MFAA School Entrepreneurs program

The MFAA has launched a new national initiative – a School Entrepreneurs program which is set to benefit hundreds of high school students across Australia. It aims to show students how to become entrepreneurs with a simple step by step approach.

Why be involved?

  • Raise awareness of the need for increased financial literacy and entrepreneurial skills
  • Help give students some real life business skills in an engaging way
  • Develop meaningful content for your social media and web platforms
  • Form new connections within your local community and be seen as a finance expert
  • Build your profile with new target markets: parents, teachers and community stakeholders

Read more in our press release.

What do the students learn?

By participating in the program, students may undertake the following activities:

  • Decide on a business name and register this business with the Australian Taxation Office
  • Help to form a basic business plan
  • Choose a specific product or service, which the business may actually start to sell throughout the current of the next term (generally products that can be purchased in bulk and then resold at a profit, rather than homemade food items or similar)
  • Be actively involved in selling the product, if the school chooses to pursue this avenue
  • Select appropriate marketing strategies which may involve mediums such a s social media or print advertising
  • Make choices regarding profit, loss and future business direction

How does the program work?

  • The program generally runs for roughly one hour a week over 6 weeks of the school term, with the ideal timing being term 2 of the school year. Approximately 15-20 children would be involved
  • Schools may request that only commerce or business students are included, or they may open it up to children from several school grades and classes
  • Sessions could take place within class times or they may be held within lunch breaks. The important consideration is that the program must be tailored to suit the specific school needs and curriculum
  • In some cases, the broker could provide a donation to facilitate the start-up costs of the business, which may be a few hundred dollars. The investment might be paid back if the business makes a profit, but otherwise it would be considered a donation.

You will be required to provide the school with an outline of who you are, and about your business – which may be shared with parents. We recommend updating your website, LinkedIn and Facebook profiles as parents have been known to find brokers online after receiving information from the school.

How do I get started?

We recommend making contact with your local school using this template for a phone call and/or email. We also have a sample outline of how the program would run . It’s a good idea to get in touch with schools before mid-December, when they are winding down for the school year, however you can still register your interest at any time of the year.

Email us at to register your interest, and receive a series of templates and materials that will assist you in delivering this program.

MFAA Global Money Week

Global Money Week is an annual international money awareness celebration. It engages children worldwide in learning how money works, including saving, creating livelihoods, gaining employment, and entrepreneurship. Global Money Week is back on for 2017 being held from 27 March – 2 April.

600+ brokers engaged with schools and community groups like YMCA to deliver financial education during 2016.

This exclusive community initiative is supported by the industry and includes financial literacy and educational programs that will reach out directly to Australian families.

The MFAA supports the notion that financial literacy is a key social and educational issue in Australia. Our committed member group is passionate about actively combating this concern and promoting ongoing financial education.

The initial aim is to build the skills of parents and trusted advisers to educate children on the basics of financial literacy by training brokers to deliver a 1 hour session to a community group or school group. These sessions will be focused on developing conversations that improve the understanding of both children’s and families about basic financial literacy including debt, credit, affordability and security.

The program will be supported by an online youth community forum and competition,  for children and teens.

Brokers should start recruiting their schools now for 27 March – 2 April 2017.

Expressions of interest from MFAA brokers who want to be part of the campaign can register at or email

Opportunities for Women (formerly WIMBN)

What people have to say about this new initiative:


“This initiative provides women in our industry the powerful opportunity to take the time out of the day-to-day to really think about their career, how they can grow themselves and their business. It is more than theory as they will walk away a clear plan and the motivation to achieve. Well done MFAA for this delivering this new initiative.”

Tracy Kearey, SOLD Advisory Panel Member




Mental Health Check Tools

Mental well-being

Self-Test for Depression- this is a self-assessment scale used to determine an individual’s current symptom of depression. This tool requires individuals to answer a series of questions and to rate how true each answer is in relation to how they’ve been feeling lately, compared to how they would normally feel.  This test was developed by the Depression and Bipolar Disorder Information Australia – Black Dog Institute.

