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Author: Greater Charitable Foundation

Financial literacy program equipping Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to succeed beyond the classroom

Clontarf Foundation’s Newcastle High Academy program is working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to ensure they are equipped with key educational and life skills that will enable them to succeed beyond their schooling years.

A pilot financial literacy program developed and rolled out by Greater Bank and the University of Newcastle has been incorporated into the program to provide participants with a greater understanding of areas such as saving strategies, budgeting and smart spending.

The Fundamentals of Financial Literacy Program is being offered as part of Greater Charitable Foundation’s ongoing partnership with Clontarf Foundation and is being delivered as a pilot program to six students in Years 9 to 11.

According to Clontarf Foundation NSW Regional Manager, Mick Riddle, the program gives students the financial knowledge they need to navigate the workforce.

“Many of the students involved in the Academy program come from at-risk backgrounds. Our primary aim is to ensure they attend school and then help them develop the values, skills and abilities that will assist their transition into meaningful employment and achieve better life outcomes,” Mick said.

“A critical component of the Foundation’s employment strategy is to increase the financial skill-set of the young men in the Clontarf program, better equipping them now and in the future.

“The financial literacy program developed by Greater Bank and the University of Newcastle provides our participants with those essential skills.

“The ultimate test of our success is the placement of young men into meaningful and sustained employment. We believe it is only with a sense of purpose, achievement and financial independence afforded through employment that today’s young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander generation will have the opportunity to create generational change.”

The four-week program was conducted in June and delivered by Clontarf Foundation mentors, as well as Greater Bank and University of Newcastle Ambassadors who discuss the practical and theoretical strategies behind money management.

The response from the participants has been fantastic. They have been truly engaged in the content that provides both the real-life banking experience, as well as the broader academic content,” Mick said.

“Following the pilot, we plan to roll out the program to other Clontarf Academies Toronto, Hunter River and Irrawang High Schools, enabling all of our students to benefit from gaining financial knowledge and independence.”

The Fundamentals of Financial Literacy Program was developed through the partnership between Greater Bank and the University of Newcastle, which includes the establishment of the Greater Bank Finance Lab together with the delivery of community education programs and practical workshops.

Greater Bank’s Head of Marketing and Customer Experience, Matt Hingston, said he was proud to be working with the Clontarf Foundation to deliver such an important initiative.

“As a customer-owned bank, we understand the importance of financial literacy. That’s why we’re committed to enhancing the financial wellbeing of students and the communities in which we operate,” said Matt.

“We’re delighted to work with Clontarf students on such an important initiative that encourages them to question how they think about money while also achieving financial objectives.”

Since 2016, Greater Charitable Foundation has provided close to $700,000 to support Clontarf Foundation through its in-school re-engagement program, which aims to improve the education, discipline, life skills and employment prospects of local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander male students.