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2 September 2014: Heartening results from child transition program (PDF, opens in new window)
Good Shepherd has joined a number of community groups, schools, universities and other organisations to help improve social and educational outcomes for children in Hastings.

23 July 2014: Forced marriage an emerging issue in Australia despite laws, welfare groups say (ABC TV news story, opens in new window)
Hundreds of women are still being forced into marriage in Australia despite the practice being made illegal just over a year ago, Victorian welfare groups have said.

8 July 2014: Collingwood Service put the spotlight on forced marriages (published in the Melbourne Times Weekly REview, opens in new window)
A report by Good Shepherd has found the illegal practice of forced marriage is happening to a diverse range of women and girls in local communities, with many victims requiring the assistance of domestic violence support services.

8 July 2014: End of the road for travelling salesmen as CTA Vic pulls up stumps (published in the The Melbourne Times Weekly Review, opens in new window)
The changing face of retail has claimed another victim with the organisation representing travelling salesmen reluctantly calling it a day. But it's not all bad news, as the 130-year-old Commercial Travellers Association of Victoria has pledged $50,000 to support Good Shepherd's work with vulnerable young people.

8 July 2014: Funds flock to Shepherd (published in Brimbank Star Weekly, PDF, opens in new window)
Good Shepherd Youth & Family Service has received a $50,000 donation from a professional association which has represented travelling salespeople for more than 130 years.

4 July 2014: Payday lenders taken to court over interest rates 'of up to 160%' (published in ABC news online, opens in new window)
A finance researcher at Good Shepherd, Tanya Corrie, said avoidance models were common in the payday sector and the industry was adept at dodging regulation.

2 July 2014: ASIC cracking down on payday lenders (screened on ABC News 24 television program The Business, opens in new window)
Good Shepherd's Tanya Corrie comments on news the corporate watchdog will take legal action against two payday lenders. ASIC alleges the companies conned borrowers by charging interest rates of up to 160%.

1 July 2014: Commercial Travellers Association calls it quits by donating more than $500,000 to charities (published in the Herald Sun via the Leader, opens in new window)
After 134 years, a club for travelling salesmen has called it quits in a big-­hearted way - by giving more than $500,000 to ­charitable organisations, including Good ­Shepherd.

30 June 2014: Unacceptable force (published in the Herald Sun, PDF, 1MB, opens in new window)
In her letter to the editor, CEO Rhonda Cumberland announces the release of our report into forced marriage in Australia.

30 June 2014: Generous donations bring joy to charities (published in Melbourne Leader, PDF, opens in new window)
Good Shepherd is one of several charities to receive a huge donation from the Commercial Travellers Association Victoria, which has closed after representing travelling salespeople for over 130 years.

25 June 2014: Family violence: Good Shepherd campaign to break the cycle (published in The Melbourne Times, opens in new window)
Renee Mayne speaks out about the difficulties for family violence survivors of setting up a new home away from violence - and why our campaign to break the cycle of violence is so important.

13 June 2014: Alarm over Melbourne's sex shop king's payday loans (published in The Age online, opens in new window)
An adult industry baron's expansion into high-interest payday loans has alarmed Good Shepherd and other welfare advocates, who fear "predatory" lenders are becoming entrenched in socially disadvantaged areas.

27 May 2014: Audit to investigate burden of school costs on families (published in the Herald Sun online, opens in new window)
Good Shepherd Youth & Family Service's manager of Social Policy and Research Kathy Landvogt says the pressure on struggling families has never been greater.

8 May 2014: Families forgotten (jpeg image of letter to editor, Herald Sun, 4 MB, opens in new window)
In this letter to the editor, CEO Robyn Roberts laments that there was so little spent in the state budget to support women and children experiencing family violence.

7 May 2014: Vic domestic violence funding a "disgrace" (published in 9 News online, opens in new window)
Good Shepherd Youth & Family Service CEO Robyn Roberts says the amount of money spent on prisons in the State Budget is disproportionate to the need in that area. There should be much more spent on addressing family violence, she says.

7 May 2014: Vic domestic violence funding a "disgrace" (published in the West Australian, opens in new window)
Anti-domestic violence groups including Good Shepherd say the Victorian government's investment in addressing family violenceis an "absolute disgrace" compared with the scale of the problem.

