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2TM Regional News

The Aussie financial literacy gap

Throughout the Australian Education System, there is a lack of real-world knowledge around financial literacy, which is the set of skills that allow individuals to make informed decisions regarding money.


Research undertaken by the University of Newcastle in 2022 highlighted that more than a third of Australians are not financially literate, and that improving financial literacy leads to better financial outcomes, which in turn leads to higher overall life satisfaction.

To address the low rates of financial literacy in Australia, Greater Banks’ Fundamentals of Financial Literacy Program will be rolled out in schools across the New England in the coming months.


The program coincides with how the community’s attitude and relationship to money are changing and how crucial it is to ensure young people have the right knowledge before going out into the real world.


Over one third of Australians are not financially literate. Greater Bank's program aims to change this.


Developed in partnership with the University of Newcastle, the program will harness the strength of the University’s theoretical background with the application of customer owned banks alongside practical, real-world experience to provide students with essential financial skills for life.


Tamworth Branch Manager, Steph Brown recently joined the Greater Bank Ambassadors in Newcastle for training on the latest course content and strategies around effectively delivering content in the classroom.


“I’ve always had a strong interest in financial planning and counselling, so when Great Bank announced the creation of the Finance Academy, I knew instantly that it was something I wanted to become involved in,” Ms Brown said.


“I know how important it is to ensure young people have the right knowledge before they step into the real world and how to avoid the mistakes that I, a lender, see on a regular basis.”


The program will run over four weeks in Terms 3 and 4 to deliver the Fundamentals of Financial Literacy to students face-to-face or online.


As part of the Financial Literacy Program with Greater Bank, Financial Wellbeing and General Life Satisfaction in Australia Report was undertaken with the aim of validating the need for a greater focus on financial literacy, especially amongst high-school age students.


Greater Bank Chief Distribution Officer, Emma Brokate, said the research program reinforced the importance of financial education for our youth.


“The program will teach students about money, saving, planning and investing as well as the benefits and potential pitfalls of credit cards and other financial products,” Ms Brokate said.


“These are foundational skills that all children should be accessing, because we know it will have a positive flow-on effect through their lives.


“It’s why we continue our commitment to rolling out the program across our areas of operation, including the New England.”


For the past five years, the program has been delivered across over 112 classes to over 3,800 students learning business, commerce and finance, all engaged and wanting to learn.


Some of the topics covered by the program include introduction to financial literacy and its fundamentals, physical versus digital money, saving and budgeting and banking terminologies.


Schools wishing to take part in the Greater Bank Finance Academy can contact the Finance Academy team at FinanceAcademy@newcastle.com.au or got to greater.com.au/uon.

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