Work placement key to quality education

April 20, 2018

As the Commonwealth Bank sponsored Indigenous Financial Counselling Mentorship program second block training got underway. Noema Mahutariki from The Benevolent Society in Cairns, started her 220 hrs work placement at ICAN, a new training standard under the revamped Diploma of Financial Counselling. Ms Mahutariki received a CBA scholarship as part of ICAN Learn’s new Multi-Cultural Scholarship Program currently being delivered in Melbourne.

Explaining the importance of work placement and why it was introduced to the new qualification, Robyn Shepherd-Murdoch, ICAN Learn’s lead lecturer said, “What we witnessed in Victoria before the work placement requirement was introduced, was graduates receiving their diploma qualification without being work ready. We don’t expect everyone to be handling complex cases straight away, but we do want people that have experience in client intake and the working within a financial counselling practise.”

Leading ICAN’s Financial Counselling service provision from Townsville to the Torres Strait, ICAN Operations Manager, Jon O’Mally knows all too well the importance of developing a skilled workforce. “The financial counselling workforce in Queensland is re-building and we need fresh talent coming through the ranks,” said Mr O’Mally. “Our dream is to have all financial counselling services delivered at a national standard.”

Putting the call out to Managers of financial counselling services across Australia, Aaron Davis, ICAN/ICAN Learn CEO said, “Please take the opportunity to take on Financial Counselling work placement students, you will be building the professionalisation and sustainability of our sector. Who knows, you might even find your next star team member.”

Speaking about the journey so far in becoming a financial counsellor Noema said, “the training has been insightful and the multi-cultural group that I’ve been learning with are amazing, all with a desire to give back to their community. I got to visit Yarrabah on my first day of ICAN work placement with Financial Counsellor, Sandy Rosas. We assisted one grandmother who is caring for her grandchildren to access NILS, where she’d previously been using her superannuation savings to purchase basic household items. It felt great to provide someone with a better option. I’m looking forward to working with ICAN over the coming months and take my own organisations service delivery to the next level.”

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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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