Financial literacy creating lasting impact in regional NSW

2 min read

Financial literacy creating lasting impact in regional NSW

Financial literacy creating lasting impact in regional NSW
Financial literacy creating lasting impact in regional NSW

Invest in Yourself: Exploring Money and Self-Employment is an SSE signature program. Co-designed and delivered with local partners and mentors ‘in place’, the program blends financial literacy and entrepreneurship for a diverse range of learners.

It focuses on increasing participants’ confidence in and knowledge of financial literacy, freelance work, entrepreneurship, and working remotely, with the overall aim of broadening their scope of employment (and self-employment) opportunities and future pathways.

Throughout 2023 and into early 2024, SSE delivered its signature Invest in Yourself program to diverse cohorts of Aboriginal young people and historically culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities in almost a dozen regional NSW communities.

Historically, Aboriginal and CALD communities, especially those in regional areas, face systemic barriers to employment and self-employment. Geographic isolation, language and cultural barriers, limited recognition of overseas qualifications, and lack of access (to services) all play a role in limiting the professional pathways for and economic success — for these groups.

Now I know how to manage money. I know about tax, and how to open a business, and I’ve been able to use those skills a lot.
Shiroq A.
Invest In Yourself Program

Through strategic partnerships with Department of Regional NSW and NSW Department of Education, SSE worked with local Ezidi and First Nations cultural, community, and business leaders to customise the program design and deliveries.

The result of these collaborations was a series of bespoke, culturally relevant and safe learning environments designed to deliver authentic and enduring impact and in which all program participants were able to engage with confidence.


On completion of the program, an average 74% of participants were ‘motivated’ or ‘highly motivated’ to explore new employment pathways or start their own businesses.

The landscape of Bingara in the New England region of NSW, for example, proved a powerful connector to Country for a cohort of Glenn Innes and Armidale high school students. One of the striking outputs from the day included the ideation of a mural telling the story of a destructive fire in the community to preserve the story and give the town a visual ‘lift’.

On completion of the program, Gunnedah teen Lilly J. reported feeling “very confident” as she looked towards her future. “I’ve learned a lot about myself, especially around communicating with other people (that I’m pretty good at it!) and that it’s okay to get out there and make a difference.”

Likewise, Armidale resident Shiroq A. leveraged an introduction, following Invest in Yourself, to gain an internship at the University of New England’s Smart Region Incubator’s Armidale event space, Nova.

“What started as helping with events and other admin tasks has already grown into something bigger. I have more confidence, and more self-belief, which helps me get ready to take on new challenges,” Shiroq said.

The program gave me lots of ideas and showed me how to take small ideas and make them into something big.
Salwa M.
Invest In Yourself Program








high schools