Good Shepherd Microfinance

2nd November 2017

The Financial Inclusion Action Plan (FIAP) program provides opportunities for organisations to take action to realise financial inclusion and build economically resilient communities. The program emphasises collaboration and participation across institutions to promote change for the benefit of all involved, including the institutions themselves.

Held as part of Financial Inclusion Week, this webinar provided an opportunity for key trailblazers and collaborators to come together to discuss their involvement in the FIAP program.

Vinita Godinho and Michael Joyce from Good Shepherd Microfinance introduced the FIAP program.  Good Shepherd Microfinance provides the secretariat for the FIAP program, supported by the Australian Government, with 30 organisations so far making commitments for FIAPs.

In order to understand problems of financial exclusion in Australia, Axelle Marjolin from the Centre for Social Impact presented the most recent research on financial resilience.  This highlighted how a focus on availability of financial services is not enough to build resilience; efforts to boost demand, social capital and economic resources are also needed.

Jonathan Dorse introduced us to the You’re the Boss program, developed by the Salvation Army. With support from Westpac Banking Group, the You’re the Boss financial capability workshops and counselling have helped people to realise the role of money in their overall wellbeing and has been successful in building confidence for its users. The Program has helped develop a strong relationship based on mutual trust between the two organisations.

Felicity Calvert of Westpac expressed the opportunity for the banks to listen to the needs of their customers and reiterated the value of their partnership with the Salvation Army.

Annabelle Butler of Suncorp discussed the unmet insurance needs of the community and showed how Suncorp has collaborated with others to help to provide insurance to low income and hardship affected people.

Ciara Stirling, from Yarra Valley Water discussed the benefits of cross-referral. Research found that their customers were needing to tell their stories numerous times to organisations across sectors. Yarra Valley Water is now working with Energy Australia to co-ordinate responses for shared customers. Cross-referral is also an opportunity to share successes and learn as a community.

These are some of the many successes of the FIAP program and the opportunities for Financial Inclusion across sectors. The Webinar was an opportunity for key stakeholders in the FIAP program to continue in the spirit of collaboration and collective action.