CUA and WIRE kickstart ‘the tough financial conversations’ with new films
The post-Christmas period is traditionally a time for difficult conversations with friends and family about finances, as people bring up questions that are often ignored during the festive season.
This week WIRE finished shooting a series of six educational short films funded by CUA showing practical examples of how to have respectful conversations about money.
The purpose of the films is to provide people with the tools they need to have useful conversations about their finances, and set expectations about what a successful conversation might look like.
“Having to talk about money can make some people feel really uncomfortable but these conversations can be a very important tool to prevent financial abuse,” says Allison White, Head of Communications and Community at CUA.
“The films WIRE is producing will help people understand where a conversation is not meeting that mark – and also give them tools to help establish healthy financial relationships.”
The films examine common financial flashpoints such as discussing rent with a controlling partner, negotiating an equitable split of superannuation during parental leave, and a woman and her adult son discussing pooling finances to buy a home. Friends splitting a bill in a restaurant has even been included as it is a situation everyone can relate to.
CUA’s partnership with WIRE forms part of CUA’s Financial Inclusion Action Plan (FIAP), which was launched in 2020 and is supported by a community investment of more than $1 million.
WIRE Project Lead, Dr Paola Bilbrough says financial abuse can take many forms, and many people, both those experiencing it and even sometimes those choosing to cause harm, do not fully understand the position they are in.
“All too often someone in a financially abusive relationship believes that the situation they are in is somehow their fault, or they try and find excuses for the way the person is behaving, because it’s deeply painful and confusing,” says Dr Bilbrough.
“The truth is that financial abuse is part of family violence - and there is never any excuse.”
It’s also important to recognise that anyone can experience financial abuse, and anyone can perpetrate it, says Dr Bilbrough.
“We hope these films will help show people ways to have productive conversations with their nearest and dearest about things that are often uncomfortable to discuss openly, because of entrenched societal attitudes about money and women,” Dr Bilbrough says.
“Money conversations are often quite awkward but don’t need to be. The films show that with clear respectful communication and the right information situations with money can be negotiated in a way that is fair for everyone. Importantly, the films also identify relationship contexts that are unsafe because of family violence, and when help should be sought”.
The films, which feature seasoned stars such as Babs McMillan as well as younger actors such as Harlene Hercules, Zach Kazepis and Akosia Sabet, will be launched in May. Check WIRE’s website at www.wire.org.au for updates.
WIRE provides free support, information and referral to Victorian women, nonbinary and gender diverse people on any issue.
WIRE advocates for gender equity, delivers training and programs, and undertakes projects on issues such as family violence and financial capability.
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