I Am A Boat Person receives Westpac Foundation grant

Here to help: I Am A Boat Person run financial literacy workshops for refugees.
Here to help: I Am A Boat Person run financial literacy workshops for refugees.

Sometimes it’s the simple things that can make all the difference when you are a newly arrived refugee.

Especially when it comes to finance.

Should I get a credit card to buy a car? What’s the difference between a transaction and a savings account?

Making sense of all the dollars is charity I Am A Boat Person.

More than 90 percent of their clients are refugees that have settled in Fairfield.

For their latest project, they have partnered with Westpac’s Davidson Institute to create a free Financial Literacy Program for refugees.

“It’s all about education,” I Am A Boat Person director Daniel Heycox said.

“Most of our clients comes from Fairfield and we deliver workshops on not only ways to manage money but we try to answer all their questions and give them direction.

“The sessions are tailored to suite the audience. If most of the clients don’t work, we wouldn’t spend a lot of time on pay slips but focus on other areas that would help them.”

Recently the charity received $10,000 as part of the 2017 Westpac Foundation Community Grant Program. 

They were one of 200 local community organisations selected who take a fresh approach to addressing social problems and help create a fairer, more inclusive Australia. 

The funds will help I Am A Boat Person translate financial management materials into a number of languages so  customers can better utilise the content.

“It will also ensure we can continue to refurbish laptops for students to take to school through our Technology for Change program, which helps students to further their education and keep up with their peers,” Mr Heycox said.

“We are working on some more projects like insurance literacy and setting up a food stall to employee refugees. We also want to work more with high schools.

“In the past we have deliver a national poster campaign that featured successful asylum seekers and taught English to people in Villawood Detention Centre.”