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Scholarship Presentation and Award

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Written by Marketing

Congratulations to this year's LCU Tertiary Scholarship recipients (to be published shortly). For the first time ever, the awards will be presented alongside the 2019 CSIRO Alumni Scholarship at a special award ceremony hosted by CSIRO at Lindfield. All LCU members are welcome to attend. 


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Catching up with our 2017/18 Scholarship Recipients

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Written by Marketing

We asked previous winners of the LCU Scholarship to comment on their first year of Uni

Previous winners of the LCU Tertiary Scholarships

Sabrina - University of Technology Sydney 

“After a long and much needed break from homework, assessments and all the stress of the HSC I began studying a bachelor of Business at the University of Technology Sydney. This first year of university, while it’s been stressful, I’ve absolutely loved my course, and plan to major in marketing and accounting. It's also incredible to see all the amazing opportunities there are to get involved at UTS. From netball, to a food appreciation society, there certainly hasn’t been an uneventful day.

I’m extremely grateful for LCU, their incredibly kind staff and the scholarship program which has been a massive help this first year of university. I wish the best of luck to those in the process of applying for their future education and those who are applying for this generous scholarship.”

 Jacquie - Macquarie University

"With change, there’s always going to be a combination of excitement and apprehension. Saying goodbye to the traditions and normalities of year 12 awakens the realisation that a new chapter in one’s life has begun, and for me, this chapter commenced at the front steps of Macquarie University. I was fortunate enough gain early acceptance into a double degree of Law and Security Studies, which LCU generously contributed to through the 2018 Tertiary Scholarship Program. 

For me personally, my course and the content I’ve learned has been the most rewarding aspect of university this year. As a child, I never anticipated to be studying Australia’s strategic environment and the effectiveness of the criminal justice system (just to name a few subjects), though I’ve ended up pursuing a course that’s perfectly suited to my interests. The friends I’ve met so far have made this experience even more rewarding.

Though if you’re anything like me… you’ll encounter moments of self-doubt and fear of the future over the next year, but my advice to you is to always trust your gut. Your passions were given to you for a reason; instead of questioning them or fearing what others will think, if it makes you happy and brings you a sense of purpose, pursue these ambitions with ferocity. This strength will carry you through whatever challenges you'll face.

Finally, I wish all 2018 graduates the best of luck in 2019!"

Dibyendu 

"First-year Uni was a wonderful experience as you experience a freedom that school doesn't offer. Even though this allows you to work more efficiently and free up time for enjoyment, it can as quickly lead to complacency. 

The most important part of any study is just the application of consistent effort through organisation. The vast majority of the content is not particularly hard, but the sheer volume of syllabus requirements can easily lead to a downward spiral due to the speed at which material is covered.

Striking a delicate balance is key as there is much to explore in uni past just the academics. The clubs and societies are really enjoyable, and their diversity means that you will always be able to explore your interests. Furthermore, you can develop new hobbies as most of the societies are catered towards beginners.

In short, have fun and enjoy the adventure!”

Don't Miss the Deadline, apply today

Applications for the 2018/19 Scholarships will close on 1st February 2019. The recipients will be announced alongside the 2019 CSIRO Alumni Scholarship recipient at the award ceremony at 3.00pm 18th of February 2019. 

To apply, download an application form today.

 

EnquireDownload Application

 


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RediATM Scheme Exit

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Written by Marketing

Update from the GM

Welcome to the Summer edition of LCU’s Newsletter. We hope you had a very happy and relaxing Christmas/New Year break. I want to take this opportunity to update our members on an important change to LCU members’ usage of rediATMs.

Over the last 12 months there have been significant changes in the provision of ATMs in Australia. LCU members now have free access to over 10,000 ATMs Australia wide, including those operated by the “big 4” banks (Commonwealth Bank, ANZ, Westpac and NAB). Furthermore, a number of mutual financial institutions have already made the decision, or will in the near future, to leave the rediATM network. This trend is expected to continue as the network diminishes and access to these machines become more difficult.

For this reason, LCU has made the decision to leave the rediATM network. Effective from 20 March 2019, rediATMs will no longer be fee-free to use with an LCU VISA Debit card. Members who use a rediATM after this date may be changed a fee by the operator of the ATM. Over the coming months we will provide you with more information as the cut-off time approaches.

I would also like to take this opportunity to acknowledge one of our dedicated staff members who retired during the year. Rhonda Hatton retired from her position as Loans Officer after 22 years of service to LCU and plans to relocate shortly to the NSW North Coast. From everyone at LCU we wish Rhonda and her husband Peter the very best for a happy and healthy retirement.

