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Keep up to date with news that informs your practice and expands awareness of your client's rights.

Monday 24 Jul 2017

Multi-cultural scholarship program

By: Bernadette Pasco

FCRC is proud to announce a unique opportunity!

ICAN Learn in partnership with CBA is providing scholarships for students from ethnic / multicultural, non-English speaking backgrounds to undertake the Financial literacy skill set (CHCSS00077) and the diploma of financial counselling (CHC51115) as one course.

Monday 24 Jul 2017

Diploma of Financial Counselling

By: Bernadette Pasco

ICAN Learn, a new social enterprise Registered Training Organisation, is excited to be able to offer the Diploma of Financial Counselling to Victorian students interested in becoming financial counsellors.

FCRC have partnered with ICAN Learn to commence delivery of the diploma in Victoria, starting from September this year.

Monday 24 Jul 2017

EO's report - July 2017

By: Peter Gartlan

In alternating issues of the Devil's Advocate, the FCRC Executive Officer contributes a message to the sector. This month, Peter Gartlan shares the exciting work of ICAN Learn in delivering the Diploma of Financial Counselling in Victoria later this year.

Monday 24 Jul 2017

Interview with Robyn Angus, La Trobe University Student Union

In each issue of the Devil's Advocate, FCRC shines the spotlight on one of our members.

This month, Robyn Angus gives insight into some of the unique aspects of working as a financial counsellor within a university.

Wednesday 05 Jul 2017

New role: Project Worker - Family Violence

By: Donna Letchford

FCRC welcomes Donna Letchford into her new role as Project Worker - Family Violence within the organisation. Donna will aim to provide support to family violence financial counsellors through development of support mechanisms, specialised training and supervision, and best practice frameworks.

Wednesday 05 Jul 2017

FCRC's response to ASIC class orders consultation

Read FCRC's submission to the recent consultation on ASIC's financial counselling licensing relief class orders.

Friday 23 Jun 2017

Chair's Report - June 2017

By: Julie Barrow

In alternating issues of the Devil's Advocate, the FCRC Chairperson contributes a message to the sector. This month, Julie Barrow reflects on the contributions of FCRC Executive Officer, Peter Gartlan. Peter will conclude his time at FCRC in September.

Thursday 22 Jun 2017

Interview with Carlos Poveda Rayo, Anglicare Werribee

In each issue of the Devil's Advocate, FCRC shines the spotlight on one of our members. This month, financial counsellor Carlos Poveda Rayo shares how he ended up in financial counselling and why he won't return to the corporate world.

Friday 16 Jun 2017

FCRC & CALC Submission to the Essential Services Commission

In response to the ESC's new draft decision for its Payment Difficulties Framework, FCRC and Consumer Action Law Centre have submitted their comments to the Commission.

Recognising many of the new measures the ESC has proposed in the revised framework, we are positive the ESC can achieve its objective of ensuring customers are disconnected as a last resort. We also make recommendations to ensure the framework can do more to support and protect vulnerable customers.

Monday 29 May 2017

EO's Report - May 2017

By: Peter Gartlan

In alternating issues of the Devil's Advocate, the FCRC Executive Officer contributes a message to the sector. This month, Peter Gartlan discusses state government funding of financial counselling, as well as announcing his resignation for the role of Executive Officer.

Sunday 28 May 2017

Interview with Leanne Clarke, Orbost Health

In each issue of the Devil's Advocate, FCRC shines the spotlight on one of our members. This month we interview Leanne Clarke, a financial counsellor working in the small Gippsland town of Orbost.

Thursday 25 May 2017

FCA 2017 Conference highlights

By: James Degenhardt

​The FCA Conference, held on the Gold Coast from 14-17 May, brought together nearly 600 delegates from the financial counselling and community sectors, government, industry and ombudsman schemes. The conference theme, "Making Waves," rippled throughout the event as presenters shared the ways in which they have been making meaningful impacts in their areas of work.

Wednesday 24 May 2017

Toll Road Operator Infringements

By: Tom McIntosh

Last financial year, Victoria’s toll road operators referred 1.2 million unpaid tolls to Victoria Police for infringement notices to be issued to Victorians. FCRC and Money Magazine are calling on Transurban to change their out-dated and unfair toll enforcement system.

Friday 28 Apr 2017

Chair's report - April 2017

By: Julie Barrow

In alternating issues of the Devil's Advocate, the FCRC Chairperson contributes a message to the sector. This month, Julie Barrow discusses the findings of the Rank the Telco report and congratulates the sector on their involvement.

Thursday 27 Apr 2017

Rank the Telco report launch

"Rare in its directness," FCRC launches their first report examining the hardship practices of Australian telcos.

FCRC launched its first report to examine the hardship policies and practices of Australian telcos on Thursday 27 April in Melbourne, which was attended by representatives from both the financial counselling and telecommunications sectors.

Peter Gartlan, FCRC Executive Officer, acknowledged the involvement of the Victorian financial counsellors in responding to the survey. Overall, 534 comments were submitted, including 66 recommendations for improvements. The survey results were conclusive that the current performance in the telecommunications sector is less than acceptable. All three of the first-tier providers ranked poorly, and none met the basic performance benchmarks set in other industries.

Thursday 27 Apr 2017

Interview with Carly Baker, Wimmera UnitingCare

In each issue of the Devil's Advocate, FCRC shines the spotlight on one of our members. This month, financial counsellor Carly Baker recounts how she grew to love her work and explains the value of networking.

