In March/April 2021 Manna Gum Community House delivered a free Financial Wellbeing for Women course (SARA) to eight participants from the Corner Inlet area.
The financial literacy course delivered by women for women could not have come at a better time given the current COVID-19 economic climate.
On completion of the course 86% of participants reported change on several key issues including being comfortable to talk about money issues; taking control in decisions about money and having enough knowledge to make good decisions about money.
Learn Local providers collaborated across Gippsland and also delivered the program in Paynesville and Heyfield.
The unique course, developed by the Skilled, Aware, Resourceful, Active (SARA) program from the Women’s Information Referral Exchange (WIRE) and funded by the Department of Education, covers a range of topics and supports women to learn useful tips about managing their money and setting realistic goals to assist with greater financial wellbeing.
The women only course was delivered in a safe and relaxed environment over a 10 week period. Two trained educators deliver the course – an adult education specialist and a counselling psychologist.
One of the strengths of the course is that a Learn Local environment is relaxed, informal and very supportive, and with small class numbers women are able to connect with each other. Onsite child supervision for pre-schoolers was available through the generous support of the Prom Coast Centres for Children.
Manna Gum adult educators also provide one-on-one support and follow up sessions to assist participants with further education and employment pathways advice. Strong partnerships with local community support services enable participants to have wrap-around support if required.
Topics of the Financial Wellbeing for Women course include;
- Where to go for interest free loans
- Meeting the costs of schooling
- Where to get the best deals on electricity
- Managing debts
- Connecting participants with a Financial Counsellor
Manna Gum Community House in Foster participated in the pilot of this course in 2019, and has a strong commitment to continue the program in 2022, although it will no longer be funded by Learn Local.