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Our Green Hills branch celebrates 40 years this week.

Friday 28 July, 2017.

It’s been 40 years since Sharon Finch, nee Fairhall, started as manager of the first Newcastle Permanent branch in East Maitland on 28 July 1977 as a bright and eager teenager.  

"I was probably 16 when I started as branch assistant, called cashiers in those days, in the Maitland branch," Mrs Finch said. "I was doing that for a couple of years, and then when they were opening Green Hills, unbeknown to me, I was put forward as the manager. I was young, only 18 or 19 but they said they wanted fresh blood. I was the only one in the branch for a while, but I got an assistant and it didn’t take long to grow from there as the community grew."

Mrs Finch said she had fond memories of managing the branch, which celebrated its 40th anniversary this week. It was still considered a relatively new phenomenon for young women to work in management positions at the time, Mrs Finch said, but Newcastle Permanent was one local organisation that was moving with the times.

"I think women were coming in to their own at that time and wanted to be in management roles."

Black and white newspaper clipping showing Newcastle Permanent Female Managers in 1977

As featured in an newspaper clipping circa late 1970s: branch managers, from left to right, back row: Donna Lenton, June Jeans, Sharon Fairhall, Vicki Lee, Lyn Mangovski. Seated: Elaine Hough, Jean Rumford, Jan Mason and Sharryn McDonald.
NPBS Members at the new Green Hills Branch
Newcastle Permanent members at our new Green Hills branch.

"I think women were coming in to their own at that time and wanted to be in management roles," she said. "It was great that Newcastle Permanent was willing and able to promote us. We felt appreciated. My mother was wrapped when I told her about the opportunity and she said to take it with both hands."

Mrs Finch, who is still a regular visitor to the Green Hills branch, reflected on some of the other changes she had seen over the years. The quality of the branch facilities had come a long way, she said, and so had identification and security procedures. But the friendly service had remained the same. 

Although we’ve been servicing East Maitland for decades, Green Hills is also our newest branch in the sense that it was recently re-opened in the newly revamped Stockland Green Hills Shopping Centre in April. 

While the branch looks fresh and new, the team provides the same friendly and personalised service our customers have come to expect in the 114 years we’ve been servicing communities.

Mrs Finch said her fondest memories of working for the Greens Hills branch was working with and for the community. 

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