27 April 2014: The brutal price of family violence (published in the Sunday Age, opens in new window)
Good Shepherd is one of many agencies struggling to keep up with demand for family violence support services. Last Christmas, the community organisation ran a fundraising appeal to help pay for these services.

8 April 2014: Women get study mentors (published in Brimbank Leader, PDF 1 MB, opens in new window)
Good Shepherd Youth & Family Service has founded an innovative new program for disadvantaged women. The Scholarship and Mentor Program for Women supports women to access a tertiary education or vocational training.

25 March 2014: Good Shepherd in St Albans has celebrated cultural diversity with a tea party (published in Brimbank and North West Weekly, opens in new window)
Good Shepherd's community house in St Albans hosted a celebration of tea and coffee rituals from around the world as part of Cultural Diversity Week.

19 March 2014: The OECD's "Society at a glance 2014 " report has been released. How does Australia fair compared to the rest of the world? (ABC 774 radio interview, MP3 audio file, 7MB, opens in new window)
Drive presenter Sally Warhaft discusses the report with Associate Professor Roger Wilkins, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research at University of Melbourne, and one of Good Shepherd's financial counsellors, Anna Selkrig-Jones.

4 February 2014: Families struggle to meet school costs (published in Westernport News, PDF, 2.94 MB, opens in new window)
Good Shepherd suggests too many children are potentially left behind in their education due to poverty. We need to address this issue.

4 February 2014: Hair's to safe families mission (published in Westernport News, PDF, 1.95 MB, opens in new window)
Hastings hairdresser Rebecca Wood has raised $500 for Good Shepherd's Safe Families Fund. As a survivor of family violence herself, Ms Wood was passionate about helping women and children who are escaping family violence.

23 January 2014: We all might need help one day (published in the Age letters section, second story, opens in new window)
In her letter to the editor at The Age, CEO Robyn Roberts argues that Australia's welfare system has fallen behind the times, both in terms of its payment levels and its ability to adapt to the changing nature of the workforce.

23 January 2014: Students kept offline: Battlers can't afford digital devices for their kids (published in the Herald Sun, 1.3 MB, PDF, opens in new window)
All Victorian school students would receive free laptops under a plan to be put before a state parliamentary enquiry. The plan, along with an education ombudsman, has been suggested by Good Shepherd Youth & Family Service.
Read the article online.

22 January 2014: Welfare is failing poor (published in the Herald Sun, PDF, 481 KB, opens in new window)
In a letter to the editor of the Herald Sun, CEO of Good Shepherd Youth & Family Service Robyn Roberts agrees that there is need for reform of Australia's welfare system. But she says it needs to be made fairer and more humane, not less so.

18 December 2013: Kids in the kitchen celebrate one year of healthy eating and changed lives (published in Local Today, opens in new window)
Children and parents in Melbourne's south-east are now better equipped for a healthy lifestyle thanks to the Kids Community Kitchen program run by Good Shepherd Youth & Family Service.

4 December 2013: Christmas donations help families that escape violence (published in Diamond Valley Leader, opens in new window)
For Renee Mayne, Christmas used to be one of the worst times of the year. That was when she was most at risk of violence from her ex-partner. This Christmas is completely different: Renee is spokesperson for Good Shepherd Youth & Family Service's Safe Fund for Families Christmas Appeal.

3 December 2013: Good Shepherd on the radio (interview from Southern FM, opens in new window)
Good Shepherd Youth & Family Service CEO Robyn Roberts, speaks to Southern FM's Sunday Bloody Sunday radio host Clinton Elliott about our Safe Fund for Families Christmas Appeal.

27 November 2013: Christmas gifts that make a difference (published in The New Daily, opens in new window)
This article lists ten suggestions for Christmas gifts that are all about compassion as opposed to consumerism. Good Shepherd Youth & Family Service's Safe Fund for Families Christmas Appeal is included.

26 November 2013: Charity short of cash for violence victims (published in Western Port News, PDF, 422 KB, opens in new window)
Good Shepherd's Safe Fund for Families, which provides emergency financial relief for women and children escaping family violence, is almost empty. We are calling for donations this Christmas.

15 November 2013: St Albans teenagers launch first single (published in Leader community newspapers, opens in new window)
Good Shepherd's music program RAP3021 is helping young Brimbank refugees turn horrific pasts into hopeful futures. The program's hip-hop group Rap3021, made up of eight teenagers from war-torn countries, has this week launched its debut single.

