ICAN staff members Unaise Buli and Bettina Addo were invited as guest speakers to the Indigenous Services Women’s Conference held in Cairns 13th October. The conference provided ICAN staff members with the opportunity to provide information about ICAN’s programs including financial counselling, money management, No Interest Loan Scheme (NILS), financial literacy, and accidental financial counsellor training and the Indigenous Financial Counselling Mentorship Program.
ICAN staff got to present and network with Indigenous women working in organisations in remote communities across Australia delivering health services to Indigenous clients. Bettina and Unaise presented to an audience of over 100 people and put the spotlight on ICAN’s financial counselling services. Financial Counselling is an essential service that is free for people experiencing financial stress. It can assist people in many ways and can alleviate immediate anxiety and stress, particularly when people are being harassed by debt collectors.
ICAN has firsthand experience in working with clients who are impacted upon with various degrees of health issues – both mental and physical – who have overcome some of those health barriers through the success of good outcomes for their financial situation. This highlights the link between good mental and emotional health and financial education, literacy, capability and support.
In turn, ICAN’s 2 presenters gained even more valuable knowledge about client mental health and how to work with and support clients, how it affects the client and how to refer our clients. Bettina Addo said that “it was great to hear the stories of Elders from other remote communities about how strong their traditional ways are still playing a big part in their communities. It just inspires me more to keep helping the people in our community”.
Both staff members are looking forward to present at the World Indigenous Services Women’s Conference to be held in Cairns on the 15-17 December 2014.