The 2020 Jan Pentland Scholarship winners were announced at a virtual “zoom” dinner this evening attended by hundreds of people across Australia and New Zealand.
This year 21 people were awarded the highly sought-after scholarship, which helps people who are studying or intend to undertake study in financial counselling.
“Financial counselling is more important than ever,” said the Chair of the Jan Pentland Foundation, Colin Neave.
“Covid-19 has already put Australia into recession and hundreds of thousands of people have lost their jobs since mid-March.
“Financial counsellors will play a vital role in helping those experiencing financial hardship over the coming months and years,” Mr Neave said.
The scholarships are funded through funds from the Foundation itself, plus a generous 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 Group and staff at the Australian Financial Complaints Authority.
One of the recipients is Melbourne woman, Julie Plummer, who said she felt privileged to have been given one of the scholarships.
“This is such an honour because Jan Pentland contributed so much to the financial
counselling sector during her life,” Ms Plummer said.
“I want to be a financial counsellor because I know what it’s like to have to struggle and I want to help others break the generational cycle of poverty and abuse,” she said.
The winner of the $1000 Jan Pentland Prize was also announced at the dinner.
Mona Mrad, the Team Leader of Financial Inclusion at Uniting Vic Tas, was nominated by her team who described her as, “an exemplary team leader, approachable, consistent, long running, supportive and fair.”
Ms Mrad is celebrating more than 20 years in the sector and she described her initial decision to become a financial counsellor as a pivotal moment.
“To me it felt like a calling. I’m making a difference to people who need help,” she said.
The Jan Pentland Foundation was established in 2009 in honour of Jan Pentland, who tragically died that year. She was considered the doyen of the financial counselling sector in Australia for a long time and the annual prize and scholarships are to honour her life’s work.
The full list of scholarship winners can be viewed here.
For more information contact Maura Angle on 0418 334 121 or email