New action plan to tackle financial hardship in Geelong
In an Australian first, ten Geelong businesses and organisations have banded together to launch a city-wide plan to combat growing financial hardship.
By: Good Shepherd
So far, the Geelong group have co-designed and committed to forty practical actions including workshops to enhance financial capability and a referral program for customers experiencing financial hardship.
The Financial Inclusion Action Plan (FIAP) Program, led by the charity Good Shepherd, provides a platform for cross-sector action to promote financial inclusion and resilience.
Good Shepherd CEO Stella Avramopoulos said financial exclusion was a growing problem in many regional communities.
"One in four Geelong households lives on low incomes, 10 per cent find it hard to pay the rent and nearly seven per cent of residents are unemployed,"
"Most people on low incomes can't access normal banking and financial services, which can have a terrible effect on your health and future prospects.
"It is fantastic that these Geelong organisations are keen to work together to reduce financial stress at work and at home."
WorkSafe Victoria Director, Health, Safety and Wellbeing Kristine Gatt said many people, particularly women, found it hard to talk about their financial situation, let alone ask for help.
"WorkSafe Victoria has joined the FIAP program because we want our employees to have the skills and confidence to create a stable future for themselves and their families," Ms Gatt said.
The Geelong FIAP pilot program has been funded by the philanthropic Helen Macpherson Smith Trust.
"This initiative is a wonderful example of how organisations can pool their collective talents to create a more resilient and empowered community," Trust CEO Lin Bender said.
Geelong FIAP program participants
City of Greater Geelong
Colac Otway Shire
First State Super
Give Where You Live Foundation
Good Money Store
Media contact: Clare Kermond, Good Shepherd Senior Media Advisor, 0407 907 632; Tammy Shipperley, 0403 090 914
Sequel PR Tammy Shipperley