Welcome to The Centre for Financial Wellbeing
The Centre for Financial Wellbeing is a new Australian charity, that will focus on improving the financial resilience and wellbeing of those who are vulnerable to financial stress by building their capabilities, and creating partnerships to enable business leaders, policymakers and cross-sectoral innovators to also take action within their own sphere of control.
We will achieve our vision by providing a range of services including learning, training and skills development; targeted research and socially innovative experimentation; evidence-based consulting; program design and delivery; events and publications.
An experienced Non-executive Director and Chief Executive Officer with senior roles in the public, private and social enterprise sectors, Zena is also a Director on the boards of the Victorian Farmers Federation, the Australian Medicines Handbook, Mental Health Professionals Network, Box Hill Institute and CAE, and is the President (Chair) of the Bicycle Network.
A Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and the Australian Psychological Society, Zena has been awarded a PhD in organisational psychology, Masters degrees in Business Administration and Education, and a Graduate Diploma in Educational Psychology.
In the twelve years she served as the Chief Executive Officer of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) Zena oversaw the college reach new heights, with membership doubling and a range of transformational projects to support its’ growth to the largest representative medical college, with more than 40,000 GPs in Australia.
Zena is proud of her legacy of having moved the RACGP from its traditional role of education and standards to a point where advocacy became a major part of the college’s remit, with a firm focus on keeping general practice at the forefront of the public mind. This theme of human-centred advocacy is what Zena intends to bring to the new Centre for Financial Wellbeing.
An experienced Chief Executive Officer with a demonstrated history of working in the financial services industry, Damian’s skillsets span finance, risk, governance, education and advocacy, in particular driving change across not for profit membership-based organizations in collaboration with key stakeholders including regulators, government departments and Ministers.
Damian is an experienced Company Secretary and Board Director, holding a Fellowship from the Governance Institute of Australia. In his role as the Chief Executive Officer of the Forest Stewardship Council Australia and New Zealand, Damian promotes the environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial, and economically viable management of the world’s forests.
His vision for the Centre for Financial Wellbeing is to move the dial on financial inclusion, resilience and wellbeing for the millions of Australians who lack access to safe and affordable finance, and experience high financial stress. As the Independent Chair of Go Girls Foundation, Damian is particularly passionate about addressing the financial challenges faced by women and girls, who are more likely to be financially excluded.
An internationally recognised leader in the world of inclusive finance, Vinita specialises in the design of evidence-based programs to improve financial lives. As the inaugural Chief Executive Officer of the Centre for Financial Wellbeing, Vinita will drive the Board’s vision to improve the financial wellbeing of those who are vulnerable to financial stress by building their capabilities, and creating partnerships to enable business leaders, policymakers and cross-sectoral innovators to take action to improve financial wellbeing within their own locus of control.
Vinita has successfully switched hats between the financial services industry, academia and civil society in Australia, balancing her professional career with a passion for fostering community-led action to enhance financial wellbeing. Her PhD from RMIT University exploring Indigenous worldviews on money, financial capability and wellbeing has been recognised for influencing policy and action in Australia.
A Fulbright scholar, Vinita proactively contributes to academic and cross-sectoral research on financial inclusion, wellbeing and entrepreneurship for marginalised groups, serving on Boards and Government-appointed Committees to turn these learnings into action. In her role as the inaugural Chief Executive Officer of the Centre for Financial Wellbeing, Vinita will build on her professional experience in advising the government, industry, academia and community on practical ways to enhance financial inclusion, resilience and wellbeing in Australia and overseas.