Consumer and Financial Literacy Taskforce, Australian Government, The Treasury.

 

Darwin

The Taskforce held two well-attended meetings in Darwin on 29 June 2004, aimed at industry stakeholders and the general public. Financial education in schools and good parental role modelling were seen as essential to the improvement of financial literacy. Issues specific to Indigenous people and regional and remote communities were also raised.

Taskforce member, Christine Ross, described some of the obstacles which need to be overcome so that further progress can be made. Christine was encouraged by the number of positive role models in the communities, and she sought to highlight the importance of building on such positive work, rather than dwelling solely on the negatives.

Community education and credit unions

Georgina Wilson works as the Community Educator with the Traditional Credit Union, which was started by Indigenous elders in Arnhem Land 10 years ago and has over 10,000 members. The only access to financial services for many Indigenous communities, especially in regional and remote areas of the Northern Territory, is through the Traditional Credit Union. Georgina provided many useful insights to some of the obstacles faced by the Traditional Credit Union in carrying out its services. Examples included the huge infrastructure costs involved in getting out to 10 remote community branches and the differences in language and cultural factors affecting Indigenous people in the use of money as a western concept and addressing member’s and their families financial literacy education through her role. The Financial Literacy Project is a one year pilot funded by the Commonwealth Department of Family and Community Services and is also supported by the Northern Territory Government. Traditional Credit Union is committed to its members need for financial knowledge and is seeking assistance to continue community education as a critical service component to its Indigenous members in remote communities.

Pictures

Follow the links on the thumbnails to full size images.

Picture: Mr Peter Chandler talks money with Paul Clitheroe
Mr Peter Chandler talks money with Paul Clitheroe
Picture: Paul addresses the Darwin meeting.
Paul addresses the Darwin meeting.

Contact the Taskforce

The Australian Government has established the Financial Literacy Foundation which is building on the work of the Taskforce. Please visit the Foundation at www.understandingmoney.gov.au.