When VACC was founded on 20 September 1918, it wasn’t at a gathering in a Collins Street office building. The founding meeting was held in Bendigo. Ever since then, regional Victoria has been incredibly important to us.
Our longest standing members are in regional areas. VACC has a member that has been with us for 102 years (Wilson Bolton, car dealers servicing motorists in Horsham and surrounding areas) and, in November, we welcome another centenary member, Edney's Leongatha. Across rural and regional Victoria, are longstanding member-businesses which we rely upon and they, in return, rely on us.
One of the things VACC has done very well over the years is recognise regional members. In fact, when we celebrated our centennial two years ago, we celebrated in Bendigo and there is now a plaque on what was once the Bendigo Chamber of Commerce rooms attesting to the fact.
Recently, we ran TV commercials on regional television promoting our members because, while Melbourne businesses were in Stage 4 lockdown, the rest of Victoria operated under different conditions. We wanted motorists to know this. At the same time, we ran different messages on Melbourne FM radio.
This is one example of how we cater for different members.
Another service VACC offers, unique in all Australia, is a team of Area Managers that visit and service members across the state. Currently, this may mean a ‘virtual’ visit, but we are still there for our members. It is a challenging time, but VACC is well equipped to continue supporting automotive business owners.
Words: VACC CEO, Geoff Gwilym. As featured in the Herald Sun 11 September 2020.
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