Self help teast_1

Bipolar Self-Test (Mood Swings Questionnaire – MSQ)- otherwise known as the Mood Swings Questionnaire (MSQ), is a tool to help determine if you have bipolar disorder symptoms.

Bipolar depression test_2

The Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ)- this is a self-administered assessment that is used to measure the severity of depression. The PHQ looks at the factors of interest in doing activities, personal emotions, amount of sleep, appetite levels, leisure activities and personal thoughts on self-harm. The PHQ was developed by Dr. Robert L. Spitzer and colleagues (2001).

patient health care test_3

Mental health well-being (GAD-7 Screening Assessment)- this is a diagnostic tool used by health care professionals to help assess the mental health wellbeing of clients. The test, designed by Dr Robert Spitzer and associates, is part of a larger test known as the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ). This is a brief scale and screening tool for anxiety.

wellbing test_4

Alcohol and drug dependence- (CAGE-AID Questionnaire)- this is a conjoint questionnaire developed to assess an individual’s personal use of alcohol and drugs (both illegal and prescribed) and their dependence on them.

alcohol and drug test_5

Headspace Psychosocial Assessment for Young People- this is an assessment designed to assist health professionals to engage with young people to assess their psychosocial needs and the full range of mental health disorders common in young people.

youth mental healh test_6

Physical well-being

The Australian Type 2 Diabetes Risk Assessment Tool (AUSDRISK)- this is a questionnaire that calculates the risk of type 2 diabetes in the next 5 years. This test was developed by Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute (2013).

Physical wellbeing_1

Body Mass Index (BMI) Calculator- this was developed by the Heart Foundation, is a statistical measure of the weight of a personal scaled according to their height.  It will determine whether an individual is at a healthy weight, obese or even underweight.

Physical wellbeing_2

Australian Absolute Cardiovascular Risk Tool- this has been produced by the National Vascular Diseases Prevention Alliance for the information of health professionals and practitioners.

Physical wellbeing_3

Bowl Cancer Risk Calculator- this is a questionnaire, developed by Cancer Council Australia that may help individuals identify the risk of bowel cancer, based on information provided on personal and family history of polyps and cancer.

Physical wellbeing_4

Calculate Your Risk Calculator- this risk resource is a user-friendly interactive calculator, developed by the National Breast and Ovarian Cancer Centre (NBOCC) and Cancer Australia (2011), with the intention for women who have not had breast or ovarian cancer.

Physical wellbeing_1

The links to these health tools are provided as a resource guide only by SOLD Panel Advisor, Dr Paul Flanagan. Information is current at the time of publishing. The aim is to share information on relevant health check tools that align with the Lifestyle pillar of SOLD.


MF8716_MFAA Diversity Infographic_FINAL-02

Building Inclusion

The Diversity Council of Australia has released it’s evidence-based model of Inclusive Leadership.

The model  Model Framework consists of five inclusive leadership capabilities that are described through reference to four elements: a Mindset (way of thinking), Knowledge, Skills, and Behaviours. Each Inclusive Leadership Capability focuses on having mindsets which are:

  • Identity aware
  • Relational
  • Open & curious
  • Flexible & agile
  • Growth focused.

A strategy focused on Gender Equality

Male Champions of Change use their individual and collective leadership to elevate gender equality as an issue of national and international social and economic importance.

The heart of the strategy involves men of power and influence forming a high profile coalition to achieve change on gender equality issues in organisations and communities.

Male Champions genuinely want to lead meaningful action that achieves change.

A report on Sponsoring Women to Success

Recent Catalyst research has pointed to a more influential and specific professional relationship than mentoring: sponsorship.

Sponsoring Women to Success, clarifies what sponsorship is—and isn’t—based on the experiences of people well-positioned to provide answers: executives acting as sponsors and high-performing employees currently being sponsored. The report also presents data, practices, and participant insights that provide actionable advice on how to foster sponsorship within organisations.

Do you have a program that involves Social Responsibility, Opportunities for Women, Lifestyle, well-being and mental health or Diversity and inclusion? Email us on to be included on this page.

