After spending a terrifying night with fellow evacuees on the Kingscote Jetty at Kangaroo Island, BankSA Branch Manager Kaytee Collins headed straight to the branch, opened the doors and started to get the message out for anyone who needed help to drop by the bank.
Kaytee, who is a local-born resident of Kingscote and has managed the branch for five years, then got to work. “On that first day, most of the customers didn’t know where to go so they’d just turn up to branch because we were familiar.’’
“If their feet were bare, we got them some shoes. If they needed clothes, we got some,’’ Kaytee said.
“So many people had been evacuated so many times that they had become numb. They needed people to think for them and to look out for them.’’
She purchased food and fuel vouchers from local businesses to distribute to community members with nothing. She was able to do his with the backing of Westpac’s “EmpowerMe’’ program that enables bankers to provide special assistance to customers in crisis.
In the days afterwards, she worked with BankSA’s senior management to get funding for 19 electricity generators worth $33,000 so local businesses could re-open.
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