Financial
Capability

Australians in control of their financial lives

Australians’ financial attitudes and behaviours*

59 % Pay their credit card balance in full each month
35 % Know the exact value of their super
40 % Understand the concept of diversification
53 % Pay more than the minimum amount due on their mortgage

*Australian Financial Attitudes and Behaviour Tracker, Wave 6, 2018

Let's Talk

Let's Talk

Deng Adut: Insights into refugee and culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities

2017 NSW Australian of the Year, Deng Adut, shares insights into refugee and CALD communities, based on his personal story from being a child soldier in Sudan, to refugee in Australia, to lawyer in Western Sydney.

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Work with us to help Australians be in control of their financial lives

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About

The Financial Capability website is managed by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). ASIC is Australia's corporate, markets, financial services and consumer credit regulator. For more information about ASIC's role as a regulator, go to the ASIC website.

ASIC is the leading Government agency for financial capability, driving initiatives to help Australians be in control of their financial lives. This includes leading and coordinating the National Financial Capability Strategy 2018, with support from the Australian Government Financial Literacy Board. The Strategy sets out our vision of Australians in control of their financial lives.

The 2018 Strategy builds on the foundation of Australia's prior financial literacy strategies, the National Financial Literacy Strategy 2014-17 (2.0 MB), and the National Financial Literacy Strategy 2011 (905 KB).


Australian Government Financial Literacy Board

The Australian Financial Literacy Board is a non-statutory body that provides independent and strategic guidance to Government and ASIC on financial capability.

Paul Clitheroe

Paul Clitheroe AM

Chairman, the Australian Government Financial Literacy Board

Paul Clitheroe is one of Australia’s leading media commentators on financial issues and is renowned for his ability to explain complex money issues in plain English. His books have sold more than 600,000 copies.

Paul hosted the Money program on Channel 9 from 1993 to 2002. He is a regular commentator on money issues on TV, radio and social media. Paul was Chairman of the Consumer and Financial Literacy Taskforce, set up by the Australian Government in 2003 to facilitate a national approach to the provision of consumer and financial literacy programs and information. He chairs Financial Literacy Australia, which distributes funds in the form of grants to effective organisations working to improve financial literacy and capability.

Paul is Chairman of Money magazine and of the youth anti-drink driving body, RADD (Recording Artists, Actors & Athletes Against Drink Driving). He is also Chairman of InvestSMART, Chairman of Monash Absolute Investment Company, and is a Director of the Sydney University Medical Foundation.

In 2012, Macquarie University appointed Paul as Chair of Financial Literacy. He is a professor with the School of Business and Economics.

In 2008, Paul was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for service to the financial sector through the promotion of financial literacy, and to the community.

Air Commodore Robert Brown

Air Commodore Robert Brown AM

Chairman, Australian Defence Force Financial Services Consumer Centre

Robert Brown is Independent Chairman of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) Financial Services Consumer Centre. He has been a driving force behind the ADF’s work in financial literacy since the Centre began in 2006.

The Centre’s activities include a wide range of financial education programs and published materials which have been especially designed for Navy, Army and Air Force personnel (some 70,000 members and their families). The education programs are held throughout members’ careers, and include basic budgeting for recruits, pre/post deployment financial training and transitioning into the private sector.

Robert is a Royal Australian Air Force specialist reservist, an Economics graduate and a Fellow of Chartered Accountants Australia New Zealand. He has had over 30 years experience (much of it self-employed) in the accounting profession and in the wider financial services industry, especially in the areas of financial planning and superannuation.

Throughout that time he has had a particular interest in the technical and policy aspects of superannuation. In 1994, he was the Conference of Major Superannuation Funds’ inaugural Trustee of the Year. At various times over the last twenty years, Robert has held a range of honorary offices in his professional body, the Chartered Accountants Australia New Zealand, including serving on the national board and chairing the National Financial Planning and Superannuation Committees.

Robert has written extensively about the financial services industry through his regular columns in Charter and Professional Planner magazines. In 2006, he authored a paper for Chartered Accountants Australia New Zealand titled “Reinventing Financial Planning”, which examines the industry’s structure, the consequences of conflicts of interest and recommendations for lasting and genuine reform.

Robert has a particular interest in contributing to the Australian community’s understanding of the consequences of investment risk and personal debt, and the importance of a written financial budget as the foundation for building financial literacy, discipline and independence.

Fiona Guthrie

Fiona Guthrie AM

Chief Executive Officer, Financial Counselling Australia

Fiona Guthrie is the CEO of Financial Counselling Australia, the peak body for financial counsellors in Australia. Financial counsellors provide advice to people experiencing financial difficulty, helping them to deal with their immediate situation and minimise the risk of future problems.

Fiona is also a member of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s Consumer Consultative Committee, ASIC’s External Advisory Panel and a board member of Choice.

Fiona’s previous roles include Director, Financial Ombudsman Service; Chair, ASIC Consumer Advisory Panel, and Deputy Chair, Consumers’ Federation of Australia. Fiona was also previously a member of the Commonwealth Consumer Affairs Advisory Council and Standards Australia, Standards Development Board.

