SARA Financial Capability Training

Following the Royal Commission into Family Violence (Victoria) report, the Victorian government committed to supporting financial well-being programs that improve the level of knowledge and financial self-management skills for all Victorian women, with a focus on those affected by family violence.

The Skilled Aware Resourceful Active: Financial wellbeing training for women (SARA) course primarily focused on the impact of financial abuse in family violence, but also addressed how structural gender inequality and economic insecurity contributes to the poverty of women and their level of financial capability. The course was funded through the Department of Education to address financial recovery in the context of  family violence. Training and was delivered through the Learn Local Network.

At WIRE, we know that financial capability training can be difficult to engage in, but we also know that when delivered in a safe and supportive environment using a feminist, strength-based, trauma-informed empowerment model, training like the SARA course is likely to have the greatest impact on a woman’s knowledge, skills and confidence to manage her own money. Unlike other financial capability courses, the SARA course used an intersectional gendered lens to look at how the experience of a woman shaped people’s attitudes and behaviours around money and their experiences of being able to earn and manage money.

The course was designed for any woman wanting to build their knowledge, skills and confidence around managing their money; to develop assertive money conversation skills – whether those be with friends & family members or service providers.  It was anticipated that some participants would have experienced family violence and/or financial abuse. Others may not have known this about their situation when they commenced the course, or were unable to articulate it or disclose it to anyone before. The course examined how financial issues are experienced across a life span and it was structured to connect women to key financial and support services.

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