Lillian Pangallo became a financial counsellor at The Salvation Army’s Moneycare to realise her passion of helping people handle their financial affairs. Moneycare is a free and confidential service offered to anyone who is either experiencing financial hardship or who would like to learn about managing their finances more effectively. Having been a financial counsellor for five years, Lillian is eager to see more initiatives to promote financial literacy in the younger generation.
Lillian has a background in education, which is an essential skillset as she is now involved with several financial education projects within South West Sydney. “Recently, my colleague Lisa Ross and I facilitated a workshop at a conference held for Year 12 students by the University of Western Sydney. The conference was part of the Fast Forward Program which encourages high school students to understand the value of extending their knowledge and improving their education opportunities,” Lillian said.
Fast Forward reaches 3500 students from 64 high schools in Western Sydney, from Year 9 to Year 12. It aims to reach out to students before they reach an “academic crossroads”. “I think it’s important for young people to be educated early when it comes to juggling their finances,” Lillian explained. “They need to be prepared so they do not get overwhelmed when dealing with money and are armed with the tools necessary to overcome difficult situations if they arise.”
Lillian and Lisa shared tips on budgeting, how to make the most of your money, and the basics of credit cards and bank loans, during a workshop called “Basic Money Skills for the Future”. “The Premier of New South Wales, Gladys Berejiklian shared a very encouraging message about the future generation, emphasising the role of education for the young,” she shared. “The students were engaged with the workshop and provided positive feedback, suggesting that the content was relevant and helpful.”
This is only the beginning, with Lillian hoping to run many more financial literacy programs within high schools. “This is only one of numerous community engagement projects, but the positivity that emerged from it has been a highlight for me. I hope that it becomes an opening for future discussions about financial literacy being included in the national curriculum for high schools.”