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Editions

A wealth of goodwill for mission

02 Aug 2011

A wealth of goodwill for mission Image

By Bethany Williams

A partnership between Docklands’ Mission to Seafarers Victoria and Bendigo Wealth will see a new lease on life for the mission’s heritage-listed building at 717 Flinders St.

Through the partnership, and the mission’s existing agreement with the World Trade Centre (WTC), restoration work will begin this month starting with the Norla Dome.

Bendigo Wealth is a new Docklands-based company, which is the result of the amalgamation of the Bendigo and Adelaide Banks’ various wealth management services.

“The bank itself is committed to putting money back into the community and sponsoring things that really add value,” Bendigo Wealth executive John Billington said. “We really want to embed ourselves in the culture and heritage of the Docklands area.”

Mission to Seafarers Victoria CEO Andrea Fleming couldn’t be happier with the new relationship. “For us it’s a really important partnership,” she said.

The restoration plans have been warmly received by the organisation, especially considering that not so long ago it was at risk of being displaced. The 100-year lease on 717 Flinders St expired in 2007. Over the next two years there was interest from government departments which wanted to use the space for other purposes.

Ms Fleming said it was the mission’s partnership with the WTC that communicated to the Government that the Mission to Seafarers Victoria had support in terms of building maintenance and management.

“We’re starting to feel more confident. We’re working towards a sustainable future for the organisation and the relationship with Bendigo Wealth gives us the confidence that what we’re doing is right,” Ms Fleming said.

Mr Billington said that Bendigo Wealth had “big plans” for its new partnership with the Mission to Seafarers. “We are serious about developing this into a long-term relationship,” he said.

Alliances with companies like WTC and Bendigo Wealth are part of the mission’s Pledge Partner Program. This involves companies promising a certain amount of funding over at least three years. “The program gives us a budgeted revenue so that we know what we’ve got coming in each year,” Ms Fleming said.

It also provides sponsorship for the ANL Maritime Art Prize and Exhibition, which takes place each October. This event aims to promote excellence in maritime art and raises money to assist in the provision of services to seafarers in Victorian ports.

Bendigo Wealth will also be sponsoring the Bendigo Wealth Emerging Artist Award at this year’s exhibition.

Ms Fleming said that it was important for companies to involve themselves in their local area. “I really believe as you sow into your community you really reap the rewards,” she said.

The restoration work on the Mission to Seafarers’ building at 717 Flinders street is likely to be completed in 2014.

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