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Be MoneySmart this week with award winning financial literacy program, 'Milba Djunga'

7 Sep 2012

Pauline Kent, Indigenous teacher and head of curriculum from the Yarrabah State School near Cairns has received an outstanding achievement award for her innovative financial literacy program, Milba Djunga in the 2012 MoneySmart Week awards announced this week.

Milba Djunga, which means ‘smart money’ in the Yidnji language is a hands-on financial literacy program that engages young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in consumer situations and real-life money management in a very practical way.

Students participating in the program are allocated a 'job’ and their pay slips are worked out according to how well they carry out their duties at school as well as how often they attend class.

Students sign on and off at the beginning and end of each day and they get bonuses for completing work and good behaviour. Their pay is docked for not attending, not being on task or for displaying poor behaviour.

Every fortnight participants attend a 'market day', where they can 'pay their bills', spend their money at the 'local store' and save any left over money by depositing it in 'the bank'. In this way they learn about paying regularly for essentials like electricity, housing and food, or saving up for the things they want, like TVs and iPods.

Pauline said that the Milba Djunga program has helped increase school attendance and empowers students with valuable knowledge that is needed to enter the work force.

Milba Djunga has also been developed into an interactive website through a partnership between Education Queensland's Indigenous Schooling Support Unit and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

The website has a range of resources for teachers as well as engaging online learning objects for students.

The online program is made of two units:

1.Do I want it? Do I need it? How do I get it? – for primary school students

2. How can I start my own business? – Targeted at secondary school students

Find out more

Become smart with your money and check out the Milba Djunga interactive website

MoneySmart Week is designed to encourage Australians to take a close look at their everyday money managemen supported by the Australian Government. It is an independent not-for-profit initiative involving over 100 organisations from the private, public and community sectors

The MoneySmart Week Awards recognise individuals and organisations who have advanced financial literacy across four categories: School, workplaces, community, research Schools.

MoneySmart is an initiative of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) to help people make smart choices about their personal finances. You can visit the MoneySmart website at or join the discussions on Facebook and Twitter.

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