Community groups share in $1.2m worth of funding

Published 2:00pm 15 February 2024

Community groups share in $1.2m worth of funding
Words by Ashleigh Howarth
Above: A number of community groups from the region have received funding from Community Bank Samford. 

The Rural Fire Brigade, Samford Area Men’s Shed and Guide Dogs Queensland are just a few of the many not-for-profit groups who have shared in more than $1.2 million reinvested into the region by Community Bank Samford.

Operated by Pine Rivers Community Finance Ltd and backed by Bendigo Bank, Community Bank Samford gives 100 percent of its profits back to the local community in the form of donations, grants, sponsorships, scholarships and shareholder dividends.

Community Bank Samford Senior Branch Manager Mandy Bell says passing the $1 million milestone was a big achievement.

“It was really exciting for us to reach the $1 million mark, and now that we are upwards of $1.2 million donated back into the local community, it’s an amazing feeling,” Mandy says.

“There are so many wonderful groups and organisations in the region that are doing great things for their communities, and we are happy and proud to support them.”

One organisation which Mandy says the bank never hesitates to support is the Rural Fire Brigade.

“We have quite a few Rural Fire Brigades in the hinterland region who go above and beyond to help the community,” Mandy says.

“I know it says fire in their title, but to us they are much more than that – they are first responders who are there whenever an emergency arises.

“Everything they need they must fundraise themselves, which seems crazy given their role in rural communities.

“We never hesitate to help them with whatever they need and have supplied them with funding to purchase water tanks as well as important gear and equipment.”

Community Bank Samford have also been instrumental in providing more automatic external defibrillators (AED) in public places within the Samford and Pine Rivers area as part of its defibrillator program.

One of those defibrillators recently saved the life of a member from the Samford Men’s Shed, who collapsed at the shed in December.

Samford Area Men’s Shed President Phil Walters says if it wasn’t for the defibrillator, his mate might not be here today.

“Community Bank Samford funded the defibrillator for us and it’s lucky they did because things could have been very different if we didn’t have it,” Phil explains.

The Men’s Shed have also been able to purchase new equipment with funding from Community Bank Samford.

Other ways in which Community Bank Samford have given back to the community include:

  • Partnering with Guide Dogs Queensland to sponsor two puppies named Susie and Samson that will assist people who are blind or have low vision.
  • Sponsoring a horse named Paddington Bear from the charity Riding for the Disabled. The bank pays for Paddington Bear’s food as well as vet and dental bills.
  • Sponsoring a men and women’s team from the Samford Rangers Football Club. They also provided funding which allowed the club to purchase two new scoreboards.
  • Providing funding to the Northside Beekeepers Association so they could purchase new equipment.
  • Sponsoring East Coast Apprenticeship’s Apprentice of the Year award by giving $1000 to the winner.
  • Providing three scholarships annually to mature-aged students who are furthering their education at Tafe and UniSC.

Community Bank Samford also sponsors a long list of community events including the Samford Show, Samford Edible Garden Trail, Samford Creative Arts Trail, Dayboro Rodeo, Dayboro Day and more.

Above: Community Bank Samford Senior Branch Manager Mandy Bell with volunteers from the Closeburn Rural Fire Brigade. 

Get help for your project or organisation

Grants are available to eligible non-profit organisations in the Samford, Pine Rivers and Narangba region for projects that benefit the wider community.

Their primary focus is on families, youth, health, education, the environment and the arts.

There are two dedicated grant rounds per year – mid-April and mid-October for applications over $1000 and up to $10,000.

Applications under $1000 can be submitted at any time throughout the year.

All successful applications are approved by the Board of Directors at their discretion.

For more information, visit the Pine Rivers Community Finance website.

Community groups share in $1.2m worth of funding
Above: Victoria Shaw from Guide Dogs Queensland with Evie. Community Bank Samford sponsored two puppies that will assist people who are blind or have low vision. 

About Community Bank Samford

Community Bank Brendale first opened its doors in 2002.

In 2009, Community Bank Samford opened. The two branches merged in 2022.

It is operated by Pine Rivers Community Finance Ltd, which is made up of a volunteer-based Board of Directors that ensures all profits go back into the community.

The bank is backed by Bendigo Bank and offers the full range of Bendigo Bank products and services.

More than $320 million in profits from Community Bank partnerships have been reinvested in Australian communities since 1998.


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