MFAA: SOLD Case Studies


Pillar 1: Social Responsibility 

Company: Commonwealth Bank of Australia

Program: Skilled volunteers to help with National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) scheme

Key cause of the program: To determine the effect of the NDIS on revenue streams

In 2013, the National Disability Insurance Scheme had just been launched.  In response to the rollout, Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) and New Horizons have been working together to prepare for the changes and impact the Scheme would place on the disability services sector. New Horizons, a community service provider, has been collaborating with Commonwealth Bank’s Executive Managers, since the Scheme rollout, to help support and develop a model to assess the impacts of the NDIS on income and expense streams.

During 2015, two Commonwealth Group employees had volunteered part-time for a period of three months to help build a model with New Horizon to determine these impacts and areas of improvement. The vision for the collaboration was to see the benefits of the NDIS to both clients and service providers. At this stage, New Horizons has maintained the use of the model to evaluate the expansion of NDIS services into new areas.

For more information click here.

Company: QBE

Program: The QBE Foundation

Key cause of the program: To pursue active community involvement with people who are in need insurance help as a result of an accident or misadventure.

The QBE Foundation, a corporate responsibility initiative, supports charitable organisations that help people overcome disadvantage, and encourage people to strengthen their abilities and to live more independently, successfully and productively.

The key objectives of the Foundation are:

  • to make a key in difference in key areas such as insurance and financial services to align with QBE’s vision and values;
  • to drive employee involvement by developing network-based culture and strong team outlook; and
  • to maximise the returns and impact for any collection distribution and allocation of philanthropic resources and help support the projects of such charities.

In Australia, QBE selects a few charities annually, enabling them to make a significant impact on each.

Of particular interest, the QBE Foundation has been in partnership with Jawun since 2011. Jawun is a not-for-profit organisation aimed at providing programs and education services to promote self-reliance, entrepreneurial activity and business planning among Indigenous people. The partnership is a five-year agreement that calls upon QBE employees to nominate for secondments to Indigenous communities around Australia, such as Redfern and Cape York. The initiative also calls on employees to spend a few weeks at these communities to share their expertise, skills and knowledge while engaging in the Indigenous culture, stories, and values. [1]

For more information click here.

Pillar 2: Opportunities for Women

Company: Westpac

Program: Women in Leadership Program and Centre of Excellence for Diversity and Flexibility

Key cause of the program: To increase the percentage of women in leadership roles and to bridge the perception gaps on gender roles

In 2010, Westpac established the Women in Leadership Program and a Centre of Excellence for Diversity and Flexibility to help increase the percentage of women in leadership roles. The aim was to see a rise of females into leadership roles from 33% to 40% by 2014, which could help the organisation benefit from “a more diverse pool of talent.”

With the progression of the initiative, Westpac discovered a major perception gap between male and females employees on opportunities for career advancement and development. To address this, Westpac developed a systematic approach to perception gaps by assessing where the talent pipeline was adopted and developing specific programs for women to increase their participation across all leadership programs.

Westpac had multiple approaches to increasing the participation of female employees, by changing the culture of the workforce. Some of the strategies included:

  • creating group-wide policies for job sharing;
  • allowing for grandparental leave;
  • providing flexibility for child care and elder care; and
  • promoting inspirational role models and male champions to adopt and drive a cultural shift.

As a result, Westpac was recognised as the first private sector company to pay for superannuation during unpaid parental leave.

In addition, Westpac has achieved their target of 40% of women in core leadership roles and graduate programs. They have not set an aspirational target for 50% of female representation by 2017.

For more information click here.

Company: Australian Trade Commission

Program: Women in Global Business

Key cause of the program: To raise the awareness and support levels for Australian businesswomen to share their products and services

A national initiative funded by the Australian Trade Commission, the Women in Global Business (WIGB) aims to support Australian businesswomen to share their products and services to the world. The program is also delivered in partnership with Australia’s state and territory governments to help increase the recognition of women’s growing contribution to Australia’s economy through international trade.

