On July 6, cooperatives around the world celebrate the International Day of Cooperatives with this year’s theme "Cooperatives build a better future for all." It is a day to reflect on the current and historical contributions from cooperatives in building a sustainable future.


The 2023 UN Secretary-General Report on Cooperatives in Social Development acknowledged that cooperatives have a track record of promoting the economic and social development of all people, including marginalised groups. Cooperatives consistently show their resilience in times of social and economic crises and the United Nations recognises the cooperative movement as its key partner in accelerating sustainable development to create more social, economic, and environmental impact in society.


This year marks the 102nd International Cooperative Day and the 30th UN International Day of Cooperatives, building momentum towards the 2025 International Year of Cooperatives, declared by the UN last year.


Financial co-operatives such as credit unions, building societies and mutual banks were formed when groups of like-minded workers and communities came together to make a difference to the community. Since its establishment in 1959 as the Public Works Department Staff Co-operative, G&C Mutual Bank has grown to become one of Australia’s strongest mutual banks. We are proud to be a part of the global cooperative movement that puts people first, and we're dedicated to providing our members with exceptional products and services while actively contributing to the betterment of our community.


G&C Mutual Bank was also the first financial institution globally to be accredited under the Mutual Value Measurement (MVM) Accreditation process. The Framework helps mutual organisations like ours, to measure their total value creation (mutual value) through a set of common dimensions and shared language about measuring and reporting mutual value. We’re always striving to make a positive impact as part of our commitment to a more sustainable future for our members and their communities.


As a member focused, values-driven organisation, acting responsibly and ethically is at the heart of G&C Mutual Bank's operations. This is brought to life in our mission, values and brand promise, Banking on your Community. As an Associate Member of the Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV), we are one of only four Australian banks to be part of this network of independent banks using finance to deliver sustainable economic, social and environmental development.


Putting people first and helping our community are central to G&C Mutual Bank’s ethos. We strive to help our members and be there for them when they need us most.  We’ve stood by our members though droughts, fires, recessions, and the hardships of COVID-19.


Our history as a cooperative is an important foundation of our Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) strategy. This has included a number of key initiatives, in addition to ongoing programs of work:

  • Educational content and tools such as our Elder Financial Abuse GuideDeceased Estate Guide, and information on financial hardshipscams and fraud security
  • Part of world first respect and protect initiative aligned to the updates of our terms and conditions to help prevent products and services being used as a vehicle for abuse
  • Introduction of recycled PVC debit and credit cards, and more environmentally conscious options for the accompanying card carriers, PIN mailers and envelopes
  • Launch of our Essential Worker Home Loan, designed to recognise the contribution essential workers make to the community by supporting their home ownership journey
  • Launch of our Responsible Banking Policy, intended to outline how our members’ money is being used to contribute to a positive, viable banking model focused on meeting human needs and sustainability.
  • Analysis underway to further measure and minimise the impact our business operations have on the environment
  • Special support measures for members impacted by floods and our commitment to rebuild in Lismore and support the local community
  • Digital enhancements including website upgrades, a new Mobile App, the launch of Digital Wallet and an enhanced digital banking experience
  • Service enhancements to provide accessible and inclusive banking for members
  • Member engagement via our in-person member roadshows
  • Living our values so we can continue to delight our members
  • Continue to deliver award-winning products, independently recognised for their great value, flexibility and innovative features
  • Support of key worker groups such as through the NSW Ambulance Employee Awards
  • Support of staff volunteering opportunities to help local communities
  • Support for the communities we are part of through the Australian Mutuals Foundation (AMF)
  • Support of the values-driven, mutual banking and cooperative models through the Customer Owned Banking Association (COBA), Business Council of Co-operatives and Mutuals (BCCM), World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU), and Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV)

These are some of the ways we are working as a cooperative to build a better future for all. We aim to continue improving our contribution to positive social and environmental change, and we’re ready to help our members build a brighter future.

International Day of Cooperatives