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Growing - Money, you and community

Growing Web ImageIn the Growing (intermediate) stage, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students learn more about the different forms that money can take such as money in the hand (cash) or money in the clouds (electronic).

Students further develop:

  • an awareness of their rights and responsibilities as consumers
  • skills in making smart choices with money
  • awareness of the impact of poor choices
  • strengthening of their skills in planning, budgeting, comparing and problem solving.

Overview (includes vocabulary)

In the Growing stage, students, students learn about the following key concepts:

  • Unit 1: Money and me - This unit broadens the concepts covered in the first stage (Knowing) helping students to gain a deeper understanding of different forms of money and payment systems with the view to having the confidence to explain and discuss their learning with others. Students explore how transactions can be conducted without physical money; learn about financial cards, debt, credit and Eftpos forms of payment. Students will consider a community perspective on transactions.
  • Unit 2: Consumer skills -Students are encouraged to be aware and savvy consumers with their purchases and expectations and get to know and understand their consumer rights and responsibilities.
  • Unit 3: Making choices -In the context of planning for the future students, identify short and long term goals and consider how having an understanding of needs and wants can assist in attaining /reaching goals. They study the risks associated with making poor money choices and the impact this has on individuals, families and community.
  • Unit 4: Money yarning - This culminating event provides students with the opportunity to share what they have learnt with their community in a creative way. Students become the teachers of others.

Video: The 'Growing' stage

In this video, teachers talk about the Growing Stage and students apply financial skills to familiar context to make learning more meaningful.


In undertaking activities in the Growing stage, students may need to develop an understanding of the following terminology and concepts.

  • Responsibilities, risk, rights, consumer terms and conditions, protection, warranty
  • Consequences, complaint
  • Investment, interest
  • Service provider
  • Electronic transfer, credit, debit, transaction, expenses, account, PIN
  • Spreadsheet, gimmicks

Learning outcomes (includes long-term understandings)

By the end of this stage students will:

  • gain knowledge about the various forms money can take and how money can be made to grow and work for individuals and communities.
  • develop skills in identifying scams and making judgements on the value of financial transactions
  • understand how sound consumer decisions will have long term positive effects.
  • gain an understanding of how financial resources can be used to benefit individuals and communities.

Long-term understandings

  • Understanding the various forms of money assist in making effective and appropriate financial transactions.
  • Consumer choices can have a long-term impact on the wellbeing of individuals, groups and communities.
  • Goal setting is important in planning for the future.
  • As a consumer you have both rights and responsibilities.

Prior knowledge required

To undertake activities in the Growing stage students:

  • should become increasingly familiar with the above vocabulary
  • will require experience with digital technologies and
  • should understand fractions and percentages and be able to calculate basic percentages
  • should be familiar with and create basic spreadsheets

Students will use their literacy and numeracy skills to navigate the activities in this unit and their knowledge of money, handling money gained in the Knowing Stage.

Educator Guide (includes suggested activities & assessment rubric)

The Educator Guide for the Growing stage contains:

  • Suggested activities - aligned to the curriculum and link the learning outcomes and focus questions to real-life scenarios. Teachers can select and adapt activities to suit their cohort.
    • invisible money
    • understanding advertising, contracts and your rights as a consumer
    • needs and wants on a budget
    • mobile phones.
  • Assessment rubrics - aligned to the Australian Curriculum content descriptions together with suggestions for assessment are provided. Assessment material is intended as a guide and available for download to be modified and adapted to suit teachers' needs.
  • Assessment task template - keep track of the activities you work through with your students.
  • Online resource content - print version of all the content within this online resource.

Download the word or pdf version of the Educator Guide below:

Community and cultural considerations (includes guiding ideas)

The following seven guiding ideas provide support to teach consumer and financial literacy through the Growing stage in a way that is meaningful and empowering for students. These ideas support the incorporation of community and cultural considerations in a learning context.

Guiding ideas



Connect with community & cultural identity

Elders have highly esteemed and important roles in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. Teachers can help facilitate stronger bonds between the school and the community by including Elders in the class activities. Working with community organisations, such as health services, local councils, community stores, and/or cultural centres assists teachers to organise visiting speakers and excursions thereby exposing students to real money in real life.



Build on your students' real-life experiences

Capitalise on the experiences of students as they arise. Having student share their stories can help everyone develop deeper understandings of money, its purpose and how it works in the community.



Gather information about prior experiences with money

Through questioning and observation teachers can find out more about what the students are interested in spending their money on (eg. mobile phones, online games).



Recognise the power of story

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander societies are founded on narrative-based cultures. The power of story has shaped lore, identity, law and connection to country. In contemporary teaching, story-telling can be used as a powerful learning tool to share experiences, explore students' insights and differing perspectives, find meaning, and shape ethics and morals.



