Dr. Vinita Godinho - Melbourne, Australia Financial Wellbeing; Financial Resilience & Capability; Action-Research; Social & Financial Inclusion
Vinita is an expert in financial capability-building, inclusion and resilience, specialising in designing evidence-based, human-centred programs to improve financial wellbeing. She has led award-winning change to solve complex social problems which impact everyday Australians, such as the severe financial stress faced by 1 in every 4 employees which reduces their workplace productivity, or financial abuse experienced by 1 in 4 women, who cannot achieve financial independence. Vinita excels at creating partnerships between the business, government, academia and non-profit sectors, to take practical actions to address these ‘wicked’ problems.
Passionate about enabling decision-makers to explore solutions to complex issues such as financial stress and difficulties faced by the ‘working poor’ in Australia, Vinita breaks down multi-dimensional concepts and evidence into bite-sized chunks, so that organisations can work with key stakeholders to co-create solutions which are useful and relevant to their everyday lives. She has been awarded many times for her ability to communicate clearly, using stories and practical examples to help her audience visualise both the financial risks and opportunities available to them, and identify the practical steps they can take to improve their wellbeing.
Vinita has changed hats many times in her professional career, working in the financial services industry for more than 20 years, completing a PhD whilst teaching MBA subjects in academia, and leading non-profits via roles on Boards, Ministerial Committees and Executive teams over several years. She now works as a sought-after strategic consultant leading Financial Resilience Australia, a social enterprise providing advisory and program design services to clients from multiple sectors (government, financial services, universities and not-for-profits).
Vinita’s work focuses on enabling organisations to take action to improve the financial resilience and wellbeing of their own clients, employees, business and community partners, particularly those who may be more vulnerable to experience financial stress. She has led several cross-sector collaborations to implement such programs, including a recent national program where more than 40 organisations took over 650+ actions to help clients in hardship via free financial education, lower-cost bank accounts, and support to afford utility bills. She has also created innovative services to encourage low-income earners and welfare recipients to start their own business, access grant funds and be supported after natural disasters.
A well-recognised advocate for Indigenous financial wellbeing, Vinita’s PhD explored “Money, Financial Capability and Wellbeing in Indigenous Australia”. Seconded to Reconciliation Australia, she established the Indigenous Financial Services Network to promote Indigenous financial inclusion and launch the ‘Banking for the Future’ report. Vinita is also regularly invited to contribute to policy and regulation via public submissions on financial stress, and representation such as at the Small Amount Credit Contracts Senate Inquiry.
PhD (‘Money, Financial Capability and Wellbeing in Indigenous Australia’) | RMIT University, Melbourne
MBA (1st class honours) | Indian Institute of Management, Kolkata
Bachelor of Science (Economics; 1st class honours) | Presidency College, India
Fulbright Coral Sea Scholarship | Fulbright Australia
Company Directors’ Course | Australian Institute of Company Directors (DSS Board Diversity Scholarship)
Williamson Community Leadership Fellow | Leadership Victoria
Board / Committee Memberships
Board Director | Good Shepherd Microfinance | 2012-2016
Board Director | Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand | 2010-2014
Committee Member - Southern Melbourne | Regional Development Australia | 2015-2017