Peter Costello

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School Trade Fair Teaches Students about Financial Literacy



The Treasurer today officially opened the Life Skills Technology Quest and Trade Fair in Maitland in the Hunter Valley of New South Wales.  At the Fair 600 local school students used a new ‘currency’ – the Mutual to take part in three technology quests. 

The Mutual is used by students at seven schools in the Hunter and Central Coast region and one in south-west Sydney.

The currency’s use is part of a financial literacy programme in which the Mutual takes students back to a pre-plastic era, teaching them the value of money; how to plan, save and set goals; how to bank and fill out financial forms; how to budget and earn interest; and the value of their cash as an acceptable medium of exchange for goods and services in school and local businesses.

Students earn Mutuals in return for proof of environmental activities they or their family have undertaken, such as bringing in a European carp or the energy use rating tag from whitegoods.

At today’s event, the students took part in a combination of three technology quests, each of which has a trading component.  The students used their savings and the Mutual to purchase materials they needed for the construction of environmentally friendly cubby houses, water features and motorised cars.

The fair is an innovative approach to enterprise education and the teaching of financial literacy, providing students with a good, practical understanding of money; how to set goals, save and budget; and how the world of business works. 

I look forward to the day when financial literacy education is part of the school experience of all young Australians.

One of the key achievements of the Government’s Financial Literacy Foundation over the last 12 months has been to work with the States and Territories, the Catholic School System and the Independent schools to produce a National Curriculum Framework for Financial Literacy in schools for years 3, 5, 7 and 9. 

This means for the first time, nationally agreed standards will be adopted in 2008 so all school children will have the opportunity to build an understanding of how to responsibly handle money.

26 September 2006


Renae Stoikos
0418 568 434

29 Sep 2006

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