Newslines Radio: Money business
- Nathan Ramsay
- Money Management workers:
Nikki Newman, Mt Morgan, QLD
Natalie Stevenson, Hobart, TAS
Derek Councillor, Geraldton, WA
Danielle Riley, Kempsey, NSW
PRESENTER: Hi, I’m Nathan Ramsay and you’re listening to Newslines Radio, a weekly program produced by the Australian Government on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander issues.
This week we’re taking a look at some of the information and education that’s being provided to help our people manage their money.
Unfortunately it’s a well-known fact that our mob are among the most economically disadvantaged in Australia, so money management is really important for us.
It’s about getting the basics right … getting access to essential banking services and building our confidence about how to manage our money.
And there are some pretty interesting ways of teaching people how to manage their money.
Here is an example of how the Australian Securities and Investments Commission or ASIC are encouraging Indigenous people to make good money decisions through audio segments on their MoneySmart website.
ASIC AUDIO: Alison: Oh Auntie as soon as my money comes in, it all goes out again. I always feel behind and I’m always having to borrow off you to get by.
Auntie: Alison, you gotta make a budget, so you know what’s coming in and what’s going out. Maybe when you do that, you’ll find that you can save money and stop humbugging me.
Auntie: A budget will show you how much money you’re getting paid and how much you’re spending on food, rent and bills.
And, that’s just for starters!
Alison: Well …can you help me start a budget Auntie?
Auntie: Sure I can. And I know where we can get some great budgeting tips.
For lots of great money tips check out the MoneySmart website.
PRESENTER: Newslines’ Trevor Ellis spoke to some Money Management workers at a workshop in Alice Springs recently to find out how they’re working within our communities to develop money management skills.
The services offered by these Money Management workers are voluntary, confidential and free and the education and information they offer is helping people make better decisions.
People are learning about things such as budgeting, planning and setting goals, opening bank accounts, using credit cards, accessing technology like ATMs and phone and internet banking and understanding our rights and responsibilities as consumers.
One of those just starting out as a trainee money manager is Nikki Newman who is based in Mt Morgan, just outside of Rockhampton in North Queensland.
Being young and having gone through some of the same problems as her clients, Nikki can relate to them on a personal level.
NEWMAN: My role will be as a Money Management worker and that will be to assist people in taking control of their finances, understanding how to use their money, reach savings targets and to make wise financial decisions.
I think it is a necessity in today’s society just to have financial literacy, so it’s the basis of everything. For example, in order to have financial understanding it has a lot of flow on effects, like you need to manage money to afford housing, essential services and if that falls down it can come back with a lot of relationship and family issues, so money is a very important factor in everyone’s lives, even if they don’t particularly place a value on it.
ELLIS: And what’s your motivation, what made you want to go into this area?
NEWMAN: For starters I just want to help people and to be able to make a positive influence on their lives. Being young I have actually have had a lot of financial struggles growing up and also as a young adult I can relate to them.
So I know how it feels when you don’t have any money or when families struggle to be able to afford to have something so I can relate to them on a personal level.
ELLIS: How important is that engagement with the people, with the communities?
NEWMAN: I think it is important, they do need to have trust with you and you need to be able to understand where they are coming from. It’s one thing to just preach what you think they should be doing but you need to understand that everyone is coming from a different background and appreciate their background and where they are coming from and what their needs and values are as well.
ELLIS: And finally your advice to people about money management.
NEWMAN: Anyone can need financial help, you know, don’t think it’s for people on low incomes. Everyone can benefit from learning more about how to better control their money and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
PRESENTER: That was Nikki Newman speaking to Trevor Ellis.
Natalie Stevenson, who is originally from Queensland, also works to help people with their finances. She’s with the Salvation Army in Hobart now.
Here’s Trevor again. He asked Natalie what she sees as the big issues for young people managing money.
STEVENSON: To stop the intergenerational poverty I see as a very strong critical issue, so what I have started to do is to work with youth, children students in order to teach them about starting to budget, the importance of saving, the importance of money, what that’s all about. Because a lot of kids won’t have seen that happen with their families and the importance of money.
ELLIS: And how do you get the message across?
STEVENSON: Over a period of time undertaking different workshops with them covering different issues. Saving, what’s that? Money, how do you get it, where does it come from?
So that’s done over a period of time at their levels, so that if they have got questions you are answering those, bringing back information to them.