Reinforce cultural values of sharing

In some communities, the connection between money and culture may not be immediately apparent and may be seen as incongruent and inconsistent with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander values. However, by working from an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander values-system point of view, all teachers and learners consider other perspectives about how money is used.

Reinforce Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural message that 'money can be used for sharing and caring.' This goes to the heart of an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ethos of reciprocity, sharing, and looking after each other. By working from this perception, students begin to appreciate that money can be a resource for community wellbeing and not just individual wealth.



Embrace diversity

Social and cultural diversity will exist among students and stereotyping must be avoided. As with all students, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students will enter school with differing interests and varying degrees of prior knowledge and skill. Due to historical factors (such as the Stolen Generations), they may also enter the school with varying degrees of cultural understanding and sense of identity.

More often than not, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students have shared cultural values and social experiences, including a common world view. They are shaped by their identity, a deep sense of obligation to family, and similar upbringings in places of poverty and financial hardship.



Celebrate achievement

Quality teaching in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander contexts means adopting a strengths-based approach to teaching and learning. This means that you will be continually building upon what students know, as opposed to highlighting what they do not know.

Adopt a two way learning approach to your teaching, whereby you share your knowledge and experiences of consumer and financial literacy while students share their experiences and knowledge with you and their peers.

Real-life scenario

Authentic context

This scenario has been developed to provide real life context that could frame the unit and the learning opportunities as well as generate discussion on developing an understanding of money and specific cultural aspects of money relevant to this stage.

Teachers are encouraged to adapt the scenario to suit their student's context and experience.


Deadlyphones is a new company that has come to the community. They are promising customers no up-front fees with their mobile phone plan.

Community members receive a brand new handset in their choice of colour - pink, blue, black, red, or one with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags on it.

If community members sign up to Deadlyphones they need to pay a minimum $100 per month (excluding national calls and calls to other mobiles). With the plan, they also get $20 of phone credit each month for local calls.

Carly is interested because she loves the phone with the flags on it. But, she is worried about the costs and she saw a TV show recently warning people about mobile phone scams.

What should Carly do?

Note for teachers

Aspects students can consider:

  • This scenario focuses on consumer awareness.
  • Students can reflect on what they would do in this situation - eg. students could do some online research about Deadlyphones and its reputation.
  • Students could also research plans from other providers and make comparisons.
  • Students could consider what action they would take to raise community awareness in situations where community members are being ripped off.

There isn't a right or wrong answer here, but students need to be able to justify why they have reached their decision. They also need to consider the advantages and disadvantages of their decision.

Unit 1 - Money and me (includes focus questions)

Key concepts

The key concepts covered in this unit are:

  • Why is money sometimes invisible?
  • How does a financial transaction work?
  • Managing spending.

This unit encourages students to explore all aspects of being a consumer and emphasises the importance of being informed and confident in making financial transactions using various forms of money. Students also learn about the pitfalls of being a consumer including detecting scams and knowing their rights and responsibilities. Financial transactions are also considered from a community perspective.

Focus questions

Focus questions are provided as a guide to assist teachers to engage students in the key concepts addressed in the unit with a view to addressing the learning intentions of this stage. Teachers can use guided questioning to gain an understanding of their students' current knowledge and awareness of money.

Building understanding:
  • How do people get cash in their pockets and bank accounts?
  • Do people always pay with cash? If not - what are some other ways that people pay for things?
  • If cash is not used, how does payment work (consider the transaction lifecycle - where does the money come from and where does it go)?
  • How do people have enough money to pay for things?
  • How did money get into the bank account?
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander experience with money:
  • How are financial transactions undertaken in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities?
  • How might this be impacted by location (Remote, Regional, Urban)?
Personal experience with money:
  • How are financial transactions made in your family/community?
    • How do people pay for food?
    • How do people pay bills?
    • How do people pay for doctor visits?
    • Who pays for schools and roads?
  • What are the pros and cons of using something other than cash to pay for things?
  • What are some ways that you can track financial transactions/spending?
  • What are the implications of spending more than you have?

Unit 2 - Consumer skills (includes focus questions)

Key concepts

The key concepts covered in this unit are:

  • Consumer awareness
  • Consumer rights and responsibilities
  • What is a scam?
  • Understanding contracts.

This unit encourages students, as consumers, to be aware and savvy with their purchases and expectations and know their consumer rights.

Focus questions

Focus questions are provided as a guide to assist teachers to engage students in the key concepts addressed throughout the unit. Teachers can use guided questioning to gain an understanding of their students' current knowledge and awareness of money.

