Norway – Kazakhstan
The five main Indigenous peoples in Australia – the Central and Southern Landlles, the Eastern Landlles, the Northern Landlles, the Flinders Country, the Kakadu National Park – all have their own distinct customs, languages and traditions.
People in these communities may not know one another’s names, and have not always crossed paths with one another, but they all share the common goal of conserving the environment, and of ensuring their people have a modern lifestyle. This has been the aim of Indigenous Australians for almost two thousand years.
Nikki Arthur, a Brisbane-based Aboriginal financial counsellor and advisor, has experienced the impact of Indigenous financial exclusion first-hand. She understands how important it is to have successful Indigenous financial advisers, who help to improve the living standards and wellbeing of their communities, and of their own families.
Both Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians are particularly susceptible to financial exploitation – and it is the Aboriginal people, more than any other group, who are at the greatest risk.
In a 2016 Australian Bureau of Statistics survey, 33 per cent of young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults reported their financial situation was difficult to manage, compared to 24 per cent of non-Indigenous people.
As well as personal benefits, increasing access to effective Indigenous financial services will have a positive impact on the communities in which they live. This kind of access will empower residents to take greater control of their own futures, and ensure that they will not fall into a cycle of financial hardship.
Some of the benefits of having an Indigenous financial adviser include:
A stronger connection to the land
Higher awareness of healthy lifestyles and strategies to be resilient and healthy
Better job security
Increased social welfare payments
Swift and reliable access to information about different financial products
Hope for a brighter financial future
Access to mentoring and education to improve their financial literacy
The financial service sector and government services in many Indigenous communities are actually failing to address Indigenous people’s financial needs, making their financial situation worse. We believe that including an Indigenous specialist financial adviser into households will help improve their quality of life.
Arthur works for another indigenous organisation that aims to enable people to live without financial poverty.
This week, we’re asking you to take part in a survey that will help us better understand the gaps in Indigenous financial services and what is needed. If you want to find out more about Indigenous Financial Advocacy and are interested in taking part in the survey, please visit www.knowyourfinancialpower.org.au/index.php/ethnicities/a