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Sue and Rob, Tweed Valley Whey Farmhouse Cheeses

"Summerland have definitely helped us grow our business. Through small steps, we’ve got where we are today"

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Sue and Rob, Tweed Valley Whey Farmhouse Cheeses

"Summerland have definitely helped us grow our business. Through small steps, we’ve got where we are today"


I am delighted to announce that it has been another strong year for us as an organisation, with a growth in loans of $40 million. Overall our assets grew from $689 million to $748 million over the last financial year. This growth is despite the substantial challenges and changes in the market.

Other successes of note include our newly renovated branches in Bangalow and Evans Head, mobile app upgrade, and becoming the first financial institution in NSW to be recognised as a Gold Partner of the NSW Government’s Department of Environment and Heritage’s Sustainability Advantage Program.

Having been closely involved in Summerland’s sustainability journey, since it began in 2008, environmental sustainability is a passion I have championed, as a Director and now Chair. The 11-year process that contributed to achieving Gold Partner status involved embedding systems across the whole organisation, such as building our sustainability commitment into staff induction and regular training; using products and materials for building upgrades and internal use that have minimal environmental impact, are recycled, or have been sustainably sourced; reporting and tracking our resource use; and supporting our local community through staff volunteering and grant opportunities. The recognition illustrates our sustainable and environmental practices and reflects our staff’s ongoing commitment to one of our core values.

In a year of change, we explored a potential merger with Coastline Credit Union and the benefits a merger between the two credit unions could provide to our respective members. After a thorough due diligence process and following numerous discussions between the respective Boards and Management of the credit unions, the Summerland Board reached a decision not to proceed with the merger as it was not in the best interests of Summerland, our staff or members at that time.

The reforms following the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry have had a major impact on the whole industry, resulting in new conditions such as the Banking Executive Accountability Regime (BEAR). In response, Summerland has improved our risk management practices, developed new processes to understand our culture and registered our accountable persons (Board and Executive) as required by the BEAR.

The Customer Owner Banking Association (COBA) Chief Executive, Michael Lawrence has emphasised how the final report focuses on major bank practices; and is not indicative of the customer owned financial institutions or the industry as a whole. As a customer owned financial institution, we are in a position of strength. Our values, ethics and adherence to regulations ensures we will continue to act in the best interests of our members who are the owners of Summerland.

The Board has for some time been looking at renewal and succession planning for the future, which has involved a competitive recruitment process. With this in mind, there have been changes that I would like to acknowledge.

This year we have said goodbye to CEO, Margot Sweeny, who stepped down after 20 years as CEO and 5 years prior to that as a Summerland Director. Margot oversaw the organisation grow from $99 million to just under $750 million in assets during her time.

I have been fortunate to work with Margot for the last 15 years. She has been a significant mentor in my career and I have benefited from her commercial insight and how to apply this to the not-for-profit sector. It is important to recognise Margot’s role in the finance industry as a strong female leader, increasing the representation of women in leadership and governance roles in the industry.

With Margot’s departure, I would like to welcome our new CEO, John Williams. John has a long history in the customer owned banking sector, with 20 years of senior leadership roles at Heritage Bank and more recent experience in the fintech and neo banking environments. His highly developed technical and commercial skills are complemented by a strong commitment to developing and coaching his staff to maximise career development and organisational culture and performance. John’s capabilities include strategy development, implementation, business transformation, portfolio and project management.

I’m sure you will join myself, the Board, the Executive team and our staff in offering our sincere thanks and appreciation to Margot for her contribution to Summerland and a warm welcome to John.

At the Board level, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Nicolas Harrison for his stewardship as Chairman for the past 10 years. He has overseen some major changes during his time, and we are fortunate that he will remain as a Director to offer his expertise and knowledge in helping direct Summerland’s future. Nick’s constant presence on the board of COBA cannot be underestimated and he is highly valued as a voice and advocate for Summerland and keeping the Board updated on COBA’s activities.

