Banking Royal Commission and the silencing of Indigenous Australian voices

The release of the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry earlier this month has not had the intended effect of allaying mistrust in the financial services sector in Australia. Despite the enormity of the report, nearly 1,000 pages with 24 entities and companies referred to civil and criminal proceedings, there is a consensus that the major financial corporations involved in the misconduct remain unscathed. In today’s post, Dr. Jonathon Louth examines the silences in this report, especially as it impacts the lives of Indigenous peoples living in rural and remote Australia. Based on his recent research with Indigenous Australians in the Northern Territory, he recommends expanding community and cultural literacies in the financial sector as one of the counter measures to tackle systematic dispossession and marginalisation of  vulnerable populations. This piece was originally published in The Conversation on 6 February 2019

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The Renter's Journey: a new report from the Consumer Policy Research Centre

A new research report from the Consumer Policy Research Centre (CPRC) - The Renter's Journey - follows the common and differing rental experiences of the rental market of four key segments (young singles, women over 55, low income families, and migrant families) and makes recommendations to policymakers for change. The report will be launched in Melbourne on 25 February 2019.

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Don’t believe what they say about inequality. Some of us are worse off

Professor Peter Whiteford examines the Productivity Commission research paper Rising inequality? A stocktake of the evidence released last week and cautions us not to believe the media spin that all Australians are better off. To tackle inequality, he argues, we need both policies that generate economic growth and policies that ensure it’s well spread. This piece was originally published in The Conversation on 31 August 2018.

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The Cashless Debit Card: Flawed Beyond Technological Redemption

In this article, Dr. Shelley Bielefeld, Professor Eva Cox, and the Accountable Income Management Network Secretariat critique the Mindaroo Foundation’s report on the Cashless Debit Card (CDC). They cite the ‘cherry picking’ of results to support claims of success, a lack of attention to human rights, and security issues, among other points. Ultimately, they argue that the benefits of the CDC for communities are “negligible to negative” and that the proposed expansion of the trial would further marginalise those purported to benefit from the CDC.

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ASIC’s MoneySmart is encouraging women to have regular money conversations

Women face specific challenges when it comes to managing money. They tend to spend more time out of the paid workforce to care for others and this impacts on their ability to generate wealth. The Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) is aiming to address this issue by normalising conversations about money. Check out these interviews where ASIC’s Laura Higgins chats with five influential and inspirational Australian women about their experiences with money.

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Modern Slavery Bill a step in the right direction – now businesses must comply

This week has seen a significant milestone in the fight against modern slavery as the Modern Slavery Bill was introduced into the Australian parliament. When passed, the law will require companies with an annual turnover of more than $100 million to report annually on the risks of modern slavery in their operations and supply chains, and on the actions to address these. Fiona McGaughey (University of Western Australia) and Justine Nolan (UNSW) explain more.

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Why we don't need to prepare young people for the 'future of work'

While there is little consensus about the “future of work”, one thing is certain – young people are at the coalface. Young workers experience insufficient opportunities for work experience, a mismatch between work and education, a lack of career management skills and scant entry-level jobs, according to a report from the Foundation for Young Australians. In this post, Shirley Jackson from the University of Melbourne, says we need to stop fixating on increasing the supply of talented young people, and start addressing the lack of demand.

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