Financial Literacy: A Vital Skill For Our Students

In today’s world of increasingly complex financial decisions, financial literacy is considered a vital skill for all consumers, so it is timely to have Future10 included in the Year 10 program. The topics are topical, stimulating and linked to practical, real-life experiences that students can relate to. The program engages the students’ interest in the importance of having the financial know-how to manage future monetary decisions.

Future10 is designed specifically for our Year 10 students about to embark on part-time work and looking forward to tertiary study at university, TAFE studies and the workforce. Providing financial literacy education gives our students the ability to make informed judgments and effective decisions regarding the use and management of their money.

The three-day program engaged the students in keynote presentations about financial independence, empowering women, creating your own way, and money matters. 

A variety of workshops delivered by Santa Maria staff focused on smart earning and smart spending. Budgeting and workplace issues such as pay scales, tax, superannuation, fair work and worker’s rights, investment strategies and consumer debt were addressed.

Principal Jennifer Oaten and Director of Corporate Services Tim Stewart engaged the students in a hands-on exploration of what a ‘Future School’ might look like. Campus maps were provided, and students highlighted their vision on the map of a future Santa Maria campus. This was enhanced by a video reveal of the planned new build, which caused great excitement amongst the students. Financial aspects of running the College were addressed, and students were amazed at some of the facts and figures presented. The presentation was engaging, and students voiced their opinions on a range of exciting possibilities for the future of our campus.

Going Green as a Teen covered the issue of fair-trade chocolate and investigated slave labour and the sustainable development of a much-loved chocolate industry.

The RAC presented in the session How to Buy a Car and looked at the aspects of form and function to consider when making a purchase.

Elizabeth Knight from Purposeful presented a series of workshops titled Design Your Own Vision. This looked at finding your passion, having a guiding set of principles to live by and setting life goals for study and career choices.

Antoinette Raphael (2014), an ex-Santa Maria student, spoke about her fashion design business RAW WAR and how it has evolved into an internet-driven successful business.

Wellbeing activities rounded out the program, with students enjoying activities such as African drumming, yoga, meditation, and a weaving activity called Reclaiming the Void and Santa Maria’s own version of Monopoly ‘Santopoly’.

What did the girls think?

My favourite session was the African drumming because of the light-hearted atmosphere and the African drumming culture we learnt about. It was a good way for all of us to relax and have some fun to finish off the year. We valued Martin Philips as he encouraged us to find different ways to create music and rhythm. Lana Fitzgerald and Mia Gault.

Design Your Own Vision was an excellent seminar that enabled us to clearly establish both our professional and personal ambitions. It was well-planned and engaging, allowing us to participate better in the issues discussed. This program accommodated all learning types, and the speakers were captivating, contributing to an overall outstanding experience throughout our Future10 Program. Sarah Della Bona and Alexia Pynes 

The session we most enjoyed was Going Green as a Teen. The session focused on the ethical and sustainable creation of chocolate. We learnt about slave labour and the immoral practices many large chocolate factories commit to. The session allowed us to better understand the importance of purchasing and supporting chocolate companies with good practices. It was an engaging activity that taught us how to apply our knowledge about ethical production to our everyday lives. Caroline Loach and Niamh Le Ray   

I found the Smart Earning session very intriguing and important for life. What we learnt we can apply in the real world once we graduate and get a job, something we don’t always get taught in school. We learnt about national employment standards, worker’s rights, annual leave, and awards. I found the lesson interesting because it made clearer the terms of the ‘adult world’ and what we are entitled to as employees. What we learnt is also useful for us as teenagers as many of us are now getting jobs. I thoroughly enjoyed our class discussions as we all contributed insightful questions. Overall, I took so much away from the Smart Earning session and really enjoyed it! Myah Waldock 

The session I thought was the most beneficial and interesting was Smart Spending, presented by Mrs Sly. It gave us as a view of what budgeting is like out of school, how we should not spend more than we have, and how we can benefit from bank accounts and credit cards if we use them correctly. We discussed budgeting for our Year 12 ball and found how hard it was to have all we needed within a certain limit. We valued its importance and the educational aspects that we can use in everyday life.  
Jessica Buck and Amity Sweeting 

Grace Mugabe was an empowering womens’ rights speaker who educated us on how we should be treated in the workplace in comparison to how women are often treated. She was very informative and had a lot of statistics and data points about the topic to ensure we got the most out of the session. Grace encouraged us to collaborate and contribute to the session by asking questions and giving us discussion topics. Overall, she was a very inspiring speaker, and we all took a lot away from her session. Montana Knight

The session I most enjoyed was the Waste Warrior’s activity with Ms Priest. During this session, we learnt about the importance of putting waste in the correct type of bin. We learnt about the College’s bin system and what happens to the waste after it is taken away. Ms Priest taught us about the effects and consequences of putting the wrong type of waste in a bin. It was very eye-opening as we found out that a single piece of incorrect rubbish can contaminate an entire bin. This contamination can lead to landfill and damage to our climate. Overall, it was a very engaging activity that educated us on the importance of recycling and sustainability. Caroline Loach  

Future10 is a financial literacy program for Year 10 students and falls under the umbrella of our emPower Program.


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