Employee didn't bank on 40 years of doing the job

16:00, Dec 07 2012
Dawn Geange
JOB SATISFACTION: Westpac customer support representative Dawn Geange celebrates 40 years working for the company this week.

A Westpac employee is celebrating more than the silly season as she clocked up 40 years with the bank this week.

Westpac Windsor branch customer support representative Dawn Geange joined the company straight out of school in 1972, and never looked back.

"All of a sudden, it was 40 years later," she said.

Originally unsure of what to do after finishing high school, Ms Geange followed her sister into a career in banking, applying at all the banks in town.

"The next day I had the job. It was a lot faster in those days getting jobs."

Four decades on, she has outlasted her sister in the banking sector and is still positive about working in the industry.


"It's a job where you do help people. You get to see the whole family and hear about them. It's such a whole family affair so that's a cool feeling."

Ms Geange has witnessed a range of technological developments during her years on the job, including the introduction of mobile banking, internet transfers and ATMs.

She remembered one of the first times she used the automatic teller machines, when, unknown to her, a little boy watched on as she and her boss withdrew a stack of cash.

"He goes, ‘I want to play that game . . . you two both won.' "

Aside from the bank's multiple name rejigs - from the Southland Savings Bank when she started in 1972, through the Trustee Bank, Trust Bank and Westpac Trust before today's Westpac - another difference was the employees' evolving uniform. "When I started off at first it was smocks the girls wore and the men didn't have a uniform."

However, after branch managers returned from a company modelling course dispensing hair, makeup and deportment tips, the smocks were shelved - the official advice was that smocks made female staff "look like factory workers when they hit the streets".

A new uniform of a skirt, shirt and waistcoat was then introduced, she said.

Ms Geange said she planned to stay on at Westpac for the foreseeable future, "so long as they keep paying me".

She will celebrate her milestone this Friday with a drinks evening with colleagues at the bank's Kelvin St branch.


The Southland Times