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2014 World Credit Union Conference opens in Australia
GOLD COAST, Australia (7/30/14)--An international flag parade with bearers clad in their national colors can only signal the start of one thing in the credit union world: The start of the year's World Credit Union Conference.
 
Click to view larger image Flag bearers dressed in national attire march in during the opening ceremonies of the 2014 World Credit Union Conference in Gold Coast, Australia. (World Council of Credit Unions Photo)
Nearly 1,900 credit union professionals from 48 countries descended upon Gold Coast, Australia this week to attend the World Council of Credit Unions' annual marquee event.
 
The conference, which provides international networking opportunities and the chance to learn from top industry experts from throughout the globe, kicked off Sunday with the flag parade, and ends today.
 
Don Magin, World Credit Union Conference chair and co-host of Customer Owned Banking Association, outlined Australia's mutual banking sector for attendees.
 
"Collectively, (credit unions) serve more than 200 million people worldwide," Magin said. "In the face of adversity, we have found a way to succeed. You all have reminded us in Australia that we have to do the same."
 
On Monday, World Council presented the Outstanding Membership Growth Awards to representatives of several international organizations that experienced exceptional membership-growth rates last year.
 
The award winners were:
  • Confederacao Interestadual das Cooperativas Ligada ao Sicredi of Brazil;
     
  • Federacion Nacional de Cooperativas de Ahorro y Credito of Guatemala; and
     
  • Islamic Investment and Finance Cooperative Group of Afghanistan.
Experts on hand at the conference also have offered insight on subjects such as young adult membership, technology, leadership and credit union advocacy.
 
Click to view larger image The Aboriginal dance troupe Nunukul Yuggera demonstrates a traditional performance to kick off this year's World Credit Union Conference. (World Council of Credit Unions Photo)
"It is meetings such as these that make us better, that help us serve our members better, that make us try to help others," said World Council Chair Grzegorz Bierecki, president of the National Association of State Credit Union Supervisors, in his remarks welcoming attendees. "During this conference, ideas will be born and linkages will be formed that will bring tangible results, if not today, then tomorrow."
 
Audience members Sunday, including a vast contingent of Australians and New Zealanders, also witnessed performances by the Aboriginal dance troupe Nunukul Yuggera and Australian tall-tale teller and singer Errol Gray.
 
To follow conference activities, including daily events and photos, visit the World Council's Facebook and Twitter pages at www.facebook.com/WOCCU and www.twitter.com/WOCCU, and use the hashtag #WCUC2014.


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