14 November 2013: African refugees release hip hop single (national news story on SBS TV, opens in new window)
This national news story announces the release by members of our RAP3021 program of their first hip hop single. It's a wonderful achievement by these newly arrived young men.

7 November 2013: Bra Queen Renee Mayne To Front A Very Special Christmas Appeal (published in Local Today, opens in new window)
Business mentor, author, television presenter and founder of Bra Queen Renee Mayne has been chosen to lead a very special mission this year. The young mother of two is this year's ambassador for Good Shepherd Youth & Family Service's Christmas Appeal.

18 October 2013: When you can't afford to leave an abusive relationship (published in Daily Life, opens in new window)
This online article quotes Good Shepherd Youth & Family Service CEO Robyn Roberts and discusses economic abuse and the tragic fact that some women cannot afford to leave violence due to their financial situation.

17 October 2013: Poverty gap widens as Australia gets richer (published in Local Today, opens in new window)
A Report by a Swiss credit agency stating Australia is the richest nation in the world has been slammed as "ironic" by Good Shepherd Youth and Family Service Chief Executive Robyn Roberts.

12 August 2013: Big interest in "Good Shep" fee-free loans (published in Westernport News, PDF 1.59 MB, opens in new window)
Good Shepherd Youth & Family Service has re-introduced its popular no interest loans program to the Westernport area.  

8 August 2013: Keeping bills in check (published in Dandenong Star, PDF, 439 KB, opens in new window)
Good Shepherd Youth & Family Service will be one of several organisations present at Bring Your Bills Day in Dandenong on August 30. Bring your bills and credit contracts for advice and information to help you deal with them.

28 July 2013: Financial counselling segment with Libby Gorr (audio recording, MP3 8 MB, opens in new window)
Good Shepherd Youth & Family Service financial counsellor Anna Dooland is interviewed and takes calls on Libby Gorr's Sunday show on ABC 774.

14 June 2013: Indigenous garden renovation under way (published in Port Phillip Ecocentre News, opens in new window)
Good Shepherd Youth & Family Service's Outlandish program is supporting disadvantaged women in St Kilda to build self esteem and reintegrate into the community. The indigenous garden project is just one of the important services provided by the program.

21 May 2013: Poverty, housing stress on the rise (published in Brimbank Weekly, opens in new window)
Good Shepherd Youth & Family Service social policy researcher Tanya Corrie tells the Brimbank Weekly that there needs to be a mix of social housing models and investment into community housing and public housing in Brimbank.

15 May 2013: Newstart: Slippery slope to poverty (published in Brimbank Weekly, opens in new window)
Welfare agencies including Good Shepherd Youth & Family Service urged the federal government to increase payments to the community's most vulnerable residents ahead of the federal budget.

14 April 2013: At end of socio-economic queue (published in Brimbank Weekly, opens in new window)
St Albans has been revealed as one of the City of Brimbank's most disadvantaged suburbs. To meet this area's growing need, Good Shepherd Youth & Family Service is providing much-needed support services such as financial counselling, fair and affordable loans schemes and family support.

27 November 2012: Some kids just want to go to school (PDF, 2.48MB, opens in new window)
To mark Social Inclusion Week, an innovative digital storytelling research project, I Just Want to Go to School: Voices of young people experiencing educational disadvantage, was launched at a community school in Richmond on Tuesday 27 November.

30 October 2012: One for the kids (published in Star newspaper group, opens in new window)
Good Shepherd Youth & Family Service will receive more than $11,000 in funding from the State Government to go towards construction works on the backyard at the Good Shepherd Community House in St Albans.

26 September 2012: Mentoring for Melbourne's learner drivers hits top gear (published in Melbourne Leader newspaper, opens in new window)
Young people from disadvantaged backgrounds are able to get their probationary licences with the support of mentors through Good Shepherd Youth & Family Service's L2P program.

17 September 2012: St Columba's pupils lead way on Elster Creek wildlife haven (published in Port Phillip Weekly Review Local, opens in new window)
Year 4 primary school students have planted vegetation to support indigenous wildlife along their adopted area of the creek, at the end of Foam Street, St Kilda, as part of a leadership program run with Good Shepherd Youth and Family Service.

