Julie Appo (right) with Cath Hillard, family and well-being professional at Namatjira Haven.
Julie Appo (right) with Cath Hillard, family and well-being professional at Namatjira Haven.

Bank helps Indigenous people

THE National Australia Bank is continuing to help people excluded from financial services.

According to NAB figures, around 2.65 million Australian adults were classified as being in some way excluded from financial services in 2010.

Financial exclusion is particularly prevalent in the indigenous community.

In 2010 the bank set up the Indigenous Money Mentor (IMM) program to help address financial exclusion in indigenous communities.

The program operates through the Lismore Neighbourhood Centre and is financed by the bank in association with the Sisters of the Good Shepherd.

Lismore Indigenous Money Mentor Julie Appo said lack of financial literacy had a profound impact on indigenous people's health, food and job opportunities.

She said her role was to get out in the community and offer advice to indigenous Australians in a non-confrontational and personable way.

"It's as grass roots as helping people with something as simple as guaranteeing they have food, shelter and electricity," she said.

Manager of indigenous finance and development at the National Australia Bank, Nathan Tyson, said: "Many indigenous Australians have trouble budgeting, often didn't understand their repayments or when or how to pay their utility bills or where their expenses were coming from."

Phone Julie Appo on 0409 316 951 or 02 6621 7397.



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