Financial literacy program to empower women on Norfolk Island

Wesley Mission will be delivering an award winning free financial literacy program to women on Norfolk Island from 11 June 2018.

The In Charge of My Money program will educate up to 60 women on basic money management, as well as training, and a mentoring program for women and girls.

It will help Norfolk Island women develop their budgeting skills, learn strategies to avoid debt, and become financially independent. The training will give women the confidence to make informed and effective money management decisions.

The program will also make a positive and lasting difference to children, families, and the broader community, as participants share their skills and knowledge.

“Financial literacy is a key factor in creating financial and personal well-being,” said Wesley Mission CEO the Rev Dr Keith Garner. “Sound knowledge is important to making good financial decisions, building resilience in individuals, and social capacity within communities. Wesley Mission is delighted that it can provide such a pivotal program.”

Women’s Advocacy Group Norfolk Island (WAGNI) convenor, Eve Semple, said the grant will empower Norfolk Island women and youth, and give them choice.

“Increasing the financial literacy of Norfolk Island’s women and young people aged 14 to 17 is critical in increasing their ability to make good financial decisions. It will empower them through the rest of their lives, including importantly, their retirement,” Ms Semple said. “Knowing how to manage things such as budgets, investments, loans and superannuation accounts is critical to our quality of life – whether we are just about to embark on our careers or have had many already.”

The Commonwealth Government is providing $15,000 to WAGNI for the In Charge of My Money program, which will be delivered on Norfolk Island by Wesley Mission Sydney.

The program began in 2011 as an extension of Wesley Mission’s financial counselling program and in 2013 won a MoneySmart Award.  The award was part of the MoneySmart initiative of the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC). The awards recognise the important work of community organisations, schools, workplaces, research organisations and individuals across the country in honing the skills of everyday Australians to manage their money.

The program has been delivered to more than 4000 Australians and received a glowing report following evaluation by the Department of Psychology at Macquarie University and the School of Economics, Finance and Marketing at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology.

Academics found it to be a relevant, evidence-based program which is “beneficial to its target audience of the most vulnerable in society. The program facilitated “sustained improvement in financial behaviours, and does produce high levels of knowledge and understanding retention after several months, for people facing the vulnerabilities of drug, alcohol and gambling addiction, homelessness, and family strain.”




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