National financial literacy program rolled out in Roebourne
With many Pilbara locals going from social benefits to six-figure mining salaries almost overnight, a local community group is introducing a financial literacy program to help them manage their money.
My Moola is a national financial literacy program embracing the diversity of Aboriginal people, but remodelled to suit locals in Roebourne.
The national My Moola program has been renamed Waba Garrungu in the Roebourne area, as this name resonates with the local language. In the Ngaluma language, Waba Garrugu means Good Money.
Yaandina Family Services brought the program to Roebourne after service workers Maree Pont and Nellie Connors attended training in Shepparton, Victoria.
Maree and Nellie initially went to Victoria to talk with the First Nations Foundation, which was looking for service providers to deliver the program in Indigenous communities.
Yaandina came on board to present the program in a language the local community understands.
Yaandina are currently halfway through the 10-week program, teaching their first group of six young women the interactive program.
Workshops include goal-setting, overcoming barriers to success, making money stretch past payday, planning-to-win, looking after your future, internet banking and the hazards of credit, money loans and traps.
Maree is delivering the program in Roebourne and says most of the participants are stepping into the workforce for the first time.
“We’ve really got their attention, its fantastic to see these girls soaking it all up,” she said.
“They’re listening, they’re learning, they’re writing it all down and thoroughly enjoying it.”
“They’ve gone from nothing, or being on social benefits, to $5,000 a month! How do you teach someone to budget when they see all this money?”
Maree said although the program is in its infancy in Roebourne, she’s seen significant breakthroughs.
“One of our ladies was going to get a credit card, and once I explained the fees, the traps and the charges she decided not to,” she revealed.
“She was going to get a credit card just because some other people had one.”
Maree feels the course is necessary in the Roebourne community.
“These students are going to have a wealth of knowledge and hopefully, the bank account of their dreams,” she said.
Chelsea Churnside is enrolled in the course and said she has learnt a lot about managing finances.
“So far I’ve learnt to be assertive and to look at the fine print,” she said.
Chelsea said this course is important because the community needs to learn to manage their financial situations.
“It’s really good because a lot of people around the community don’t really know about that kind of stuff. It’s good that they’re teaching the community.”
“I actually budget my money now, and it’s helped me at home.”
Chelsea believes the whole community will benefit from the program.
Back at Yaandina, Maree has a big vision for My Moola.
“It’s been an enlightening experience as these young girls are learning how and what to do with their money and how to save wisely, she said.
“We’re all the learning the ways of money management and how to be able to save and still have fun.
“The next step in the journey is to run the course with a group of men entering the work force for the first time.”
“Then we want to deliver it to the community. That means families can come down,” she said.
“Everyone can be involved in it.”
“Even some of the older people, they’ve gone from being on a pension to $6,000 a month! How do you deal with that?”
“I would love to see people be able to afford to buy that new car, to be able to afford a new home”
To be part of the Waba Garrugu program contact Yaandina Family Centre on 9182-1172.