Case Study

Communities trialling cashless debit card in SA, WA

A close up picture of a hand, holding a debit card


Mick Haynes, CEO of the Ceduna Aboriginal Corporation and part of the Ceduna leadership group said “collectively we as Leaders agree that across our region we have lost far too many of our people due to the low life expectancy rates for Indigenous people and we want to build a future for our younger generation to aspire to and believe we cannot do this if our families and youth are caught up in the destructive cycle of alcohol or drugs that not only destroys our culture, but our lands and the communities we live in.

"Since the trial began almost 10 months ago we as Community Leaders have witnessed positive change throughout our respective communities and we now have an opportunity to make positive change in the lives of our people. In the past many things have been tried but they’ve failed and this card is seen as a potential circuit-breaker in addressing the complexity of social issues our communities have endured over many years.”

"In the East Kimberley, the Empowered Communities leadership group identified welfare reform as being critical to drive change in the region. “We believe the restricted debit card could be the catalyst we need to break the devastating cycle of poverty, hopelessness and despair among Aboriginal people in the East Kimberley.” said Ian Trust, Executive Chairman of Wunan Foundation. Mr Trust said that the trial has been a success in the East Kimberley because it has been led by Indigenous people.

Every step of the design and implementation of the cashless debit card trials has been done in conjunction with members of the community and the leadership groups in the two trial sites. Regular consultations included families and individuals, directors of the Aboriginal corporations, service providers, pensioners, merchants and job seekers.