Local MP and deputy premier join broker in financial literacy talk
A Melbourne mortgage broker has taken bold steps toward empowering migrant women with the launch of her 2024 financial literacy program in the Victorian State Parliament House.
Resolve Finance Derrimut franchisee Niti Bhargava (pictured above) originally from India and residing in Australia for the past 17 years, aims to bridge the knowledge gap among women, who are looking to achieve home ownership, particularly those who have recently migrated from Southeast Asian countries.
The program offers a series of free seminars run from Bhargava’s Derrimut office, throughout the course of 2024. Bhargava’s clients gain an understanding of the banking system in Australia, saving concepts, interest rates and the home loan process.
“During my career in the finance industry, I have seen an alarming gap in the knowledge of migrant women who often lack understanding when it comes to their financial circumstances, especially those women who have relocated to Australia from countries in Southeast Asia,” said Bhargava.
Parliamentary support for financial literacy program
The official launch of the program took place at the Victorian State Parliament House in Melbourne on Feb. 8.
The event was held with the support of local member for Kororoit Luba Grigorovitch demonstrating significant support and endorsement for the initiative.
“Luba has been a great supporter of the program from day one. She has also invited deputy premier of Victoria Ben Carroll along too,” Bhargava said.
“We emphasised the importance of financial literacy at school levels with him as he is also the education minister. They also agreed importance of financial education and how important it is to introduce in schools.”
Spreading awareness about financial abuse
Having accumulated over a decade of experience in banking and finance, including a tenure as a banker at Commonwealth Bank, Bhargava noticed a concerning lack of financial understanding among females, especially those who have recently relocated to Australia.
Motivated by a deep sense of community responsibility, Bhargava decided to give back to her community when she established her own business three years ago.
Her inspiration to launch this financial literacy program stems from her encounters with young women facing domestic violence and financial hardship during her tenure at Commonwealth Bank.
“I met many young women who were suffering from financial abuse, working and earning money but unsure where their money was going,” she said.
“It is often part of Indian culture where the male takes care of the household finances, whether that be before, during, or after marriage.”
Bhargava explained that the main goal of this launch is to create widespread awareness, both among the public and legislators. This awareness will unite individuals and resources towards improving the situation and positively impacting the lives of thousands who may face financial illiteracy or abuse at some point.
Bhargava said she also wanted other finance related experts to give their opinions like from an investment advisor’s perspective, from a bank’s perspective or from a financial planner’s perspective.
“There were 15 professionals who attended the event including some bank BDMs, buyers agents, business coach and financial planner,” she said. “So it was great to get the entire group under one roof to discuss this.”
Bhargava’s biggest success
While initially aimed at migrant women, Bhargava’s said the biggest success of the program is its expanded reach.
“Now, fellow businesses, community groups, and even the local council reach out wanting us to provide these supportive financial education sessions to their employees and members.,” Bhargava said.
“This shows not only the initial need within the migrant community but also a wider desire for financial literacy beyond our original target audience.”
“Also, the fact that previous attendees are recommending the program to others demonstrates the positive impact on participants and the power of organic community outreach.”
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