When Ali decided to attend Saver Plus– his dad did as well.
“Dad wanted to motivate me to actually stick to it and do it.”
“He’s a great human and he is definitely my role model – he will always be my role model.”
His dad, being a community leader, also wanted to see what it was like to recommend it to others.
The Saver Plus program was an eye opener for Ali who quickly adopted its practices and advice – and it helped him aim to buy a MacBook Pro.
“The MacBook was about $2600, I knew that whatever I’m saving in the program was not exactly enough to buy the MacBook. But I knew that if I learned the skills of saving, I could also save on the side as well.”
“Learning in that program – how to set priorities, what to pay first, the difference between our wants and needs - I still remember that. I recall the trainer from Saver Plus mentioned things I want, I used to say ‘I need this’ and she would say ‘is it a need or a want?’.”
“Until this day when I’m about to buy something I pause for a second and say ‘do I want that or do I need it’?”
The 25-year-old now runs his own social work business in Shepparton and the Goulburn Valley, supplying services for the Federal National Disability Insurance Scheme. His business is tailored to helping young people from age 5 to 26 with special abilities including autism, schizophrenia, ADHD, bipolar and the legally blind.
The trusty MacBook is still a part of Ali’s life – used everyday to help him in his work caring
for people across the Goulburn Valley, helping with family paperwork or even used for advocacy work for people in the region, including working with Amnesty International.
His advocacy for Amnesty International, specifically for the “My New Neighbour Campaign” aimed at reducing the fees and costs for assisted refugees coming to Australia, drew great attention.
“We wrote a proposal and made it to the Federal Parliament and our names were all read out.”
He also uses the MacBook to plan community events in Shepparton – particularly for its diverse groups hailing from everywhere including Macedonia, Greece, Italy, Albania, Turkey, Iraq, parts of Africa, Afghanistan and Syria.
“In terms of the younger Iraqi population, soccer is the thing that brings us together. I am not the best at it, but I enjoy playing it.”
“In October we organised the first Iraqi Golden Cup – me and few leaders in the community.”
In January he also helped organise Shepparton’s ‘Nations Cup’ soccer tournament, in which ten different ethnic groups played together.
Ali says the MacBook – and financial education via Saver Plus – has been a “one hundred per cent” priceless investment for him.
And he is grateful to have an opportunity to give back.
“I always say all this journey would not have been possible without my family and my community.”
“A lot of people from my community have helped me through this journey.”
Paul Presland is General Manager of Small Business Banking at ANZ