Meet Mel From Orange Credit Union

Meet Mel From Orange Credit Union Mel Monico

Celebrating a full life of family, farm, full time work, fun and Financial Fitness at Orange Credit Union.

Mel Monico is a Mum of 3 boys and Marketing & Communications professional and has made a career of building brands. Mel is now helping to develop the Central West as an advocate for regional businesses.

How do you manage to fit it all in?

They say give a job to a busy person and they will be able to make it happen – how true! When I became a mum at age 30, efficiency became my middle name. In the 18 years since, my ability to juggle what seems like a million things at once comes into sharp focus every day. I’m not an expert by any means. Prior planning is my greatest friend but there are times when I’m still tapping away on my laptop at dinnertime, absorbed in my work. I must admit, this has made me an expert at the ‘easy meal’ of toasted sandwiches or ‘cheesy noodles’ especially when my husband is on night shift (working as a permanent Firefighter at Orange Fire station). It’s a balancing act and we are very fortunate to be a close knit family who have each other’s back through life’s challenges.

What do you enjoy about living in the Central West?

I love looking out to our ‘sea of green’ on our Angus beef cattle farm in Kings Plains near Blayney. Feeling the environment and changing seasons with drought behind us for now, it’s such a peaceful spot where my sons can stretch their legs, ride motorbikes and explore nature. This space provides serenity and the country life provides inspiration to tell the stories of others and be a ‘self-proclaimed advocate’ for regional NSW.

How has the power of stories influenced your career?

From an early age, I have always been curious, creative and inspired by the situations and people around me. I have made my whole career about telling stories first as TV producer, news reporter and working in public affairs for many large and small businesses. This has led me to a world of travel, adventure and meeting new people. My passion has been Marketing and Communications for almost 30 years – it’s all about understanding human experience, spirit, emotions and behaviour. That’s what Marketing is all about – the ability to be in tune to what people need now and anticipate what they need in the future. This instinct and the ability to understand social insights has been a gift (or some may say curse) my whole life. Grasping setbacks and coming up with solutions to overcome them. I suppose ‘I am a glass half full’ person with a big imagination and motivation to match.

Often there’s no exact formula. I go by the ‘test and learn’ framework. My creativity comes from understanding trends and influences. Some ideas are fabulous but others are flops. That’s just life and it doesn’t stop me trying another way.

What inspirational stories do you tell your sons?

I hope they don’t just hear but listen when I tell them to find something in life they are passionate about and they will never work a day in their life.

Having a clear purpose and defining your why will set you free. It can take a long time to discover your purpose in life but once you know, it’s a powerful and rewarding position.

I listened to a podcast recently, which reaffirmed what I have learnt. The story you play in your head will ultimately be replayed throughout your life. Despite life’s challenges, what you feel and think should focus on what you want to achieve – a positive, growth mindset can be a wonderful approach to life.

How did Financial Fitness come about?

As the Marketing and Communications Manager for Orange Credit Union (OCU), I am fortunate to be the custodian of the brand that has been ‘helping locals help themselves and each other’ for almost 60 years. This has been the founding mission of the credit union since December 1964 and is still relevant today. It’s wonderful that our customers who bank and borrow with us are the owners and our profits are returned to them through innovative products, improved services and community development programs. Our team lives, works and plays locally so we are literally beside you, helping you to make the most of your money.

“Financial Fitness” was developed to empower people to have more money confidence. As we emerge from COVID lockdowns where our lifestyle was compromised, health and wellbeing became the number one priority. A research study from Your Financial Wellness showed women are more likely than men to be financially stressed or less in control of their finances. This is a big contributor to wellness so I wanted to challenge the community to become ‘financially fit’ by giving them the tools and resources to feel more empowered so they could set themselves and their families up for the future where they are more in control of their money.

The first step is to understand spending and saving habits and to gain greater confidence in managing money with some know-how. We want everyone, especially women to ‘set a money goal’ where Team OCU can help with relevant tips and know-how to keep you motivated along your journey. #FinFit launched last month already 100 people have joined the free program. We hope to see this grow and encourage as many people as possible to get involved. Like physical fitness, you won’t see a change overnight but if you make a steady effort to do something everyday, you will be supporting your financial wellness.

To join simply go to www.orangecu.com.au/finfit or talk to the local team at Orange Credit Union to get you moving in the right direction.

I’m still getting the balance right and have my own financial fitness journey underway. If all goes well to plan, you may find me writing my book in a tropical paradise someday soon.

  • Orange Credit Union team

  • Mel's sea of green. Credit: Mel Monico

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Amorette Zielinski

Amorette is a Mum of two boys who often keep her flying by the seat of her pants and a wife to a man who is so much fun to share life with; never dull! Friends often call her a ‘connector’ because she loves putting like minded people together curating experiences for them.

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