Our story

Bendigo Bank’s Community Bank concept was initiated in the late 1990s in response to major banks withdrawing services from communities across Australia in the pursuit of economic rationalism and greater efficiency. As a result, local communities suffered from the loss of critical economic and financial services needed to keep them vibrant. Realising this opportunity, a band of local Freshwater identities lead the way to return banking services back to our village centre with Harbord Financial Services (HFS) Limited opening for business with the Freshwater Community Bank Branch franchise in 2002. Today, HFS Limited has more than 400 shareholders who each year donate up to 80% of their profits to countless local not-for-profit organisations.

HFS Limited is managed voluntarily by 10 professional Directors and seven assisting Ambassadors. It is staffed by local community-minded, dedicated, trained bank officers, who offer a complete suite of Bendigo Bank products.

Bendigo Bank today boasts more than 300 Community Banks making it the fifth largest bank in Australia.

Freshwater’s local history


Freshwater was named in the early 1800’s after a freshwater stream that ran into the ocean, and was virtually uninhabited until the late 1880's when it became a working men’s camp with ladies only allowed to visit on Sundays. To encourage housing development in the early 1900's, the suburb name changed to Harbord in 1923, after Cecelia Margaret Harbord - the maiden name of the then wife of New South Wales’ Governor Lord Carrington. In 2008, the village name was reinstated to Freshwater.

Freshwater is best known for the birth of surfing in Australia. On 23 December 1914, during a swimming exhibition at Freshwater Beach, Kahanamoku (also known as the "Duke") demonstrated the art of board riding. Originally from Hawaii, Kahanamoku popularised surfing across Australia and United States. The board he fashioned for his Freshwater debut is still hanging in Freshwater Surf Life Saving Club, and his bronze statue can be found on the northern headland of Freshwater Beach.

Today, Freshwater is known for its natural coastal beauty in the heart of Sydney’s northern beaches, and its strong sense of community - boasting an array of local sporting organisations, businesses, schools, and recreation and leisure facilities.

Freshwater Beach

Financial Claims Scheme

The Financial Claims Scheme (FCS) is an Australian Government scheme that provides protection and quick access to deposits in banks, building societies and credit unions in the unlikely event that one of these financial institutions fails.

Under the FCS, certain deposits are protected up to a limit of $250,000 for each account holder at any bank, building society, credit union or other authorised deposit-taking institution (ADI) that is incorporated in Australia and authorised by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA ).

The following has been provided to inform you on the Financial Claims Scheme.

1.    What is the Financial Claims Scheme?

The Financial Claims Scheme (FCS) is an Australian Government scheme that provides protection and quick access to deposits in banks, building societies and credit unions in the unlikely event that one of these financial institutions fails.

Under the FCS, certain deposits are protected up to a limit of $250,000 for each account holder at any bank, building society, credit union or other authorised deposit-taking institution (ADI) that is incorporated in Australia and authorised by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA).

The FCS can only come into effect if it is activated by the Australian Government when an institution fails. Once activated, the FCS will be administered by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA).

In an FCS scenario, APRA would aim to pay the majority of customers their protected deposits under the Scheme within seven calendar days.

2. How is the FCS limit applied?

The FCS limit of $250,000 applies to the sum of an account holder’s deposits under the one banking license.

Therefore, all deposits held by an account holder with a single banking institution must be added together towards the $250,000 FCS limit, and this includes accounts with any other banking businesses that the licenced banking institution may operate under a different trading name.

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Limited’s network of brands and joint ventures provide a wide range of products and services, and those that are covered by the FCS are Bendigo Bank, Adelaide Bank, Community Bank, Alliance Bank, Community Sector Bank, Rural Bank and Delphi Bank.

3.   Where can I get further information on the FCS?

Further information on the FCS is available on the FCS website. The FCS website also contains a list of FAQ’s relating to banking.

Freshwater Beach

Board of Directors

Harbord Financial Services (HFS) Limited is managed voluntarily by the following 10 professional Directors:



Trevor has been with HFS Limited since its inception in 2002. He has worked and lived in Freshwater all his life and owns a local dental surgery. Trevor is married to Vicki and has three children - Emma, Adam and Ellie.


