Curtin ‘student ambassadors’ teach school kids to be financially savvy

‘Save-A-Ringgit’ committee members with the headmaster, teachers and competition winners at the bootcamp in SK Lambir Village.

By Jaythaleela K

MIRI, Nov 19: Forty Year Five and Year Six pupils of SK Lambir Village were taught how to be financially savvy by John Curtin Leadership Academy (JCLA) student ambassadors of Curtin University Malaysia (Curtin Malaysia) recently.

The pupils were participants of a ‘Save-A-Ringgit’ project organised by the JCLA ambassadors — the 12th batch of Curtin students going through the university’s elite student leadership development programme.

The JCLA ambassadors comprised electrical power engineering student Kee Kia Wei, chemical engineering student Siah Qi, accounting and finance student Augustine Wong Zhian Zhiow and finance and marketing student Yong Li Yee. All of them are in their third year of studies.

Collaborating with social enterprise Grow the Goose and Curtin Educational Excellence Facilitating Team (E-FacT), which is a volunteer student mentors group at Curtin Malaysia, the JCLA ambassadors ran the ‘Save-A-Ringgit’ project to promote financial literacy among children from a young age.


The project comprised a one-day Financial Saving Bootcamp followed by a 40-day Savings Competition and a Social Enterprise Business Idea Competition.

Coming up tops in the Savings Competition was Year Five pupil Sherlyna Irene Landu Raymond, followed by Year Five pupil Reffina Jeckson Tay in second place and Year 6 pupil Joyceline Mangu in third place. The students were given a journal sheet each to record their savings progress for 40 days and the winners were awarded based on their consistency in saving.

Grow the Goose founder Nina Othman said it takes 40 days to develop a savings habit, which was the basis of the Savings Competition.

’Save-A-Ringgit’ committee and facilitators in a group photo with the project participants.

Meanwhile, Year Five pupil Noor Asyura Abdul Rahman emerged winner of the Social Enterprise Business Idea Competition, for her innovative homemade cupcake enterprise idea. Noor Asyura said she planned to hone her baking skills and sell her cupcakes online in the future.

JCLA ambassador Yong said the project was a highly rewarding and great learning experience. She hoped the participants would be able to use the knowledge gained to make a positive change in their lives and that of others.
The JCLA is an annual year-long leadership programme developed by Curtin University in honour of John Curtin, the 14th Prime Minister of Australia, with the objectives of instilling in student leaders the three core values he espoused: Vision, Leadership and Community Service.

The programme aims to produce student leaders who can ensure the sustainability of campus clubs and societies, improve campus life for students, and contribute meaningfully to the community.

It also gives them the opportunity to get a head start in their careers.

Grow the Goose is a social enterprise that supported the Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Centre (MaGIC). It provides financial empowerment programmes for children and youths aged between 7 and 18 to help them attain financial wisdom entering adulthood. Established in Sept 2015, it has conducted 46 workshops and engaged with over 1,200 children and youths using their 3-stage programme: Save Diligently, Earn Responsibly, and Invest Sustainably.

The JCLA hopes to further develop the ‘Save-A-Ringgit’ project in collaboration with the Founders Club, a group of Curtin Malaysia students committed to social entrepreneurship, and Grow the Goose. This will include conducting more workshops and delivering the programme to more children. — DayakDaily