A not for profit company based in Cairns, Far North Queensland, the Indigenous Consumer Assistance Network Ltd (ICAN) was incorporated on 1st October 2007 to;
– Relieve poverty amongst Indigenous Australians by providing financial counselling to alleviate consumer detriment,
– Provide education to make informed consumer choices and
– Advocacy to highlight consumer disadvantage.
Prior to its incorporation, ICAN was originally named the Consumer Affairs Unit and housed
within the Aboriginal Co-ordinating Council [ACC], the peak statutory body for the
Queensland Deed of Grant in Trust Aboriginal communities. After closure of the ACC on
September 30th, 2004, ICAN was established as part of the Kowanyama Aboriginal Shire Council’s Cairns office to continue to provide a valuable community service to Indigenous consumers.
ICAN is Australia’s only Indigenous consumer targeted organisation that provides both financial counselling and consumer advocacy assistance to regional and remote communities across Queensland.
ICAN’s purpose, as set out in the company’s constitution is to;
– provide support, services and information relating to consumer affairs, financial
management advice and education to Indigenous people.
– conduct, facilitate and support [financially or otherwise] research regarding
consumer affairs and financial management as they affect Indigenous people; and
– provide advice and information to consumer affairs advisors, government and public
bodies [including State and federal consumer regulatory bodies] on issues related to
consumer affairs and financial management as they relate to Indigenous communities.
In 2007, ICAN received the Minister’s Award for Excellence and the Consumer Advocacy
Award in the Queensland Department of Fair Trading, Consumer Protection Awards.
ICAN is cited as a best practice initiative in the field of “Advocacy of Indigenous Consumer
Interests” in the 2005-2010 National Indigenous Consumer Strategy Action Plan
Taking Action, Gaining Trust.