I would also like to introduce two new staff members. Theresa Luzon has been working at LCU since August as a Member Service Officer, and Tejas Daulat also started with LCU in late August as a Loans Officer.

By now many of you would be using the LCU - Banking App and I hope you are finding it to be convenient and user-friendly. Please contact any of the staff if you have any questions about the App, and we appreciate any feedback that our members would like to offer.

Finally I would like to mention the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking and Financial Services Industry. I, like most people, was appalled at the revelation (of which no credit union or mutual bank was involved), but our industry is focussed now on the recommendations that will come out of the Royal Commission and the implications for small financial institutions. Our industry association, the Customer Owned Banking Association or COBA, supports an approach to regulatory policy that aims to achieve regulation that is proportionate to the risk, size and complexity of the entity and avoid a one-size-fits-all approach to regulation. In COBA’s submission to the Royal Commission, they made some very pertinent comments about the mutual sector:

  • The culture of a banking institution is the most important factor driving consumer outcomes, in particular whether or not there is a culture of pursuing ever-increasing returns to shareholders;
  • The core proposition of the customer-owned model is that each customer is an equal owner of the business and the business only exists to serve its customers; and
  • Credit Unions, Mutual Banks and Building Societies have always existed to put people before profits – we are profit-making not profit-maximising.

LCU is a signatory to the Customer Owned Banking Code of Practice and this includes the following key promises:

  1. We will be fair and ethical in our dealings with you

  2. We will focus on our customers;

  3. We will deliver high customer service and standards; and

  4. We will recognise our customers’ rights as owners.

Leanne Harris

General Manager

 

 
 

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LCU - Banking App (The Whole Story)

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Written by Marketing

LCU - Banking App (The Whole Story)

What started as a “quick project” has turned out to be one that went on for much longer than originally anticipated. That being said, looking out from this late stage and seeing a near finished product could not be more satisfying.

Who did we get to build it?

Our trusted provider Ultradata (UDA) – who manage our core banking platform and website were the obvious choice for the project back when we first began looking at it in 2017. Having the same company who currently manages our other online channels create our app just made sense. 

What was our focus?

 We wanted to keep it simple but ensure that we included as many of the features we knew were important to our members that we could.

Firstly, it was important to us that logging in to the app would be simple & straightforward.

That’s why, after entering your usual MVP credentials during the first time set up of the LCU – Banking App, you’ll be prompted to choose a PIN or pattern. Once that is set, there’s no need to change it unless you want to. For users sporting the latest iPhone (X and beyond) you’ll have a third option – FaceID. 

Of course we are very upset that this inevitable bit of favouritism occurred – we love our Android users equally after all and intend to support face recognition on android as soon as we are able to. Sadly that is reliant on our suppliers – and not something we can instigate ourselves. (I would if I could, I personally have an S8 and would love face recognition for myself!)

Card control  was another feature we wanted to ensure was included. You can now lock and unlock your LCU VISA card directly within the app. That means if you happen to misplace your wallet, instead of instantly calling VISA to cancel the card, only to find it five minutes later (safely tucked between the couch cushions) and then having to go through the whole replacement process anyway, you’ll now be able to lock your card with the tap of a finger.

You find the card – excellent! You tap Unlock and go on your merry way.

You don’t find the card, there’s a button right there in the app to tell us to place the order for your replacement card.

If you’re (again – the favouritism – I swear it isn’t me) an Apple Wallet user – make sure you’ve added your LCU card to your wallet. We are able to replace the details stored in the digital wallet on your phone – the same moment when the new card order is placed. Don’t wait on snail mail to start spending again! Instantly replace your card in the wallet instead.

So, why the long wait?

Some of you may recall, mentions of an app were being carefully doled out earlier this year – aiming for a mid-2018 release. But it wasn’t to be. It certainly adds a lot to the project of building a banking app when during the course of designing it, an entirely new method of payment is brought to market. Osko allows institutions to send funds, bank to bank, in moments as opposed to days. We wanted to ensure that our first app release would include the single biggest new function to hit the banking industry in the last few years. And so we decided to be patient and stay the course. Wait for quality and assurance testing to be completed, then finish designing, testing, and bringing this app to market.

What’s next?

Install of the app into our live banking environment was successfully completed on 29th November. Then we entered our “soft launch” where the app is be available to staff members only whilst we complete the final testing with all connections live.

So when do I get it?