This year sees Director, John Shanahan step down after 11 years - John has also been Chair of the Credit Union’s Board Audit and Risk Committee during this time. Some of you may not be aware, but John was formerly Deputy Chancellor of Southern Cross University and an Audit Partner at Deloitte. He is a recognised expert on financial reporting issues and the author of the textbooks Guide to Accounting Standards and Guide to Accounting Regulation. He has also conducted training courses and seminars for many national and state organisations including ASIC, the ASX, CPA Australia, the Institute of Chartered Accountants, FINSIA and the Federal Judicial Commission. We thank John for all that he has done for Summerland and the financial industry and wish him well in his future endeavours.

I would like to welcome our newest Director, Julie Osborne, who joined us in May this year. Julie has extensive experience across a range of sectors including financial services, insurance and not-for-profit organisations; having previously worked with both Westpac and KPMG. Her experience and knowledge will be invaluable in the coming months and years ahead.

Finally, I’d like to acknowledge the year of change we have had. We work in a constantly changing industry, so I’d like to thank my fellow Directors, our outgoing CEO Margot, our Executive team, with a particular thank you to Sally-Anne Cumine who stood in as Acting CEO during the CEO recruitment process and was instrumental in our merger discussions with Coastline Credit Union, and our staff for adapting to the changes we continue to face, in what has been a challenging year.
I would like to assure our members that Summerland continues to perform strongly as this year’s financial results illustrate, and remains committed to meeting your financial needs in a constantly changing environment

Katrina Luckie

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John Ede, Reel Fishn Charters

"I’ve been with Summerland Credit Union for 23 years now and we’ve got a great relationship"

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John Ede, Reel Fishn Charters

"I’ve been with Summerland Credit Union for 23 years now and we’ve got a great relationship"

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John Williams - Chief Executive Officer

"It is a great pleasure to join Summerland and an exciting opportunity to have been selected to lead such a strong and community orientated organisation."


staff members


full time


absentee rate


female to male ratio

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Luke Vasella, Singer/Songwriter

"I'm not impressed with what the big banks have done in this country, so I am proud to be a part of a local institution like Summerland"

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Luke Vasella, Singer/Songwriter

"I'm not impressed with what the big banks have done in this country, so I am proud to be a part of a local institution like Summerland"


Gender Equality

Our staff work tirelessly to ensure that we provide a strong and united culture here at Summerland where employees and others in the workplace are treated fairly, with respect, and are free from discrimination, harassment, vilification and victimisation.


Decent Work & Economic Growth

In the last year, we have seen unprecedented changes in the industry, and this has consequently brought its own tests. Last financial year we saw strong growth in our loans’ portfolio ($40 m) and assets ($59m). These results are illustrative of the strong reputation of Summerland within the region and the quality of our staff and their ability to put our members first.

With our staff, we believe in empowering them by providing suitable learning and development opportunities to further their careers. This year we upskilled a number of our staff across the organisation in lending through our Learning and Development Department and have also recruited for management roles internally. This organic advancement of our staff is what breeds a positive and united culture here at Summerland and one which our Board and Executive are proud to support.

Last financial year, we invested in our communities in Evans Head and Bangalow, renovating the branches in those towns to be in line with the new modern styling we have incorporated across our branch network. The staff in those branches like the new look and we hope you, our members, enjoy the better member experience, through the open plan design, sustainable materials used and state-of-the-art technology on offer


Sustainable Cities & Communities

As a member owned financial institution, every year we give back a proportion of our profits to the community. Last financial year we returned $1.06m to the community through direct and indirect support to some of the sponsored groups and events highlighted:


Gold Coast Female Soccer Academy

We have been a major sponsor of the all-girls academy this year, and saw their u16 side take home the Kanga Cup in Canberra in July. Off the pitch, we have been working with the club with their ongoing growth towards becoming a fully-fledged club.

Intellectual Disability Annual Conference

Summerland sponsored the Chill Out Space offering an area for attendees to relax and replenish between sessions.

Australian Capital Territory

Canberra United

As the Official Banking partner of the W-League side, we gave away match day tickets during every home round to fans and provided opportunities to take part in our Score and Win competition at half time to win cash prizes. On our home match day in January, we engaged with the crowd as well as providing VIP tickets to 10 Summerland members on the day.

Capital Football

We continued our partnership with the football federation for ACT as well as the monthly Summerland Football Club Hero awards, which celebrates the contribution of volunteers in the community, which has become a popular addition to the ACT football community.


