First Nations Foundation launches ‘On Country’ online platform, supporting businesses and community organisations to provide financial wellbeing education and resources for Indigenous employees and clients
Australia’s leading Indigenous financial literacy organisation, First Nations Foundation has launched a new online financial wellbeing hub, On Country, designed to educate professionals working with First Nations people to provide culturally appropriate financial wellbeing education for Indigenous communities and clients.
The wellbeing hub comes at a pivotal time, with recent research conducted by First Nations Foundation, in partnership with the Centre of Social Impact Hub and NAB uncovering an alarming trend; one in two Indigenous people in Australia lives in financial stress, across urban, regional and remote areas and only one in ten Indigenous respondents classified as financially secure.
First Nations Foundation are working to directly address these issues with the On Country online portal’s rich library of resources addressing key gaps in many First Nations people’s financial understanding such as saving and budgeting, accessing superannuation and insurances, maximising income, debt management and retirement plans as well as printable posters, worksheets and more.
Created by First Nations people, for First Nations people, the program is targeted to professionals working in community organisations and/or financial wellbeing roles such as community service providers and support workers, financial sector counsellors and capability workers as well as individuals working with First Nations people that may be queried about such topics.
First Nations Foundation Community Engagement & Project Officer, Destiny Dewis discussed the need to educate those that not only work with First Nations people across Australia, but are in educational positions themselves.
“There is a severe lack of culturally relevant material around financial literacy and wellbeing made available to professionals working with our Mob and On Country is another avenue for us to address this problem.
“We’re really happy to see over 100 individuals signed up to On Country from organisations including Catholic Care Wilcannia-Forbes, Thee Rail Group, GBK Torres Strait Island as well as independent financial counsellors,” said Destiny.
As part of the On Country online initiative, professionals working with First Nations people will also have access to monthly webinar and e-newsletter highlighting key issues around financial wellbeing.
Thee Group Business Development Manager & Indigenous Engagement Manager, Joel Thompson, and his team are among the first round of organisations to have staff register for On Country.
“I was really happy to see a program like On Country come out, to give our youth hope and to give them a pathway in their careers, ensuring that they have support and guidance to set themselves up, not just for themselves, but for their families,” he said.
“Coming from the community myself, I strongly believe in giving youth hope and support so they can be their best in life, both personally and professionally, and I truly believe that with the right support, the right people around them and a program like this, it’s heading in the right direction.”
First Nations Foundation expects over 200 individuals from 30 organisations to sign up to the on Country program within the next two years.
The Foundation is centred around four strategic focus areas, including education, community, partnership and leadership. The Foundation also offers digital financial literacy training through its MyMoneyDream.com.au initiative, superannuation education platform IndigenousSuper.com.au and the Indigenous Women’s Financial Wellness (IWFW) program.
First Nations Foundation was formed in 2006 by the First Nations Credit Union, to increase the financial prosperity of Indigenous people across Australia.
For more information on On Country, or to sign up for the free platform, please visit www.firstnationsfoundation.org.au/on-country