As Managing Director of Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, St Bede's College Mentone graduate Mr Michael Hirst is a leader to over seven thousand staff and is accountable to over 1.6 million customers.
A graduate from the St Bede's Class of 1975, Mr Hirst was honoured alongside leading judges, Paralympians and AFL footballers earlier this year in being inducted into the school's prestigious Hall of Fame at an Old Collegians' Dinner.
"It was a great personal honour for me and seeing others honoured in the same way, it just reflected the rich diversity of talent that St Bede's has produced, whether that is in business, in the legal profession or on the sporting field", he said.
Mr Hirst has spent nearly 40 years in the banking and finance industry, including with Westpac, Chase AMP Bank and Colonial Ltd.
He has worked in his current position since 2009, leading Australia's fifth largest retail bank.
Bendigo and Adelaide Bank prides itself on its commitment to ecological sustainability, having made a firm guarantee not to invest in fossil fuels.
Under Mr Hirst's leadership, the bank has also strongly promoted cultural and religious diversity, tolerance and inclusiveness.
The St Bede's graduate attributes his outlook to the strong Lasallian values that were instilled in him at the school.
"There was a very strong emphasis upon social justice and providing students with a moral compass to navigate ones way through life, always mindful of the impact your decisions would have on others around you", Mr Hirst explained.
"We were always encouraged to respect others and never lose sight of the importance of empathy- being able to put yourself into another's shoes and appreciate their perspective".
As a member of the Business Council of Australia, Michael Hirst strongly believes that companies with strong values earn greater community respect and this in turn makes them more profitable.
"I am also very fortunate to be working in an industry that is at the forefront of technological change", he said.
"We now see more bank customers carry out transactions on mobile devices than ever before and this as revolutionising banking in Australia".