As the final, set-in-stone, we’re-definitely-going-to-release-it date – has not officially been confirmed as yet, I can’t answer that. Final release date is reliant on the results of the tests conducted during the soft launch. Fingers crossed we’ll have zero issues, everything will work perfectly first time and we’ll be able to inform you all that it’s to be released Mid-December.

Thank you so much for reading.  

Matthew Thoms
Marketing & IT Support


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Helping your adult kids to be financially savvy

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Written by Marketing

It is human nature for parents to want to provide for their children but at some point, the “help” you may be giving them could actually be more of a hindrance to them gaining their own financial independence - stunting their financial literacy and growth.

Your financial future is at stake

The other consideration is your retirement lifestyle. If you are 50 or older, now is the time to be setting yourself up for the future and making the most of every discretionary dollar for the development of your nest egg. If you are operating the “bank of mum and dad” for your kids instead of building your retirement, it could mean you need to work longer or compromise your retirement lifestyle.

Helping them become financially savvy

So, what can you do to help your kids get a grip on their situation and gain financial responsibility?

You can give your children positive encouragement and tangible education on the financial life skills they will need. This doesn’t mean you should suddenly “cut them off”, but it does mean you need to begin a serious discussion with them about the costs of maintaining their lifestyle and determine a timeline for passing over responsibility to them.

Budgeting is the foundation

If you have been putting food on the table and a roof over their head, chances are their income has been directed toward spending on their own entertainment and enjoyment. Giving them an understanding of budgeting is critical for them to gain a broader view of what it takes to survive and prosper financially.

Fortunately, there are plenty of budgeting tools available online or through banks, which you can encourage them to use and help them to complete. This will give them an understanding of the scope and scale of spending required to live independently, as well as an appreciation of the differences between essential living expenses (such as food, utilities, communication, transport, and rent) and discretionary spending (such as eating out, entertainment, gaming, and hobbies).

Developing responsible habits

An extension of the budgeting process is to educate them on the vital importance of saving regularly from their income. Start with a simple rule of saving a set percentage of everything they earn. This can then be developed into goal-oriented saving for various objectives they consider important and worth sacrificing for.

If you do want to provide some form of financial support, rather than giving random handouts toward immediate needs, perhaps you can offer to match their savings dollar for dollar in support of something worthwhile, such as a home deposit, rental bond, or a business venture. This gives real incentive to form solid saving habits that will benefit them throughout their life.

Educating on credit is also essential as it is easy for them to quickly rack up personal debts that can demoralise them and distort their financial priorities. Analysing a month’s spending may point out where their income is being squandered or wasted.

Creating wealth slowly

Your children may view the concept of creating financial independence as something that can only happen through outrageous luck or taking huge risks for quick gain. Therefore, one of the most vital lessons you can pass on is the value and importance of creating wealth slowly.

Real financial independence is not the result of a lottery win or riding the back of an investment boom — rather it is the result of forming sound investment practices such as:

  • Allocating a certain proportion of your regular savings toward long-term wealth creation plans
  • Utilising available tools that accelerate wealth, such as superannuation tax incentives
  • Diversifying investments beyond bank term deposits and into a variety of asset classes that relate to your investment time horizons
  • Planning for contingencies (such as sudden loss of income or emergency expenses) by establishing an emergency savings plan and personal insurance protection plans
  • Seeking the advice of a financial adviser to coordinate all of the above, and to develop a lifelong plan and strategy for wealth creation.

Start the conversation now

Delaying the steps outlined here may result in an ongoing cycle of dependence that will only become harder to break if it isn’t addressed.

Take the next step

To discuss your financial situation, make an appointment with a Bridges financial planner.

If you would like to learn more about account features offered by LCU that might be of use in helping teach your adult (in name only!) child, then please feel free to contact us using the Enquire or Call buttons on this page. 

We have an established alliance with Bridges, to provide our customers with financial advice. Bridges has been helping Australians with financial advice for 30 years.

A Bridges financial planner will develop a plan specifically for you; one that’s tailored to your needs and circumstances to help you achieve your goals.

To make an appointment with a Bridges financial planner, contact us. LCU members are entitled to a complimentary and obligation free initial consultation .

Bridges Financial Services Pty Ltd (Bridges). ABN 60 003 474 977. ASX Participant. AFSL 240837.

This is general advice only and has been prepared without taking into account your particular objectives, financial situation and needs. Before making an investment decision based on this information, you should assess your own circumstances or consult a financial planner or a registered tax agent.

Examples are illustrative only and are subject to the assumptions and qualifications disclosed.

 
Enquire Call 02 9859 0585

 


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