Fifteen Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from across Australia were recently awarded scholarships through the Commonwealth Bank of Australia sponsored 2015-2016 Indigenous Financial Counselling Mentorship Program. The Mentorship Program run by ICAN and training partner WA Central Institute of Technology will commence on the 27th of July at the Cairns Colonial Club Resort and will combine weekly online training sessions with six residential visits in Cairns over the coming year. It is expected that the fifteen successful scholarship recipients will graduate with a Diploma of Community Services (financial counselling) in July 2016.
Majella Anderson, ICAN Training Manager said, “It’s great to see organisations previously involved in the program show an ongoing commitment to the professional development of their Indigenous employees. The national networks built through participation in the program directly impacts the quality of their service delivery, with participants being able to access long term support from their peers.”
When asked about participating in the Mentorship Program Mary Lou Bailey – Australian Red Cross said, “Being able to participate in an Indigenous focused program will be good because I feel more comfortable with other Aboriginal people. I think learning with people from similar backgrounds will help me get the most out of the program.”
Commenting on the possibility of obtaining the diploma qualification offered through the program, Josephine Davis – Somerville Community Services said, “Undertaking the training and completing the qualification will further enhance my skills and knowledge to contribute to quality assurance within our organisation, but more importantly, it will enable me to provide excellent and culturally appropriate services to our Indigenous clients including being a role model in our community.”
Scholarship recipient Jeanine Sines from Kempsey Neighbourhood Centre reflected Ms Davis’s comments stating, “I am committed to engaging communities throughout the NSW Mid North Coast and encouraging sound financial decision making by assisting and supporting their endeavours to be debt free and to acknowledge their rights and responsibilities as consumers.”
ICAN and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s seven year mentorship program partnership is going from strength to strength with increased national reach and a total of 34 Indigenous graduates on completion of this program”, said Aaron Davis, ICAN CEO. “The partnership is building on this success with the creation of new professional development initiatives to support Accredited Indigenous Financial Counsellors, fostering career pathways in some of Australia’s most disadvantaged communities.”
One scholarship recipient stated, “My current economic circumstances are preventing me from achieving some of the education goals that I have been striving towards for some time. Without the scholarship support and the support of my workplace it is unlikely I would achieve this qualification.”