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.
In the 2018-2019 financial year, MoneyMob had $230,349 worth of debt waived or written off, and got $19,988 in refunds for clients. These debts relate to only 35 people, which paints a disturbing picture of the amount of debt that Anangu bear.
We also established payment plans in relation to over $53,000 worth of debt originating from various creditors including state based fines enforcement agencies, Housing SA, and Centrelink.
If you get Centrelink money, and also have a paid job, make sure your boss is taking enough tax out of your pay.
If you only get money from Centrelink, then they don’t usually take tax out of your Centrelink payment.
But if you work, AND you get Centrelink money this can change. At tax time, all your Centrelink money and your work money are added together. Then, the government works out how much tax you have to pay.
If you are not getting enough tax taken out of your work money, you might have to pay back money to the tax office. This is called a tax debt. The tax office knows how much you get: every time you get paid from work, and from Centrelink, they have to give this information to the tax office too.
Make sure you tell your boss if you are also getting a Centrelink payment. Ask them to check how much tax have to pay in one year, when your Centrelink payment and your work money are added together.
There is another way to make sure you don’t get a tax debt when you work and get Centrelink money. When you start a job, you have to fill out a form called a Tax File Declaration.
At question number 9, it asks “Do you want to claim the tax free threshold from this payer?” Tick “No”. Your boss will take extra tax out of your pay.
If you pay too much tax, you should get that money back at tax time as a tax refund, when you do your tax return. This can be a good way to save some money.
But be careful – if you owe Centrelink or Child Support any money, they can take your tax refund and use it to clear your debt.
Tax can be tricky. Come and talk to MoneyMob if you want to know more.
Fast loans can get you into big money problems really quickly!
These loans are easy to get and the money is paid to you fast BUT there can be hidden fees and charges that make you pay back more than you borrowed.
MoneyMob are seeing a lot of these bad loans causing Anangu worry and stress. If you have a bad loan come and talk to MoneyMob. We have Financial Counsellors who can help sort out the debt.
A safer loan option is a NILS loans, these loans have no interest and no fees so the money you borrow is the only money you pay back. Come and see MoneyMob about these loans.
Other options are a Centrelink loan, Centrelink advance or starting a savings account. Savings accounts are good for Christmas, kids birthdays and holidays. See MoneyMob about these options too.
Left: Shannon from our Pukatja office celebrating NAIDOC day by cooking up a feast.
FCA conference 2019
In May, the MoneyMob financial counsellors travelled to Melbourne for the annual financial counsellors conference. It is always a great chance to network and meet other financial counsellors working in areas similar to us.
Trevor joined our team in May as the Financial Capability & No Interest Loans Scheme (NILS) Officer. He has worked in Central Australia for many years and has a great knowledge of the community services sector. Trevor started his outreach visits to the APY lands in June!
If you are interested in a NILS, talk to Trevor about an application. NILS loans are up to $1,500 to purchase white goods, furniture and some other essential items.
Trevor will also be doing group workshops and education sessions on;
- Family money stories
Shannon is a great addition to the Pukatja office MoneyMob team. Shannon has a world of knowledge and experience to share with the community and our team.
Getting straight into helping the community with linking agencies in MyGov and helping people to learn Centrelink Online. This has helped Anangu with knowing how to process and receive electronic transactions from Centrelink and the ATO especially. Welcome Shannon!
Here are some more smiling faces of Betty, Eliza, Teresa and Teddy as well as Tania and Roxanne in Mimili. They have been listening to the ‘Fast Loans’ talking poster that MoneyMob has displayed at the Mimili Wellbeing Centre.
We were happy to be part of the Westpac pop-up bank in April of this year.
Westpac visited Indulkana, Mimili, Pukatja, Pipalyatjara, Kanpi and Amata assisting Anangu with new cards, new pin numbers and bank transfers. They also taught people internet banking and talked about how this can help with managing bank accounts and transferring money.
Some service providers also got training in Westpac banking processed and received new forms to make banking easier in remote communities.
It was a great learning experience for Westpac staff who got to understand the distances between communities across the APY lands and some of the issues with access and reliability of services like fax, internet and mobile service at times.
Check out our talking poster that tells a story of a young woman who got one of those quick, easy loans for a TV. Two months later she can’t repay the loan. She asks her Aunty what to do.
The talking poster is in Pitjantjatjara and is displayed in each community at the store or wellbeing centre. We have had great feedback from people who have stopped to listen to this message.
Here are some Anangu who have given it the thumbs up.