Our Geelong FIAP report highlights the critical role played by all Geelong FIAP members in addressing the issues of financial stress and hardship affecting the local communities.
In 2018, the Helen Macpherson Smith Trust extended an opportunity for Good Shepherd to leverage the learnings of the national FIAP Program and test it in a specific place in regional Victoria. Geelong was selected as the first location to pilot the concept of a Place-Based FIAP.
The Pioneers explored the impact of key risks and triggers of financial stress and hardship in Geelong such as low income, unemployment, specific life events, lack of access to safe and affordable products and services, limited knowledge and capability to undertake effective financial decisions and identified practical actions to address these challenges. This led to the development of the Geelong Financial Inclusion Action Plan which was launched on 20 February 2020.
Some examples of these practical action include:
- $6.7million provided as financial assistance to students experiencing hardship as a result of COVID-19 (Deakin University)
- Customer Support Program provided grant assistance for 3,547 vulnerable customers to the value of $498,872 (Barwon Water)
- 86 clients received financial counselling / financial capbiliyt support (Bethany Group)
- 165 attendees to 5 Money Management sessions at Deakin University (Aware Super)
- 100 women employees attended 5 financial and budget management training sessions (City of Greater Geelong)
- 241 attendances by employees to financial wellbeing programs across the year, representing 10% of the workforce (WorkSafe Victoria)