The Wealth Academy was a member of ASIC's consumer and financial literacy experts panel (2011-15).  This newsletter provides news, research, support, hints and tips for those who strive to support the financial learning of Australian youth.

Newsletter: February 2016

The Wealth Academy assists parents, teachers and professionals in the financial services industry to help their children, students and young clients to improve their financial knowledge and skills. We look forward to providing news, research, readings, hints, provocations, and some humour, to help younger generations become financially capable. 


The Wealth Academy has just published our full library of resources in response to many school requests looking for a quick and easy way of viewing all of our video and written materials. There are over 160 resources now published and available for subscribed schools. 
This update is organised by concepts. Under each concept is a list of topics, their source and a brief comment which provides a little more information about the topic. We also provide educators with ideas as to where they may be able to use the resource — i.e. in upper primary (UP), lower secondary (LS) or upper secondary (US) classrooms. It is a suggestion only.
Each topic has at least one lesson, but some topics may relate to teacher modules and have up to 6 lessons. We have listed our topics once only, even though they may relate to more than one concept. For example we have topics listed under the budget concept, but budgeting topics may also be evident under the saving/spending concept. This overview of our resources will be updated quarterly. View

School-business partnerships

Realising Potential: Businesses helping schools to develop Australia's future is a must read for every school administrator, teacher of business and economics, and business owner or manager who wants to help their school community. The following is an extract from the Executive Summary of the report, available from the Australian Government Department of Education and Training website.

"Business has a powerful opportunity to contribute to shaping and supporting school communities as they face the future.
Our education system has embarked on a bold transformation to ensure that all our young people have access to a high quality 21st century education, regardless of where they live, their gender, cultural background or socio-economic status. In combination with the development of a national curriculum, physical infrastructure, new technology and other reforms, school-based partnerships—with business and the wider community—promise to deliver effective outcomes for our young people.  
Such partnerships have flourished over the past two decades. In many cases, business involvement in education has seen marked increases in the quality and extent of engagement of students, parents and whole communities in their schools. 
The culmination of this collaborative effort is the strategy set out in this report. It aims to ‘harness business as a partner’ to contribute to the achievement of the Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians, and the supporting priorities under the current education reform agenda. It fully recognises the specific roles, skills and resources of schools, education authorities, government, principals, teachers, parents and young people themselves. It argues that business also has skills, leadership and resources that can and should be used in relationships that support schooling and provide benefits to all. This leads to a ‘virtuous circle’ through which both businesses and schools contribute to the development of active and informed citizens, which in turn benefits both the education and industry of the future." Read the report.

What's new in 2016

Four new activity books are now available for teachers to use. Financial capability: Lessons from the web - 2016 includes 10 generic financial life skill lesson plans with accompanying student activity sheets.
The topics include:
1. Budgeting: The 50-20-30 rule
2. The cost of a new or used car
3. Financial stress and domestic violence
4. Online shopping
5. Peer mentoring: Needs and wants
6. Credit and debt: Youth views
7. Mobile phones and teenagers
8. Financial counsellors
9. A gambling problem - Gaming machines
10. A gambling problem - Online sports betting
The Australian Curriculum: Work Studies continues to be a focus. All students have a work future which necessitates an awareness of financial knowledge and skills. This year, we have produced both a Year 9 and a Year 10 eBook with lesson plans and activity sheets aligned to specific content descriptions within the Work Studies curriculum. Of course, we place these activities within a context of financial education.
The Year 10 book topics are:
1. The importance of self-directed and lifelong learning to future life decisions
2. Online communication in the workplace
3. Solving problems through entrepreneurial behaviour
4. Choosing a career based on personal attributes and interests
5. Students, casual work and work culture
6. Importance of work diversity
Find out more here.
To support the use of the Australian Curriculum: Work Studies eBooks we have also produced a set of ePosters that can be used to assist the teaching and learning process.
The ePosters are based on the key topics of:
1. Learning to learn
2. Work skills
3. Entrepreneurial behaviour
4. Career development
5. The nature of work, and
6. Gaining and keeping work.
Find out more here.


School newsletter inserts

Financial literacy has been a long-term issue across all communities.  By keeping financial literacy in the community consciousness, hopefully we can help improve financial life skills where it is needed within that community
This month's inserts relate to:
  • Parents talking financial decision-making with their teenagers
  • Is gambling advertising affecting students?
  • De-mystifying the financial business community
  • Research links between financial stress and domestic violence
  • Updating the piggy bank.
The first batch of 2016 inserts are now available for schools to download. Schools may also download and use inserts from 2015.
Find out more here.

