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Welcome to our National NILS Conference edition of Microfinance Matters!  

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Client story: NILS helps to rebuild lives
After Cherryl’s husband unexpectedly passed away, Cherryl and her daughter Chante now aged ten, moved into church housing. Suddenly, she was unable to pay their bills. This left her with a bad credit rating, and she was no longer able to access mainstream credit to help rebuild their lives. Read the full story…
Conference celebrates audacious NILS network

This year’s National NILS Conference focused on building and creating ‘courageous connected communities’. Over two days in Brisbane, 444 attendees listened to 54 speakers and attended 18 workshops. It was a dynamic conference full of learning, networking and innovation.
 
Highlights included:
  • Keynote presentation from Elisabeth Rhyne - the Managing Director of the Centre for Financial Inclusion at ACCION International in the United States. Elisabeth touched on some of the innovative initiatives that are building financial inclusion such as The Smart Campaign which aims to embed client protection into the DNA of the global microfinance industry.
  • A special address by the Minister for Social Services, the Hon Kevin Andrews MP, on the role of microfinance in building financial resilience and the success of the Good Shepherd Microfinance and NAB partnership.
  • The 2014 NILS Conference Awards which recognise outstanding contributors to the community sector across the NILS network in four categories: Most Innovative NILS Program, Best NILS Story, NILS Volunteer of the Year and the Gavan Podbury Award for NILS excellence.
If you missed the event, visit our conference website for copies of the presentations, photos and information about the Award winners.


Watch our conference highlights video 


 
Affordable insurance for people on low incomes
Wayne Coolwell, Elisabeth Rhyne, and Lisa Harrison speak about the role of business and government in community partnerships.

Seventy-five attendees from all sectors came together on Thursday, 12 June in Brisbane to speak about the role of partnerships in creating courageous, connected communities. During the breakfast, Good Shepherd Microfinance and Suncorp announced their partnership to develop insurance products for people on low incomes.

The home and contents insurance products will be distributed through Good Shepherd Microfinance’s local provider network to clients across Australia and will use existing Suncorp Group resources and back-end product infrastructure and administration. More details on the products will be released as they are available. In the meantime, read the full media release…
Did you know? 
There are more than 1,000 people volunteering to deliver NILS across the country. Their volunteer time over a 12 month period is equivalent to 120 full-time positions. Congratulations to Margaret Jackson from Care Goondiwindi in Queensland for winning our 'I Love Volunteering' competition. She enjoyed an all expenses paid trip to the National NILS Conference. 

We’re all better off: G20’s golden opportunity - by Adam Mooney
Thankfully, the UN Security Council unanimously backed a resolution, put by Australia on Monday, to give investigators full access to the MH17 crash site in eastern Ukraine. It’s impressive and reassuring that all 15 members can cooperate and focus so intently on a common interest, albeit responding to a dramatic and stark disaster. 

Such cooperation and focus would be most welcome by the G20 in Brisbane later this year, in committing to actions to boost the wellbeing of at least 2.5 billion people living in poverty around the world. Read full article...
'Financial inclusion a critical support to economic growth'

New research led by Good Shepherd Microfinance reveals that if just 7% of Australia's financially excluded were able to improve their wealth position, the nation's annual gross domestic product (GDP) could increase by a staggering $19.7 billion.
 
Household wealth could increase by as much as $50 billion over time, and could also lead to a predicted $2.6 billion saving in government health, welfare and justice spending.
The Microfinance and ‘Inclusion’ and Economic Growth Report was commissioned by Good Shepherd Microfinance and conducted pro-bono by Strategic Project Partners (SPP).
The report estimates the compelling opportunity presented by initiatives including financial inclusion – such as a 1.1% reduction in the nation’s crime rate, delivering potential cost savings of roughly $38 million. Read full media release
'Postcard from Australia: Good Shepherd Microfinance and the Financial Continuum’

Elisabeth Rhyne, Managing Director of the Centre for Financial Inclusion shares our Financial Inclusion Continuum in her 'Postcard from Australia…’ On a trip to the antipodes you expect to find things a bit upside down. You look out on the underneath side of the universe and see mammals that lay eggs. On my recent trip there, I discovered that the microfinance world is a little upside down, too.
 
The biggest microfinance program in Australia, Good Shepherd Microfinance’s No Interest Loan Scheme (NILS) is mind-bendingly different from most microfinance operations.

Good Money supports dreams 
Walking along Lonsdale street, Jimaima walked past what she assumed was another pay day lender until seeing a sign for the No Interest Loan Scheme (NILS). She was absolutely overjoyed to learn that NILS made it possible to reward her grandson’s efforts in his engineering degree by buying him a laptop, but without any financial stress for herself. In her words “nobody but Good Money could help me with the things I needed to save up”. During her first NILS loan, Good Money became “just like at home”, often dropping in for a chat, a coffee and to use the computer. Read full story...
NAB graduates run for funds 

We’re excited to share that the NAB grad team is fundraising for Good Shepherd Microfinance! They’re participating in The Age Run Melbourne this Sunday and raising funds through Everyday Hero.  With a week remaining, they’ve raised $1,206!
 
The team shared that “We see the importance of financial independence especially in helping low income earners in our community to have the confidence to be able to achieve their own financial goals. That is why we have chosen to support Good Shepherd Microfinance.”
 
We’re inspired by their commitment and enthusiasm.  Check out their page and don’t forget to donate to show your support!