FSC announces partnership alliance with First Nations Foundation

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FSC to launch Indigenous literacy program.

The Financial Services Council (FSC) has announced a long-term partnership alliance with First Nations Foundation (FNF) to help improve the financial literacy of Indigenous Australians.

Financial literacy is a key contributor to social exclusion of Indigenous Australians who are significantly more disadvantaged than other Australians. This was highlighted in a report by the Centre for Social Impact in 2012 found that 43.1% of Indigenous Australians surveyed were either severely or fully socially excluded compared with the national average of 17.2 %.

John Brogden, CEO of the FSC said: “Access to appropriate and affordable financial products and services such as a transaction account, insurance and a moderate amount of credit can make a significant difference.”

The Financial Services Council will be providing funds and resources to the First Nations Foundation to help expand its adult financial literacy program, My Moola, for members of Indigenous communities.

The program contributes to improved employee retention, and a valuable investment with flow-on benefits to the individual, families, and the company as staff improve their personal financial matters.

“Knowledge and confidence in using money, the financial system and its products are keys to managing a budget, planning a work career, running a business or building long term assets, such as a houses and superannuation,” Paul Briggs, chairperson of FNF said.

Trevor Pearce, CEO of FNF said: “While most Australians can relate to the concept of being the first person in their family to obtain a degree, for some Indigenous people they are the first person in their family to enter the workforce.”

“Through the First Nations Foundation program we are witnessing people transition from intergenerational dependency on welfare, mums returning into the workforce and young people getting their first part-time job and in some cases, to huge salaries from the resources industry.”

Mr Briggs also said: “This needs to translate into wealth creation within Indigenous communities for it to be sustainable economically, socially but most importantly culturally.”

Since 2001 members of the FSC have raised $1.9 million for two charities  ̶  Schizophrenia Research Institute and the Inspire Foundation. The FSC engaged Hailey Cavill, managing director of Cavill + Co, to review its charitable partnerships and concluded that it would focus on financial literacy. FNF was shortlisted for a partnership with the Financial Services Council alongside seven other major national not-for-profit organisations that deliver financial literacy programs.

Mr Briggs also said:  “We need to identify what we want our future to look like, in order to feel safe, to feel connected and to have a sense of ownership and control over our destiny.”

“Our vision is for an Australia in which Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are valuing their unique and integral contribution to Australia’s nationhood, have economic prosperity, a vision for money management,  careers and jobs, and a strong sense of emotional and spiritual wellbeing,” he said.

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