Let’s Talk Money

‘Let’s Talk Money’ is an award-winning* financial literacy program that aims to support the economic empowerment of migrant and refugee women living in the northern metropolitan region of Melbourne.

This unique financial literacy program uses a bilingual, peer educator/trainer approach.  WHIN recruits, employs and skills up women from diverse cultural backgrounds to deliver practical, tailored money management workshops to women in their own language and community.

The program has been developed to take action on the gendered drivers of violence against women as identified in Change the Story, Australia’s national framework for preventing violence against women. In particular the program promotes women’s decision making and independence.

*In 2019, ‘Let’s Talk Money’ won the Promoting Gender Equality category of the highly regarded VicHealth Awards for health promotion sponsored by the Victorian Government. The prestigious award recognises the quality and success of the ‘Let’s Talk Money’ program and acknowledges it as a leading example of gender equality work in Victoria.

From left WHIN Health Promotion Manager Sandra Morris, CEO Helen Riseborough, Health Promotion Officers Sadia Khalid and Manasi Wagh-Nikam and VicHealth Chair Fiona McCormack at VicHealth Awards 2019

‘Let’s Talk Money’ workshops delivered by peer educators cover:

  • financial rights and responsibilities
  • budgeting
  • saving
  • banking
  • credit cards and loans
  • debt management
  • legal awareness
  • tenancy rights and responsibilities
  • tax
  • superannuation
  • Centrelink
‘Let’s Talk Money’ peer educators Farah Moualla (left) and Hiba Ayass (centre), with WHIN’s Manasi Wagh-Nikam (right)

Project Aims

The project aims to:

  • Improve the financial literacy and capability of women from migrant and refugee backgrounds
  • Increase women’s inclusion and participation in civic life with sound financial knowledge
  • Break linguistic, cultural and structural barriers to accessing financial knowledge
  • Take action on the gendered drivers of violence against women by promoting women’s financial decision making and independence and challenging gender stereotypes
  • Promote leadership skills in women from migrant and refugee backgrounds.

Why this Project?

Newly-arrived refugee and migrant women face particular barriers to economic participation and security due to:

  • A lack of financial information in their first language and difficulties accessing interpreter services
  • Cultural attitudes to money make accessing and dealing with financial institutions and government income-support agencies difficult
  • Jargon and language used by financial institutions
  • Lack of tailored financial information
  • Social isolation.

Target Groups

Women aged 20 – 60 years, with low English and financial literacy proficiency

Cultural groups: Taiwanese, Chinese, Indian, Punjabi, Nepalese, Syrian, Iraqi, Persian, Somali, Iranian, Pakistani, Tamil, Marathi, and Turkish

Language groups: Arabic, Assyrian, Persian, Urdu, Punjabi, Hindi, Mandarin, Somali, Tamil, Marathi, Sinhalese, Turkish, Dari and Hazaragi

Delivery sites:  2019–2020 — Cities of Hume, Whittlesea, Darebin, Banyule, Yarra, Moreland, and Nillumbik, comprising the northern metropolitan region of Melbourne.

Project Achievements to Date

26 bilingual trainers/peer educators     14 languages spoken
583+ women reached

62 community workshops delivered      2 financial counselling scholarships for bilingual trainers

For more information about the ‘Let’s Talk Money’ project and women’s economic equality see our ‘Let’s Talk Money’ brochure. To request a workshop in your region, see our ‘Let’s Talk Money’ workshop request form.

An independent evaluation report (including evaluation summary document and full report) of ‘Let’s Talk Money’ undertaken in 2018 can be found on our resources page.

‘Let’s Talk Money’ is currently funded by Ecstra Foundation and the Multicultural Affairs and Social Cohesion Division of the Department of Premier and Cabinet Victoria