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Positive financial management for First Nations Communities

[supplied by Erika Ng]


Ian Hamm. Image: supplied

Australia’s only national Indigenous financial literacy organisation, First Nations Foundation, has this week released its annual impact report which has revealed the astoundingly positive effects on First Nations communities felt through their financial literacy and education training.

Launched at Suncorp Bank’s head office in Brisbane, the annual report summarises all of FNF’s 2022 achievements in line with their mission of sharing a wealth of Indigenous-led financial knowledge, and empowering the Indigenous community through education pertaining to achieving financial independence.

According to FNF, First Nations communities have had very little opportunity to manage their own money. Being paid in rations and experiencing stolen wages and extremely low income has resulted in significantly low levels of financial education. While there are more Indigenous people gainfully employed than ever before, and with that accruing decent salaries, most Indigenous people still don’t have access to a trusted source of information, or are too ashamed to ask for help within the services sector. This diminishes the opportunity to create intergenerational wealth and is at the core of why FNF exists.

Throughout 2022, FNF measured its impact across a number of programs and initiatives including My Money Dream, Tomorrow Money, Indigenous Women’s Financial Wellness, Indigenous Super Website and its On Country Mentors training program.

The award-winning online financial literacy training program, My Money Dream, was able to train 891 individuals across the online platform, face-to-face or via webinars, with 12 organisations trained.

The Indigenous Women’s Financial Wellness Project saw 239 individuals attend monthly webinars and online events, 72 individuals attended in-person workshops while 9 organisations were trained. Nationally, a total of 1616 people were trained, 33 communities were engaged, there were over 8,900 web visits and 40 community facilitators trained.

FNF Chairman and Yorta Yorta man Ian Hamm was at the launch of the report, and revealed how thrilled everybody involved with the organisation is to witness the reports findings.

"It proves that programmes designed by Indigenous community organisations, based around the articulated needs of ordinary Indigenous people, have the greatest impact and the best sustainable long-term effects.

“With the assistance of our funding partners, we have been able to curate a programme that delivers positive intergenerational change, educating participants in areas of financial well-being, developing better money management skills and habits as well as building financial prosperity.”

A participant in FNF’s educational programmes, Tatum Moore’s entire outlook has evolved as has her financial literacy after engaging with FNF.

“I didn’t have a real understanding of my own financial situation. I would keep track of my income and what I need to pay for bills etc, but I never really took the time to work out how much I could save each week. I grew up with a single mum, living in social housing and the only income was Centrelink. We lived in a ‘scarcity mind-set’.

“My relationship today with money is a lot more positive. I believe money gives us choices and opportunities, I believe it is merely a token to be exchanged for something we want and/or need. My mindset today is a lot more positive,” she said.

Stories like Tatum’s inspire FNF CEO Phil Usher to continue exploring ways to further educate all first Nations communities.

“Through the stories and numbers of our 2022 Impact Report, we aim to give you insights of the money healing and empowerment that First Nations Foundation provides.

“The stories show the enormous impact that we can have on an individual in a short period of time… our research shows our participants will share their knowledge with up to six family and community members meaning we have even greater impact.

“Culture is at the heart of everything we do, so it’s truly gratifying seeing our efforts recognised through these responses. Understanding the Indigenous perception of money and family responsibilities can only be gained through lived experiences. All our training and content is written and delivered by Mob, for Mob,” he said.

To learn more about First Nations Foundation, please visit


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