute)



Keeping capital in the community

Growing capital in the community

A local investment option for locals

Investment in local enterprise & innovation

Source of revenue for local projects

Source of revenue, leadership & innovation


"A thriving, resilient and inclusive Buninyong  & District."


"To be a substantial, sustainable community-built business that contributes to community prosperity."


When we truly live our values and behavioural standards, we will create a safe and supportive space where all Board members feel willing to contribute to discussions in a manner that reflects a free flow of ideas and harnesses the diversity of capabilities and perspectives that make up our Board. 

We will build levels of trust that allow us to robustly think through complex issues and challenge each other’s thinking to arrive at an agreed position having all felt heard and understood along the way.  Our courage will be shown in our willingness to uphold and defend the values and behaviours we want to stand for.

To shape our culture by living these behavioural standards and values.

Our Values

Care & Respect

We will know we are living this value when we:

  • Listen to genuinely understand each other

  • Are willing to acknowledge the contribution of each other

  • Value the time commitment of others

  • Show empathy by checking in on each other’s wellbeing

  • Differ, when we challenge each other, it’s about the idea…not the person.


We will know we are living this value when we:

  • Think expansively, combining ideas in unique ways

  • Challenge paradigms and assumptions and are not constrained by the thoughts or approaches of others

  • Demonstrate a collective appetite for considered risk and learn fast (not blame), when failures occur

  • Target important areas for innovation and develop solutions that address meaningful work issues

  • Examine numerous potential solutions and evaluate each before accepting any.

Teamwork & Collaboration

We will know we are living this value when we:

  • Have balanced input in our conversations and invite each other to contribute

  • Are proactively sharing relevant information

  • Are actively tapping into the collective wisdom of our group.


"We exist to build connections, facilitate conversations and leverage

the resources of our community partners."

Embed our Vision and Purpose through specific behaviours into our Business and Community models.
Commitment & Passion

We will know we are living this value when we:

  • Come prepared for Board meetings

  • Stay aligned to our vision and purpose

  • Pause to remind each other of the direct ‘line of sight’ from our work as a Board to community outcomes.

Trust & Integrity

We will know we are living this value when we:

  • Do what we say we will do

  • Are acting with honesty and trustworthiness

  • Are open and transparent.

3rd Horizon Thinking

Future foresight, considering what is emerging over the future horizon and might become commonplace in our near to medium future for our business and community.

2nd Horizon Thinking

Looking at the short to medium term future and encompasses the sphere of new opportunities and innovating for tomorrow.

1st Horizon Thinking

Focus is on ‘business as usual’, managing today and incremental improvements in efficiency and effectiveness to maintain and strengthen.

Our Strategic Focus

Harness our collective capabilities to consistently add value at a strategic level.

To ensure we spend the appropriate time focused on strategic issues.

Board Succession

The Board will have a strong commitment to delivering our Vision and Purpose while staying true to our Values.

Support a broad recruitment program for new Board members.

Our Achievements

Celebrating 11 Years
in Buninyong

Over the past 11 years we have earned a strong reputation within the Community Bank network due to our thinking, actions and our deeds.

Acknowledge and celebrate our achievements.

Defining our Communities & Partners

To deliver on our Vision and Purpose we must have a clear idea of what Buninyong and district is. We must also have a clear focus on who we wish to collaborate with and leverage to achieve our goals.

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Buninyong as a primary focus


Rural areas that neighbour Buninyong supported by other Community Bank Branches.


Urban Ballarat


Our Regional Community Bank Network (Buninyong, Ballan, Creswick, Daylesford, Trentham and Beaufort)

Succession Planning
will encourage

inclusion of a younger demographic

diversity – gender, cultural and community sector

geographic diversity

diversity of skills and experience

Succession Recruitment
will enable

a Board of 7 – 11 members

a balanced and manageable workload among Directors

sub-committees that include non-Directors for their expertise

leverage for graduates of local leadership programs.

Community Impact

Our Approach

Reflect the change in focus to a more deliberate and purposeful approach to community development through community investment.  The Community Impact focus will change:

Environment Society
Connect Facilitate


Support the development of a Community Partnerships Management position

A Community Partnerships Manager, will provide the Board the capacity and capability to “Connect, Facilitate and Leverage” enabling the delivery of the three horizons.

Community Development, by its very nature requires “boundary spanners”; a person who can look beyond their own organisation to open up the latent potential which can be found by bringing people and organisations together with a common purpose.

This shift will ensure the community does not see the Community Bank solely as a funding foundation, but as a catalyst to drive community outcomes through the development of partnerships, the corralling of funding partners and the enablement of people with great ideas and passion for community outcomes.

This position moves beyond “community engagement” to “community involvement” a much deeper level of participation and one which places Community Bank Buninyong and BDFSL as a key community asset.

Adopt a proactive and defined response to community.

Community Sectors we Support

Capacity Building

Community Events

Disaster Relief

Disability & Disadvantaged Communities

Environment & Sustainability

Education & Learning


Community Facilities & Infrastructure


Sports & Recreation



Partnering with:


Local, State and Federal Government

Other Community Banks

Community-based organisations



Others who are relevant to our purpose

We get “stuff” done

We have contributed to personal growth and development

We have enabled meaningful community impact through our Community Investment Program

We have achieved financial success and sustainability for our enterprise

Our banking presence (products, services, assistance and advice) has provided positive impacts for our community

We have shared our knowledge and experience with the wider Community Bank Network.

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Community Investment
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Community House

Community Balance Sheet

A successful community is knowledgeable, resourced, organised and actively involved in improving its economic, social, cultural and environmental asset base.





Helping to build a thriving, resilient and inclusive community.

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