Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Improving financial literacy in Indigenous communities

Joint Media Release with:

  • Jenny Macklin MP, Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs

  • Julie Collins MP, Parliamentary Secretary for Community Services

More than 17,000 Indigenous Australians living in remote communities have been supported to help manage their money through a joint Australian Government and ANZ bank initiative that is marking its five year anniversary today.

MoneyBusiness has helped Indigenous families and individuals with budgeting, saving and making informed financial decisions.

It was developed in consultation with Indigenous people and designed specifically to address local financial issues in remote and regional Australia.

In most cases local Indigenous people employed by community organisations deliver the service one-on-one, in family groups or in community workshops.

In one example, a Northern Territory man had been considering a costly car loan before he attended a MoneyBusiness workshop on “making your money last until payday”.

The workshop helped him set up a family budget which identified that the loan would cost him more than he could afford to repay with his current spending.

He decided not to apply for the loan and with his new family budget in place he was able to save for part of the cost of the car and subsequently take out a loan with reduced repayments.

MoneyBusiness was first piloted in 2005 in Katherine, Tennant Creek, Nguiu (Tiwi Islands) and Galiwinku (Elcho Island) in the Northern Territory, and Geraldton and Kununurra in Western Australia.

It is now delivered by more than 120 workers in 215 remote sites in the NT, WA and Queensland; 72 per cent of these workers are Indigenous.

MoneyBusiness includes nine education workshops on issues such as planning for the future, making money last until payday and tenancy agreements and makes learning enjoyable with large picture prompt cards, a board game, and DVDs.

The life size edition of the board game has been particularly successful in engaging young children in schools.

The Australian Government has invested $356,000 in the MoneyBusiness education tool over five years.