On Thursday 21 September 1972, 48 members of the Victoria Teachers Union (VTU) – with a shared belief in the philosophy of mutuality that underpins the credit union movement – sign up at the formation meeting of the VTU Credit Union.
They each purchase five shares at $2 each, giving the Credit Union an initial paid-up capital of $480. These precious funds are stored in a shoe box.
The VTU Credit Union begins operating from the basement of the VTU at Whitehall, 20 Bank Place, Melbourne. An account is opened at ANZ, 469 Little Collins Street and our ‘business’ begins.
As at 2022, we now have over 91,000 Members.
Our founding board members are Maureen O'Bree, Carl Ridgeway, Bart Dinsmore, Alex Rosenberg, Mervyn Vogt, Paul Booth and Peter Leonard-Kanevsky, who was elected inaugural Chair.
Having separated from her husband, she needs accommodation for herself and two children. When no one else would lend it to her, the Teacher’s Champion delivers on its promise.
VTU Credit Union operated out of the basement of the VTU at Whitehall, 20 Bank Place, Melbourne. Account was opened at ANZ, 469 Little Collins Street and the 'business' began.
The VTU Credit Union begins offering insurance services to our Members.
We also up stumps and move to a bigger, purpose-built space at 335 Camberwell Road, Hawthorn East.
Alan Dash, one of our foundation members, is appointed to the Board.
Our newsletter, The Slate, is launched (a nod to those old-school slate boards used in classrooms, before paper and ink were readily available). The Slate, and it’s digital sibling e-Slate continues today.
The Slate – now in a 4-page format – calls for Members to volunteer as local school representatives. Their mission? To promote the Credit Union in their own schools by handing out flyers and sharing their experiences with colleagues.
More than 300 school representatives join the cause and VTU Credit Union emerges as one of the fastest growing credit unions in Australia.
We make their mission easier by ‘widening the bond’ (bond being the traditional term used by credit unions to define eligible membership). From an exclusive right to Members of the VTU and their families, we can now open our arms to any Victorian teacher, regardless of union affiliation. This sees a significant increase in our membership.
This on-the-ground interaction proved to be a huge success and memberships increased. Today, we have a team of 9 Relationship Officers on-the-ground working in schools and healthcare settings to support our Members.
We introduce our own in-house technology system – the AWA Reality Royale (Model 150). This gives Members immediate access to their accounts, faster transaction processing and live payroll deductions (which were previously done overnight).
The revolutionary Redicash withdrawal service is introduced, giving our Members a new level of convenience. It helps break the 'Big Bank' monopoly on the use of Bankcard – giving credit union members the ability to withdraw cash from any bank in Australia.The Slate gets a facelift with the incorporation of colour pictures.
Outgrowing our existing office, we found an even bigger space just up the road – ‘The Beef Ranch’ at 277 Camberwell Road, Hawthorn East.
As a value-added service, we roll out Apple Travel. This quickly becomes a popular way from Members to plan and book their holidays. It also helped to attract new Members.Gerald O'Bryne is appointed as our first financial counsellor to assist Members in time of hardship.
Our Moonee Ponds branch opens in August, with Stephen Molan at the helm. Other founding staff include Trevor Hosking, Gail Miller, Christine Dickson, Maree Fitzgerald, Kaylene Doig, Barbara McCarthy and Wendy Martin.
Travel scholarships for teachers are launched - a great incentive to support our Members' career aspirations. Frank Ryan, a teacher at the Melbourne Zoo Education Centre, is the inaugural winner. His scholarship takes him to the US and UK to study environmental education.
It was time to bring our Members' children into the fold. We wanted to build financial awareness and a savings habit amongst our future Members. In 1983, we launched the 'Future Savers Club' featuring its very own robot mascot 'Future S Force'. All children under 18 of existing Members were encouraged to open a 'Future Savers Club' savings account. Redicash ATM installed.
Visa Card, the world’s most popular credit card, is introduced to Members. Used as a credit or debit card, our Members can now make cashless purchases at over 3.6 million merchants worldwide. They can also make cash withdrawals at 135,000 locations nationally.
We begin donating to State Schools’ Relief. From day one, VTU Credit Union has fostered a culture of social responsibility and philanthropy, expressed mainly through donations and sponsorships in the education sector. State Schools' Relief becomes our first major ongoing philanthropic partnership. Our first joint initiative is to assist disadvantaged students with uniforms and other necessities for their education.
