The Jan Pentland scholarships are awarded annually, at the Jan Pentland Foundation dinner. This is held in May of each year in conjunction with the annual financial counselling conference.
The scholarship provides financial assistance to individuals who are undertaking study or are intending to undertake study in financial counselling.
For the 2021 scholarship round, the Foundation is encouraging applicants who live in rural or remote areas (or who would be willing to move to a rural or remote area). This is because there are still shortages of financial counsellors in rural and remote areas.
In recent years, the Foundation has been able to provide more scholarships than in the past. This has largely been made possible because of a donation of $50,000 per annum from the Commonwealth Bank (for 2017-2026). Other scholarships in 2020 were funded by the NSW Government (Minister for Women), Credit Corp and staff at the Australian Financial Complaints Authority.
"To look is one thing. To see what you look at is another. To understand what you see is a third. To learn from what you understand is something else. But to act on what you learn is all that really matters."
It is believed this quote had a special significance for Jan and it describes how she lived her life. It may also be the advice she might probably have passed to the scholarship winners.
Amanda is a single parent who is familiar with the NDIS, budgeting and managing competing needs. After working for a budgeting company, Amanda recognised that their policies could be improved to reduce the risk of placing clients in further hardship. Her advocacy skills, empathy and passion for helping people will come in handy when she is working as a financial counsellor.
Haydn lived in Broome and fell in love with remote Australia, giving him an understanding of the challenges faced by people in rural areas. In his work, he was involved in advocating with creditors and service providers throughout the Kimberly region and this experience will hold him in good stead as a financial counsellor.
Belinda lives right up the top of Australia in the Gulf of Carpentaria, Northern Territory where she works as a financial capability worker. She dedicates her time to educating, advocating and working with people in the local communities to improve individual and community wellbeing. Belinda is interested in systemic issues, legislative change and the financial rights of people.
Eirene began working with renters in severe financial hardship to help them remain in their homes during COVID-19. She has worked full time as a volunteer, primarily with women in tenancy casework. Eirene co-founded the Renters and Housing Union which provides a collective voice to provide advocacy around affordable and safe housing rights for people with low incomes.
Toni is a volunteer in an emergency relief program where she supports the work of financial counsellors. Through this role she has identified her skills and experience would benefit clients when she becomes a financial counsellor. Toni recognises that financial stress can make other situations seem overwhelming and seeks to ‘do herself out of a job’ by empowering and educating clients to reach their financial goals.
Hayley is a strong and passionate advocate. She has no idea how to do 'half a job'. Hayley has five years working in the family violence sector which will greatly benefit financial counselling clients as this is a common factor in casework.
Going home at the end of the day having made a difference in someone’s life is what drives Shelley in her role as a co-ordinator supporting people with disabilities and mental health issues in rural South Australia. She will take this passion into financial counselling where she looks forward to using her skills to help the rural and indigenous community.
Born and raised in Broome, Jazsikah is a proud Yawuru and Nimanburr woman who has worked and volunteered in the Kimberley community. Her goal for all Kimberley families is the same things she wants for her own family: to be safe, happy, and to have the opportunities they deserve.
Paula lives in Katunga a country town in Victoria. She has witnessed farmers doing it tough and the toll this takes on them and their families. With a finance, administration and banking background which includes a diploma of community services her skills along with a diploma in financial counselling are geared to help farming families and the surrounding community.
Kristen was planning on studying the financial counselling diploma before she lost her job due to COVID. With this scholarship she will be able to pursue her dream of helping people experiencing family violence, gambling addiction and homelessness by becoming a financial counsellor.
Working at Anglicare WA has opened Helen’s eyes to the community service sector. Working alongside financial counsellors has further fuelled her interest to become a financial counsellor herself. Helen can empathise and connect with clients to help them identify financial hardship and empowering clients to seek support and advocacy.
Lylia lives in rural Victoria and sees the issues that affect people and cause financial hardship. She believes that financial counselling will help her to provide education, advocacy and positive outcomes for the community. Lylia would like to develop ongoing financial literacy sessions for younger members of her community.
Nel has a strong understanding of the link between financial hardship and mental health issues and is committed and passionate about implementing change by building and strengthening community through education, advocacy and engagement. Nel firmly believes that empowerment of community comes from projects and initiatives designed and driven by community for community.
Kerryn has experience in agriculture, farming systems and small business which will help her in a role as a financial counsellor in rural WA. Kerryn loves living in her town and helping the locals. In her previous roles she identified that people could benefit from financial counselling and is looking forward to being in a position where she can provide this service.
This scholarship was made possible by a donation from
“Man is not a plan” states Rhonda but empowering women to build self-confidence, knowledge and management of their finances is. As a financial counsellor Rhonda plans to support, advocate and help women to reach their financial goals. She is also passionate about helping those with mental health issues and those who are affected by bushfires and COVID.
Diane (Tang) Choo
Aunty Joy Reid
The Trustees of the Jan Pentland Foundation thank Aaron Davis for his extensive work in putting this video together.