JOHN VACCARO - Vice Chairman

Having joined the Board in 2007, John is a key member of the Business Development, Community Partnership and Marketing sub-committee and a licensed real estate professional with more than 35 years’ industry experience. John is a former president of St John the Baptist School Freshwater’s P&F Association and a School Board member, and he has also served as Vice-Chairman for the Real Estate Institute of NSW Pittwater Division. John also represented the NSW/ACT Community Bank network as an elected member of the Community Bank Strategic Advisory Board / National Council.



As a longstanding Director, Ian contributes his extensive business consulting and legal skills to HFS Limited. Ian has now semi-retired from a long career working for leading global organisations in the finance and automobile industries in corporate roles such as Senior Manager, Solicitor, Accountant and Company Secretary. He also worked in the not-for-profit sector and run his own consulting and book distribution businesses. Ian now works part-time coordinating the Traffic Offenders Program at three locations in Sydney and has a strong association with the Agricultural, Hospitality and Retail businesses. Ian and his wife Michelle have two children.


DAVID IRVINE - Treasurer

David is a chartered accountant with more than 35 years of business experience and previously held the role of Chief Financial Officer in a number of publicly listed Australian companies. David is married to Janiece and has two daughters, Leanne and Susan, and he is an active member of the North Curl Curl SLSC. David was appointed as a HFS Limited Ambassador in 2013.



Martin has been a HFS Limited Director since its inception and owns the local pharmacy in Freshwater, which has been trading for more than 25 years.



Having lived in the local community for more than 44 years, Noela makes a valuable contribution to the Board. Using her experience working in the accounting industry and with the family electrical business, Noela mentors participants of HFS Limited’s Future Leaders Program. She is married to Richard and has two sons, Adam and Craig and she has a variety of sporting interests in the local area.



As a former General Manager in Sales, National Sales Director and National Sales and Marketing Manager in IT, Telco and Publishing with leading global organisations, and founder of an executive search business, Denise has led an expansive career. Emigrating from the US, Denise has been a long-term resident of Freshwater for more than 20 years. An active community member, she serves as Treasurer for Friends of Freshwater and was selected to participate in the Harbord Diggers Development Community Consultation Group. Both Denise and her husband Robert run businesses from Freshwater. Their son, Rory, is active in sports, particularly with North’s Basketball.



Peter has had a long career in senior management. Prior to his retirement in 2008, he was Executive Director of Australia’s major safety testing authority and a Director of Workplace Health and Safety at the WorkCover Authority of NSW. He has also taught Industrial Relations at the University of Sydney on a part-time and casual basis for the last 30 years.

Like his parents before him, Peter resides in Freshwater with his family and is active in the local community as the current President of Friends of Freshwater Inc.


TONY BEVAN - Director

Tony has had a long career in the banking sector having had extensive experience with small business and consumer lending together with building of strong customer relationships with his clients.

Following retirement from banking in 2010, Tony is now a qualified bookkeeper and registered BAS agent, with local businesses as clients. His banking experience provides support and advice to small businesses for financial and banking requirements. Tony has lived on the Northern Beaches for more than 30 years.


With a career in the financial services industry spanning over thirty years, Julie built and ran her own business after holding senior executive positions for leading Australian and global investment managers. Julie’s business developed and successfully conducted investment and educational programs globally for investment managers, research houses, institutional advice groups and financial planners.

Julie was appointed from an Ambassador to a Director in 2016.


SIMMONE LINAY - Executive Assistant

Simmone has valuable company knowledge, having assisted the Board of Directors since 2005, along with the company’s bookkeeping, share registry and Community Partnership and marketing. She has worked on and off in the banking industry for 30 years.

Simmone has lived on the Northern Beaches all her life and is married to Kim and they have three daughters Cassandra, Brianna and Tiffany, as well as numerous grandchildren. Simmone is a life member of Beacon Hill Youth Club Netball.

