EDITORIAL: Bravo to our local volunteers 

THERE’S encouraging signs in today’s Queanbeyan Age of several community driven projects starting to return dividends.

In the case of the Jerrabomberra Community Bank, that’s dividends in the literal sense. The bank has been open for eight months now and has already put over $100,000 of dollars back in to the local community, whether that be through Home in Queanbeyan, or into a plethora of local sporting clubs and community groups.

The bank runs a fairly unique model where ownership is diffused over a whole community, and 80 per cent of profit goes straight back into community projects. It’s part business, part co-op, and in this modern era of the big banks holding back rate cuts from consumers and making billions each quarter, it sounds almost too good to be true.

As the bank staff say in today’s business section, they’re hoping more Queanbeyan and Jerrabomberra residents will take switch their business over to the community bank and keep profits in Queanbeyan. There’s plenty of potential there, and hopefully the bank stays on its current course towards achieving profitability within the next 24 months.

Another local success story is the upgrade to the outdoor learning environment at the Campbell Street Childcare Centre- a venture that’s come largely from within the community with some much-needed help from Queanbeyan City Council.

The upgrade has raised the bar for early childhood providers around the country, and our local kids will be the beneficiaries. At the core of both of these success stories you’ll find hard-working volunteers who haven’t waited around for funding grants or government programs to come their way, but have seen an opportunity and risen to the challenge.

Combined with the sustained endeavours of our local council staff and politicians, it’s the kind of vision that’s steering Queanbeyan toward a stronger future.

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