Early this month WIRE, in collaboration with Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand (GSANZ), launched Money Management Programs, a centralised web resource for finding free, relevant and timely money management programs.
We were fortunate enough to catch up with Catherine Connolly, Project Manager for the Women’s Financial Capabilities Project at WIRE (amongst other roles!) to find out more about this fantastic pilot project.
1. How did you come to work in this sector and what is your role at WIRE?
I have worked across a variety of gender equality roles in State and Local Government, not-for-profits, and consultancy in Naarm (Melbourne), and also feminist focused projects in the arts.
I am lucky enough to have two roles at WIRE, as Project Manager for the Women’s Financial Capabilities Project and the Gender, Disaster and Financial Capability Project.
2. Can you briefly explain what the Money Management Programs resource is?
As part of the Women’s Financial Capabilities Project, WIRE worked with GSANZ to launch Money Management Programs web resource on ASIC’s Money Smart webpage. It is a centralised web resource for finding free, relevant and timely money management programs, for both individuals or referring professionals.
The Money Management Programs web resource is featured on ASIC’s MoneySmart website, and on it you can:
- Find current and upcoming money management programs near you or your client
- Browse by topics, delivery style and/ or specialist areas including financial abuse, bilingual educators, and accessibility
- Join face-to-face or online learning options
The web resource will be updated every month to reflect any changes to feature programs, and to include new programs.
3. How did it come into being; how was the need identified and the resource developed?
The web resource was created in response to overwhelming feedback during part of Women’s Financial Capabilities Project’s co-design process. We heard from both referring organisations and individual users about the lack of a central hub with up-to-date information on relevant financial education programs. The web resource is designed to create greater access and ease of referrals to available and well evaluated financial education programs.
4. Which part of the Money Management Programs resource are you most proud of? Were there any challenges in developing and launching it?
I am most pleased that there is a mainstream tool that offers free and relevant money management programs to people when they need them, with a focus on programs that have been well evaluated as best practice for a diverse range of women, as well as programs for all genders.
5. How do you envision financial counsellors and the broader sector will engage with the site? Is there anything we should know when referring clients or the public to the resource?
This is a tool professionals can use to research what programs might be best suitable for clients, and to find timely money management education with specialised focus and skills – for example, programs that are family violence and trauma informed, or have bi-lingual options. The web resource links you straight through with how to enrol in a chosen program.
The web recourse was tested with both our professional co-design participants and individual users, so we think you will find it easy to use.
6. What has the feedback been so far? Any good news stories?
We have had some great feedback so far – with financial capability programs offerings changing often due to funding, people have been relieved to have a central place to find what it currently being offered. My best feedback was from a bushfire recovery case manager, who when I told them about the resource, exclaimed ‘Catherine, this is just what I have been looking for!’ This to me means it is doing its job of taking some of the work and confusion out of finding money management skills programs when you or your client need them.
Thank you so much to Catherine at WIRE for taking the time to walk us through this new resource.