Key activities:

According to the WIGB website, the program is a platform for information and resources, support and connection for women. Some of the activities the WIGM provides include:

  • a buddy mentoring program that connects budding businesswomen from the international trade and investment sector with other like-minded experienced businesswomen;
  • an opportunity to get involved with the annual WIGB Speaker Series;
  • a combined research program undertaken with the University of Melbourne to share insights and help improve the quality of information around Australia’s participation in women-led business in global trade and investment sector;
  • opportunities for international engagement through a network of events e.g. WIGB Indonesia (which was launched in Jakarta in March 2015); and
  • supporter of the annual Beryl Wilson Austrade Scholarship for Women in International Business.

Of particular interest, WIGB is a supporter for the annual Beryl Wilson Austrade Scholarship for Women in International Business.

According to the WIGB website, “the purpose of the scholarship is to encourage, support and advance the involvement of women in international business and the winner will have the opportunity to contribute to and be supported by the Women in Global Business Program.”

In addition, the scholarships will aim to contribute to build and advance Asia-capable ?? staff and leaders by also reaching out to applicants with an Asian language capability.

The scholarship covers $40,000 in university funds and will be awarded to a woman enrolled full time in the final year of a master’s degree in International Business Administration with an international business specialisation.

For more information click here.

Pillar 3: Lifestyle, well-being and mental health

Company: National Australia Bank (NAB)

Program: Heads Up

Key cause of the program: To support the growth of mental health awareness of Australians in the workplace

Heads Up, an initiative of beyondblue and the Mentally Healthy Workplace Alliance was established in May 2014. The aim of the Heads Up intiative is to highlight and bring awareness to the importance of mentally healthy workplaces as well as provide tools and resources to support business to tackle the issues in their workplaces. With the help of sponsorships and partnerships by organisations in the public and private sector, including NAB, beyondblue aims to bring 80 percent of workplaces into the program over the next five years.

According to the NAB Business website, research finds “at any given time, one in five employees are likely to be suffering from a mental health condition such as depression or anxiety.” This rise in mental health issues is usually affected by stress-related conditions in the workplace, feelings of unhappiness, experiences of discrimination or bullying or problems in the home.

The key offering from Heads Up is a free online tool to help an organisation develop a tailored and sound strategy to make its workplace more mentally healthy. According to its website,, a plan can be developed in less than two minutes. Once information has been provided, Heads Up will provide a range of recommended and suggested actions that can help suit the organisation’s needs.

Of particular interest, NAB runs Heads Up seminars in southern New South Wales, Canberra and northern Victoria.  The aim for these seminars is to reduce the impact of depression, anxiety and unhappiness in the small and medium enterprise sectors for NAB’s customers and to build an understanding of the benefits of a mentally healthy workplace.

As a result, NAB plans to make further rollouts on these Heads Up seminars.

For more information click here.

Organisation: Heart Foundation

Program:  Stand@Work Study

Key cause of the program: To identify the benefits and adverse risk associated with prolonged sitting while working

Research finds that employees engaged in full time jobs that involve ‘mostly sitting’ spend an average of 6.3 hours per day sitting at work. [2] New evidence by the Sydney/Newcastle Heart Foundation in collaboration with the Prevention Research Collaboration aims to raise awareness of the emerging risk factors to chronic disease with relation to sedentary behaviours. The Heart Foundation defines sedentary behaviour as “a term used to describe activity that requires very low energy expenditure”. Usually the sedentary behaviours associated with the workplace was identified as sitting at a desk, usually in front of a computer.

The study, titled Stand@Work, aims to determine whether providing sit-stand workstations can change the sitting time for desk-based office workers. According to website’s case study, the intervention was successful in reducing sitting time among the sit-stand workstation users by almost 20 percent during full time work hours. The Heart Foundation found that the sit-stand workstations were generally well received and feasible exercise for most participants.

The purpose of the case study was to summarise the study outcomes and to share insights from employees who had trialled the sit-stand workstations, as well as the views of senior managers based on the impact on their workplace. The aim for this case study and research is to provide beneficial recommendations to guide employers or managers with intervention decisions and provide further ideas to reduce sitting time.  In addition, the study aims to raise awareness of chronic diseases associated with sedentary behaviour and to  guide employers and managers to promote employee health and wellbeing.

