Media Release by Senator the Hon Kay Patterson

Geraldton: First Indigenous Financial Management Site in WA

Indigenous people in Western Australia will be able to build on their money management skills through a Howard Government funded financial literacy program.

The Minister for Family and Community Services, Senator Kay Patterson today announced Geraldton as the first Indigenous Financial Management (IFM) site in Western Australia.

“For many years the Howard Government has been supporting projects to help local Indigenous people to build money management skills in their communities,” Senator Patterson said.

“Having this Geraldton site up and running will help build self-reliance, improve living standards and reduce spending on alcohol and gambling in the community.

“In the last budget we allocated an additional $4.4 million over four years for similar financial literacy work in up to six sites nationally, to be announced later in the year.

“Through our many consultative relationships, we know Indigenous people are asking for this kind of financial help. They can see how money can help to build up their community and the Howard Government is keen to make sure the money families get from Federal Government assistance, wages or royalties can help with these goals.

“We have also funded the development of a comprehensive Indigenous Money Management Training pack for use in remote communities, which will be ready by the end of this year.
The IFM site in Geraldton will support:

  • education and intensive coaching in financial literacy and budgeting;
  • use of tools to implement family budgeting and savings plans,
  • assistance with accessing financial institutions, products and services;
  • on-going budget monitoring, related family support and referrals;
  • bill paying and purchasing assistance; and
  • links with other local economic and social development initiatives and services.

“The Howard Government continues to support programs which enable communities to help themselves and will continue to work together with financial institutions in each community to get the best results for everyone,” Senator Patterson said.