Melbourne Chinese Soccer Association

We have sponsored the organisation during the last year; which helps migrants and those who have recently come to Australia play the game they love.

New South Wales

Ballina Meals on Wheels

In 2018/19, our Ballina branch staff have been making a difference by volunteering to assist older people and those with a disability by providing a smile, a conversation and a meal they can enjoy.

Bangalow Billy Cart Derby

We were the naming rights sponsor of the 2019 community event which attracted over 150 billy cart racers from across Northern NSW and Queensland. Our staff made a difference to the day by marshalling the finish line, commentating on the races and engaging with race attendees with a free map and kids colouring in banners.

Bangalow Blue Dogs

Having been a partner of the football club for more than 10 years, we continue to support the club through our Cash4Clubs referral program and as a shirt sponsor of the Men’s and Women’s Premier Teams.

Bangalow Koalas

We have been a supporter of the koala protection group through the use of our marquees and promoting their cause at our Bangalow branch.

Casino Beef Week

Summerland provided a Family Chill Out safe space for people attending Beef Week as well as running a successful chalk-art competition which generated a high number of engagements on social media.

Dunoon United

This season we helped support the club’s Pink Day, to raise funds for cancer research, we also sponsored the third grade women’s side, and provide fundraising opportunities to the club and its members through our Cash4Clubs program.

East Lismore Bowling Club

We sponsored of the Annual Classic Carnival, which attracted competitors from across the North Coast for this special event.

Hospital Staff Awards

These are provided to staff in hospitals at Lismore Base, Ballina, Byron Central and Tweed Heads. Staff appreciate the opportunity to recognise their efforts and Summerland staff provide home loan check ups for staff at the hospital sites during the year.

Jacaranda Festival

Summerland sponsored a Jacaranda Queen entrant, Jorga Turner, in the Grafton festival as well as participating in various community events associated with the festival.

Lismore Friendship Festival

This year, we sponsored the Tug-O-War at the festival, which is a celebration of Lismore’s connection with everything Italian, which includes Lismore’s sister-city relationship with Conegliano.

Lismore Thistles

Our partnership with Thistles and the sponsorship of their women’s premier side continued this year, with support for their junior gala day and junior end of season awards, with our ambassador, Archie Thompson being present. This is a big part of our commitment to grassroots football and the Lismore community.

Mullum 2 Bruns Paddle

We were delighted to once again be involved in this wonderful community event as a principal sponsor and by providing kids in attendance the opportunity to take part in our chalk art competition.

Southern Cross University

We have been a supporter of the university and its students through the Rising Stars Scholarship program for over 25 years. This is a cause we continue to be involved in this year through our sponsorship students with their studies.

The Salvation Army

As part of The Salvos annual Red Door Knock Appeal we were pleased to accept funds to help support a range of social and community services across the region. Summerland also made a significant donation to this cause.

Wollongbar Alstonville Rugby Club

As a Cash4Clubs beneficiary, the club has received generous donations through club member engagements with us.


Climate Action

In the next 12 months Summerland will be embarking on a long-term project to assess the effect of climate change. To commence this project, we will be working with an environmental consultant to develop a database that assesses the effect of climate change on the North Coast of NSW and then overlay our mortgage book to identify future risks. This information will provide data which will assist us make decisions in the future regarding lending policy.






capital adequacy ratio


returned to our communities


There was a 7% decrease in energy consumption of Summerland owned and leased premises this year, with 4,550 kWh consumed per FTE.

Accredited renewable energy take-up in electricity contracts is currently 10% pa for head office and 25% pa for branches.



Internal paper usage for the 2018/19 year was 4,868 sheets of normal copy paper per FTE. This is a 29.60% drop on the previous year.

Improving the environmental impact of the paper we purchase and use in our marketing collateral and member communications, 100% of A4 copy paper and customer statement paper is certified carbon neutral under the National Carbon Offset Standard Carbon Neutral program.



The corporate vehicle fleet used 8,272 litres of fuel, 94 litres per FTE. This is a 21.95% reduction on the previous year.

Utilising video or teleconferencing forms part of the assessment when making staff travel decisions.


air travel

Business travel by air in 2018/19 consisted of flights covering 116,223 kms, which equated to 1,319 km per FTE.

This is a 28% increase on the previous year.