She was the recipient of an Order of Australia in the 2017 Queen’s Birthday honours for significant service to the community through social welfare and financial counselling roles.

Fiona holds a BA, a LLB and an MBA.

Elaine Henry OAM

Elaine Henry OAM

Company Director

Elaine Henry has been a leader in the non-profit sector for the past 25 years; formerly as the Executive Director of the Cancer Council (NSW) and, until the end of 2010, as Chief Executive of The Smith Family, a leading social enterprise focused on breaking the cycle of disadvantage through the power of education. She was also a non-executive Director of AXA Trustees from 1998 to 2001.

Elaine has served on a number of committees and boards at the state, national and international levels. She served as the Inaugural Chair of the Commonwealth Government’s Stronger Families and Communities Partnership (2001-07) and the Australian Families & Children’s Council, and was a member of the Prime Minister’s Community Business Partnership and Deputy Chair of the Commonwealth Government’s Welfare to Work Consultative Forum.

Elaine chairs the Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth, is Chair of the National Breast Cancer Foundation and a founding member of Social Ventures Australia. She was the inaugural chair of Nonprofit Australia from 2003-10 and deputy chair of the Community Council for Australia in 2010.

Elaine has served on a number of advisory boards of universities, including the universities of NSW, Wollongong and Sydney, and Curtin University. She is a Governor of the Committee for the Economic Development of Australia (CEDA), a member of the Advisory Council of The Global Foundation, the Australian Statistics Advisory Council, and a Director of the Public Interest Journalism Foundation.

Awarded the Medal in the Order of Australia for services to community health in 1994, Elaine was selected as one of 50 Australian women to be profiled in the 2000 Businesswomen’s Hall of Fame. She was also recognised as one of the Australian Financial Review’s BOSS True Leaders in 2001, again in 2004, 2007 and 2010 and, in 2009, was honoured by Research Australia with their Lifetime Achievement Award. Elaine was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Letters from the University of NSW in 2006.

Peter Kell

Peter Kell

Commissioner, Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC)

Peter Kell commenced as Deputy Chair at the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) in May 2013. Prior to this appointment he was an ASIC Commissioner from November 2011.

From August 2008, Peter was Deputy Chair of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). He was President of the International Consumer Protection Enforcement Network in 2009-10, and also served on the Consumer Policy Committee of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Peter has served on the Australian Government Financial Literacy Board since its establishment, and is a member of the Commonwealth Consumer Affairs Advisory Committee.

Before joining the ACCC, Peter was Chief Executive of CHOICE (the Australian Consumers’ Association) and a board member of the global consumer organisation, Consumers International.

Between 1998 and 2004 Peter was ASIC’s Executive Director of Consumer Protection and its New South Wales Regional Commissioner.

Peter has a Bachelor of Arts (Hons - Economics) from the University of Sydney.

Dr Phil Lambert PSM

Dr Phil Lambert PSM

Education Consultant

Dr Phil Lambert has extensive experience in education as a school principal, inspector, Executive Director, Assistant Director-General, Regional Director and General Manager at Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) where he led the development of Australia’s first national curriculum. He has authored books and presented a number of papers and keynotes at national and international conferences.

Phil completed his Doctorate at the University of Sydney where he continues to support the education faculty as Adjunct Professor and Chair of the Dean’s Advisory Board. He is also Adjunct Professor at Nanjing Normal University. Phil is both a Fellow of the Australian Council for Educational Leaders and the Australian College of Educators (ACE). He is also National President of ACE and chairs the ACE Board.

Phil has received a number of honours and awards. In 2011 he was acknowledged for his outstanding community work and leadership in a unanimous resolution in the Parliament of NSW. In the 2012 Queen’s Birthday Honours he was awarded the Public Service Medal for his outstanding contribution to education. He was also the 2013 recipient of the prestigious Australian College of Educators’ award, the Sir Harold Wyndham Medal.

Phil is currently supporting curriculum reform efforts in Japan, as expert advisor and researcher for its Innovative Schools Network (ISN) initiative and as a member of the ISN Advisory Board. He is also Curriculum Expert to the OECD Education 2030 Learning Framework project and has recently supported the implementation of curriculum reforms in Brazil, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kazakhstan, Kuwait and Qatar.

Phil contributes to the community in various ways. He is the inaugural Deputy Chair of the Our Watch Board, the national foundation to prevent violence against women and their children and chairs the National Respectful Relationships Education Expert Group. In 2016 he was also appointed by the NSW Attorney General as a member on the Children’s Court Advisory Committee.

He is currently featured in an exhibition of 50 Positively Remarkable People from Sydney.

Martin MacDonald

Martin MacDonald

Partner, Herbert Smith Freehills

Martin MacDonald has over 15 years’ experience advising borrowers and financiers on a wide range of financing transactions. He has particular expertise in corporate and project finance, corporate restructuring and turnaround, and acquisition and leveraged finance. Martin advises some of Australia’s leading banks, corporates and sponsors on large or strategically important financing transactions.

