Mak­ing sense of fi­nances

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - FRONT PAGE - Aaron Cor­lett

Vic­to­ria Park res­i­dent Grace Mu­gabe took her mes­sage about the im­por­tance of fi­nan­cial lit­er­acy to one of the most pres­ti­gious uni­ver­si­ties in the world.

GRACE Mu­gabe’s com­mit­ment to im­prov­ing the fi­nan­cial lit­er­acy of mi­grants and cul­tur­ally di­verse peo­ple has taken her to one of the most pres­ti­gious uni­ver­si­ties in the world.

The Zim­bab­wean-born Vic­to­ria Park res­i­dent took part in the Hive Global Lead­ers Pro­gram at Har­vard Univer­sity in Bos­ton dur­ing June.

“I felt very ex­cited about the op­por­tu­nity to talk about global is­sues and there were 120 peo­ple from 49 coun­tries, who at­tended the pro­gram,” she said.

“There were topics in­clud­ing ev­ery­day safety, a gen­uine con­cern for some of the par­tic­i­pants who came from war-torn coun­tries.

“My topic was about fi­nan­cial lit­er­acy and about women un­der­stand­ing fi­nances so they are not trapped in a re­la­tion­ship. Even for women who are trapped, they can be stranded if a part­ner passes away or leaves them.”

Ms Mu­gabe said she worked with min­ing com­pa­nies, in­clud­ing Rio Tinto, be­fore de­cid­ing to cre­ate her own busi­ness.

“At the same time I was vol­un­teer­ing in the com­mu­nity and I felt like I had two lives, my cor­po­rate life and my vol­un­teer­ing life, so I de­cided to cre­ate my own busi­ness,” she said.

“I then started work­ing with cul­tur­ally and lin­guis­ti­cally di­verse peo­ple and started run­ning fi­nan­cial lit­er­acy work­shops. It’s about teach­ing them to bud­get or un­der­stand­ing how to start their own busi­ness be­cause the fi­nan­cial side can scare some peo­ple.

“It’s a re­ally sat­is­fy­ing thing to do; it makes my heart smile.”

Ms Mu­gabe moved around as child, at­tend­ing pri­mary school in the United States be­fore mov­ing back to Zim­babwe in high school.

“I looked liked ev­ery­one else but I didn’t sound like them nor did I speak the lo­cal lan­guage (Shona), so that was a chal­lenge,” she said.

“Af­ter high school, I wanted to move some­where dif­fer­ent and I said I wanted to go some­where with good weather so the mi­gra­tion agent pointed to Perth and Bris­bane.

“I chose Perth be­cause it was closer to Zim­babwe and so I moved in 2003 to study ac­count­ing at Edith Cowan.”

Pic­ture: Jon Hew­son­mu­ni­ d472304

Pic­ture: Jon Hew­son

Grace Mu­gabe at home in Perth. d472304

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