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My Mob Matters

'My Mob Matters' looks at stuff going on that might affect you, so we break it down and try and make sense of it all for you.

18 October 2022

Look After Your Mental Health Australia

Prioritising mental health and wellbeing has been more important than ever this year. October is Mental Health Month and it's a perfect time to focus on the kinds of things we can all do to look after ourselves and our mental health. If you need some help, you can register for "Mindful habits for mental health" at this website: lookafteryourmentalhealthaustralia.org.au. They've even got a calendar you can download to help give you some inspiration - too deadly! If you wanna check out a few things I do to be mindful of my mental health, check out this video I put together: https://youtu.be/zOM37nXzYmU


05 September 2022

Debt Restart

So here's some important information that involves a subject close to all our hearts… money.


Now you might already know that since August last year, Centrelink’s been pausing debt repayment activities for mob living in areas affected by COVID-19 lockdowns or even in areas affected by some of those big floods we’ve had. 


But, between now and October this year, Centrelink’s slowly gonna be ending the debt pause in these areas, depending on when you were impacted.


So here’s the guff: if you’ve been overpaid, then Centrelink will be in touch to let you know when you need to start paying the money back. They’ll also send out reminders so you don’t forget.


Now, let’s face it: no-one likes being told that they owe money. I’d rather be gettin’ money than givin’ it. But if you do owe money, don’t panic. You don’t need to pay back your debt all at once - most people set up a plan to pay it back over time.


If you’re worried about paying or you don’t understand your debt, then just call Centrelink. They can help you set up a repayment option that works for you. You can call them on your regular payment line, or you can call their Indigenous debt recovery line on 1800 138 193.


Otherwise, jump online and manage your payments yourself using the ‘Money you owe’ service. You can find it in the Express Plus Centrelink app or in your Centrelink online account through myGov.


If you need more info, then go to this website: servicesaustralia.gov.au/owingmoney... or pick up the phone and give them a call. Too easy.

05 August 2022

myGov is Changing

A lot of you fullaz would already know what myGov is. It’s the website you go to when you need to access government services like Centrelink, Medicare and the Tax Office and to manage your personal details and information.


Well now, the mob at myGov are making it even easier for you to access the services you need by making some flash new changes to the myGov website and stylin’ it up real proper way. Like puttin’ on a new bag o' fruit, slickin’ back the hair, havin’ a shave, and splashin’ round some new cologne.  


So what's gonna be new about myGov? Well for starters, you’ll notice that the whole website’s got a simple new look. That’s good – we like it when things are simple and easy.


You’ll also get a personalised home page, meaning you’ll find all the government services stuff that matters to you, right there in the one spot.


It’ll also be super easy to find information on government payments and services about the things that happen in people’s lives. Like, what do if you’re expecting a baby.


The most important thing is, the way you use myGov won’t change. You’ll still find it at my.gov.au… and you can still sign in using the same sign-in details you’re using now.


All your current services you’ve got linked to myGov will stay the same, and any payments you’re currently getting… well, they won’t change either.


And of course, myGov will still be safe and secure.


If you wanna sneak peek of how it’s gonna look, you can visit this website right now - beta.my.gov.au.


And if you’re keen, follow @myGovau on Twitter for all the latest news and tips from myGov.

11 April 2022

Financial Support If You've Been Affected By Flood

We’ve all seen how devastating recent floods have been to our communities along the east coast, and our thoughts and prayers go out to all mob who are doing it tough right now.


But there is some good news - if you’re in an area that’s been affected by the floods, then here’s a couple of payments that could help you out: the Disaster Recovery Allowance… and the Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment.


The Disaster Recovery Allowance is a short-term payment you can get if a disaster – like flood – directly affects your income.


The Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment is a lump sum payment you can get if you were seriously affected by the floods. So, if the floods destroyed or caused major damage to your home or they destroyed or caused major damage to something at your home with a combined market value of $20,000 or more, you can apply.


If you’ve been seriously injured in the floods, or if an immediate family member has passed away or gone missing, then you can also apply for the Disaster Recovery Payment.


If you’re in one of the declared Local Government Areas, you might even be eligible for both payments.


There are also payments for eligible Kiwi mob living in Australia who’ve been affected by the floods.


The fastest way to claim is to jump online using your myGov account. If you don’t have a myGov account, it’s real easy to set one up.


If you can’t claim online, just pick up the phone and speak to someone at Services Australia about your situation. The number to call is 180 22 66.  If you’ve got a nominee, then they’ll need to call up in order to claim for you. There’s even access to free interpreters if you need one.


