Winners of inaugural financial literacy awards announced

Winners of inaugural financial literacy awards announced

As part of Global Money Week 2024, Talk Money with Ecstra Foundation has announced the winners of the inaugural Talk Money Financial Literacy in Action Awards, which recognise the efforts of school teachers across Australia to improve financial literacy through innovative education programs.  

Emily Gosbell of Donvale Christian College in Victoria, Peter Tsambalas of Southern Cross Catholic College in New South Wales, and Dan Neven of St Teresa's Catholic College in Queensland, have won this year’s awards.

Dr Tracey West, financial education manager at Ecstra Foundation, congratulated the winners and said she has been impressed by the range of innovative approaches to teaching money management concepts happening in classrooms around Australia.

“We have been encouraged by the response from schools. It is clear to Ecstra that many teachers are striving to teach students life-long lessons about money including important matters such as budgeting for themselves or for a business, understanding fixed and variable costs when selling goods, the importance of saving for emergencies and for the future, and the role of good money management in overall wellbeing. These are essential life skills that will contribute to the success of all Australians and such education is important to offsetting declining rates of financial literacy in Australia,” Dr West said.

Mr Peter Tsambalas, entrepreneurship and enterprise coordinator at Southern Cross Catholic College in Burwood, NSW, said: “By prioritising financial well-being and taking proactive steps to improve financial health, students are learning how to enhance their overall quality of life and achieve greater financial security.”

Mr Tsambalas is incorporating visually engaging presentation slides, financial goals worksheets, and interactive money management activities into his education program, which won an award. His lesson objectives include students learning careful budgeting, prudent debt management, saving and investing for the future, and ongoing financial education.

“Students are encouraged to think about the importance of long-term financial planning and seek support from trusted sources such as ASIC’s Moneysmart website when they need to address financial challenges or make complex financial decisions,” he said.

“I have incorporated interactive activities where students allocate hypothetical income towards various expenses to understand budgeting principles. I’m also engaging students in a savings challenge where they compete to save a certain amount of money over a specified period. I have also introduced an investment game where students can learn about basic investment concepts such as compound interest, superannuation, and participate in an ASX share market game.”

Emily Gosbell of Donvale Christian College in Donvale, Vic, has taken a different approach and has encouraged Year 10 students to run a coffee cart business over a semester.

“Students use real-world information to work out the costs associated with making a small and a large coffee, then determine the markup needed to make money, including how to work out how much to charge for alternate milks and extra shots of coffee. We have 20 students who applied to work in the company in a department. We have students appoint financial specialists, marketing coordinators, human resources coordinators and operations leaders, so they can better understand what is required to run a business,” she said

Dan Neven of St Teresa's Catholic College in Noosaville, Qld, is teaching students to create and launch their first business over a semester program.

“Students learn to launch a business, make sales, and how to make a profit. Budgeting was a major component in teaching entrepreneurial financial concepts,” he said.

The awards announcement comes as part of Global Money Week (GMW) from 18 to 24 March 2024. Global Money Week (GMW) is an annual global campaign raising awareness of the importance of financial literacy to ensure young people are financially aware and are allowed to acquire the knowledge, skills attitudes and behaviours necessary to make sound financial decisions and ultimately achieve financial well-being and financial resilience.

Ecstra Foundation is an independent charitable foundation that launched the Talk Money program in February 2022 in response to the financial education gap in Australian schools. The in-classroom workshops teach foundational money lessons and are interactive to encourage students to ask questions.

The above article originally appeared as a media release from Ecstra Foundation.