Westpac Foundation’s Community Grant Ambassador advocates for young people Melbourne’s west

Posted: Tue, 29th May 2018 | Written by: The Team at Western Chances

Since answering a call-out for Community Grant Ambassadors last year, Westpac’s Michael “Muddy” Waters has been a committed advocate for Western Chances. His work has inspired others in the banking community to help create more opportunities for young people.

Westpac Foundation’s Community Grant Ambassador advocates for young people Melbourne’s west
Image L-R: Michael 'Muddy' Waters, Rhyll Dorrington, CEO Western Chances, Peter Young, Westpac.


Western Chances has a proud and long-standing connection with the Westpac Foundation, after receiving valuable “seed” funding in 2004. Westpac Foundation’s Community Grants are awarded to local, grassroots organisations  that have a vision of creating a “fair go” for all Australians. As well as funding of $10,000 each, the grants also include valuable non-financial support, connecting grant recipients with the Westpac Group’s expertise and resources.

When Michael Waters, Head of Corporate Banking VIC/SA, joined Westpac’s Community Ambassador program last year, he was keen to share his expertise to support his local community. Michael was instantly drawn to what Western Chances was achieving for young people locally.

“The organisation helps provide young people with greater access to opportunity. The beauty of this is that people get assistance but then have to work hard to maintain the support Western Chances has on offer. I find this “structure” profoundly balanced and encourages the right behaviours in all stakeholders – I signed up and have been proud to be their Ambassador ever since.”

Michael’s initiatives to build relationships between Western Chances and Westpac bring immense value to the whole community.

For example, he invited the CEO of Western Chances to speak to his team about the programs for students. Hearing first hand, it brought home to the team how Westpac’s support was really making a difference in the community. From there it was easier for Michael to draw in his team’s support for the next grant application.

Also, as an active supporter of events such as the Scholarship Awards Ceremony, Michael’s understanding of the journey scholarship recipients are on has deepened. He is inspired by the students’ achievements and he has welcomed scholarship alumni to the Westpac State Headquarters Annual Leadership Forum.

“This is for young people who are now forging their own careers and provides a valuable avenue for them to stay connected to Western Chances and continue to contribute to the cause in some way.”

Continuing to promote Western Chances in the bank’s community, Michael invites members of Western Chances to attend bank events, which generate valuable donations to support our program delivery.

Michael enjoys being an active participant in the community, and encourages others to join in his endeavours.

“Being an Ambassador is not only tremendously satisfying; it also provides great personal development opportunities through increased social awareness”

Western Chances is proud to have Westpac’s support from our early beginnings, and we particularly thank the staff like Michael “Muddy” Waters for their significant personal contributions.

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