John Horosko: a big Blues fan who owns Bank of Queensland branch

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Bridal selfie: John Horosko at son Chris’s recent wedding to Domenica.

When he first came to Campbelltown as the franchisee of the Bank of Queensland branch, John Horosko really copped it from the locals.

“People would come into the branch in Queen Street and ask, ‘do they fly you in from Queensland in the morning and fly you out in the afternoon’ and I’d have to explain, mate, I’m not a Queenslander.

“In fact I’m a big NSW Blues fan and every time State of Origin rolls around I give head office hell,’’ Mr Horosko tells the South West Voice on the eve of his BoQ branch’s 10th anniversary in Campbelltown.

There will be a cake at 1pm today and the member for Campbelltown Greg Warren will pop in as well as one or two other VIPs.

So, if you’re not from Queensland, where the bloody hell do you come from?

“Well,’’ he says with a grin that I reckon is his trademark, “I was born in the old Fairfield Hospital in Horsley Drive, grew up in old Guildford and went to Cheso (I’m pretty sure he means Chester Hill High, league legend Terry Lamb’s alma mater).

It doesn’t get any more Sydney that that when you think about it.

So other than buying a Queensland Bank franchise, John Horosko is as much a Queenslander as Tommy Raudonikis.

Funny thing is he may not have been an Aussie at all if his mother wasn’t forced to come ashore to give birth to his brother while the family was enroute to Canada.

[social_quote duplicate=”no” align=”default”]“Mum and dad were refugees from World War II, and they were on a boat to Canada but ended up staying here after mum came ashore to give birth to my brother,’’ he explains.[/social_quote]

When schooling was done for young John Horosko, the banks came calling.

Two in fact: The Commonwealth Bank where his brother worked but the Bank NSW – as it was called before the name change to Westpac – also said there was a job there for him.

A bit of sibling rivalry played a role in his decision: “I thought, my brother’s with the Commonwealth so stuff it, I’ll go with the Bank of NSW,’’ he says.

He spent 25 years there, so long he was there when they started calling themselves Westpac all those years ago.

Nine years ago, in 2006, John Horosko got sick of the “corporate BS’’ so when an offer of a new job came along he grabbed it.

He went sideways, running a financial planning team in the private sector.

“I just missed the retail side of banking, the face to face stuff, so ended up saying to them, see ya later.’’

His next career move was back into banking, but this time it was the union model, Members Equity Bank.

“I was lucky enough after a few years to get retrenched by them,’’ Horosko says of his experience at Members Equity.

Banking is as small a world as journalism the way he tells it, because everyone knows of your every move.

“BoQ approached me in 2012 and said, hey John, do you know we franchise, and in January 2013 I was here in Campbelltown as the owner and manager of this branch.

“We do all the stuff the big banks do but we just have face to face contact, the personal touch they don’t; people are surprised when they get a phone call from me,’’ he says.

And the boy from Fairfield loves Campbelltown and Macarthur.

“Yes, I do. It has good people, it’s a good area,’’ Mr Horosko says.

And it hasn’t taken him long to catch Macarthur’s “giving back to the community’’ bug.

“Oh yes, I’m a supporter of McHappy Day, Camden Show, Macarthur Disability Services, the guys at Macarthur Business Enterprise Centre, I also sponsor Campbelltown AFL, among others.

“But I don’t just give them the sponsorship and forget about it for a year, I go out there and meet them, get to know them,’’ he says.

Located in Queen Street, we couldn’t let him get away without his thoughts on what needs to be done to revitalise Campbelltown’s main drag.

“Queen Street needs to attract some different people,’’ Mr Horosko says.

[social_quote duplicate=”no” align=”default”]“I think some of the landlords need to put their hands in their pockets, and the council needs to support them in that way as well.[/social_quote]

“We’re one of the few banks still here, most of them have relocated to the Mall, but we get most of our business from word of mouth and dealing with networking groups, accountants, lawyers, builders, all those guys.’’


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