The Indigenous Consumer Assistance Network (ICAN) received the “Highly Commended” Award at the inaugural MoneySmart Week Awards 2012, held in Sydney, NSW, when its Indigenous Financial Counselling Mentorship Program in partnership with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), was recognised in MoneySmart’s “Community” awards category.
Aaron Davis, ICAN CEO said the program develops the skill set of Indigenous people working in their local communities and is lifting the number of accredited Indigenous financial counsellors in Australia. In April 2012, ICAN celebrated the achievements of its nine Indigenous graduates of the first Indigenous Financial Counselling Mentorship Program.
“The mentorship program is a great example of how NGO’s, the corporate sector and government can work together to achieve greater financial literacy outcomes” said Mr Davis.
A nation first, the mentorship program provides essential support to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people wishing to undertake accredited training in a Diploma of Community Services (Financial Counselling).
Jason Schonhagen, Head of Indigenous Banking at Commonwealth Bank of Australia said “We’re extremely proud of ICAN’s achievements and believe it’s essential to build on the inherent strengths of Indigenous individuals, communities and businesses that will in turn lay the foundation for future success”
“Financial literacy is a real issue for Indigenous communities” said Awards Judge Colin Neave AM.
“This program is unique in Australia and has potential to deliver a profound impact by providing dedicated and culturally appropriate financial counselling to Indigenous Australians” he said.
“The success of the mentorship program is the team effort of ICAN staff, trainees and partners” said Majella Anderson, Training Coordinator for ICAN and head of the Mentorship Program.
ICAN is now rolling out this nationally recognised program to agencies across Australia.
“We look forward to seeing this program roll out across Australia and build on the good outcomes achieved so far” said Mr Neave AM.
In celebration of MoneySmart Week 2012, ICAN delivered special financial literacy workshops and activities in the Yarrabah and Palm Island Aboriginal communities (QLD) during September.
The ICAN Indigenous Financial Counselling Mentorship Program is delivered in partnership with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Central Institute of Technology, WA. The ICAN Indigenous Financial Counselling Mentorship Program is currently accepting enrolments for its next training delivery.