What is your business story? How to tell and deliver on an authentic business story

This article is a transcript of the presentation by Marnie Baker, Managing Director, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank delivered at Governance Institute’s Victorian Governance and Risk Management Forum held on 20 May 2021.

I’d like to introduce you to the story of a wannabe primary school teacher who became a banker, a banker who became the Managing Director of an ASX 100 company, and a gold rush inspired building society that became one of Australia’s biggest and most trusted banks.

Let me take you back, back to 1989, when I was a young, and somewhat naïve country girl who had relocated from the small northern Victorian dairy farming town of Cohuna to what was to me at the time, the big city of Bendigo, to pursue my chosen study path.

This was meant to be a steppingstone to a career in Melbourne. However, I fell in love with Bendigo, with my now husband and with a job and an organisation that mirrored my own personal values, and where I could progress my professional career. 

Like the Gwyneth Paltrow movie, my story is one of sliding doors, of spur of the moment decisions, which taught me the lesson of not overthinking things nor placing too much pressure on yourself. For the decisions you make are only for that point in time and not for the rest of your life.

You see, I could have stayed in Cohuna and applied for a role in one of the local banks, however it never crossed my mind to ever work in a bank. I knew I wanted to go to University and my whole life I’d dreamed of being a primary teacher — just like my mother.

But when I went to fill out my preferences for university, there was an oversupply of primary teachers and as such, limited job prospects for those coming out of university.

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