Financial literacy is an important life skill that all children need to be taught from an early age, which is why Greater Bank and the University of Newcastle have partnered to produce the Greater Bank Finance Academy.
Since launching in 2019 across the Hunter and Central Coast, the program has been rolled out across 40 schools, reaching more than 2,000 high school students.
Those numbers are set to increase dramatically throughout 2021 with the program now to be delivered across regional NSW, including the South Coast, New England, Mid North Coast, Northern Rivers, as well as into Queensland’s Gold Coast.
The free program, known as the Greater Bank Finance Academy, delivers a series of practical, finance-related workshops for high school students in Years 9 and 10.
Integrated into various subjects across curriculum, the program covers topics such as managing money, reducing debt and implementing simple saving strategies as a way of teaching students how to make informed financial decisions.
The program consists of four core and three elective lessons delivered at school during class time. One of the core lessons is delivered by Greater Bank employees who use their real-life banking experience to deliver practical and relevant content. University of Newcastle Student Ambassadors also deliver a lesson where they discuss why financial literacy is declining and how attitudes toward money can impact how it is spent. The remaining lessons are delivered by teaching staff from the participating high schools.
The latest intake of Finance Academy Ambassadors from the University of Newcastle and Greater Bank recently participated in workshops to learn more about the programs they will deliver to high school students over the coming months.
Greater Bank Head of Marketing and Customer Experience, Matt Hingston, is thrilled to see the expansion of the program.
“We want our customers of tomorrow to be better informed about their financial responsibilities, particularly as we continue to move towards a cashless society. It’s why we saw this as an important program to develop in conjunction with the University of Newcastle,” Mr Hingston said
“COVID-19 forced a rethink of the program delivery in 2020 and a move to an online platform. This proved to be a great addition to the program and its success, particularly in terms of broadening the program’s reach.
“We are excited now though to again be delivering the program face-to-face and with the assistance of our incredibly talented ambassadors,” Mr Hingston said.
University of Newcastle Lecturer and Finance Lab Operations Officer, Kevin Craft, said the Greater Bank Finance Academy provides valuable and innovative opportunities to support the Hunter community to build skills and improve their financial literacy.
“By combining our strengths in education, banking and community engagement we are excited to continue to deliver this community education program that support informed financial decision-making,” Mr Craft said.
“As part of the financial literacy program, we provide schools with all the educational resources and materials they need to effectively deliver the content. This makes it easy for teachers to deliver the program while helping students develop practical life skills to make them financially responsible.
Kevin Craft, University of Newcastle
“It’s been wonderful to work with our latest group of student ambassadors who bring to the program a new level of passion and enthusiasm that will no doubt be reflected in their delivery of the content to high school students.”
High schools interested in taking part in this year’s program are asked to register their interest by emailing FinanceAcademy@newcastle.edu.au