Book review

Financial adviser and author Helen Baker wants to help women with their financial education. While many female teachers will find On Your Own Two Feet interesting and thoughtful reading, female students in secondary education, should also be made aware of the key messages within this book.
On Your Own Two Feet (the book) has been written to help women gain control and certainty over their financial future. The book has four sections:
  • Stepping out on the right foot
  • Ages of womanhood
  • Life events and their financial impacts, and
  • Building your financial future.
The messages within many of these sections would be very useful in work, career, life skill, equity based programs, and not just for girls. It is important for boys to know about some of the financial challenges facing their sisters and female friends in the future.
All profits from book sales go to third world families in need.
Find out more here.

Schools with community partners

One of the significant platforms of all education systems and leadership standards in Australian schools, is the importance of building connections between the school and community. Such connections when well-planned bring great benefit to student learning and community engagement.
This perspective is a foundation stone of The Wealth Academy's school-community financial life skills resource pack. We believe that financial life skills and literacies are an important societal issue, that must be addressed in local communities through collaborative ventures. That collaboration must be with people who have the goodwill and expertise to support student learning locally.

If your school has one or more financial life skill partners please make contact with them and discuss ways they can help your school community during the first semester. Some ideas include:
  • involvement in careers days
  • identifying a financial life skills week sometime in the school calendar
  • talking with students about their first jobs and the financial responsibilities that go with that (taxation, superannuation, record keeping, etc)
  • talks to students in specific areas of the curriculum - business, economics, legal studies, mathematics, work studies, vocational education, etc
  • connecting partners with the school P&C committee.
New idea: Your community partner may like to provide a financial life skills award at the year-end Awards Night. Now would be a good time to start talking about that possibility.

In the News: Where are the young entrepreneurs?

A recent ABC News article Start-up businesses starved of Government support, young entrepreneurs say should alarm us all. Educators, parents, industry, universities and governments should all be encouraging high school students to understand entrepreneurial behaviours. The Australian Curriculum: Work Studies certainly places an emphasis on entrepreneurship. Schools are encouraged to view this curriculum to see how they can make use its content to support student learning.
The independent, non-profit organisation Foundation for Young Australians (FYA), said current Government policy was focused too heavily on the ageing population, when it should be supporting young innovators.
"All our policies are focused on an ageing population," FYA chief executive Jan Owens said.
"It will be impossible for us to really support an ageing population without having a tax revenue base that's driven by younger people." Read more
The Wealth Academy has a strong focus on  developing entrepreneurial thinking in young Australians, with an emphasis on sound financial decision-making.

Is financial education important in schools?

According to research conducted by QUT (2015), first year tertiary students did not think their prior high school gave much importance to financial education. We can see from the table below that only 14.2% of students believed their prior high school thought financial education was very important or quite important. This is disappointing to say the least. 

We can do better. Our young people deserve better! Read more

Teachers: An open invitation

The Wealth Academy values partnerships and relationships that will ultimately help young people become more financially capable. 
Teachers can support this cause by:
  • contacting us with ideas to improve their financial education program (What do you need?)
  • contributing resources or articles for us to consider for publication
  • participating in our research program. 
We want to help, as do our partners. Help us to help you.
Contact us 


Register your school here.
Need help registering. Contact us.

School-community partner

Does your school need a school financial education partner? We can help.
Find out more about partnership on the home page.


Please share this newsletter with fellow parents, teachers and financial service professionals committed to the financial education of Australian youth. Financial capability does not happen by accident or by default—it requires effort. A united effort will bring greater benefits.

Yours in learning
Ken Swan, Director The Wealth Academy

Help your network: We are proud to consider ourselves lifelong learners, so please send us information, ideas and comments that you think we should share with our network. All inquiries and submissions for publication should be directed to the Manager using the contact options on our website .

Information provided is for educational purposes and does not constitute financial advice. You should obtain independent advice from an Australian financial services licensee before making any financial decisions. Although The Wealth Academy (TWA) has made every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information as at the date of publication, TWA does not give any warranty or representation as to accuracy, reliability or completeness of the information. To the extent permitted by law, TWA and its employees, officers and contractors shall not be liable for any loss or damage arising in any way (including by way of negligence) from or in connection with any information provided or omitted or from any one acting or refraining to act in reliance on this information.

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