By Aleksandra Bliszczyk
NorCen Financial Services, who operates Bendigo Bank’s Wallan, Kilmore and Broadford branches, has appointed its youngest ever member of its board of directors.
At 19, Wallan resident Benny Gregory joined the board last month, and is also among Australia’s youngest directors of a public company, taking on a role centred around youth development, marketing and community engagement.
His aim is to help young people kickstart or pursue business or personal endeavours.
“I’m able to tap into what being a young individual in the community is and what struggles we face,” Mr Gregory said.
“They need people to trust that what they’re doing is the right thing to do for them, and they need someone to tell them they’re worth it.”
Mr Gregory said it was Bendigo Bank’s support and trust in him that helped him grow his own business when we was 16.
While studying at Assumption College he launched a creative and digital marketing agency specialising in events, photography and music.
His first encounter with Kilmore Bendigo Bank was in 2018 when he successfully applied for a grant to fund a music event he organised at Kilmore Trackside, showcasing 12 Mitchell Shire artists.
“They were incredible mentors to myself and my business,” he said.
“If Bendigo Bank didn’t jump on and say you’re doing a great job and give me that grant, my outcome would’ve been really different.”
Less than three years later they asked him to be a part of the board and bring something new to the company, which he said was ‘out of the blue’ but an unmissable opportunity.
Though he’s new to the world of finance and jokes he sometimes struggles with his times-tables, through his marketing experience he hopes to help Bendigo Bank reach and support more young people and youth organisations.
“They have an incredible program that funds sporting clubs around Mitchell Shire … but I just really want to target the youth in business, in sports, and culture and arts, whatever it may be, and create a sense of currentness,” he said.
NorCen’s board chair David Wheeler said Mr Gregory was ‘exceptional’ and an exciting addition to the board.
“Benny’s infectious enthusiasm and positivity in everything he does makes him an already valued member of our board,” he said.
“It is the goal of community banking to contribute to the community that supports us by banking with us. Being able to mentor such an outstanding individual is part of that contribution.”