PETER JOHNSTON – FINALIST
In 2007 after he retired, Peter started providing funds from his own savings for no-interest micro loans to people in Bukittinggi, West Sumatra. His previous experience as a social worker and manager informed his choice to use a community development model by linking with a local Indonesian person who was embedded in the community and who could facilitate the process of managing the process of selecting borrowers and ensuring loan repayments from borrowers occurred.
Over the ensuing years Peter has linked in with interested professionals in Western Australia to form an approved not-for profit agency (Bamboo Microcredit Inc), which promotes the idea of Australians donating money to assist Indonesian people on low incomes to develop small businesses. It is based on the premise of giving a hand up rather, than a hand out. The model of linking in with existing agencies and resources in Indonesia has been replicated by Bamboo Microcredit in Bandung in West Java and Malang in East Java as well as continuing to operate in Bukittinggi.