Good Money Dandenong: The freedom to want
The City of Greater Dandenong is one of the most culturally and linguistically diverse councils in Melbourne. 56% per cent of the municipality’s population were born overseas, whilst 59% of the population speak languages other than English.
Colour, creed and culture dance through the thoroughfares that connect re-settling communities.
So too, however, does adversity.
23,460 residents are either fully or severely financially excluded in the municipality.
The median weekly household income is $770.
Unemployment sits at 9.4%.
Good Money, a visible and viable alternative to the payday lending sector, are community finance stores designed to offer safe, affordable and responsible financial services to people on low incomes who are otherwise excluded from mainstream financial services.
The most recent Good Money store to open is in Dandenong where Good Money is working together with the Dandenong Community Advisory Bureau (DCAB), Springvale Community Aid and Advice Bureau (SCAAB), Southern Health, and Good Shepherd Youth & Family Service to deliver no interest loans up to $1,200 and low interest loans up to $3,000. A Good Money store is due to open in Collingwood.
The Good Money initiative was spearheaded in collaboration with Good Shepherd Microfinance, NAB and the Victorian Government’s Department of Human Services,
Putting people first, all of the Good Money stores offer customers a more integrated way of accessing financial products and services such as NILS, StepUP and financial counselling, which are provided by local community agencies, all from under the one roof.
During the official opening of the store in late October, Good Shepherd Microfinance deputy CEO Michelle Crawford encouraged the capacity of the store to allow local support services to extend their reach and deliver services to new sections of the community who may not traditionally identify as welfare clients.
“Good Money provides and promotes financial inclusion and fair financial systems. Financial and social inclusion creates thriving, vibrant and connected communities that will ultimately realise and define their own wellbeing, through inherent strengths,” Mrs Crawford said.
With more than 10 payday lenders and pawn brokers lining Dandenong’s main precinct, Good Money’s compelling existence represents a positive changing face to the nature of community finance and a socially responsible alternative to the growing fringe and pay day lending sector in the community.
The Hon. Inga Peulich MP suggested that Good Money was “an innovative concept in the right place at the right time targeting the right audience.”
“Good Money means low income residents of Dandenong and surrounding areas can access safe, fair and affordable financial services. I think it’s great we have this beautifully rejuvenated City of Dandenong and have a place that customers can walk into, at street level, and feel immediately welcomed. This service wants to help them make lasting change in their lives,” she said.
Fatme Ibrahim, a single mother of three children and VIP guest on the day, provided a simple articulation of the benefits of Good Money. “In this country if you don’t have a car, with three kids, life is very difficult. The loan has made my life much more comfortable. Last year I was in a bad mood because I couldn’t go anywhere or to appointments with my kids. Now it’s much easier and comfortable and I can do the things that I want.”
And that’s what Good Money delivers; freedom to want.
Read the full Media Release [PDF]
Visit us in Dandenong
250 Lonsdale St, Dandenong 3175
(03) 8788 7300
Visit us in Geelong
104 Moorabool Street, Geelong 3220
(03) 5223 8000
Visit us online at www.goodmoney.com.au