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Basil’s Table – Banking on the future in a climate of change

February 25, 2020 @ 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM

$10 – $25

Are you thinking what Kenneth Haynes QC (pictured above with Treasurer Josh Frydenberg) is thinking? 

The Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry uncovered some difficult truths about the way banking actually works in the Commonwealth of Australia. A surprising, and underreported feature of the Commission was the noticeable absence of member-owned financial institutions such as customer-owned and mutual banks, credit unions and building societies. What is it about these kinds of financial institutions that kept them out of the Commission and out of the bad news stories?

Other areas to potentially explore will be the challenges and opportunities for customer-owned banks in the post Royal Commission environment. How can mutual and customer-owned banks work with the broader social and solidarity economy movement to build a new economy, at a time when our natural environment is under existential threat?

Explore the issues with a different kind of banker – Rowan Dowland, Bank Australia

Picture: Bank Australia

Bank Australia states that it is ‘the bank with clean money’. Thankfully, it doesn’t invest in fossil fuels, live animal export, gambling, the arms industry and tobacco. Apart from ethical investment and not featuring in the Royal Commission – what is the difference between customer-owned banks compared to banks that are merely owned by external shareholders? Are there member-to-member advantages? 

Come along to the inaugural  ‘Basil’s Table’ and enjoy an intimate discussion with Rowan Dowland who heads up the Bank Australia’s strategy and planning area. 

Rowan has been at Bank Australia since 1994 and has seen a lot of changes since that time. In this discussion we will explore what personally motivates this social economy leader. What is the relationship between people and profit? Are we naturally adversarial or is greater cooperation possible? 

Bookings essential – get your tickets below

Where: Kelvin Club 14-30 Melbourne Pl, Melbourne

When: 6-7:30pm, Tuesday 25th of February

Catering: finger-food on arrival

Dressups: low-key smart-casual – no thongs, singlets… or shorts.

Please note: audio-visual recording will be employed at this event and once registered we will occasionally send you information about future 888 Co-operative Causeway activity. 

888 Co-operative Causeway
Basil’s Table: listen, learn and connect

Are you interested in the re-emergent social economy that includes co-operatives, mutual benefit societies, associations, foundations and social enterprises? These kinds of enterprises produce goods, services and knowledge in ways that meet the needs of the community they serve through the pursuit of social and environmental purpose, and the fostering of solidarity. 

888 Co-operative Causeway is pleased to announce a new interview series featuring emerging as well as more seasoned social economy leaders. 

Picture: Joaquim Borge

Basil’s Table is an interview series conducted by Basil Varghese, a well-known Melbourne- based community builder and advocate for social justice, who has long been committed to ‘bridging the gap between those that have and have not’. As a Patron of 888 Co-operative Causeway, Basil hosts these conversations with special guests at the Kelvin Club in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD on topics relevant to building a connected community across Victoria.

‘Basil’s Table’ will introduce key issues in the social and solidarity economy. The discussions will be intimate one-on-one affairs, and will also provide opportunities for our audience to ask questions, and be a part of the conversation. As with all 888 Co-operative Causeway events – come along and join in the conversation, and meet some new people to connect and collaborate with. Finger food is provided on arrival to ensure you are welcome. 

Who is Basil? 

Basil was born in Dar-es-salaam, that ancient port in East Africa; the eldest son in a large family of eight brothers and one sister. His parents had migrated to East Africa from their homeland Kerala in India, and in 1964 their migrations finally ended when they arrived in Brisbane, Australia, to again start their lives anew. After moving around Australia Basil based himself in Melbourne. Basil’s career has been dedicated to working with and for those experiencing disadvantage in Australian society. Basil believes that poverty is a form of oppression on a continuum connected to racism, cultural and ethnic chauvinism, sexism and other forms of injustice; and, that it is always a systemic or structural issue. 

Basil is the former CEO and Ambassador for National Education & Employment Foundation (NEEF) and has also held leadership roles in the Brotherhood of St. Laurence (BSL), the Ecumenical Migration Centre (EMC)  and the Melbourne and Aboriginal Community College (Toundi) in Adelaide. He was also the international Ambassador for Sports Education Development Australia (SEDA).



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February 25, 2020
6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
$10 – $25
Event Category:


Antony McMullen


Kelvin Club
30 Melbourne Pl
Melbourne, Victoria 3000 Australia
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