© Jan Pentland Foundation | phone: +61 3 8554 6979 | email The Jan Pentland Foundation



The Jan Pentland scholarship is 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.  


The 2020 scholarship round opens on Monday 13th January 2020 and closes on Friday 13th March. 

The winners of the scholarship will be announced on Wednesday 20th May 2020 at the Jan Pentland Foundation dinner.

 "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.



Kathy Bel-Bachir

An intake officer at the National Debt Helpline in WA, Kathy became interested in financial counselling when she borrowed a CD from her local library called “How to manage your money when you don’t have any”. Kathy has experienced firsthand the strain and pain of financial hardship and is particularly interested in working with self-employed people in hardship.

Natasha Bollenhagen

Natasha says she wants to “be that loud voice that yells for the little people with what they understand; heart and numbers, facts, stories and real life changes that can be taught to future generations.” An intake and assessment worker with AnglicareSA’sCommunity Financial Services team, the experience of triaging calls to financial counsellors inspired Natasha to become a financial counsellor. 

Lyndall Bottrell

An intake and assessment worker with the National Debt Helpline, Lyndall already has a significant amount of financial counselling knowledge to draw on. She wants to empower her clients to become more in control of their finances..

Andre Chan

In his work in community services over the past six and a half years, Andre noticed that most clients he was helping in the Support Tennant Education Program had financial problems and housing issues. Andre wants to become a financial counsellor to be able to help his clients more holistically.   

Kym Clerke

Kym volunteers as an emergency relief worker and is half-way through the Diploma. She is passionate about helping low income families and those doing it tough and finds it rewarding to support people to improve their circumstances. 

Yazmin Cox

A financial capability worker, Yazmin had enrolled in a Bachelor of Accounting but after one semester realised she didn’t want to be an accountant. A friend suggested financial counselling – combining her interest in finance with her community services background. Yazmin already had a Diploma of Community Services. Yazmin is enjoying the challenge of studying, being a mother to a toddler and working in this field.  

Jason Drane

Jason brings years of experience of working in the welfare sector and the public service, including providing case management, community outreach, support with wills and powers of attorney, and helping people find stable housing. He has also been self-employed, having run a retail and event management business. With vast understanding of financial pressures, he brings compassion and empathy to his work. 

David Fagan

With experience managing ME Bank’s escalated internal and external complaints process, David has significant skills in resolving disputes. He also has a Bachelor of Business in Financial Risk Management and volunteers as a Young Men’s Region Leader in the lay Buddhist organisation Soka Gakkai International, where he mentors young people.

Lauren Heald

Lauren studied financial planning, believing the work empowered clients through financial education. She soon learnt otherwise and looked to the community services sector to fulfil her passion for helping others. She lives in Arnhem Land and works as a financial capability worker in Nhulunbuy NT. However, she is passionate about being able to provide extra support to the community, especially given the dire need for financial counsellors in the region. 

Ann Howchin

A volunteer crisis support worker with Lifeline, Ann is passionate about helping others in need. She has a Diploma of Counselling, has worked as a book keeper and in financial management generally, and has training to support people with disabilities. Having lived in far west NSW and experienced what droughts can do, Ann is keen to work as a rural financial counsellor.

Nicola Lewis

As a New Zealand citizen, and therefore with no access to the Centrelink support system, Nicola is acutely aware of how quickly a person can go from financial stability to having nothing. A  case worker, she finds that many of her clients struggle with their finances, but at present she can only help with the basics of budgeting. She believes that as a financial counsellor she will be able to offer more in-depth support. 

Tracey Peart

Tracey was the first child on both sides of her family to complete the Higher School Certificate. She started working at Woolworths when she was 14 and paid cash when she bought her first car at the age of 16.  She realised early on that if she was not going to end up poor she had to save. Tracey read every book she could get her hands on to build on her financial education. Tracey is keen to pass on to others what she has learned through her life experiences. 

John Ryan

It was while volunteering at the Cancer Council NSW and the Central Coast’s Community Support and Outreach Service that John’s interest in financial counselling was sparked. While assessing clients’ circumstances and organising appointments he realised he had the temperament, the interest and the empathy to work as a financial counsellor. He also has experience in book keeping and HR management.

Renee Westreheim

When a friend with gambling issues sought help from a financial counsellor and was supported compassionately and respectfully, Renee decided to pursue financial counselling. With extensive experience in customer service and bookkeeping/accounts, Renee is particularly interested in assisting women who have experienced domestic or family trauma to take control of their finances. 

Kirsty Wilson

Kirsty comes from a banking and financial planning background, but now works as a financial literacy educator. As a passionate advocate for preventing financial difficulty she says she feels privileged to have found work that she thoroughly enjoys. While she loves the scope of the role and being able to work in the community, she believes that the knowledge gained from studying the diploma would increase the positive outcomes for her clients. 

Raelene Martin

A financial resilience worker, Raelene has developed two booklets for clients – one about living on a low income and the other about the dangers of payday lenders. She has also developed “living on a low income” workshops. Raelene brings a wealth of experience, having also worked in community education and development, housing support and tenancy advice, and as a retail store manager.  

Chitsidzo Nyamidzi

A volunteer financial capability worker, Chitsidzo also has experience of the other side - financial planning. However, she is clear where her passion lies, having witnessed relatives go through significant hardship. She is concerned at how easy it is to take on significant debt without always realising the repercussions

Nikita Schmidt

Nikita has plenty of life experience of managing money. Although she has a certificate III in Business Administration she was unable to return to work because of the prohibitive cost of childcare. She understands the stress of trying to budget to make payments on time and is keen to help others regain control of their finances in a similar way.

Megan Molloy

A local area coordinator with Mission Australia, Megan has a good foundation of what is required to advocate for clients and a solid knowledge of what community supports are available for people. She says that when people can break free from financial hardship, they not only find financial but personal peace, which is really empowering. 

Emma Neville

Emma volunteers at ac.care in the emergency relief program as well as helping clients apply for NILS loans. She therefore sees people’s budgets and also gets an opportunity to chat to clients about ways they can reduce their payments or look for cheaper alternatives. She is looking forward to having more tools to help clients after finishing the diploma. 

Deena Husan

Having completed a Bachelor of Commerce and a graduate diploma of Chartered Accounting, Deena will bring a range of skills to financial counselling. With her finance background, she says she approaches issues with a practical mindset, while still being empathetic. She has a particular interest in helping vulnerable women, especially after relationship breakdowns and other life-changing events. She is especially inspired by the words that Jan Pentland lived by - "Choose to live a life that matters" 


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


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