Building financial confidence in Indigenous communities.

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The Davidson Institute offers a range of money management topics for individuals, businesses and community groups. With the support of our accredited Financial Wellbeing Champions we are able to deliver financial education within the local community.

I recently caught up with two of our Financial Wellbeing Champions for Indigenous communities, Darren and Leigh and asked them why they joined the program and the impact they have seen the program has had in the community.

Darren Bricknell is a Westpac Relationship Director and says ‘being located in the Northern Territory which has a high proportion of Indigenous customers/connections I felt that I had an obligation to be involved and assist with improving financial literacy on both Individual & Business basis for Indigenous Australians. Back in my school days we were taught the value of money and how to fill out cheque/deposit forms (now I’m showing my age). This does not seem to form part of education curriculum today so if we can assist with imparting some of our knowledge by delivery of the program then hopefully this will benefit.’

‘So far I have been involved with two presentations. One to a group of High School Students at Jabiru with Indigenous Banking Manager Alinta McGuire and the other to a group of Business customers with Commercial Banking Manager Janelle Farrell. I found that delivery to both group’s rewarding and beneficial.’

Leigh Hislop is the Westpac Bank manager in Albany, Western Australia. Leigh has worked and been involved in Senior and Junior Australian rules football in remote sites such as Derby, Alice Springs and Broome.’ He says ‘I saw what impact I could have with people in these remote areas with education and life skills through football.  When the opportunity arose to be able to facilitate financial education/literacy… that was catered towards the indigenous community, I felt it would be of great benefit to acquire the training, to be able to have an impact on the indigenous community while utilising my previous life experiences. It is something that I am passionate about.’ He acknowledges that while he has ‘an extensive financial background, this training gave me the confidence to cater a presentation and deliver.’

‘As a Financial Wellbeing champion, you are equipped with a deeper understanding of Aboriginal culture. Davidson Institute, powered by Westpac, provided a great training environment which utilises our own indigenous people and experiences, to best deliver Financial skills and literacy for best impact, on our first nations people. Presenting to the Clontarf school leavers in Broome yielded many questions and engagement from the students, and as they venture into the working world, I believe the content would have stuck to the vast majority.’ Leigh believes ‘Every little bit helps. I have locked in some more presentations in the near future with several local Schools in my new location Albany. I am super excited to get back into the community after the covid lockdown and programs such as these make me proud to wear my uniform.’

If you are part of a community group and are interested in finding out more about our financial education workshops please register your interest here.

For more on our financial education resources visit Davidson Institute First Nations People


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Lisa Gissing

From Melbourne to Perth to the Tiwi Islands, from Launceston to Port Moresby, Lisa has helped many individuals, communities and businesses to build financial confidence for over ten years. From developing and delivering face to face workshops, to facilitating webinars and creating educational tools, she is committed to delivering education with impact, flexibility and sensitivity tailored for each audience. She is responsible for delivering on Westpac’s Reconciliation Action Plan financial education commitment. In 2016 she was runner up in the Westpac Women of Influence Awards recognising her work around Inclusion and Diversity. Her story is featured on the Westpac Careers website as an example of people helping people and she is also here to help you.

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