Australia’s leading Indigenous financial literacy organisation, First Nations Foundation, has launched a new, family-friendly community event series to educate and empower Indigenous Australians to take control of their financial future.
The new initiative, Financial Wellness Week, is a series of outreach and educational events which will travel across Australia to engage with communities, with the first taking place in Redfern and Western Sydney from 19-21 April. Attendees can access a range of free financial services and workshops, as part of a financial wellness hub covering tax, Centrelink support, superannuation and banking issues and more, while also enjoying a free barbecue lunch and other family activities.
According to First Nations Foundation, Indigenous Australians have had very little opportunity to manage their own money. Being paid in rations and experiencing stolen wages and extremely low income has resulted in significantly low levels of financial education. While there are more Indigenous people gainfully employed than ever before, and with that accruing decent salaries, most First Nations individuals still don’t have access to a trusted source of information, or are too ashamed to ask for help around money topics. This diminishes the opportunity to create intergenerational wealth and is at the core of why First Nations Foundation exists.
First Nations Foundation, which has previously reconnected Indigenous Australians with more than $24 million in superannuation to date through its award-winning Big Super Day Out events, is focused on bridging the financial literacy gap between Indigenous Australians and the wider population.
Financial Wellness Week takes a holistic approach to providing financial services to the community, acting as a point of contact for First Nations people to access a hub of financial literacy workshops and break-out sessions with selected industry providers and government departments.
A culturally appropriate delivery of financial information is at the pinnacle of First Nations Foundation’s values, says CEO Phil Usher.
“Culture is at the heart of everything we do, from our online literacy programs like My Money Dream, to events like Financial Wellness Week. Understanding the Indigenous perception and experience of money and family responsibilities can only be gained through lived experiences. All our training and content is written and delivered by Mob, for Mob,” said Phil.
“Opportunities like this and previously, Big Super Day Out, have proven to have significant positive impacts on First Nations communities and it’s something we look forward to delivering each year.”
Project Lead Melanie Noble says this event is also a great opportunity to start conversations about money and finance with younger family members.
“These days are not just about sorting out your finances, they’re also a family fun day. We encourage everyone to bring their families and come for a yarn; enjoy the free sausage sizzle and get positive outcomes for your money,” said Mel.
“We hope that people can share this event with their networks and community to empower other Indigenous Australians to take control of their financial future.”
Participants should bring along photo ID and any documents they have related to their finances such as outstanding debts, overdue bills, tax documents and bank statements in order to get the most out of Financial Wellness Week.
Mel hopes that events like this will help destigmatise conversations about money and improve the relationships that First Nations people have with financial institutions and Government agencies.
“Engaging with your bank or super fund can make such a huge difference to your financial situation – we’re hoping for this to happen on the day and that it helps reduce pressure on people’severyday finances, which will make family life easier.”
First Nations Foundation is centred around four strategic focus areas, including education, community, partnership and leadership. The Foundation also offers digital financial literacy training through its My Money Dream program, its youth focused Tomorrow Money website and the Indigenous Women’s Financial Wellness (IWFW) program.
For more information on Financial Wellness Week, please visit https://firstnationsfoundation.org.au/fww/ and follow @firstnationsfoundation on Instagram for updates.