The Commonwealth Bank announces financial life-skills and online learning support for young Australians

31 January 2002

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia today announced an education program to help develop financial life-skills and support online learning among young Australians.

In 2002, the Bank will launch a financial education website, a new e-learning awards program and a major e-learning report as well as sponsor a range of education programs targeting financial literacy and online learning.

Central to the program is the Dollars and Sense website to be launched in mid-2002. Dollars and Sense will help teenagers and young adults (14 – 21 years) develop sound financial life skills at a crucial period in their lives. The site will provide financial information through appealing interactive scenario-based activities.

The Managing Director of the Commonwealth Bank, Mr David Murray, said that today’s announcement represented a ground-breaking investment in preparing youth for the future.

"Creating a more secure and financially sustainable Australia requires a commitment to a more sophisticated approach to educating young people about how they manage and build wealth," Mr Murray said.

"Through this new program we want to help give young Australians the confidence and knowledge that comes with controlling their money and working towards achieving their financial goals."

Dollars and Sense will be the first financial education site designed to support classroom activities and meet requirements of the Year 10 – 12 Mathematics and Business/Commerce curriculums of all States and territories.

Advisers from all State and territory education systems are providing curriculum assistance to ensure Dollars and Sense is useful for classroom teachers in secondary schools across the country. The website, which will provide information on savings and investment and practical assistance in money management, will be accessible directly at its own internet address or through the Commonwealth Bank site.

The Commonwealth Bank e-Learning Awards will also be launched during 2002 with the successful schools being announced during National Literacy and Numeracy Week in September 2002.

During the first school term this year, primary schools throughout Australia will have the opportunity to apply for a $5,000 Commonwealth Bank e-Learning Award to improve literacy or numeracy skills through e-learning programs in their school. A total of 70 awards will be available across Australia.

This year, the Bank will also support the release of a major study of e-learning in Australia by Dr Dale Spender (co-authored by Dr Fiona Stewart) and establish the Commonwealth Bank Youth Advisory Group to have input into the Bank’s education programs. It is also a sponsor of the National Youth Week 2002 DesignIT competition, Macquarie Business Mathematics Competition and NSW Government e-Summer Schools program.

The initiatives outlined today build on the Commonwealth Bank’s long history of supporting education in the Australian community through programs such as School Banking and are designed to reflect the more complex environment in which young people now manage their money.

Further details about each program will be available throughout the year.