13 September 2012: From Classroom to Creek: Year 4 students revegetating St Kilda creek to "make a positive difference" in their community (PDF, 218.66 KB, opens in new window)
Year 4 students from St Columba Primary School are planting vegetation that supports indigenous wildlife along Elster Creek as part of a leadership program run with the support of Good Shepherd Youth & Family Service.

13 August 2012: Pay-day loans no solution for most, survey finds (link to article in The Age, opens in new window)
The vast majority of people taking out small short-term loans are on Centrelink benefits and fewer than half say the loans improve their financial situation in the longer term. The Caught Short report examined three years of Australia's burgeoning pay-day lending industry, with funding from the Australian Research Council, National Australia Bank and Good Shepherd Youth & Family Service.

13 August 2012: Report uncovers the impact of payday loans in the lives of Australians (PDF, 93.72 KB, opens in new window)
New research co-funded by Good Shepherd Youth & Family Service released today has explored the experiences of people who use payday loans, finding that most are using repeat loans to cover basic living expenses like food, rent and bills.

7 August 2012: Community organisation opening up opportunities for young people (PDF, 211.60 KB, opens in new window)
Good Shepherd Youth & Family Service will celebrate the addition of a new car to our Learner Driver Program for disadvantaged young people. The event will highlight the extra ability the new car will give young drivers to gain the 120 hours of on the road practice to gain their licence.

25 June 2012: Good Shepherd Youth & Family Service talks on ABC 774 about economic abuse (MP3 file, 4MB, opens in new window)
Manager of our Social Policy and Research Unit Dr Kathy Landvogt spoke to Richard Stubbs about our campaign to create financial equality for women.

7 June 2012: Community organisation applauds amendments to family violence legislation (media release, PDF 213.38 KB, opens in new window)
Good Shepherd Youth & Family Service has welcomed the Federal Government's changes to the Family Law Act to better protect children from family violence.

10 May 2012: A budget for low income families but not for the poorest Australians (PDF 245.57 KB, opens in a new window)
Good Shepherd Youth & Family Service believes the Federal budget demonstrates a welcome commitment by the Government to supporting lower and middle income families to cope with rising costs of living. But other opportunities to support our most vulnerable people were missed.

3 May 2012: Respite Care Consortium releases report on kinship family support (PDF 66.5KB, opens in a new window)
The third Respite Care Consortium report - Strengthening Kinship Families: The role of respite care - was officially launched on Thursday 3 May. The Consortium, of which Good Shepherd Youth & Family Service is a member, was formed in 2007 to advocate for family members and foster carers providing care for vulnerable children. 

2 May 2012: Good Shepherd Youth & Family Service's response to the 2012 State budget (PDF 213.41 KB, opens in a new window)
This week's State budget shows a commendable commitment to child protection, but falls short in many other critical areas. 

27 April 2012: Good Shepherd Youth & Family Service supports ACOSS campaign to lobby Federal Government to improve Newstart allowance (link opens in a new window)
Could you live on $35 a day? That's how much people unfortunate enough to find themselves out of work have to depend on - to put a roof over their heads, feed and clothe themselves, and get around as they try and find paid work - just $243 per week. We are joining Australia's community sector to call on the Federal Government to make improving the income and job prospects of people out of paid work a top priority for 2012.

20 February 2012: Education, the Golden Ticket (PDF 222.83 KB, opens in a new window)
Manager of Good Shepherd Youth & Family Service's Social Policy and Research Unit Dr Kathy Landvogt calls for government response to Gonski review to address disadvantage in education.

14 February 2012: School costs on the rise (published in Star newspaper group, PDF 2.69 MB, opens in a new window)
Workers from community organisation Good Shepherd Youth & Family Service have noticed increasing numbers of people approaching them seeking assistance to cover costs like school fees, text books and uniforms.

6 December 2011: Olive a symbol for garden hopes (published in Westernport News, PDF 684.88 KB, opens in a new window)
An olive tree symbolising peace, welcome, new beginnings and longevity is the centrepiece of our new community garden in Hastings.

9 November 2011: Bill Shorten MP meets financial counsellors to discuss legislation changes (media release, PDF 45.25 KB)
At Good Shepherd Youth & Family Service's St Albans office today the Assistant Treasurer met with financial counsellors from across the sector to discuss proposed changes to federal legislation to regulate pay day lending practices.

