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The contrast in banking has never been starker

In the wake of the findings of the banking Royal Commission, which were published on 4 February, the difference between credit unions and mutual banks and investor-owned banks in banking has been ‘clearly outlined’, as Scott Morgan, CEO of Greater Bank put it. 

Credit unions and mutuals banks:

Of course, these are just a few examples of the great things happening in the Australian customer owned banking sector.

he Frank Gehry designed UTS business school, in Ultimo, Sydney

What are we teaching in business schools?

The banking Royal Commission has also highlighted the failings of Australian business education.

As reflected by Walter Jarvis and Natalia Niklova at UTS, more and more university business schools are recognising the need to teach stakeholder (rather than shareholder) theories of how to create and operate successful businesses.

The next step is for all universities to follow the lead of the University of Newcastle and include all business structures operating in the economy in their courses. Co-ops and mutuals have concern for members and the broader community baked into their structure.

The BCCM is supporting the development of a range of co-operative education initiatives, including:

  • University of Newcastle Graduate Certificate in Co-operatives Management
  • AIM WA/University of Western Australia Co-operatives and Mutuals Strategic Development program (see events below)
  • Webinars and seminars on co-operative governance, accounting and law (including Co-operatives National Law seminar listed in events below)
  • Free resources, including Co-op Builder tool and capital raising manual, developed by BCCM and hosted at
  • Farming Together Co-op Builder tool and free video resources for start-up co-ops developed by BCCM and hosted at
Email us if you are looking for co-operative and mutual education and training options. 

Dairy co-ops boost prices

In a week where the future of dairy is back in the headlines it is important to remember that co-operatives like Norco can play a role in raising the milk price for dairy farmers.

There are other examples like Organic Dairy Farmers of Australia and Mountain Milk Co-operative, both growing. Internationally, Arla Foods, which owns brand such as Lurpak, is delivering value to many European dairy farmers.

The power of mutual data

Mutual health insurer HCF has launched a new digital platform to give members information on out-of-pocket expenses of individual specialists.

HCF Medical Director, Dr Andrew Cottril explained, ‘This is about HCF trying to unlock the power of our data for the benefit of our members and being more transparent with data so members can make more informed healthcare choices.’

Co-ops and mutuals and elections

BCCM welcomes continued bipartisan support for co-operatives and mutuals in the lead up to Federal and New South Wales elections.

At the federal level, the major parties continue to support the recommendations of the Hammond Review to improve access to capital for mutuals and participate in Parliamentary Friends of Mutuals and Co-operatives, formed in 2017. 

BCCM was also pleased to see the inclusion of co-operatives in the Federal Labor policy platform, finalised in December 2018.

At the state level, New South Wales Labor announced support for co-operatives if elected.

National Health Co-operative opens ANU clinic

Since its formation in 2010, National Health Co-op (NHC) has significantly increased the availability of doctors and bulk billing in Canberra. It has now opened a major practice at the Australian National University serving thousands of students and staff.

According to Alan Greig it is the member ownership structure that underpins NHC’s status as the fastest growing social enterprise in Australia.

ICA announces International Day of Co-operatives theme

The International Co-operative Alliance (ICA) has announced that the theme for International Day of Co-operatives will be Co-ops for Decent Work. International Day of Co-operatives will be celebrated on 6 July 2019.

Earthworker Co-operative is seeking expressions of interest for founding members of a worker-owned building and construction co-op. If you are a carpenter, labourer or licensed builder contact Zane.

Co-operatives UK has published important research on the conditions necessary for platform co-operatives to become viable alternatives to businesses like Uber, Google and Facebook.

Co-operatives National Law Seminar

20 March 2019, 9:30am1:30pm
RACV Club, Melbourne

CRG Seminar – Australian Mutuals History – Our Mutual History Saved and Shared

29 March 2019, 1pm2pm
The University of Sydney

Co-operatives and Mutuals Strategic Development Program

June 2019 (Western Australia), July 2019 (East Coast)
Discount for early bookings for BCCM members

Copyright © 2019 The Business Council of Co-operatives and Mutuals, All rights reserved.

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