65,000 Australian students sit national money & finance skills assessment today

15 August 2006

The financial and money management skills of Australian youth will be tested today when 65,000 students sit the Australian Financial Literacy Assessment (AFLA).

The Commonwealth Bank Foundation initiative, in partnership with Educational Assessment Australia, will see year 9 and 10 students in all states and territories undertake the hour long test.

Ralph Norris, CEO of the Commonwealth Bank and Chairman of the Commonwealth Bank Foundation said educating youth about money was the responsibility of all Australians.

"I urge parents, Government, business and education sectors to tackle the financial literacy of young Australians head on. Our nation’s young people deserve the resources to enable them to understand money and how to manage it."

"Now in its second year, AFLA aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the financial capabilities of Australian students in years 9 and 10 which, in turn, will help identify areas for improvement and what resources are needed to address these," said Mr Norris.

Last year’s AFLA Assessment Report uncovered some alarming findings such as a third to half of all students lacked some basic skills in understanding financial matters such as reading a bank statement and using an ATM.

"Last year’s AFLA revealed that whilst our youth are seasoned consumers, they have only moderate financial understanding and competence."

"The onus is on all of us to ensure that young Australians are well educated in money management, not only their own futures, but for the future of Australia."

Associate Professor Peter Knapp, Director of Educational Assessment Australia said that AFLA is a valuable diagnostic assessment designed to assist teachers identify individual student’s strengths and weaknesses in financial literacy.

"The AFLA online reports help teachers to target the appropriate teaching resources provided online by the Commonwealth Bank Foundation’s Financial Literacy Curriculum Resource."

The results from AFLA 2006 will be available later this year.



Notes to Editors

About the Commonwealth Bank Foundation

The Commonwealth Bank Foundation is a visionary leader in the area of financial literacy and is working to tackle the issues that have arisen from AFLA. It is capitalised with a $70 million contribution from the Bank. The income stream from this capital supports the Foundation's activities.

As a key part of the assessment program the Foundation has established an online resource for all schools. The Commonwealth Bank Foundation’s Financial Literacy Curriculum Resource provides teachers with the opportunity to address specific weaknesses and strengths in their students’ learning with tailored teaching tools.

This is in addition to the comprehensive education sector programs such as e-Learning Grants for primary students and Financial Literacy Grants for high school students, which the Foundation has put in place in partnership with education groups, authorities and teaching associations across Australia.

About Educational Assessment Australia

Educational Assessment Australia (EAA) is a leading national and international educational assessment organisation, specialising in large-scale assessment programs in Australia, New Zealand, Asia, India and the Pacific region. EAA is a not-for-profit organisation owned wholly by the University of New South Wales.


For more information contact:

Bryan Fitzgerald
General Manager, Media and Issues Management
Commonwealth Bank
Phone: (02) 9378 2663
Mob: 0414 789 649
Email: fitzgeb@cba.com.au