The Heart Foundation Stand@Work study identified type 2 diabetes, musculoskeletal problems, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and overweight and premature mortality as adverse health conditions and problems relative to sedentary behaviours.

For more information click here.

Pillar 4: Diversity and Inclusion

Organisation: The Scanlon Foundation

Program:  A Taste of Harmony

Key cause of the program: To celebrate the diversity in Australian workplaces by encouraging colleagues to share food and stories from different cultural backgrounds.

An initiative driven by the Scanlon Foundation, A Taste of Harmony is an annual celebration of diversity in the Australian workplace. The self-pioneered initiative calls on organisations   to encourage colleagues to share food and stories from different cultural backgrounds.

Workers are encouraged to stimulate conversation, break down cultural barriers and help create a more cohesive work environment over a dish to share. As a result, A Taste of Harmony will celebrate its eighth year in action in 2016.

There are no attached fees or fundraising involved – but requires a completed online registration to confirm the interest and participation of organisations.

For more information click here.

Company: AMP   

Program: AMP’s Diversity Policy

Key cause of the program: To promote and encourage a diverse and inclusive working environment

AMP’s diversity policy aims to provide a diverse and inclusive working environment to drive better business decisions and improved experiences for AMP’s customers and employees.

In 2014, AMP identified four areas of focus designed to drive inclusion and diversity throughout their organisation[3].

  1. Committed and inclusive leadership: Embedded in AMP’s capability frameworks and talent management sessions, inclusive leadership sessions were introduced by senior leaders to help them reflect on practices and team cultures that could hinder full employee engagement.
  2. Merit-based policies and practices: AMP focuses on attracting and appointing women into senior leadership roles in the organisation. According to AMP, the shortlist for all executive roles is usually a mix of men and women candidates. They also offer development opportunities and programs for female leaders to enhance their confidence and senior lead.
  3. Decision-making and voice: AMP leveraging diversity of thought across the organisation and encourages employees from all areas and levels of the business to contribute and share their ideas. New design process are put into place by AMP to harness diverse customer perspectives to help improve AMP products and services.
  4. Measurement, accountability and rewards: AMP’s diversity and inclusion principles are incorporated into their core capabilities and recruitment practices. According to AMP’s 2014 employee engagement survey found that 84% of employees believed they were treated fairly regardless of gender, age, ethnicity, race, disability, religion, sexual orientation or other differences while 83% believed their manager supported flexible work arrangements. AMP are looking to address the 2015 areas of concern.

According to AMP’s 2014 Community Report, the People and Remuneration Committee (PRC) continues to oversee and maintain the implementation of AMP’s diversity and inclusion initiatives. They then report to the AMP Limited Board on its progress, areas of improvement and gender diversity targets for the organisation.

For more information click here.


[1] QBE (2014). ‘Jawun’, QBE in the Community Fact Sheet file:///C:/Users/Sabrina/Downloads/J5420%20QBE%20Foundation%20Fact%20sheet_web%20(1).pdf (accessed on 2 November 2015)

[2] Chau, J. Y., van der Ploeg, H. P., Merom, D., Chey, T., & Bauman, A. E. (2012) ‘Cross-sectional associations between occupational and leisuretime sitting, physical activity and obesity in working adults’. Preventive Medicine, 54(3), 195-200.

[3] AMP (2014). ‘AMP’s People’, 2014  AMP Community Report, (accessed on 2 November 2015)


This information is provided as a resource guide only. Information is current at the time of publishing. The aim is to share information and case studies that align with the SOLD priorities of Social responsibility, Opportunities for women, Lifestyle, health and wellbeing, as well as Diversity of culture.

Please note, some of these case study sources were derived from MFAA’s current sponsors. The information, however, was gathered from external resources such as the sponsors’ sites via their corporate social responsibility links or via Pro Bono Australia. Pro Bono Australia is a news service website that aims to share awareness of charitable organisations. MFAA does not have any direct affiliations with Pro Bono Australia.

Individuals are encouraged to check the currency of any information that is provided by contacting the MFAA Marketing department. If you have any questions or if you would like to share MFAA member case studies please contact Sabrina Cortez via email:

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