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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 2022 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 and 2021 were funded by the NSW Government (Minister for Women), Credit Corp and staff at the Australian Financial Complaints Authority.

The 2022 scholarship round has now closed. The 2023 round will open around February 2023.

 "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.



Sarah Holman

Having started the financial counselling diploma already, Sarah applied for the scholarship to complete the course. As a busy mum with a passion for helping others, Sarah has worked hard towards completing the diploma and has also been working as a financial counsellor. She has already had a number of success stories with amazing life changing results for her clients.

Alexander Dunnage

Living and working in Central Australia for the past 5 years, Alexander was born in New Zealand. He currently works as a financial capability worker and wants to improve his skills to offer more assistance to the communities and Aboriginal families he already sees. Alexander has a passion for supporting others toward better financial literacy, financial stability and success. He brings integrity, pride, patience and professionalism with a client centred approach

Michelle Carroll

Michelle did her research on what being a financial counsellor is all about and gave careful consideration to her options before applying for the scholarship. Being a good role model and finding a better career for herself and her children is important to her. She understands the complexities of family violence and is sensitive to the needs of diverse populations and people who are disadvantaged.

Krithi Baskaran

Living near Lismore Krithi was recently affected by the NSW floods and suffered financial loss as a result. Rather than looking at her own loss, Krithi turned to see what she could do to help her community and began volunteering at an evacuation centre.  She developed processes to help people cancel their direct debits for services that could not be used as a result of the floods. Her positive outlook, passion for helping others and innovative interventions will help Krithi become a great financial counsellor. 

Leilani Tasi

Leilani has had a career history in service and support. As a mum of two toddlers, she sought a scholarship to help with the financial cost of a career change. Leilani wanted to pursue something that she felt passionate about and was within her skillset. She understands financial hardship and sees the link between this and mental health. Leilani believes in second chances and is passionate about and committed to her choice to become a financial counsellor. 

Katja Hauser

Working as a financial capability worker alongside financial counsellors has made Katja aware of the need for better financial literacy for her clients recognising that assisting vulnerable people helps reduce their risk of exploitation. Katja has lived in remote and rural places all over Australia, from Tasmania to Western Australia, Cape York to Torres Strait Islands, gaining insight into the lives of First Nations people and developing cultural sensitivity. She states that together we are strong and a community is always made up of "us."

Sara O'Neill 

Sara currently works at Good Money assisting clients in obtaining no interest loans. Born in Cairns she has lived and worked in remote areas and is experienced in working with vulnerable clients. Doing this work has made Sara aware of the need for financial counsellors and she would love to further develop her skills, enabling her to help others. She believes that her previous study and work will be helpful to her future career as a financial counsellor.

Julie Walter

BJulie worked as a bushfire recovery support officer on Kangaroo Island which is 130 kms southwest of Adelaide. When that contract ended, she decided to stay on the island and took a role as a community support worker. Following the 2019-20 bushfires, it became evident to Julie that a major determinant of people’s level of recovery and resilience was connected to their level of financial vulnerability. Connection with the financial counsellors became integral to her recovery work. Most recently Julie volunteered at the Red Cross Emergency Services in Queensland to help with the floods.

Caroline Graham

With a passion for social justice and to support, counsel and advocate for people experiencing challenges, Caroline was already enrolled in the financial counselling diploma. She had to withdraw from her course for financial reasons. The scholarship will help Caroline to pursue her goals to advocate for, equip and support people over the long term, including people facing challenges from the pandemic, bushfire, drought, illness, incarceration, addiction, bereavement, business failure and other challenges.

Rachel Young

Rachel believes that holistic community development, financial education and empowerment are the key to creating social equality in Australia. She demonstrates this through her work in the not-for-profit sector where she supports clients in regional and remote areas surrounding Cairns, Far North Queensland develop their financial capacity using a strengths-based approach. Once she has completed the diploma, Rachel looks forward to continuing to support these communities and advocate for them in her new role as a financial counsellor. 

Alicia Nas

Alicia is the manager of financial capability workers and financial counsellors at the Cape York Partnership in Cairns. Becoming a financial counsellor is a natural progression for her now that her children are all in school and she will have the time she needs to study the diploma of financial counselling. Alicia’s passion for financial counselling was ignited after meeting Jan Pentland at a conference in Melbourne and she has worked in the sector ever since. Alicia’s scholarship was funded by Credit Corp Group, who chose her based on the outstanding contribution she is already making to the sector.

This scholarship was made possible by a donation from

Abby Bartlett

“Abby has a background in law and has worked in the not-for-profit sector providing legal advice, assistance and representation to clients in Western Australia, New South Wales and Jervis Bay Territory.  She loves experiencing different parts of rural and remote Australia and is always looking for new opportunities to live and work in a new community and learn from the local people. She believes that with her background in law and the new skills she will develop through the completion of her Diploma in Financial Counselling that she can make a strong contribution to the sector.. 



Kristen Conquest

Jazsikah Cox

Amanda Evans

Rhonda Griffiths

Haydn Jelly

Hayley  Joyce

Toni Lackey

Lylia Martion

Kerryn Mickle

Helen Radford

Shelley  Rose

Nel Staite

Paula  Thompson

Eirene  Tsolidis-Noyce

Belinda Walton


Gregory Cross

Savio D'Souza

Kate Fisher

Karen Garlett

Jacqueline Hannam

Samantha Hillman

Helen Kouppi

Geri Matlow

William McGurk

Natasha Mesecke

Julie Plummer

Shiara Pugh

Kelly Reid

Trudi Ridge

Monica Smith

Robyn Stavrou

Luke Webber

Genine Wakley

Sarah Stewart

Bernadette Wauchope

Nicole Piccolo


Kathy Bel-Bachir

Natasha Bollenhagen

Lyndall Bottrell

Andre Chan

Kym Clerke

Yazmin Cox

Jason Drane

David Fagan

Lauren Heald

Ann Howchin

Deena Husan

Nicola Lewis

Raelene Martin

Megan Molloy

Emma Neville

Chitsidzo Nyamidzi

Tracey Peart

John Ryan

Nikita Schmidt

Renee Westreheim

Kirsty Wilson


Banafsheh Abedali

Venetia Aprile

Karen Bird

Diane (Tang) Choo

Sarah Cooke

Alan Gray

Sue Gunning

Andrea Jones

Jaimee Marshall

Louise Murphy

Robert  Rooth

Katie Sedunary

Troy West


Nagla Ibrahim

Carolyn La

Diane Malupu

Gillian Leech

Jennifer Barclay-Smyth

Joanna Garratt

Joe Perera

Karen McEwan

Leanne Garth

Nicki Millington

McRoberts Olango

Peter Puketapu

Ronna Guzman

Sarah Bardsley  

Skye Hawkins 

Tracey Wagner


John Harmer

Mary Pallis

Joyleen Monsoor

Carmel Devine

Eleanor Mason


Shae Skinner

John Gilmour

Karyn Hicks

Shyam Banjade


Aunty Joy Reid

Grant Rowe

Carly Baker

Husan Rzuehaji

Alison Waters


Julie Barrow

Jessica Trill

Linda Footer


Kedar Acharya

Anna Falconer

Anna Dooland


Sandra Blake


Cheryl Buttigieg

Mwajemi Hussein

The Trustees of the Jan Pentland Foundation thank Aaron Davis for his extensive work in putting this video together.

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