Martin has experience dealing with a wide variety of financial products and understands the key issues and risks associated with these. He has a keen interest in financial literacy initiatives, both to improve consumers’ understanding of these products and to ensure they are able to make well-informed financial and investment decisions.

Martin holds a Bachelor of Laws (first class honours) and a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Melbourne, and a Master of Laws (first class) from the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom. Martin also holds a Graduate Certificate of Applied Finance and Investment from the Securities Institute of Australia (now the Financial Services Institute of Australia).

Martin is admitted to practise as a barrister and solicitor in the Supreme Court of Victoria and the High Court of Australia.

Theresa P Mills

Theresa P Mills

Financial Services Consultant

Theresa P. Mills has an extensive 30-year financial services commercial background that includes executive leadership, board reporting, strategy, mergers and acquisitions, change management and responsibility across APRA and ASIC regulated entities.

Most recently, Theresa was Executive General Manager of Guild Trustee Services, responsible for managing and leading the fund’s growth from $450 million to more than $1.3 billion of superannuation savings on behalf of GuildSuper and Child Care Super members. A key focus of her role was to develop strategies to improve the financial literacy of the 75,000 members and empower them, through education, to maximise their wealth and financial independence.

Theresa has also worked in funds management, financial planning, stockbroking, trustee services and merchant banking. She is committed to supporting and optimising strategic partnerships that result in better outcomes for enterprises and the communities they serve.

For over four years, Theresa has been the Chairperson of the John Pierce Centre, a not-for-profit organisation that educates and provides pastoral care for the Catholic deaf community, continuing her passion to help and support groups and individuals to be self-sufficient.

Theresa is passionate about leadership and developing people and culture that creates and facilitates collaborative and supportive working environments. She is currently consulting on strategy and leadership for financial services and not-for-profit enterprises, in addition to maximising and leveraging opportunities to promote the work of ASIC’s MoneySmart website and related financial capability activities.

Professor Roslyn Russell

Professor Roslyn Russell

School of Economics, Finance and Marketing, College of Business, RMIT University

Roslyn Russell is a Professor and Principal Research Fellow in the School of Economics, Finance and Marketing at RMIT University. Roslyn has been researching financial literacy, financial capabilities and financial inclusion in Australia for more than 15 years and has contributed to the growing body of evidence of the importance of financial education in Australia. Much of her research has been commissioned by the financial, government and community sectors on how to improve the financial wellbeing of vulnerable Australians.

The foundation for Roslyn’s research over the last 15 years was formed by her work in evaluating Australia’s longest running financial literacy and matched savings program, Saver Plus and the financial education training program, MoneyMinded. Research areas include the financial wellbeing of older Australians; financial decision-making of women; savings behaviour of lower income individuals and households; people with disability; and the financial capability needs of autistic individuals.

In her role at RMIT University, Roslyn supervises a range of PhD projects including: economic abuse in young couples; financial capabilities of pre-service teachers; and Financial management behaviour of young people.

A vital component of Roslyn’s research work is developing strong relationships with industry and organisations that work daily with people who are facing financial challenges. As well as serving on the Australian Government Financial Literacy Board, Roslyn provides expertise to the Financial Inclusion Action Plan (FIAP) program. She has also worked with a research consortium advising the European Commission on access to financial guidance for everyday consumers. Roslyn holds an Honours degree and PhD in Business (Griffith University) and a Master of Public Policy (University of Melbourne).

James Shipton

James Shipton

Chair, Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC)

James Shipton commenced as ASIC Chair on 1 February 2018. He has more than 20 years’ experience in regulation, financial markets, the law and academia - internationally and in Australia.

Most recently, James was the Executive Director of Harvard Law School’s program on International Financial Systems. Prior to that, he was an Executive Director and Commission member of the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) of Hong Kong, where he led the Intermediaries (Supervision & Licensing) Division.

Before the SFC, James spent almost a decade at Goldman Sachs in Hong Kong as Managing Director and Asia Pacific Head of Government and Regulatory Affairs and as Managing Director in the Prime Brokerage business. Prior to that, he ran the hedge fund consultancy business of Eurekahedge, co-founded ComplianceAsia (Asia’s first pan-regional independent regulatory consulting firm) in Singapore and worked in equity capital markets at Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein’s (now Commerzbank) in Hong Kong and London.

James began his career as a funds and securities lawyer at law firms Linklaters and Blake Dawson Waldron in Melbourne, Hong Kong and Bangkok.

James has previously served as Deputy Chair of the Alternative Investment Management Association’s Hong Kong & China Chapter, Vice Chair of the Asian Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association and a board member of the Hong Kong Treasury Markets Association. He has also served on the Professional Advisory Board for the Asian Institute of International Financial Law, the Hong Kong Advisory Group for the Fred Hollows Foundation and the business advisory councils to the United Nations Economics and Social Commission for Asia Pacific (UNESCAP) and the Hong Kong Securities and Investment Institute.