Tackling financial abuse a key focus
Initiatives to combat the financial abuse of women were among the winners of this year’s Financial Literacy Australia Awards.
According to research by Good Shepherd Microfinance, 8 in 10 women who experience family violence also experience financial abuse, such as withholding money, refusing to contribute to the family or running up debts in a partner’s name.
With efforts to address family violence now firmly on the national agenda, the awards recognised two projects that address the complex issue of financial abuse:
- Good Shepherd Microfinance ‘Women & Money: an introduction to financial abuse’ – Outstanding Achievement Award for targeted financial literacy program
- WIRE Women’s Information ‘Relationship Problems & Money’ – Outstanding Achievement Award for research
Good Shepherd Microfinance developed an online training program that equips microfinance counsellors, frontline staff and volunteers to identify financial abuse among clients and refer them to support services.
WIRE Women’s Information approached the issue by seeking to better understand the barriers women face to building financial independence after leaving an abusive relationship.
“This research formed the basis of a training program for financial practitioners and support services, a submission to the Victorian Royal Commission on Family Violence and a booklet for women who are facing financial abuse. This booklet is now WIRE’s most widely requested resource,” Rebecca Glenn, CEO, Financial Literacy Australia said.
Financial literacy helping migrant women
Another award winner focused on empowering refugee and migrant women through financial literacy. Melbourne-based Women’s Health in the North (WHIN) found that its program to help women start small businesses was held back by their lack of basic financial skills.
“Managing Money: Every Woman’s Business teaches topics such as budgeting and saving, in a visual, engaging and culturally sensitive way. WHIN has held several ‘Train the Trainer’ sessions for the modules, shared the resource with other community organisations and seen over 400 migrant women participate in workshops,” Ms Glenn said.
Corporate and government campaigns recognised
The awards also recognised the work of the corporate sector, with ANZ receiving two awards including an Award in the research category for a meta-evaluation of the Saver Plus program, which provides education, personal coaching and matched funds of up to $500 savings for low-income families. The study included a valuation on the social return on investment.
“The results demonstrated the long-term benefits for participants included increased financial capabilities, levels of financial self-efficacy, financial resilience and improved personal and social wellbeing. It’s an important validation of the work that we know, anecdotally, makes such a big difference to families in Australia,” Ms Glenn said.
The Australian Taxation Office was awarded for its innovative approach to targeting young people to reduce multiple super accounts. The campaign used animated video, infographics, paid media and social media, and PR, to encourage young people to engage with their super. It saw a 35% uplift in the target audience checking their balances and 17% consolidating their accounts.
“The winning entries were creative and considered, with a strong focus on evidence and research to ensure they get results,” said Ms Glenn.
“Increasing the financial literacy of all Australians has benefits for both individuals and the broader economy. However, different groups have different needs, which is why it’s important to have a diverse range of initiatives led by government, community and commercial organisations. The Financial Literacy Awards prove that this model is working well and delivering real results.”
Full list of award winners
|ANZ Group||Outstanding Achievement||MoneyMinded Online||Large Program|
|Horizon Credit Union||Highly Commended||Two Bob Billabong and Savings Squad||Small Program|
|First Nations Foundation||Highly Commended||Big Super Koori Day Out||Small Program|
|ATO||Highly Commended||Young workers multiple super accounts campaign||Targeted Program|
|Good Shepherd Microfinance||Outstanding Achievement||Women and Money: An introduction to financial abuse.||Targeted Program|
|Women’s Health in the North||Highly Commended||Managing Money: Every woman’s business||Resource|
|WIRE Information||Outstanding Achievement||Relationship Problems and Money||Research|
|Good Shepherd Microfinance||Outstanding Achievement||Life Changing Chats||Research|
|ANZ Group and Brotherhood of St Laurence||Outstanding Achievement||Saver Plus: A decade of impact||Research|