Tuesday 28 Mar 2017

Fair Finance National Day of Action

By: Tom McIntosh

On 27 March, FCRC and Victorian FCs joined members of other consumer advocacy groups for a "day of action" in Canberra, where the group lobbied for the speedy introduction of the recommendations from the SACC Review.

Friday 24 Mar 2017

EO's report - March 2017

By: Peter Gartlan

In alternating issues of the Devil's Advocate, the FCRC Executive Officer contributes a message to the sector. This month, Peter Gartlan announces the upcoming launch of the 'Rank the Telco' report to be released in April.

Monday 20 Mar 2017

Interview with Colin Hart, Salvation Army Melbourne

In each issue of the Devil's Advocate, FCRC shines the spotlight on one of our members. This month we interview financial counsellor and FCRC board member, Colin Harte, as he recounts his unexpected entry into the financial counselling sector.

Thursday 23 Feb 2017

Chair's report - February 2017

By: Julie Barrow

In alternating issues of the Devil's Advocate, the FCRC Chairperson contributes a message to the sector. This month, Julie Barrow shares the positive results from last year's financial counselling assistance to those experiencing family violence.

Thursday 23 Feb 2017

Interview with Eleanor Mason, Salvation Army Geelong

In each issue of the Devil's Advocate, FCRC shines the spotlight on one of our members. This month we interview Eleanor Mason, as she shares her passion for the sector and tells us why she thinks financial counsellors "rule the world!"

Tuesday 21 Feb 2017

Concerns with Centrelink’s Private Debt Collectors’ Accountability

By: Srikaran Nadador

Since the introduction of the government’s new automated debt recovery system in July 2016, there has been severe public backlash against the inaccurate system of data-matching which has affected over 170 000 people to date.

Financial Counsellors may be interested to know that Centrelink has enlisted private debt collectors, including Dun & Bradstreet and Recoveries Corp, to recover the alleged overpayments.

Wednesday 08 Feb 2017

Afterpay: what you need to know

By: James Degenhardt

In an age of convenience, where getting credit can be easier than getting paid, consumers need to pay close attention to what they can afford and how they spend their money. A relatively new “buy now, pay later” facility has emerged that is enticing young shoppers to get the things they want now, and pay for it over time. Sound too good to be true? Read more to see whether there is an aftermath from Afterpay.

Tuesday 07 Feb 2017

Mis-selling of Debt Agreements

Financial counsellors and consumer lawyers are reporting cases where debt agreement administrators are signing consumers to debt agreements who have have limited income and no seizable assets. In these cases it is clear and unambiguous that this type of miss-selling should be banned. Read our case studies here.

Tuesday 07 Feb 2017

New VCOSS/RMIT research project - Energy Under-Use

By: Tom McIntosh

VCOSS is conducting research on energy under-consumption and the use of trade-off strategies (e.g. cutting back on food) in order to afford energy bills. These household strategies can adversely affect health, wellbeing and quality of life. We are hoping you can help us identify people who are interested in participating in this research and sharing their experiences. NOTE: Member-only content. For assistance, contact admin@fcrc.org.au.

Tuesday 24 Jan 2017

EO's report - January 2017

By: Peter Gartlan

In alternating issues of the Devil's Advocate, the FCRC Executive Officer contributes a message to the sector. This month, Peter Gartlan discusses the growth of the financial counselling sector, and FCRC's role in its continuation.

Thursday 12 Jan 2017

Centrelink automated notices

By: Tom McIntosh

FCRC has issued some advice for members on how they can assist clients who have received an auto-debt recovery notice from Centrelink. NOTE: Member-only content. For assistance, contact admin@fcrc.org.au.

Monday 19 Dec 2016

Interview with Briar Hall from EnergyAustralia

EnergyAustralia was the major sponsor of the 2016 Victorian Financial Counsellors Conference. We recently caught up with Briar Hall who leads the Customer Vulnerability & Recovery team at EnergyAustralia to find out more about how the organisation is getting involved with financial counsellors, and what support they offer customers experiencing hardship.

Monday 19 Dec 2016

Debt vultures are preying on our clients

By: Kai Zauner-De Ville

Paid financial services can have a detrimental impact on those who are seeking a financial lifeline. Financial counsellor, Kai Zauner-De Ville, calls for regulations for debt vultures that prey on the financially vulnerable.

Monday 19 Dec 2016

Chair's report - Christmas 2016

By: Julie Barrow

In alternating issues of the Devil's Advocate, the FCRC Chairperson contributes a message to the sector. This month, Julie Barrow reflects on the year that was, and looks ahead to the opportunities that 2017 presents to Victorian financial counsellors.

Thursday 24 Nov 2016

Submission to the Essential Services Commission

Read our joint submission on the proposed safety net for energy consumers facing payment difficulty.

Monday 21 Nov 2016

What are the hardship practices of the telcos?

The Ranking Survey is back. This time FCRC would like you to rank the hardship practices of telecommunications retailers, through Rank the Telco.

Monday 24 Oct 2016

La Trobe Student Union joins the National Financial Literacy Strategy

Led by ASIC, the National Financial Literacy Strategy is a practical framework to guide and encourage all those with a role to play in improving financial literacy for Australians. La Trobe University Student Union (LTSU) is pleased to have become accepted as Supporter in the formal Education Sector. FCRC member and Financial Counsellor at LTSU, Robyn Angus, is keen to support the initiative which she says "will help our work and network".