New partnership equals big win for the Tablelands

July 22, 2017

Tableland Community NILS and ICAN have joined forces to tackle financial exclusion throughout the Tablelands Region by combining organisational expertise and programs. On receiving funding from the Queensland Government’s Financial Inclusion Program, ICAN has sought collective impact opportunities for place based service delivery in the Tablelands, Cape York and Torres Strait explained ICAN CEO, Aaron Davis. “As a member of the NQ NILS Network, ICAN knew about the great work of Anne-Maree Molloy and the Tablelands Community NILS and wanted to find ways to work together.”

Since the Tableland Community NILS’s first NILS loan in February 2010, they have issued 1,542 loans for essential household items and car maintenance in their region, totalling over $1.3 M. In the 2016/2017 financial year, Anne-Maree processed over 350 loans, averaging just under 7 loans per week. “Along with offering NILS to both Men and Women, we refer clients to agencies that can help further with complex financial matters,” said Ms Molloy.

Over the coming year Ms Molloy will take the next step in her financial inclusion journey through participating in ICAN’s financial counselling mentorship program model, that combines a formal diploma level qualification with professional financial counselling support and supervision. “I look forward to completing my Diploma of Financial Counselling with ICAN Learn, strengthening relationships with partner agencies and offering assistance to the people of the Tablelands needing extra support with their financial problems”, said Ms Molloy.

Historically financial counselling on the Tablelands has been delivered through an outreach model by agencies based in Cairns, Mr Davis explained. “By linking our resources we’re able to work towards having a suite of financial inclusion services based in the Tablelands, which will be a great win for both organisations and more importantly to our shared clients in the region.”

Being permanently based in Atherton, Anne-Maree says she will be readily available to members of the Tableland’s communities to help with complex financial issues. “Clients will no longer have to travel to Cairns or wait for extended periods of time before being able to see a visiting Financial Counsellor,” said Ms Molloy. “We will also be promoting ICAN’s financial literacy program, Yarnin’ Money in the region and working with the NQ NILS network to develop a new centralised loans processing model.”

The financial inclusion partnership benefits for the Tablelands will include much needed consumer advocacy support for the region. “We envisage that Anne-Maree through the Tableland Community NILS will become a member of the NQ Indigenous Consumer Taskforce with regulatory partners the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and Queensland Office of Fair Trading, increasing the group’s ability to identify and address systemic consumer issues in the region,” said Mr Davis.

If you’d like to find out more about the new services, please contact Anne-Maree on 0428 915 102 or email: twcnils@gmail.com or come visit at Office 11, Jack St Business Centre, Railway Lane, Atherton (next to St Vincent’s De Paul). Trading hours are 8.30 a.m. – 4.30 p.m., Tuesday to Friday.

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With the vision of Empowering Indigenous Consumers, the Indigenous Consumer Assistance Network Ltd (ICAN) provides consumer education, advocacy and financial counselling services.

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