Tugun resident Wendy Handley has been the Chair of the Tugun Community Bank Branch of Bendigo Bank for the past four years, having served on the Board since 2007 and being a foundation shareholder of the Bank since it opened its doors in 2003.
Wendy’s long-term involvement with the Community Bank is just the tip of the iceberg of the community-minded spirit she embodies. It is a fundamental belief that she says was instilled in her from a young age.
Moving as a family to the Gold Coast in the mid-1950s, Wendy’s father Ron Pointon, was part of the committee that raised funds to bring the then Southport Olympic Pool to the Gold Coast. Her parents were also involved in establishing the C&K Kindergarten in their community. Through their efforts they shared with her the basic ethos to not sit back and let others do the hard work – but to be proactive and make a difference.
That served Wendy well through her 25 year career as a physiotherapist. Beginning at the age of 21, Wendy worked at the Coolangatta Community Health Centre, then later with organisations such as Montrose – a Brisbane-based service that provides home and school services to children with disabilities – primarily providing physiotherapy to children with disabilities. “I was fortunate through that work to see first-hand the need for people who face difficulties for whatever reason, to be connected and valuable members of the community,” she says.
Wendy and her husband Gerard have resided in Tugun for the past 18 years, where Gerard runs his own medical practice. With now adult children, Wendy splits her time as the practice’s Business Manager, and her voluntary role as Chair of the Tugun Community Bank.
It’s a busy role that sees Wendy actively out in the community, meeting with and supporting local organisations.
“A great part of it is meeting lots of interesting and talented people out there that I wouldn’t otherwise have had the chance to meet,” says Wendy.
“For me, the most rewarding part is seeing the interconnectedness of the groups we have supported over the years – especially those we have supported from the beginning. Having supported Bleach* Festival to get their Tugun event (Toolona Street Festival) off the ground four years ago, we also connected them to the Southern Beaches Community Garden and they are now working together in creating something special for this year’s Festival.
“I’m proud that the bank has been central to those sorts of connections. We can really feel the Tugun Community Bank has grown along with the vibrancy of Tugun – we’ve been able to support new events and organisations to make Tugun a more vibrant place to live, drawing younger families to live here.
“We have a great Board of Directors who have a range of backgrounds and experiences, ensuring the company runs well and is governed well.
“The bank is owned by the local community and we have a responsibility to ensure it continues to be an asset to that community.”
For more information on the Tugun Community Bank Branch Bendigo Bank, visit the branch at 3/482 Golden Four Dr, Tugun or online