Denise Rule was VTU Credit Union’s 500th Member.
Apple Co-operative Housing Society opens its doors. With great pride, our first home loan is approved for Shane and Rena Cotter and their young family in Donvale, Vic.
Hot on its heels, Apple Insurance Agency opens for business – offering another great support service to our Members.
We launch our Connector Package for new and current Members. This package contained three main components: a plastic access card, a cheque book, and a much greater availability of housing loan funds.
We approve our 500th home loan application – for Jennepher Hooper, a teacher from Rosanna Primary School. By this stage, we have provided more than $30 million in home loans to our Members.
Thankfully, VTU Credit Union has planned ahead. We face the storm with a strong balance sheet and more than adequate reserves. For our Members – some of whom are doing it pretty tough – we continue to deliver free banking facilities and an unrivalled package of professional ancillary services.
Jennepher Hooper was the 500th applicant for a home loan
A major milestone for us – with more than 45,000 members. We have a healthy business with $163 million in deposits and $118 million in loans.
Since inception, TIP has provided more than $780,000 in funding to more than 600-plus schools and preschools - continuing a proud tradition support our Members and their communities.
Wow, what a community we’ve grown!
By 1996, state school teaching unions had amalgamated into the Victorian Branch of the Australian Education Union (AEU). This makes the ‘VTU’ part of our name redundant. On 1 April, we rebadge to the Victoria Teachers Credit Union (VTCU).Apple Travel launches its website.
We open our first call centre, as part of our ongoing quest for new ways to serve and support our members.
The VTCU website is launched as we adopt and adapt to the digital world. At launch, every department assigns a ‘Member Champion’ to support and resolve website issues for staff and Members.
We launch Internet Banking, as we continue to innovate for our Members.
BPAY commences and the Visa Credit Card is introduced.
VTCU gets behind Better Buddies – an initiative of the Alannah and Madeline Foundation. Named in memory of two young victims of the Port Arthur tragedy, the foundation is a national charity that keeps children safe from violence.
Woohoo! We are named Credit Union of the Year! This marks the start of a run of industry recognition awards.
Oops, we did it again. We are named Credit Union of the Year for the second consecutive year.
Bernie Lloyd was our first board intern in Feb 2010 and is now Chair of the Board.
Mobile phone banking is launched as an added convenience to meet our Members’ more connected and active lifestyles.
We receive another gong for Credit Union of the Year.
VTCU changes its name to Victoria Teachers Mutual Bank. Firstly, this acknowledges how we have become much more than just a credit union to our Members. Secondly, it shows our competitiveness against the 'big banks'. 80% of Members vote in favour of the new name. As always, the co-operative spirit and customer-owned banking model remains the cornerstone of the bank.
Victoria Teachers Mutual Bank moves to 117 Camberwell Rd, Hawthorn East.
We celebrate our 40th anniversary and new offices.
Our banking app for iPhone and Android is introduced, changing forever the way our Members bank and manage their finances.
Victoria Teachers Mutual Bank has always put a strong emphasis on supporting and growing its staff. A new initiative launched in 2016 to develop emerging leaders was introduced. The Leaders Emerging and Progressing (LEAP) program (now named, Learning Emerging and Progressing) contains training sessions each month targeted at giving staff the skills to lead in their current role and be prepared for the future.
We arrive at this new name as the result of long consideration and careful consultation with our Members. Our name may have changed, but our DNA and commitment to serve those who serve and build community remains stronger than ever.
We are thrilled to launch the Bank First Community Fund. The Fund unites our many social responsibility activities under one banner. This allows us to continue to support the ‘people who care’ in our communities more efficiently and effectively.
Through the Bank First Community Fund, we throw our support behind The One Box. This wonderful initiative provides Australian families in need with a free weekly box full of fresh fruit, vegies, milk and bread over the full school year. So far, we have donated 1853 boxes, equating to weekly groceries for 46 families for an entire year.
We partner with Pinchapoo, the inspirational group founded upon the ingenious idea, “What if we got people to ‘pinch’ hotel toiletries so we can then pass them on to those struggling to afford basic hygiene items?” This grows into a movement that receives wonderful, wide-ranging support from individuals and businesses. To date, we have donated over 10,000 hygiene packs.
Between 2018-2021, in partnership with State Schools’ Relief and Gandel Philanthropy, we donated more than 3,000 iPads to enable non-verbal students to communicate with family, friends and teachers.
We are proud to announce that we are now serving over 91,000 Members Australia-wide.