In 2003, the Department of Accounting, Finance and Economics within the Griffith Business School was successful in obtaining a Griffith University Community Grant for the project Getting Ahead: First Steps in Financial Independence. Led by Professor Chew Ng, Dr Mark Brimble and Ms Victoria Vyvyan, its objective was to develop a series of weekly workshops for a group of Logan women (through Logan Women's Health Centre) to empower, educate and increase their awareness of financial matters and investments. Feedback received from this project was far beyond the expectations of the project team, with the participants reporting significant changes in their confidence in dealing with financial and other matters in their lives as a result of undertaking the workshop series.
The positive outcome of the initial project led to the identification of the emerging needs to establish a centre to contribute towards financial education and empowerment in the community. This led to the centre being established at the Logan Campus of Griffith University in late 2004. The decision to base the centre at Griffith?s Logan Campus was a strategic one, in terms of where the centre can best contribute to the community during its establishment phase. This places the Centre in a good position to be able to offer community based programs which enhance individuals? financial knowledge and confidence as the population within the region is highly representative of those groups identified in the ANZ report (2003) as being least confident and least prepared to make financial decisions.
Exploring the components of financial capability in personal financial management
This research addresses the current gap in the knowledge and understanding of financial literacy by using a qualitative approach to examine the components of financial literacy, the factors that support the development of financial literacy, and those factors that inhibit it. Focus groups were held with financial planners, financial counselors, accountants, their clients and members of the Australian Shareholders Association to determine the key attributes of financial literacy, both from a knowledge perspective and from a consumer behaviour model. The knowledge gained from this research has assisted us in informing public policy and programs developed to enhance financial literacy.
We would like to formally thank AFAANZ for their financial support of this project.
Goals Setting, Planning and Personal Financial Management: A Workshop for Commencing University Students
This project involved the development and delivery of a full day workshop for commencing university students. The workshops covered issues such as planning, goal setting, budgeting and other personal financial management issues. This assisted students with finding direction in both their purpose for studying as well as providing tools for managing/balancing their financial needs with their study and personal needs. An initial full day workshop was followed up with sessions later in their first semester to reassess their goals/plans.
The workshops were facilitated by relevant academics from the centre together with final year students from the bachelor of commerce in financial planning and investments. The workshops provided an opportunity for final year students to engage in the practical application of the skills and technical knowledge they had acquired throughout their degree in a quasi workplace-learning environment.
This project assisted both commencing students (in terms of settling into university and formalising their goals related to their study) and continuing financial planning students in terms engagement in their discipline.
We would like to formally thank the Griffith Business School Teaching and Learning Performance Improvement Fund for their financial support of this project.
Women, Relationships and Money: Equal Partners in Family Finances
The project was to develop, implement and evaluate an effective group based community education program that empowers women to be equal partners in household financial decision-making and resource allocation decisions. The project focussed on women in the context of their relationships and had three key stages. Firstly it consulted with consumers and community stakeholders to develop the program, the second stage was the implementation of the program and the final stage was refining the program to develop a training package that could be utilised by other community based groups throughout Queensland.
Workshops focussed on financial management and decision making within the family, communication about money and developing understanding of the differing and potential conflicting values and expectations that are barriers to communication about money.
The project aim was to increase the capacity of women in relationships to be at least equal partners in money management and resource allocation decisions for the family. Furthermore, the project developed women's capacity to consider not only the wellbeing of their family's economic situation, but also direct some attention to planning for their own future economic wellbeing.
We would like to formally thank Relationships Australia for their financial support of this project.
Getting it Together - Money Matters
This short course consisted of 25 contact hours delivered in 5 workshops. The workshops were repeated to 3 groups of clients of Youth and Family Services in the Logan and Eagleby area. The workshops, while delivering material on budgeting and savings, also covered behavioural, attitudinal and other issues that impact on money management decision-making. The combination of these factors led to a greater participant involvement and engagement in the process.
The workshops were co-facilitated by Ms Victoria Vyvyan and Dr Mark Brimble, from the centre at the Logan Campus of Griffith University. In addition, sessions were also run by Vicky Leigh from YFS (tenancy) and Lola Mashado, Relationships Australia, (debt and gambling). The sessions concentrated on activity based learning and discussion, with small intervals of information giving.
We would like to formally thank YFS for their financial support of this project.
Improving Financial Independence of Women in the Logan Community through Appropriate Education
The Logan region has a higher than average proportion of people of low socio-economic status, above average of unemployment rates in parts of the region, and a below average of participation rates in higher education (GU Academic Plan 1996). Many of these people are constantly living in a vicious cycle and are ill-equipped to manage their personal financial matters, let alone the more involved process of financial planning for the future.
This project developed a series of weekly workshops for a group of Logan women (through Logan Women's Health Centre) to empower, educate and increase their awareness of financial matters and investments. Women were selected for this project as they are traditionally more dependent on other people and a link between the Centre and the Logan campus already exists. The primary aim was to improve the financial independence of women in the Logan region through appropriate education. This initiative, assisted these women to be more confident in their financial decision-making and planning, and provide them with the necessary basic personal financial management skills to help them in the future.
These workshops were facilitated by a Logan Honours student, project leaders, and volunteer licensed financial planners.
Newspaper articles relating to this project are below:
- Women taking control (PDF 391k) - Albert and Logan News (Logan) 21/05/04
- Budget woes solved (PDF 522k) - Logan West Leader, 19/05/04
We would like to formally thank Griffith University Office of Community Partnerships for their financial support of this project.
Money Skills for Life
Loganlea High School received a small grant to run a financial literacy project for at risk students. LLH sought the assistance of the centre, to conduct a series of workshops for students with the aim of training staff members in the delivery of similar workshops to students in the future.
The workshops focussed on practical exercises and experiences for the students and were facilitated by academic staff of the centre and Relationships Australia.
The content was was developed after consultation with LLH staff and was delivered over four full day workshops over a four week period.
Topics covered included:
- Basic principles of money management and budgeting
- Reinforcement of numeracy skills
- Goal setting
- Expensive money - debt
- Consumer protection
- Money and relationships
- Pathways to earning more - employment, education, small business
The workshops provided an opportunity to research issues connected with young people and money management. This is an important element of determining issues relevant to the various constituent groups in the broad context of financial literacy and financial well-being.
We would like to formally thank Loganlea High School for their financial support of this project.
Griffith International - Focus Group Sessions
We were invited by Griffith International to conduct focus groups with International Students who were completing their degree. The purpose of the focus groups was to explore the financial issues that International Students face while studying at Griffith University. In particular, the objective of this research was to establish the most effective ways in which the University could assist students in regard to their money management while in Australia.