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Wednesday 25 Oct 2017

Chair's report - October 2017

By: Julie Barrow

What a fantastic turnout at our Victorian Conference in Lorne this year! We had 78% of our Victorian Financial Counsellors attend. It was great to meet many new faces across both financial counselling and industry all striving for better outcomes for the people we work with. Thank you to Melanie Keenan from Defining Events for yet another successful conference!

Congratulations to our new Board members, Carly Baker and Heather Barclay. Congratulations also to Mark Philips on his re-election for a further two-year term as treasurer. I am also excited to have been re-elected as Chair for the next two years which will provide stability in moving our organisation forward under the leadership of our newly appointed Executive Officer, Sandy Ross.

Our conference provided the opportunity to connect, reflect and hear from experts in the fields in which we work. In particular, the opening address from Dr Sally Gainsbury of the University of Sydney provided intriguing insights into the future of gambling with the evolution of technology. This was certainly concerning but also positive to hear the body of research that exists to assist us in supporting our clients.

A big thank you to Scott Pape (aka the Barefoot Investor) for his continued support of the financial counselling profession who generously donated his time at the Conference in providing signed copies of his book to all financial counsellors present. Scott has made a commitment to donate 10% of all profits from his book sales (currently at 500,000 copies) to Financial Counselling Australia which will see the beginning of the long awaited Financial Counselling Foundation which will launch in December 2017.

I would also like to mention the recent success of FCRC and the Vehicle Registration Working Group. On Sunday 24 September, the Acting Premier Jacinta Allan announced that beginning 1 January 2018 all Victorian motorists will have the option to pay their vehicle registrations in 3 or 6 monthly instalments. This has been the result of a two-year campaign, and I would like to acknowledge the support of our working group members Mark Gibson and Feiona Nolan for their vision and commitment to this cause.

Finally, thank you to the hard work behind the scenes from our staff at FCRC in ensuring both our conference is a success and our members are always supported!