To find out more about eligibility and how to get the help you need, go to servicesaustralia.gov.au/disaster.

28 March 2022

The Importance of Good Role Models

Recently I had my uncle's birthday and you know we got a lot of uncles eh? A lot of uncles and a lot of dads and a lot of aunties and a lot of mums. And in Aboriginal culture, uncles are also dads, dads are also uncles, just like nephews are also sons and nieces are also daughters. You know what I'm saying, eh? That our brothers' sisters and our sisters' brothers are our brothers and our sisters as well, and of course we have a lot of responsibility to look after them through kinship.


This uncle of mine, well his name was Uncle Gary, and he lived in Western Sydney out near the Blue Mountains. He had his birthday not long ago and recently I was starting to think about Uncle Gary. He's been one of those fullas that's been a real big influence in my life. He used to be able to fix anything with his hands. He was a mechanic, he'd fix cars, he'd fix bikes, he'd build houses and all sorts of things.


I didn't have to say much to him when I was growing up. I just watched him. I didn't have a lot of good role models... my old man, my biological father, wasn’t there for me much, but this uncle of mine, Uncle Gary, well I used to watch him and I used to listen to him and I used to want to be like him, mostly because he never gave up. He showed me there was always a way to fix something... even if you didn't know how, you'd somehow work it out.


And I watched him one day, with my grandmother watching us, and we were fixing a car together. And I probably would've been about 12 years old. And Uncle Gary showed me how to fix the contact points in the distributor in the engine, he showed me how to change the spark plugs, he showed me how to tune the engine, how to adjust the carburetor, all those sorts of things. And I just listened and watched, and I learnt from him. He's an old fulla now, but thinking about him now still reminds me of the uncle… the role model… that I want to be. You know, like when there's all these young fullas around us, and they're looking up at us, and there's young girls and they're looking up at us, and they're looking for a role model, just like I was with my Uncle Gary.


These days, I’ll often ask myself: what sort of an uncle am I being? What sort of a dad or a role model am I being? Are my kids gonna grow up, are my nephews gonna grow up, are my nieces gonna grow up one day, and are they going to say, "Hey, you know that Uncle Jonzy? He was the one reason we believed in ourselves. He was the one thing that always kept us happy about life, who motivated us to be stronger, to think about what life could be like, and to believe in ourselves. He was always there when we needed him. He always gave us strong advice and he gave us love when we needed it. He was always happy. He was always positive, and he taught me things that I needed to know."


Are you going to be that sort of uncle like Uncle Gary was for me? Are you going to be that sort of auntie, like so many of our aunties who are out there?


Now we all know what it looks like to have that uncle or that auntie that always fails, that always drinks, that always gets into trouble, that always makes promises and never keeps them. But are you going to be that role model that our young fullas, our young women, one day get to our age and be like, "Hey, you know what? I love that Uncle Jonzy. He was always there for me."


Maybe you're that uncle now, maybe you're that auntie now, maybe you’re that big brother or that big sister. But even if you're not right now, it's something to look forward to, to be that person for those young kids, because now more than ever we need them… and they need us.


10 March 2022

Reporting Your Employment Income Right

A lot of mob would already know about something called income support payments. Basically, they’re regular payments from Centrelink, like the Age Pension, ABSTUDY, JobSeeker, and Parenting Payments, that - if you qualify - can help with the cost of living. It’s extra money on top of what you get paid by your employer - you know, them boss men or boss ladies. If you’re already getting one of these payments, I reckon you already know that every couple of weeks you've got to let Centrelink know how much money you’re getting paid by your boss. It’s all about making sure you get the right amount of income support.


So here are a few tips to help you nail it:


First things first, make sure you report the gross amount your boss pays you. It’s not what goes in your bank account – it’s the total amount before tax and any other stuff is taken out. You’ll find it on your payslip. Speaking of payslips, don’t send any of them to Centrelink - they’ll tell you if they need them.


Here’s another tip: if you’ve got a partner - you know, your wife or your hubby or your de facto - you need to let the Centrelink mob know what their gross employment income is too because it all affects how much you’re entitled to.


If you don’t let them know and they pay you too much, you’re going to end up having to pay them back.


If you don't report on time, then your payment may be late.  If you don't report at all, then you won’t be paid a cent.


And if you run your own business or work for yourself, make sure you let Centrelink know, but don’t chuck that money in your employment income report.


To read up some more on how to report your income, just jump onto www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/incomereporting