In 2018/19 the Good Shepherd Microfinance (GSM) Program Design and Advisory team facilitated 25 financial capability workshops throughout Victoria. Funded by the Victorian Government, the workshops were developed and delivered using a community development approach where a partnership was formed between GSM and a local agency who hosted the workshop. The workshops helped to build financial inclusion by strengthening the financial capacity and resilience of five target cohorts: women, people from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds, CALD youth, people living on a low income and people living in an emergency risk area.
Topics ranged from how to budget and make a low income stretch further and how to reduce energy use, to getting a better deal on insurance, and understanding how our individual money stories impact our money decisions. An in-depth evaluation, which included interviews with participants one month after they attended the workshop, demonstrates that the workshops did indeed strengthen the financial knowledge and skills of participants and local host agencies.
In order to keep on building the financial capacity of organisations and individuals, all of the workshop materials are soon to be made available free of charge under a creative commons licence. The materials contain a facilitator’s guide, presentation slides, and participant handouts, enabling groups to facilitate financial capability workshops in their communities.
Quotes from Participants
“It was good to understand my weaknesses and strengths. It was a morale booster to get together with others, to find someone who is out there to help us”
“I just think it’s given me a little bit more armour. I kind of know what I’m looking for more now.”
“We are in such a good position now that we can get married; we’ve been engaged for 10 years but it never felt like the money was buildable.”
I’ve had a pension card for years but never realised what it could do. It reduced power bill by $300.
Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash