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Teaching the skills to pay the bills

05 August 2014

Elizabeth Bowyer from Gunbalanya receives the Commonwealth Bank Foundation Teaching Award. Elizabeth Bowyer from Gunbalanya receives the Commonwealth Bank Foundation Teaching Award.

A GUNBALANYA School teacher whose work is helping Indigenous students build their expertise in money management has been recognised for her outstanding contribution with a Commonwealth Bank Foundation Teaching Award.

Elizabeth Bowyer joined 15 other awardees, selected from more than 250 Kindergarten to Year 12 teachers across the nation, at the ceremony on Friday 25 July 2014. The awards recognise and reward teachers from schools across Australia who are making an outstanding contribution to developing the essential financial literacy skills of their students.

Judges in the Commonwealth Bank Foundation Teaching Awards said Ms Bowyer was “really thinking outside the box” when she helped her students set up a lawn mowing business in Gunbalanya.

“Her vision was to create employment opportunities in their remote part of Arnhem Land as well as helping boys aged 14-19 develop their numeracy, financial literacy and English language skills,” the Commonwealth Bank Foundation said in a statement.

“About the only time the boys get to practise speaking English is when they’re talking to teachers. Through the lawn mowing business they get to use their English and learn about negotiating with the local community, organising advertising, taking bookings and paying bills. Our judging panel of education experts was impressed with the quality and diversity of applications this year,” the Foundation said.

“The 15 winners clearly communicated their financial learning program concept, the expected learning outcomes, included a prudent budget plan and well-articulated measures for sustainable success.”

Each of the teachers also received $10,000 for their schools to invest in their financial learning programs, plus an extra $2,000 as a personal reward for each winning teacher.