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A happy home with a little help from Indigenous Business Australia
The Australian dream of owning your own home can seem impossible for many but for Naomi and John Bonson of Darwin, it is now a reality – with a little help from Indigenous Business Australia (IBA).
Shortly after getting married, Naomi and John resolved to start saving for a deposit on their own home. However, after finding out they were pregnant a few months later and with the arrival of their second daughter not long after that, the couple found themselves living pay day to pay day, unable to save.
“We were earning money and working really hard just trying to get a foothold,” said Naomi. ‘But getting a deposit together, it would have taken us years.”
So when a family member told them about concessional housing loans available through IBA, they jumped at the opportunity to apply. With help from IBA staff, Naomi and John set about reorganising their finances in preparation for taking on a mortgage, and in 2006 purchased a two-bedroom property on the outskirts of Darwin.
The couples say the stability of that home has been the foundation for creating further positive change in their lives.
Naomi said: “Owning our home has helped us to change our life for the better, to be able to get on an equal footing with non-Indigenous Australians... It gives you a feeling of empowerment and makes you feel that you can do anything.”
Since 2006, Naomi and John have continued to use IBA services to increase their family’s financial stability. When, for example, the couple found themselves struggling to meet their mortgage repayments, they contacted IBA and were able to negotiate a brief deferral. Since they had chosen to make fortnightly, rather than monthly, mortgage repayments, Naomi and John were able to secure that deferral without falling behind on their loan.
Now with Naomi and John back in full-time work, they are looking to purchase a bigger home in a rural setting, where their girls can enjoy a healthy outdoor lifestyle.
Of the hard work that has seem the family achieve its goals, Naomi said: “We want to be a really positive example to our children. And we are showing the girls that you can really do and be anything you would like.”