Building understanding:
  • What are consumer rights and responsibilities?
  • Do consumers have responsibilities (i.e. to read terms and conditions, to pay in full upfront, etc.)?
  • Do consumers have the right to complain when they are dissatisfied with products or services?
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander experience with money:
  • Why is it important for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to be aware of their consumer rights and responsibilities?
  • How might this be impacted by location - (Remote, Regional, Urban)
  • Are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities targeted by consumer scams?
Personal experience with money:
  • In your community, how do you know that you are getting what you paid for?
  • How do you know when an offer is genuine?
    • What strategies can you use to determine if a promise is legitimate and represents 'value for money'?
    • What is a 'hidden charge'?
    • What does it mean when something is 'too good to be true'?
  • What is a consumer warranty? What products in your home would have a warranty? What steps would you take if one of these products stopped working?
  • Where can you go for help if you or your community feel you have scammed or if you have an issue with a product or service?

Unit 3 - Making choices (includes focus questions)

Key concepts

The key concepts covered in this unit are:

  • Setting goals
  • What influences choices
  • Changing nature of needs of wants
  • Impact of choices.

The capacity to set goals and critically examine needs and wants assists students to plan for the future. They learn to consider long and short term goals, as well as the risks associated with making poor money choices.

Focus questions

Focus questions are provided as a guide to assist teachers to engage students in the key concepts addressed throughout the unit. Through guided questioning, teachers can gain an understanding of their students' awareness of consumer choices.

Building understanding:
  • What should people consider when setting goals?
  • What might get in the way of people achieving their goals?
  • How might a person's needs and wants change over time?
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander experience with money:
  • What do you think about before choosing one product over another?
  • What cultural considerations might influence goal setting in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities?
  • How might this be impacted by location (Remote, Regional, Urban)
  • What are the consequences of good and bad money choices?
  • What kind of tensions can emerge when personal needs and wants come up against family and community obligations?
Personal experience with money:
  • Do you have short-term goals that you are trying to reach?
  • How will you raise and save the money to do achieve your goals?
  • Do you have long-term goals for your future? E.g. education, work, lifestyle (e.g. living arrangements, car ownership)?
  • Have you considered how you will raise and save the money to support these goals?
  • What influences establishing and achieving these goals?
  • What can go wrong when people make poor choices about money?
  • How might the choices you make now shape your ability to achieve your goals?

Unit 4 - Money yarning (includes organising an event)

Key concepts

The key concepts covered in this unit are:

  • Plan a money expo
  • Present stories of money in the community
  • Engage community.

This culminating event - an expo, provides a creative way for students to share what they have learnt with their community. Students become the teachers of their peers and community members.

The expo is simply about creating an opportunity for students to tell a story about the role of money in their community. Students can convey financial messages that are relevant to the community through art, stories, dance and drama. Many of the pieces of work developed as part of this stage could be displayed at the expo or used as tools to raise awareness of issues.

The expo is an opportunity for students to showcase their work and could itself be used as a learning experience in that the students could plan how they could involve the school and broader community and may wish to issue tickets for the showcase or request a donation.

The following ideas could be explored by students individually or as a group to feature in the expo. They develop a piece of work which illustrates an idea /concept that they have learnt about in this stage that they feel will be of benefit to the community.

  • The lifecycle of a financial transaction
  • The message: 'only spend what you have'
  • The message: 'If it is too good to be true, then it probably is'
  • How to avoid consumer scams
  • Raising awareness about consumer rights and responsibilities
  • Consequences of good and bad money choices
  • How culture influences money management

Students will have a project plan (e.g. who does what) that includes a strategy to promote the expo to the community. Students present at the expo and share their stories to the whole school.

Note: Preparation for this would need to begin at the commencement of the unit, and opportunities provided for students to develop the confidence for this kind of personal prominence. A scripted group presentation or a digital demonstration could be considered instead.

Organising a money yarning event

This is the opportunity for the students to organise a Community Consumer Expo. Here, they demonstrate what they have learnt in the Growing Stage. They present their findings to community members, other classes and parents. Students plan a number of performance pieces and also develop take-home materials for the audience. The event could be organised as a series of stalls or shows/performances as individuals or in groups depending on their comfort level.

Curriculum links

Knowing Growing Showing is a flexible resource which provides a progression of learning across the three stages. Although some activities align with year levels in the Australian Curriculum, activities can be adapted to meet the learning needs of students across all year levels.

The Growing stage - Australian Curriculum mapping contains mapping to the:

  • Australian Curriculum Learning Areas
  • Australian Curriculum General Capabilities
  • National consumer and Financial Literacy Framework.

Note: The link above takes you back to the resource landing page on the Moneysmart website.

Additional resources

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC)

The ACCC aims to improve consumer welfare, protect competition or stop conduct that is anti-competitive or harmful to consumers, and promotes the proper functioning of Australian markets.


Scamwatch is a website run by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), and provides information to consumers and small businesses on how to recognise, report and protect against scams.

State and Territory Justice and Consumer Affairs Departments

Search for your state/territory department which helps consumers become aware of their rights and responsibilities as a consumer- Search for state based organisations.

Be Smart Buy Smart

A publication that contains tips for consumers.

ASIC's MoneySmart website

ASIC's MoneySmart contains a range of indigenous publications to support consumers.