On Australia Day, Margot Sweeny, our CEO, was selected for an Order of Australia Medal, for her services to the financial industry and those in the community. Margot was delighted to be receiving the award.
“I’m a very proud Australian and this recognition is really heartening. It’s a huge honour and I feel very humbled”, she said.
Margot moved from Canada to Australia when she was 15 years old, and has since made it her home. “I think the fact I felt so comfortable here meant I fell in love with Australia,” she said.
Margot’s OAM nomination came directly from CUFA; where she acts as Chair. CUFA offer financial services through a cooperative model to build the livelihoods of those living in poverty across South East Asia.
CUFA’s CEO, Peter Mason was delighted the organisation nominated Margot “because she has an unbridled energy and enthusiasm, as well as a willingness to tackle all issues big or small. She is generous with her time and incredibly supportive of the individuals around her.”
“Margot’s belief in the importance of community and the way she uses her finance and banking skills to help people of the Asia Pacific region and particularly her tireless advocacy of CUFA’s work was why we nominated her,” Peter Mason added.
Within the financial sector, Margot has been one of the champions of community owned banking having been Summerland CEO since 1999, and previously Vice-Chair and Board Member from 1993-1999. Her passion for the industry saw her also become a Board Member of the Customer Owned Banking Association for nine years.
During her career, Margot has been heavily involved with a number of organisations, but particularly Southern Cross University, as firstly a lecturer in 1983 to then being a member on the University’s council for twelve years. For her services to the University, she received an honorary Doctorate at the end of 2017.
Within the wider community, Margot has continued to lead Summerland’s vision “to make a difference” and follow our values like our staff; supporting diverse communities, whilst working collaboratively and co-operatively. Margot to date has offered her knowledge and expertise, to Lismore City Council’s Policy Advisory Group, the Northern Rivers Regional Development Board, the Northern Rivers Area Consultative Committee, the Northern Rivers Community Foundation, the Cooperative Alliance, Friends of the Koala and Better Boards; an organisation that transforms not-for-profit organisations.
“I have been lucky enough to spend a lot of time contributing to the region. I think it’s important we all look to make a difference in our local community, no matter how big or small we feel that contribution may be,” she said.
We would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Margot on this wonderful achievement for her and her family, and thank her for her ongoing contribution and leadership locally and internationally.