Gomeroi Culture Academy students are bringing community-oriented ideas to the world of business and finance, with guidance from a Sydney-based education provider.
The Sydney School of Entrepreneurship (SSE) delivered a program designed to improve the students' financial literacy, imparting skills such as budgeting, innovative problem solving, and understanding the Australian financial system.
Students were also encouraged to come up with ideas for starting their own businesses or side hustles, something they said would help not only them, but their communities.
"Finding out how to try to start my own business is really helpful because I've been looking into it with my family to try and help get more money and help out my family and friends. It's really important right now since money's really tight for us," academy alumni Perprikka Hamilton said.
Sixteen Gomeroi students aged 12 to 24 were instructed by SSE's Patricia Martin, who has worked with more than 35,000 students on their career strategies.
"What was really great to see was that even though it's an entrepreneurial program, every business created had a focus on community or social outcomes, and a lot of cultural business ... It was purpose and profit, purpose being foremost," Ms Martin said.
Over the two-day intensive workshop, students pitched ideas for various community-focused businesses, ranging from social connectivity companies to mental health services, among others.
Ms Martin said she was excited to see the students bring a community approach to the program SSE designed in partnership with local entrepreneur, Kayleb Waters-Sampson.
"When you have more traditional entrepreneurship programs it's very individualistic, but it was great to have connection and collaboration between the students, and what started as a group stayed as a group," Ms Martin said.
At the end of the program, students were awarded with both a physical and digital certificate to add to their CVs and LinkedIn profiles.
Gomeroi Culture Academy director Marc Sutherland said being approached by SSE to deliver the program was an encouraging sign of growth, both for the academy and for the next generation of leaders.
"To be able to partner with the Sydney School of Entrepreneurship to provide this level of access to financial literacy, the importance of money management, budgeting, tax, super, starting up your own business, to be able to give young people access to that quality information has been fantastic," Mr Sutherland said.
The academy recently took in its biggest class yet, and alumni from previous years say they are excited to explore the doors their cultural and financial education will bring them.
"Finding out more info about what we can do to try to pursue our dreams is really important to us," Ms Hamilton said.
Article written by Jonathan Hawes and originally published in The Northern Daily Leader.