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Good Shepherd Australia Microfinance Matters
 
 
#MakeItHappen this International Women's Day

All around the world, International Women's Day represents an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of women while calling for greater equality.
 
This day has a special meaning to Good Shepherd Microfinance as we aim to provide support and financial programs for women at different stages of their lives. In fact, 69 per cent of our clients are women, and we have reached more than 100,000 women across Australia through no or low interest loans. These life changing loans enable women to become financially independent which makes a significant difference to their wellbeing, dignity and confidence.
 
'Make It Happen' is this year’s International Women's Day theme and the inspiring women featured in this newsletter are doing exactly that.
 
Women like Norma who has to watch every penny as she’s on a disability pension, or Barbara who is a mum of three working tirelessly to run her own business. And women like Stacey travelled two hours a day to visit her son in hospital. 

We also feature insights from leaders in our field on the importance of feeling confident and in control of finances, the lessons about money that we should be teaching our daughters, the impact of family violence on finances, and how many women are unprepared to deal with a financial loss.
 
We thank these women for sharing their stories and we pay tribute to them for their strength, determination and passion, which gives us hope.
 
Adam Mooney
CEO, Good Shepherd Microfinance
 
 
 
Many women are ill prepared to deal
with a major financial loss
 
 
In February 2009 Victoria experienced the worst bushfires in Australia’s history. Known by many as Black Saturday, the fires took the lives of more than 170 people and 3,000 homes were destroyed or damaged.

By Christine Nixon, Chair, Good Shepherd Microfinance
 
 
 
 
 
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I never thought I’d be taken advantage of by a fringe lender. I thought I knew better. I do know better…but they got me anyway. 
 
By Norma, mum and grandmother
 
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Lessons about money
I want my daughter to know
 
 
As a woman researcher trying to understand the complexities around women and money, I often experience a recurring, somewhat uncomfortable thought – I wish I knew earlier what I know now.

By Professor Roslyn Russell, School of Economics, Finance and Marketing, RMIT University
 
 
 
 
 
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I believe Good Shepherd Microfinance has really levelled the playing field for people like me.
 
By Barbara, mum of three
 
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The ripple effect of investing in
women and girls
 
 
The annual celebration of International Women’s Day reminds us of the enormous contribution of women, as we celebrate their economic, political and social achievements around the world and here in Australia.

By Julie Reilly, CEO, Australian Women Donors Network
 
 
 
 
 
Speaking fearlessly on family violence
 
 
Fourteen women have died in Australia since the start of 2015 as a result of family violence. It’s a shocking statistic.

It’s a statistic that forces people to realise the truths about our society that have been hidden, dismissed and silenced for generations.

By Dr Rhonda Cumberland, CEO, Good Shepherd ANZ
 
 
 
 
 
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A NILS loan helped me visit my baby son in hospital.
 
By Stacey, 31 year old mum of five
 
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Women want to feel confident and in control
 
 
I’ve been at NAB for 12 years now and we’ve done a lot but there is always more to do. Supporting women to realise their potential energises me enormously.

By Cindy Batchelor, Business Executive General Manager, NAB
 
 
 
 
 
Women's financial wellbeing to be boosted
 
 
It’s well known that improved financial literacy can have a positive impact on the wellbeing of not only individual women but their families and communities.

By Amanda Westcott,
Senior Manager, Financial Literacy Team, ASIC
 
 
More News
NILS in the media spotlight
 
On 20 January Channel 9’s A Current Affair ran a feature on Good Shepherd Microfinance and the NILS program, allowing us to tell the powerful stories of two women whose lives had been changed by a NILS loan. Women like Alina, who couldn’t afford a washing machine for her family and Gina, who used a $1,000 loan to pay for her car rego.

“I’m a single parent with two daughters. I don’t have a lot of money and I had no access to any sort of credit any other way. I’ll be paying back what it cost me for my washing machine and that’s all.  No fees, no interest - it’s a really good program. Huge amounts of stress just melt away."  Alina, Brisbane

Watch the full clip here: Australia's no interest loans helping everyday battlers

 
Insurance forum looks at
future of financial services

Last week in Sydney the Insurance Council of Australia attracted 250 people to its annual forum to hear leaders speak on the challenges and opportunities in insurance and financial services in Australia. Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen, Assistant Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and media personality David Speers joined CEOs from the insurance and finance sector and key regulators at the Sydney Hilton to consider the outlook for financial service and general insurance consumers. Read More