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CUA commitment to help Indigenous Australians attain financial freedom

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Australia’s largest credit union CUA has signed a new three-year agreement to support First Nations Foundation’s work in promoting financial literacy and educating Indigenous Australians about managing money.

CUA Chief Executive Officer Rob Goudswaard said the two organisations had a long history of working together and CUA’s renewed commitment as Mission Partner would strengthen the bridge between Indigenous Australians and mainstream financial services.

“From the time when First Nations Credit Union became part of CUA, through to the creation of First Nations Foundation in 2006, CUA has been committed to supporting the organisation’s work,” Mr Goudswaard said.

“They are an important driver of financial literacy and financial inclusion and most importantly, doing so in a way that recognises the cultural sensitivities about how Indigenous groups view money.”

Ian Hamm, First Nations Foundation Chairperson said: “You know a genuine partner who is committed to reconciliation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people when you see long and sustained commitment. Members of CUA, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous, must feel proud knowing that by banking with CUA, investment is being made into building the financial inclusion and money management skills of our First Nations people.”

Mr Goudswaard said CUA is committing $600,000 to First Nations Foundation over the next three years, which will help the Foundation transition financial education toward new digital platforms, rather than the traditional focus on face-to-face community style education. This will support the expansion of the program and enable it to reach more people.

“This initiative is very much aligned to CUA’s focus on working together with our members for mutual good. By educating and empowering Indigenous groups to manage money, the Foundation is helping these communities on the journey to financial independence. This in turn is a key driver to help in breaking the cycle of generational poverty and disadvantage that is endemic in some communities.”

First Nations Foundation has a number of financial education activities planned in the coming months, including Big Super Day Out free superannuation events in Brisbane on 7 July 2017 and in five remote Anangu communities in the APY Lands of Central Australia during August. In the meantime, First Nations Foundation will be training 400 people in financial literacy around Australia, their core business.