Daveena Thomas’ goal is to live a healthy and happy life with her partner and to provide a good quality education for her son Davis.

She has been a member of MPower for several years, shops regularly through Wise Buys and uses her Student Education Trust to keep her son Davis in educational supplies.

“Davis (12 years) was just a few months old, learning to crawl when I started his SET.”

“It saves me the stress if we want anything for education—I just take the paper work to Tracey at the O-Hub—books, uniforms, a whole heap of things, back to school pack, all the educational stuff.

“We got his suit for graduation, a formal suit.”

“I remember going to school and because we only had a little money we would just window shop (in Mareeba). I would say ‘Oh, I love that’. I would be looking at all the pretty school stuff. I so love that. If I get money I’m coming back for that we would say.

“Now I can just get them. We’d always go for second hand stuff, or the cheapest brand.

“I know money is being put to use in a good way. I know it’s a positive thing and that’s my kid. I’d do anything for my kids to get a good education.”

Davis is off to Marist Brothers in Brisbane this year and Daveena says that his SET will help to fund everything he needs.

Deveena works for Centrelink, her office is co-located in the O-Hub building

“I use Wise Buys for online shopping for groceries, clothes, and I shop around for anything. I talk to the O-Hub a lot about good deals and where I can save dollars.

“MPower helped me to organise my banking. I have two accounts. One to pay the bills, and one pays for shopping, things for the house and clothes.

“MPower gave me ideas on how you can save and where there is a better place to shop for better deals, give you better options for your money. I don’t know where this community would be without this office.

“The problem is with some people, who have a budgeting problem, they still don’t want to grow up. Still want to have that fun time and spend money on alcohol, like you are acting like a teenager.

“We’re not perfect but we pay our bills off. I have learned to contact people to let them know I can’t pay that but I can pay a portion this week to save us getting into trouble.

Daveena says in 2015 she’ll be putting money away for flights to visit Davis at boarding school in Brisbane mid-term. “I don’t like flying but I’ll pray before I get on the plane and thank God when we get there!”