Community centre will offer financial coaching sessions

Coach: Darko Pucek and Jade Porter plan a series of financial coaching sessions at Murray Bridge Community Centre. Photo: Peri Strathearn.
Coach: Darko Pucek and Jade Porter plan a series of financial coaching sessions at Murray Bridge Community Centre. Photo: Peri Strathearn.

Help is at hand for some of the hundreds of Murray Bridge families who struggle to make ends meet.

From July 24, the city's community centre will offer free financial coaching sessions to people on less than about $20,000 per year who want to learn how to manage their money better.

The one-on-one sessions will be run by Darko Pucek, a retired business manager and Christian who said he wanted to use his time and experience to benefit others.

"There's a lot of money in Australia, and still we have a lot (of people) on the poverty line and a lot not getting the assistance they should be given," he said.

"It breaks my heart."

Each participant's first session will focus on the goals they want to reach.

"We'll talk to them about where they are psychologically and emotionally and with their finances, and ... we can help them re-focus," Mr Pucek said.

"We're not financial advisors, and we state that.

"We're specifically coaching them to get control and to make their own decisions, to make good decisions when it comes to finance, and maybe offer referrals to other organisations."

He hoped to take more a personalised, whole-of-life approach than, for example, job service providers.

"They just want to be a policeman, they don't want to help," he said.

"They get paid over $1 billion a year in this country while we've got over a million unemployed.

"How's that work?"

Participants will be free to exit the program at any time if they choose.

However, anyone with drug or alcohol issues will be referred on to rehabilitation services before he or she can start the financial sessions.

The community centre's Jade Porter expected the sessions would book out quickly.

"There's a big need in the community for something like this, somebody accessible to seek assistance from and try to get them ahead," she said.

More than one in three Murray Bridge households lives on less than $600 per week before tax, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The financial coaching sessions will be offered between 10am and 2pm on Mondays at the community centre on Beatty Terrace, Murray Bridge.

Bookings are essential, as available places are limited.

  • Book a session: Phone 8531 1799.

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