A former employee of the Port Fairy and District Community Bank has thanked the financial institution for the opportunity to advance her career.
Annie Giblin, 23, this week started a new job at Rural Bank in Warrnambool.
The posting is Ms Giblin's first in rural banking, a sector she has studied and worked towards being a part of.
She credits her time working as a trainee at Port Fairy and District Community Bank as a major stepping stone into the industry she has always wanted to work in.
"It is really tough to get a job in banking so to get my foot in the door at Port Fairy was such an important step," Ms Giblin said.
"It gave me such good experience and I loved working with the girls there.
"It opened a lot of doors for me and I am very grateful for the opportunity."
Ms Giblin studied at Emmanuel College before going to Charles Sturt University in Wagga, where she gained a bachelor of agricultural business management.
Despite such impressive qualifications, getting a job in rural banking is a difficult task. At the start of 2019, Ms Giblin saw a traineeship advertised for the Port Fairy and District Community Bank and was the successful applicant.
With both the community bank and Rural Bank in the Bendigo Bank stable, Ms Giblin was able to get closer to her ideal position through some cross-branch meetings.
She began her new job at Rural Bank in Warrnambool on Monday.
It was the beginning of a big week for Ms Giblin, who is also a member of the South Warrnambool women's football team that will play in the grand final this weekend.
Ms Giblin is also a member of the Koroit CFA, an organisation she has been a part of since she was 16.
Port Fairy and District Community Bank branch manager Julia O'Neill said she was thrilled for Ms Giblin.
"We worked with Westvic as part of its 200 jobs in 100 days program," Ms O'Neill said.
"This was the first time we had taken on a trainee, we wanted someone who was really keen to get into the banking industry.
"Annie was so impressive, she fitted in with our town really well. We are so proud she has taken the next step in her career and got the job at Rural Bank.
"She is moving in the direction she wants to go and it is nice to think we have been able to play a part in that."
Ms O'Neill said Port Fairy was the first community bank in the region to take on a traineeship.
The move has inspired other branches to follow suit.
"The board supported the idea of a traineeship," she said. "It has turned out to be a very rewarding experience for everyone involved."