17 October 2011: Afternoon Show ABC Radio 774 (MP3 3MB, opens in new window)        
Dr Kathy Landvogt discusses the findings of our Microfinance and the Household Economy research.

17 October 2011: The hidden costs of payday lending (published by RMIT, opens in new window)
Our new research report, Caught Short, shows people in receipt of welfare payments are using payday lenders to meet regular living expenses and are then trapped in a debt spiral, continuously indebted to one or more loan companies for considerable periods.

Jenny Macklin MP launches our "Microfinance and the Household Economy" report at our the 2011 Anti Poverty Week event.

16 October 2011: Microfinance and the Household Economy Report Launch (media release, PDF 241KB, opens in new window)
Research launched on Sunday October 16 by Good Shepherd Youth & Family Service and
National Australia Bank (NAB) found that people on the poverty line are good money managers but must constantly juggle finances to make ends meet.

15 October 2011: Interest free loans for families to beat carbon tax (published in the Sunday Telegraph, opens in a new window)
Minister Jenny Macklin announces at our Anti-Poverty Week 2011 event that no interest loans will be offered to struggling families to buy energy-efficient washing machines and light bulbs.

26 August 2011: Good Shepherd Youth & Family Service welcomes proposed fringe lending reforms (media release, PDF 211KB, opens in new window)
In response to the proposed reforms announced yesterday by the Honourable Bill Shorten, Good Shepherd Youth & Family Service reiterates its strongly held belief that financial inclusion can only occur within a policy and regulation framework that protects consumers from exploitative lending practices.

26 July 2011: 3CR radio interview on Women and Money DVD (MP3 6MB, opens in new window)
Jacinta Waugh from our Social Policy and Research Unit was interviewed on 3CR about the Women and Money interactive DVD.

19 July 2011: The Afternoon Show ABC Radio 774 (MP3 6MB, opens in new window)
Dr Kathy Landvogt talks to Richard Stubbs about our Filling the Gap model that aims to improve services for women and children fleeing violence.

19 July 2011: Pathways to change starts in St Kilda tomorrow (published in Port Phillip Leader, opens in new window)
In an interview with the Port Phillip Leader, Manager of Women's Services, Gendrie Klein-Breteler, speaks of the programs we run from our St Kilda Centre for women experieincing isolation, exiting street work and battling drug and alcohol addictions. Gendrie shares her experieinces of how these  women are leading change in their own lives.

NILS no interest loan

What is the No Interest Loan Scheme (NILS)?

NILS is a community-based program offering small loans free of interest and charges to individuals and families on low and limited incomes. Loans are generally for the purchase of essential household items and can be paid off in affordable amounts.

Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand provides loans for people on low incomes living in the City of Brimbank or the Mornington Peninsula Shire. We deliver loans from two sites: St Albans and Hastings.

We now offer specialist NILS programs for women leaving family violence or prison. Women from right across Victoria who have faced these issues are eligible for these special loans. 

Other types of small loans are also available, such as StepUP Loans (see below).

Who can use the No Interest Loan Scheme (NILS)?

Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand offers NILS loans to people on low incomes in the City of Brimbank and the Mornington Shire who have a Centrelink Concession Card. NILS providers work with people who live in their area.  

What does the No Interest Loan Scheme (NILS) offer?

  • Loans of up to $1200 or more in special circumstances
  • manageable repayments. 

How can I find out more about the No Interest Loan Scheme (NILS)?

Contact one of our offices in St Albans and Hastings. Read more.

Visit www.goodshepherdmicrofinance.org.au


Download a brochure about NILS (PDF 671 KB) 

Read about some of the people who have benefited from NILS.

Good Shepherd Youth & Family Service started the first No Interest Loan Scheme in 1981 with funds from the Good Shepherd Sisters.

“I think it's fantastic that people who don’t have a lot of money are given the chance to get a loan. It's an opportunity to let people prove they can pay back the loan - if someone gives you the chance you really want to show that you can do it and pay it all back.”

5 July 2011: Settled at Last (published in Star Group newspapers, opens in new window)  
Ho Zar, an Afghani refugee, shares his story of the difficulties he and his family faced settling into life in Australia. Our financial counselling service in St Albans assisted Ho Zar to understand his financial rights, find stable accomodation and overcome financial hardship.

Media enquiries

For all media enquries, please contact Suzana Talevski on 03 8412 7340 or 0458 831 867.