Swinburne has today launched its first Financial Inclusion Action Plan (FIAP), which will pave the way for the Australian education sector to best support and prevent students experiencing financial hardship.
Joining eleven other organisations across the banking, insurance, energy, community and government sectors, the university has identified a number of initiatives and measures it will undertake to strengthen the financial inclusion and resilience of its students, including:
- working with Good Shepherd Microfinance to introduce special low interest/no interest loans for Swinburne students
- developing a FIAP fund to enable third parties to contribute financial support packages
- implementing a crisis support package, in conjunction with local healthcare and support services
- partnering with the Australian Tax Office to offer a tax help program
The plans are a blueprint for how the organisations involved will make a difference to more than three million people around Australia experiencing financial exclusion and hardship.
“Swinburne is proud to be the first education institution to develop a Financial Inclusion Action Plan,” Vice-Chancellor, Professor Linda Kristjanson, says.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for our university to work in collaboration with other organisations to support our students while they are studying.
“Being socially and financially inclusive is integral to our values, as a university committed to social and economic impact through our teaching and research. We remain committed to ensuring that our students realise their educational potential free from financial barriers.”
A cross-sector approach for financial inclusion
The FIAP program has been established by Good Shepherd Microfinance, to create a national network of organisations, across sectors, peak bodies and governments that are actively committed to financial inclusion in Australia.
The Financial Inclusion Action Plan program is supported by the Australian Government, the UNSW Centre for Social Impact and Ernst & Young.
“The organisations that have come on board and developed their first Financial Inclusion Action Plan have shown themselves to be leaders, not just in their respective industries, but in the community more broadly,” Adam Mooney, CEO of Good Shepherd Microfinance, says.
“We’re excited to have Swinburne as one of the twelve organisations of the FIAP program. They’ve produced a list of actions that will have a significant impact.”
Other organisations releasing Financial Inclusion Action Plans today include Anglicare, ANZ, Bank Australia, Baptist Care, Commonwealth Bank, Energy Australia, HESTA, NAB, Queensland State Government, Suncorp and Westpac.
View Swinburne's Financial Inclusion Action Plan.