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Good Shepherd Australia
 
 

In our final edition for 2016, a $2.3 million commitment from the Victorian Government will see Good Money established in Morwell to support the Latrobe Valley's economic transition.

Twelve leading Australian organisations launched a Financial Inclusion Action Plan at the Resilient Women Summit – detailing specific steps to improve financial resilience for large numbers of people experiencing financial exclusion, especially women.

AND: Addressing financial abuse in Albury, a successful night at the Shared Value Awards, new guide buffers money against summer storms, insight into millennials' attitudes toward credit reporting, microfinance growing in New Zealand, what the community sector taught a veteran of the insurance industry, and Richard and Mayken on how microfinance benefited them.

Wishing all our friends, clients and supporters a safe and happy festive season.

Affordable financial services for Latrobe Valley
Latrobe Valley residents will soon have access to a unique model of financial services, with plans for Victoria’s fourth Good Money store to open in Morwell next year.

A partnership between the Victorian Government, Good Shepherd Microfinance and NAB, Good Money stores offer responsible financial products and services including no interest, low interest loans and affordable insurance. Significantly, the Morwell store will be the first Good Money to offer in-house financial counselling services.

The store is due to open in May, but staff will begin working with the community over the coming months from the Latrobe Valley Authority office in Morwell. Read more.
Minister for Families and Children, the Honourable Jenny Mikakos MP, joins representatives from Good Shepherd Microfinance, NAB and the Latrobe Valley Authority to announce plans for Good Money Morwell. Back to top
Financial Inclusion Action Plans to stimulate inclusive growth
Twelve Trailblazer organisations have released their Financial Inclusion Action Plans (FIAP), detailing specific steps they will take to improve financial resilience for large numbers of people experiencing financial exclusion, especially women – be it through product development, education or employment.

Financial modelling shows FIAPs could generate government savings of $583 million and lift household wealth by $11.8 billion. Read more or download the launch report which outlines the Trailblazers' 240 commitments.

Representatives from the FIAP Trailblazers and members of the Advisory and Partnership Groups. Back to top.
 
 
 
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These plans can help to give people the skills, resilience and opportunities to escape poverty and live a better life, to live a socially and financially included life.
 
Delia Rickard, Deputy Chair of the ACCC and Independent Chair of the FIAP Advisory Group
 
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Resilient Women Summit: building women's financial resilience
Attended by over 130 guests, and featuring a diverse line-up of speakers, Australia's first Resilient Women Summit provided a fantastic platform to focus on building women's financial resilience through networks, products, income and capability.

Held on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, the summit covered: financial resilience and inclusion; how networks, products, income and capability can improve women’s financial resilience; and actions to overcome financial exclusion and abuse.

Jane Caro, Saul Eslake, Tanya Hosch and senior executives from some of Australia’s biggest companies discussed building financial resilience for every woman. Read more.

Amanda Young, CEO of the First Nations Foundation, Tanya Hosch, General Manager, Inclusion and Social Policy with the AFL and Shelley Cable, Project Director at 100 Days of Deadly Mob, discuss financial inclusion for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women at the Resilient Women SummitBack to top.
Success at the 2016 Shared Value Awards
Good Shepherd Microfinance and its partners had a successful night at the 2016 Shared Value Awards. We were recognised for leadership, taking home the ‘Civil society organisation leading through shared value’ award.

Our partners IAG, Suncorp and NAB were also recognised. IAG was awarded ‘Corporate organisation leading through shared value’, a category for which NAB was highly commended. Suncorp won ‘Shared value project by an organisation or collaboration’ for Essentials by AAI – insurance for people on low incomes, developed in collaboration with Good Shepherd Microfinance. Read more.

Peter McNamara, Renee Hancock and Adam Mooney accept our Shared Value Award
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From welding to aged care, NILS smooths Richard's career change
 
 
Richard worked as a welder for over 11 years and, while he loved his work, the industry changed and a lot of jobs were lost, including his own. He decided it was time for a career change, to move into an area that had always interested him – aged care.

But without his own computer, Richard was relying on the local library to access the online modules of his TAFE course. This meant his study schedule was dictated by the library's opening hours.

A NILS loan from the team at ac.care enabled him to buy a laptop and study when it suited him.
 
 

Guide buffers money against summer storms
Good Shepherd Microfinance, with the support of the Queensland Government, has developed the Money Ready Toolkit to increase Queenslanders’ financial knowledge and resilience, and help people get back on their feet financially if they are affected by this year’s storm season.

The Toolkit outlines what Queenslanders need to think about before, during and after a natural or human-made disaster to ensure they – and our communities – bounce back more quickly.
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Raising awareness of financial abuse in regional communities
Financial abuse impacts all communities, but women in regional areas who already face barriers such as geographic isolation, unique environmental pressures, and less access to support services can be more vulnerable. That’s why Good Shepherd Microfinance partnered with the Women’s Centre for Health and Wellbeing in Albury to host an event that would build awareness of financial abuse and the support available for victims.

Our Chairperson, Christine Nixon APM, joined Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan MP, a local financial counsellor, a microfinance worker, and a NILS client to discuss the complexities of identifying financial abuse and how we can support women leaving violent relationships. Read more.

Christine Nixon APM with Susie Geering of the Women's Centre and NILS client Sharni.
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Credit reporting and millennials
Australia’s credit reporting framework has recently undergone a fundamental shift away from a negative only reporting system to comprehensive credit reporting. Under the changes, lenders can report additional information about borrowers including repayment history such as whether a borrower has paid all credit obligations in a given month, and whether payment was on time, late or missed. Take Charge: credit reporting and millennials gives valuable insights into the attitudes of younger Australians towards their credit history, and on managing expenses in general.

This research was commissioned by the Customer Owned Banking Association.
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Microfinance enables Mayken to break free
 
 
Mayken sold her car to fund her escape from a 10 year relationship of financial, emotional and psychological abuse.
 
“I sold my car because I needed the money for moving. It was months of preparation, keeping it hidden because I couldn’t tell a soul about what I was doing.”
 
After leaving, Mayken got a job at Swinburne University and started a Bachelor of Business degree, but soon realised she couldn’t continue her life the way it was without a car. 

“My social worker sat down with me and said don’t go to the bank, don’t drop out of university, go and see the people at Good Money.”
 
 
Microfinance continues to grow across the Tasman
The Community Finance partnership, run by Good Shepherd New Zealand and BNZ, has announced its expansion into five new regions. With support from the Ministry of Social Development and delivered by community partners like The Salvation Army, microfinance loans are now available in Invercargill, Wellington, Whangarei, Palmerston North and Christchurch.

The Community Finance partnership reaches people in New Zealand who are financially vulnerable - meaning they don’t meet standard bank criteria and have exhausted their work and income options. As a result, some are forced to take out loans with alternative lenders, many of whom charge high interest rates and fees. More at www.goodshepherd.org.nz
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What the community sector taught a veteran of insurance
by Mark Morand

I worked for insurance companies for the last 15 years, up until about three months ago. That’s enough time, I thought, to develop a solid understanding of insurance in Australia. How wrong I was.
 
I now work for an organisation whose purpose is to enable economic wellbeing for people on low incomes. After 10 weeks in the job, I thought I'd share a couple of things I've learned about insurance in Australia. Read on.
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