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News

Christmas & New years message/ Closure dates

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From all of us here at MoneyMob, we thank you for a great year and Wish you a safe and Happy Christmas and New Years.

Money Mob offices in Alice springs and Pukatja will be closed for 2 weeks over the Christmas break.

We will be closed from: Monday 23rd December 2019

Until: Friday 3rd January 2020

We will be back: Monday, 6th January 2020

If you have an urgent financial worry, please call the financial counselling hotline on 1800 007 007

To check your reporting and payment dates for Centrelink, visit the DHS website on https://www.humanservices.gov.au/individuals/public-holiday-reporting

Stop the Debt Trap Campaign

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MoneyMob strongly supports the Stop the Debt Trap campaign for reform to the small amount credit contracts legislation. Small amount credit contracts are also known as “payday loans” and trap Australians into high-cost, crippling debt. Indigenous Australians on low incomes can be very vulnerable to this type of debt. You can join the campaign to Stop the Debt Trap by signing up at this link https://mailchi.mp/consumeraction/debttrap


Changes to some Centrelink payments in 2020

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In March 2020, a new JobSeeker payment will become the main payment for people who can work between 22 years of age to aged pension.

This payment is for people;

  • looking for work
  • prepared to meet mutual obligation requirements (activities)
  • have a job but can’t work or study due to sickness or injury
  • have recently lost a partner

The follow payment types will stop and people who receive these payments will now automatically move to the new JobSeeker payment;

  • Newstart Allowance
  • Wife Pension
  • Sickness Allowance
  • Widow B Pension
  • Bereavement Allowance

Depending on individual circumstances, some people may be moved to Aged Pension or Carer Payment. JobSeeker will be paid at the maximum benefit amount which will be shown on income statements after 20 March 2020 as ‘JobSeeker’ or ‘JSP’.

For more information, search ‘JobSeeker Payment’ on human services website humanservices.gov.au

Highlights and achievements for Money Mob for 2019

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Tax Help

This tax season, our staff volunteered as tax helpers to allow Anangu access to a tax return service on the APY Lands. It was a great experience and made easier with Anangu registering for MY Gov and linking to the ATO.

We achieved;

82 tax returns, 62 non – lodgement advices, 8 amendments, 13 information only

Our new Strategic Plan

The MoneyMob board members had a meeting in February 2019 to review and refresh our strategic plan. This was recently finalised with the 2019 – 2024 Strategic plan being published.

To view the whole strategic plan, go to https://moneymob.org.au/strategic-plan/

New Money Mob Staff

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Lisa Vacamena

Lisa has recently joined our team as a Community Engagement Officer utilising her background in Indigenous health and case management. Lisa will be travelling to some NT communities and town camps looking at Telco debt in these areas. She looks forward to her community visits over the next few months, so keep an eye out for updates and lots of pics on Facebook.

On Monday the 28th October, Lisa travelled to Hermannsburg for her first community outreach visit. Lisa had a great experience in Hermannsburg and spoke to dozens of community members about issues with phone debts and collected data for the NT Telco debt project.

Lisa based herself in the bottom shop where there was lots of activity, she attended the Alukura women’s night on the Monday night which she found to be enjoyable and lively. Lisa thanks the community of Hermannsburg for being so hospitable and Lisa’s next community visit was to Santa Teresa on the the 11th of November.

If you or someone you know has issues with phone debts go talk to Lisa when you see her in your community.

Shannon’s 4WD Training

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Shannon Khan, MoneyMob’s Community administration support officer from Pukatja, has been in Alice Springs attending training. She has completed First aid, 4WD awareness and Money Business Kit training and has had some fun along the way!

Shannon at her 4WD training course.

APY Lands Service SA agents

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The MoneyMob Pukatja office has been a services SA agent for a few years now and we have recently been set up to accept payments from Anangu across the APY Lands.

Our staff will be travelling with mobile payment devices and will assist Anangu where possible to connect with Services SA. Some of the things we can help with are;

  • Driver’s license renewal
  • Proof of age card
  • Registration renewal
  • SA registration transfer
  • Birth or death certificate

See one of our staff if you need to process one of these transactions. Sorry, no basics cards yet.

Healthy Cooking Project

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With Trevor Cleland

In July 2019, MoneyMob started a ‘healthy cooking on a budget’ project with Dunjiba Community Council. The project’s focus is healthy cooking, engaging the community to learn and develop cooking skills for better health benefits for themselves and their families. The project aims to inform people about healthy eating, healthy activity and sourcing products locally. Participants actively engage in cooking and receive recipes and healthy eating posters.

Trevor Cleland is heading up this project and held a demonstration day in October to create interest for the project. In total, 26 people came to the demonstration day, met Trevor and heard about the project. Five groups have been identified with future workshops to be held between January – March 2020.

Indigenous Super Summit

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The Indigenous Super summit was held in Brisbane in August 2019. Our Financial Counsellor Zeni Ferntree attended on behalf of MoneyMob as one of 7 financial counsellors who work in remote Australia.

There was many super companies there to hear about the difficulties for Indigenous people to access their superannuation. Each Financial Counsellor shared a case study and we discussed changes to the Financial Counselling funding restricting how we work with clients assisting them with super.

The super companies explained their reconciliation plans followed by a presentation from the Australian Taxation Office about their key advocacy priorities to improve superannuation and retirement outcomes from Indigenous Australians including kinship, beneficiaries, financial hardship, lost super and access to super are treated.

An action plan was created with some of the following outcomes;

  • Allow financial counsellors to act as third party representatives for members and funds to use the financial counsellor register to give them confidence that a counsellor is a registered third party
  • Partner with financial counsellors and capability workers on the implementation of new processes
  • Provide cultural awareness training to staff as part of their professional development. Develop training tools to use and share across the industry
  • Work towards building an industry code of conduct
  • Continue to have and participate in Indigenous Super Summits

MoneyMob Kangaroo

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A recent outreach visit to Amata by NILS Officer & Financial Capability Worker, Trevor Cleland, coincided with a 3 day workshop conducted by Tjanpi Desert Weavers. The older women were teaching the younger women the craft, and make some items for the Desert Mob art sale in late August/early September.

The workshops were adjacent to the Moneymob office at the Family Wellbeing Centre, and Trevor was lucky to see some of their work. 

One young woman, Tania Burton, had made a “Moneymob Kangaroo” modelled along the lines of the kangaroos on the MoneyMob logo.

Trevor was busy working and didn’t get to follow how the kangaroo was being made but was able to get a photo with Tania near a MoneyMob car showing the kangaroo logo. Trevor will personally buy the finished article from Tjanpi Desert Weavers in Alice Springs. The kangaroo will take pride of place next to Trevor’s desk in the MoneyMob Alice Springs office, and will ultimately pass on to one of his grandchildren.