Also working with young mums in the area who are still living at home but have children, so again it’s looking at budgeting, savings and tenancy issues.
PRESENTER: Hi I’m Nathan Ramsay and you’re listening to Newslines Radio. Today we are looking at what’s involved in us learning and developing skills to manage our money better.
Trevor Ellis caught up with another Money Management worker, Derek Councillor, a Yamatji man from Western Australia. Derek talks from his own experience when he is helping people learn how to manage money.
COUNCILLOR: Part of my role of my job is doing budgets. I do a lot of community workshops as well. We also travel as far as Meekatharra, some 600 k’s away and we deliver workshops out there as well.
ELLIS: Just tell me about the workshops that you deliver. What are they all about?
COUNCILLOR: We try and make it family friendly, friendly for CDEP blokes that get sent there. We do up a bit of a mock budget and as we do it up we ask, “alright, what are you going to spend your money on this week?”. And we add it all on to the budget.
And then we sort of let them see that a lot of money’s been spent in this area and maybe a little bit more needs to be spent over in this little area over here and more on food or something like that.
We just give them a little bit of insight into budgeting and make it work for them and, if they’ve got a little family, work for them and their family.
ELLIS: Is it something you’ve experienced and your family’s experienced as well? I suppose we all have in terms of budgeting.
COUNCILLOR: Yeah, I’m the worst culprit. I never used to budget until I came to Money Management. I’ve had to set up myself a budget so that when talking with my countrymen I’m sort of practising what I preach.
If I’ve got a budget and I show them how my budget works at my home, then they can see “oh it must be working for him; maybe we’ll give it a go as well”.
ELLIS: Do you find that happens with your family as well? Do you push that on to them as well?
COUNCILLOR: Yeah I’m forever drilling it into my family, especially my brothers. They see the importance to it now, whereas before, last year, never ever thought about budgeting so much.
ELLIS: And what’s your advice just on telling people, telling communities about the importance of budgeting and money management?
COUNCILLOR: The importance of it is if you’re struggling financially, it’s no shame to go and ask for help. That’s what we’re there for. Even if you just want a quick five minute talk with us, that’ll work. Once you make your mind up a bit more, we’re approachable in all areas that we work in.
ELLIS: This conference has been here for a couple of days, all people from all different areas doing the same job. Is it good to get together and chat and find out, I’ve got this problem, and work things out?
COUNCILLOR: Yes, yes the networking around this is good because now we can network right around Australia. If something’s not working over in WA we’ll get in contact with Queensland or Northern Territory and say “we’ve got this problem and how do you deal with it over there?”. Their ideas that they have over there might work for us as well. That’s how we exchange ideas, just by networking with other Money Management workers.
PRESENTER: Danielle Riley was another person Newslines spoke to at the Money Management Workshop in Alice Springs.
Born and bred in Coffs-Harbour, Danielle now works advising people how to manage financially in Kempsey in New South Wales.
Danielle told Trevor that she loves her job and the fact that she is able to help both Indigenous and non-Indigenous people sort out their money problems.
RILEY: We come in as educators just to help them get a better understanding on how they are to handle their money or which way they would like to handle their money and how they can save for goals. Some people have never been taught on how to save for simple things. This is just a step in that I go out there in the workshops to show my clients how to take them steps, and just small steps, and hopefully gradually go to bigger steps and bigger goals.
ELLIS: Was it a learning curve for you as well, going through this?
RILEY: It was and I think it still is. And that’s what I love about it. Even though I do have a sense and I love the fact that I can save now, I can put money away and I can focus on a certain goal, I also know what it’s like to be able to change yourself as an individual to be able to do that.
ELLIS: And your motivation, what do you get out of it in terms of what you do?
RILEY: I love the fact that I feel good about it. I love the fact that it’s making a change for my community, and not just my Indigenous community but the community as a whole that I live in.
It’s making a change for myself as an individual and my family, especially my young son and my young daughter.
I want them to be able to have that opportunity and that chance to know that their sacrifices and the money that they earn, that there’s got to be wise ways of using that. And I just love the fact of being able to help my people.
PRESENTER: These Money Management workers are really talking from experience aren’t they and it seems to be working.
If you want find out how you can get better at managing your money and what Australian Government help is available, visit our website indigenous.gov.au.
You can also follow Closing the Gap on Twitter and become a Newslines Facebook friend as well.
I’m Nathan Ramsay, catch you next time.