The National Aboriginal Sporting Chance Academy, or NASCA, works closely with young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The organisation focuses on building their confidence and empowering them to take opportunities while staying closely connected to their culture.
Their website states,
“At NASCA we design programs that respond to community needs, are flexible, and culturally safe. We actively work towards collaborating to create whole communities of healthy and prosperous Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people.
We empower Aboriginal young people to:
- Improve school attendance and ultimately school performance
- Develop specific career pathways and work-ready skills
- Strengthen cultural pride and identity
- Build life skills, personal development and long-term resilience.”
We spoke with Mickey Kovari, then Deputy CEO at NASCA, about the incredible work they do and how partnering with True Accounting is helping them to achieve their organisational goals.
Working with thousands of young people
NASCA formed 25 years ago and has grown significantly in the last twelve months. The not for profit organisation started with a particular emphasis on sport but has evolved to also focus on holistic wellbeing and education. Mickey explained,
“We are all about building young people’s confidence. Everything we do revolves around First Nations young people connecting with their culture and building from that strength.
We work with thousands of young people across 31 communities around the country. We are based in Redfern, and we have an office in Perth. Plus, we also have teams based within schools across NSW.”
The main challenge is meeting demand
For the team at NASCA, the biggest challenge they face is meeting the demand for their services. There are hundreds of communities around Australia that would love to collaborate with the NFP. Mickey continued,
“We know the need for our services is great. There are a lot of young people and community leaders that would like our team to be in their schools and communities, but we can’t reach all of them until we have enough funding.
Since we started working with True Accounting, our funding has increased dramatically. We’ve grown from being a team of 15 people working with around 1000 young people to having 45 team members and supporting over 2000 young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
The funding grant we received has been the driver for our growth, but we have ambition to grow even more… every year we want to be able to reach more communities, because we know we can help.”
Partnering with the True Accounting team
Before NASCA partnered with True Accounting, they relied on a single finance person within their organisation to manage their accounting requirements. When that individual decided to resign, it opened the door to a new opportunity.
“We started our recruitment process as normal… we advertised for a Financial Controller. But Kirsten saw the position advertised and contacted us to talk about the services True Accounting could offer.
She explained that while we were only looking for a single person to join our team, they could provide a whole range of services that extended far past one role. I thought it sounded great but wanted to get feedback from other people… I spoke to a local bookkeeper who said that it would definitely be a great solution… but it was actually the reference that I received from another AFG client that helped me make the final decision!
When I asked them if they would ever hire an internal person to manage their accounts again, they emphatically said no. True Accounting provides them everything they need at a price that truly meets their needs.”
Increased financial skills
Mickey was the Operations Director when True Accounting came on board with NASCA and then stepped into the Deputy CEO position. Over the last twelve months, he believes his financial skills have increased considerably through the work he’s done with Carol Tran and our team.
“The AFG team has been amazing, especially for me… coming from operations I didn’t have a lot of financial background but they are so patient and they talk you through everything.
They’ve increased my financial skill level massively over the past year.
Partnering with AFG is basically the same cost as hiring a financial officer, but a financial officer at the same cost wouldn’t have the same range of skills as AFG. You get a CFO, you get an accountant, you get a bookkeeper… a bit of everything, which is extremely useful for our organisation.
One of the largest undertakings has been our budgeting. When we started with AFG, we basically rebuilt the budget from scratch. With Carol’s guidance, we looked at all the job codes and all the cost codes. That was invaluable, because we had to put a lot of work into the budget and it would have been difficult to do without them. They gave us some tips that helped us and really made sense.
We also rely on their financial reporting. The reports are always fantastic, and it’s useful for the Board to get a much richer set of reports that are easy to understand. Carol comes to the meetings and presents where we are up to… it’s just spot on!”
Looking to the future
NASCA is currently on an upward trajectory and experiencing continual growth, but they have great aspirations to reach more and more young people. They are always looking for volunteers to support them in that growth within their urban and remote volunteering programs.