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.



Gregory Cross

Gregory worked in the community sector for nearly 20 years, assisting clients experiencing financial hardship to improve their financial wellbeing. Gregory looks for ways to help those experiencing disadvantage to live a healthier lifestyle.

Savio D'Souza

A single father of three, Savio’s experiences have given him the insight to understand the challenges of managing money in a difficult situation. Working in accounts for a not for profit organisation assisting victims of domestic violence, Savio sees the need to provide assistance with the financial aspect of disadvantage and wishes to help people gain the skills and knowledge to be self sufficient.

Kate Fisher

Kate has completed the Diploma of Community services and works in the southern Mallee in Victoria, advocating for community members who are experiencing financial hardship. She hopes to extend her role to incorporate education and providing individuals with the tools and advocacy they need. 

Karen Garlett

Karen is working with the Pilbara Community Legal Service. She has a bachelors degree  in Indigenous Community Development and Management and a Certificate IV in Workplace Assessment. Having seen how financial issues escalate into serious problems when not addressed, Karen wishes to help others in her community and  is confident that she will make a strong contribution. 

Jacqueline Hannam

Jacqueline volunteers with Anglicare SA’s Community Financial Service.  Jacqueline witnessed the lifelong struggle of others in her family to ‘make ends meet’. She participated in the Brotherhood of St Lawrence’s Savers Plus program and from there, her interest and skills have developed into a passion for helping others..   

Samantha Hillman

Samantha is a Financial Capability Worker with Anglicare SA. She enjoys her role as a capability worker and has a background in the financial services sector. In her current role she has seen the great need for this assistance within the community.

Helen Kouppi

Helen was widowed recently and she has had to manage the financial impacts of this. Her interest in law and background in translating Greek documents to English have also helped her. Helen would like to support people with little English to navigate financial systems during difficult times and use her skills to help others in need. 

Geri Martlow

Geri volunteers alongside financial counsellors at Anglicare Emergency Assistance, and sees firsthand what a difference they make. Geri understands the impact a lack of money has on physical and mental wellbeing. With a background in financial services and varied life experiences, Geri feels she has the empathy and understanding to help those requiring assistance.

William McGurk

William has three years experience as a Financial Literacy Worker and wishes to broaden his skills and knowledge base so that he can assist people with a wider range of issues. Working with many people who have intellectual, physical or mental health issues, he  enjoys seeing the difference his service makes on many levels.

Natasha Mesecke

Natasha has fourteen years experience in retail banking and currently works as a Financial Inclusion Worker. She was not able to help people in the banking industry but has great satisfaction in her current role as she can empower people to improve their situations.  She wishes to become a financial counsellor as she sees the stress people suffer while waiting for a referral and wishes to help alleviate the stress of financial hardship. 

Julie Plummer

As someone who has lived through disadvantage and come out the other side, Julie has a passion to make a difference and give hope to people and families who are experiencing financial hardship. She believes that financial counselling  can change peoples’ lives and that of future generations.

Shiara Pugh

Shiara has an extensive career in the financial services sector. On leaving the consumer credit industry she worked with AFSA as a service officer. These conversations and her personal circumstances drove her interest in community services.

Kelly Reid

Kelly worked in a variety of roles at a major bank for thirteen years. She enjoyed the ability to  provide customers with financial support but noted that it was difficult for customers to get guidance on basic money management strategies. Her passion for helping people to better their financial position led her to work for Good Shepherd Microfinance which gave her an invaluable perspective into the need for financial counselling. She saw firsthand the difference it made in providing hope and stability to people and their families. 

Trudi Ridge

Trudi is well aware of the need to manage money wisely and build resilience to ensure financial security. She currently works as a financial capability worker and believes she can help Indigenous people particularly in a culturally appropriate, culturally safe environment to gain a greater understanding of money issues.

Monica Smith

Through her background in social work in a regional centre, Monica is aware of the lack of financial counsellors and difficulty in getting an appointment. Monica has provided budgeting support to her clients, advocating for them with creditors and seeking out any assistance available. She found that she enjoyed supporting clients in this area, has an aptitude for it and would like to increase her skills to assist people further. 

Robyn Stavrou

Robyn is restarting her career after 16 years. With a background in retail banking, Robyn is building on her strengths and has completed a Certificate IV and a Diploma of Accounting. Her employment as a Financial Support Worker has ignited a passion for financial counselling. As an Aboriginal woman, she has a strong interest in Aboriginal financial counselling and a desire to work in this field.

Luke Webber

Luke moved from Queensland to Lismore and volunteers with Lismore and District Financial Counselling Service as an intake officer and assists the Senior Financial Counsellor and Manager with research. He believes that financial counselling helps people to improve their well-being and overall quality of life.

Genine Wakley

Genine is a financial capability worker with the Salvation Army Moneycare. Working alongside the financial counsellors she can see the amasing results that can be accomplished. She sees how financial hardship causes stress and anxiety to individuals and their families. Her role as a financial capability worker allows small successes but she would like to be able to accomplish more as a financial counsellor.

She has a Diploma in Community Services Case Management and a Certificate in Financial Literacy and Education.

This scholarship was made possible by a donation from

Sarah Stewart

With a Certificate 3 in Business Administration. Sarah works as a client service coordinator for a business providing financial advice to individuals at risk and has found a passion and natural skill in participating in these difficult conversations. Sarah understands that people feel vulnerable when discussing their finances and wants to be seen as approachable, safe and non-judgmental,  armed with the tools to help others on their journey and to feel empowered.

This scholarship was made possible by a donation from

Bernadette Wauchope

Bernadette is a Financial Wellbeing and Capability Worker for Centacare Catholic Country SA.  In this role she has witnessed first hand the positive changes that can be made to peoples’ lives, as well as seeing the work the financial counsellor does. Bernadette is interested in extending her knowledge and moving into financial counselling so that she can assist people with more complex issues.

This scholarship was made possible by a donation from

Nicole Piccolo

Nicole strongly believes that she has a lot to give back to the community and will go above and beyond and not give up in order to get the best possible outcome for clients. Nicole has volunteered at St Kilda Mums, on her children’s school committee as a fundraising officer and holds a secretary role on the school board.

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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


Julie Barrow

Jessica Trill

Linda Footer


Kedar Acharya

Anna Falconer

Anna Dooland


Sandra Blake


Aunty Joy Reid

Grant Rowe

Carly Baker

Husan Rzuehaji

Alison Waters


Cheryl Buttigieg

Mwajemi Hussein

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


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