Westpac celebrates AgDay with its clients

By Jamie Salter

Shepparton Westpac Agribusiness celebrated National AgDay by providing financial advice to local farmers.

Regional general manager Laura Mattiazzi said the day aimed to talk about the hardships facing farmers, including drought and rising water prices.

“We're trying to bring some value to customers by going through details of the Drought Assistance Package and help farmers understand how we assess agriculture financing,” Ms Mattiazzi said.

“We're able to share our knowledge and connect clients with contacts, to give value beyond banking.

“It's important for them to know we're here to support them."

Despite a Code Red bushfire warning preventing more farmers from attending the event, the staff members donned their AgDay T-shirts and celebrated a community doing it tough.

The event was held across the country at key regional Westpac Agribusiness branches, with staff managers from Echuca and Deniliquin visiting the Shepparton branch in support.

“I think internally we have over 30 000 staff across the country, so there's a lot of regional-based activities,” Ms Mattiazzi said.

Staff members had consultations with visitors, explaining the Westpac Drought Assistance Package that has been running for two years.

“We all know our farmers are very resilient, so we have to re-hash the assistance available,” Ms Mattiazzi said.

Scali Orchards and Coolstores manager Dom Scali donated a range of fruit for visitors to enjoy.

“It's a good cause to come and support and a chance to ask the bank questions,” he said.

Mr Scali has been working on the orchard for 19 years.

“This is the first time we've donated fruit; if we don't show our face, no-one else will care,” he said.

National Agriculture Day was held on Thursday, November 21.