For all inquiries relating to Marketing or Community Partnership, please email info@harbordfinancialservices.com.au or contact the branch on 02-9939-6744

How to become an Ambassador and Director?

Freshwater Beach

Staff Profiles


Kasey Kaye – Branch Operations Manager

Kasey commenced working with HFS Limited in 2005 and uses her financial knowledge and technical skills to provide invaluable support to the branch and friendly customer service. Leading a team of six staff, she has exceptional administration skills, acquired by working with various accounting firms in the local area, and a strong team ethic.


Sandra Kleiner – Community & Business Relationship Manager

With a career in the banking industry spanning more than 37 years, Sandra’s professional experience extends from Business Banking to the Retail Sector.

Sandra was appointed Branch Manager in 2011 after six years of working with HFS Limited including two years as Assistant Manager.

Recently Sandra had a change of role to the Community & Business Relationship Manager and offers extensive financial knowledge and banking expertise to assist customers, while her approachability and dedication to the local community are qualities complementary to her position.


Su-Ellen Laing – Senior Customer Service Officer

Su-Ellen joined the team in 2005 and offers 20 years of banking expertise. With experience from various financial institutions, Su is a resource of knowledge in current banking practices and is meticulous in servicing customer needs.


Kerryn Hamilton – Senior Customer Service Officer

Kerryn has a long standing relationship with the local community having lived in Freshwater all her life and attended local primary and high schools.

Joining HFS Limited in 2010 with more than a decade of experience in the finance industry, Kerryn’s qualifications, efficiency and personal investment in the community are an asset to the team. Kerryn is also our resident Manly Warringah Sea Eagles fanatic.


Cheerie Watt – Customer Service Officer

With an extensive background in Sales, having worked for a local import company, Cheerie brings quality customer service and product knowledge to the team. Cheerie has been actively involved with community events and charities since joining the team in 2005.


Kathy McDonald – Customer Service Officer

Kathy joined HFS Limited in August 2016, bringing over 20 years’ experience in Insurance and Credit Unions. Kathy also has extensive experience working in the fitness industry.

For all inquiries relating to Marketing or Community Partnership, please email info@harbordfinancialservices.com.au or contact the branch on 02-9939-6744


Freshwater Beach

How to become an Ambassador or a Director

“We welcome your interest in making a contribution to your community by inviting you to apply for an honorary voluntary position at Freshwater Community Bank Branch .” This is an opportunity to make a difference and add value to your community in an exciting and unique

The Ambassador’s role

This is a voluntary role to assist the directors with the promotion of Harbord Financial Services Limited and the Freshwater Community Bank Branch of Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Limited.
Freshwater Community Bank Branch now sponsors over 90 different community associations and needs to be represented at many community events. The directors believe seeking expressions of interest from people within the local community is the best way to increase involvement in the community and assist in our community.

The duties would include but would not be limited to:

  • Representing Harbord Financial Services and Freshwater Community Bank® Branch at community events
  • Bringing extra expertise to assist the directors with their duties
  • Promote Harbord Financial Services and Freshwater Community Bank® Branch
  • Be involved in participating in the Freshwater community
  • Ambassadors would attend designated Ambassador meetings with the board
  • Ambassadors are subject to police and other probity checks required by Bendigo and Adelaide Bank
  • After a period of time Ambassadors would form part of the succession planning to replace any directors that leave the board. Note the shareholders have to approve the appointment of any new director at the Annual General Meeting

Further Involvement - a progression to a Directorship

After a suitable orientation period as an Ambassador to establish suitability from both perspectives. You may be invited to take on a Directorship role should a vacancy become available.
The term of a Directorship is three years by rotation. You will be inducted as a Director mid-term and then recommended for a full term at the AGM that year. Each Board member shall be involved with at least one sub board committee.  The choice of sub-committee will reflect your best skill set and interest.
It is estimated that overall your contribution on a time line basis would amount to approximately but not limited to 12 hours a month.

We welcome people passionate about our community to assist us in taking our bank forward, to further assist our community in the years ahead.

Download the Ambassador Application Form, complete and return with attached references to the branch.


Freshwater Beach