IAG launches its FIAP

IAG released its Financial Inclusion Action Plan (FIAP) on 14 March 2020. Peter Harmer, IAG Managing Director and CEO, is excited to have committed to the plan. "Our purpose inspires us to explore all the ways we can make our customers, our people and our communities safer - insurance plays a critical role in providing financial security and protection”.

A notable commitment in IAG’s plan is to address structural and systemic barriers for those at risk of financial exclusion, particularly Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The indigenous engagement strategy will complement IAG’s Elevate Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), which looks to provide employment and development opportunities as well as addressing social and economic challenges faced by the indigenous community. IAG will look to diversify its supply chain, with a focus on female-owned, social enterprises and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander owned suppliers.;

To learn more:

New action plan to tackle financial hardship in Geelong

Geelong Report imageIn an Australian first, ten Geelong businesses and organisations have banded together to launch a city-wide plan to combat growing financial hardship. With around 40,000 thousand Geelong residents living on low incomes and many unable to access regular banking or financial services, the group of businesses, government, academia and community organisations has committed to a ‘city-specific’ plan to tackle the issue.

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 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,” Ms Avramopoulos said.

“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.

Read the Press Release here. 

Read more about the Place-Based FIAP here.


New FIAP team members

We are happy to introduce two new members to the FIAP team.

Jeremy Levine is the General Manager of Service and Strategy Impact at Good Shepherd ANZ and has executive leadership of the FIAP program, alongside policy, research, advisory services and strategic projects. Jeremy has been with Good Shepherd for the past two years, following senior roles in government and management consulting.

Heather Saunders joined the team in March as Head of the Financial Inclusion Action Plan program (FIAP). Heather will work closely with Jeremy to drive the FIAP strategy and oversee the operational execution of the program. 

Heather has just returned after seven years in the United States where her last role was as the Chief Development Officer at Juma Ventures, a social enterprise focused on breaking the cycle of poverty for youth across America. She is excited to reconnect with the financial inclusion community in Australia having previously held roles at the Brotherhood of St Laurence and First Nations Foundation helping to design, implement, and drive strategic financial capability initiatives such as MoneyMinded and My Moola