“Having sat down with many, many bank victims and seen and heard the pain and suffering inflicted on them by the Commonwealth Bank and others, if I were one of those victims I would feel pretty hurt seeing Australia Day plastered with Commonwealth Bank logos and bank executives participating in our national day,” Mr Thistlethwaite said at the time.
Mr Thistlethwaite’s intervention triggered a broad debate inside the National Australia Day Council, leading to discussions with CBA over whether to continue their association.
The National Australia Day Council relies on corporate donations to co-ordinate the January 26 ceremony and will now seek a new sponsor. Cash and in-kind sponsorship from CBA and other contributors accounted for more than 35 per cent of the organisation’s revenue last year.
“I’m sure if they were benched there would be other organisations and corporates more than willing to step in to the CBA’s shoes and sponsor our national day,” Mr Thistlethwaite said last November.