For Australians to become well-educated and financially literate consumers, it is essential that they are taught how to manage their money from a young age. The increased levels of youth debt highlight the importance of financial literacy as an essential life skill.
Teaching sound money management skills involves the whole community, from schools and teachers to parents, businesses and the general community.
- Schools: All state and territory Departments of Education will be required to implement the new Australian Curriculum when it is introduced in schools in their jurisdictions. Catholic and independent schools will be required to do the same. With consumer and financial literacy being included across the learning areas, as well as in general capabilities and the cross-curriculum priorities, this should ensure that all Australian students are exposed to consumer and financial literacy education throughout their schooling.
- Teachers and parents: Teachers and parents play an important role in teaching young people about money matters. This needs to be done in a planned, explicit manner at school, but also in informal “teachable moments” that occur on a daily basis in schools and at home. This will help young people become financially literate consumers capable of full participation in society.
- Business and community: There is a strong commitment to developing consumer and financial literacy in the business sector and general community. Many major banks, financial organisations, not-for-profit organisations and community groups have devoted much time and money to produce resources that can be used by students, teachers and/or parents to help increase the levels of consumer and financial literacy in our community.