CUA confirmed today it would be collaborating with Good Shepherd Microfinance and the Thriving Communities Partnership – two organisations that work closely with corporate institutions to reduce financial exclusion and hardship amongst Australians.
CUA will work with Good Shepherd Microfinance to develop a Financial Inclusion Action Plan (FIAP), providing an opportunity to engage in a community of practice and learn from industry and cross-industry partners in order to establish a framework that maintains accountability in the journey to improve the financial wellbeing of both members, and the broader community.
CUA Chief Operating Officer and business sponsor of the FIAP, Brigid Leishman, said the FIAP is a tangible reflection of the mutual ethos and values upon which CUA has been built.
“Drawing on our rich heritage as a member owned organisation we see this as a natural step in our story, guided by our Purpose of ‘Members working together through life’s changes’,” Ms Leishman said.
“As a member-owned organisation our members are our sole focus and we place their financial health and wellbeing at the heart of our decision making.”
Through the Thriving Communities partnership, CUA joins a collaborative network of 170 organisations working with people with lived experience, business, academia, government and community sectors. Together, the partnership addresses complex problems around vulnerability and hardship, ensuring everyone in Australia has fair access to essential services.
CUA Head of Communications and Community, Allison White, said these new relationships mark a turning point for the member-owned organisation in its focus on financial wellbeing and inclusion.
“We want our members to be in control of their finances and feel financially secure now and into the future and these new partnerships will support us in achieving that goal,” Ms White said.
Our credit union origins are grounded in helping financially excluded Australians become more secure, and through our new partnerships, we will continue to support our members and communities for generations to come.”
Research shows that over three million Australians don’t currently have access to safe, affordable financial services and products, leaving them vulnerable.
CUA members are also experiencing financial stress with research showing that one in six CUA members are finding it difficult to meet their living expenses, and 13 per cent are dissatisfied with their current financial situation.
These partnerships further strengthen CUA’s commitment to the financial wellbeing of its members’ and their communities, joining existing innovative initiatives including specialised products for survivors of domestic and family violence, as well as support for lower income earners to enter the housing market.