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Tuesday 30 Oct 2018

Chair's report - October 2018

By: Julie Barrow

Welcome to our post Conference edition of the Devil’s Advocate. What an amazing conference, celebrating the beginning of the 40th year of the Financial & Consumer Rights Council in Victoria.

Thank you to our conference organiser, Mel Kennan of Defining Events and Sandy Ross and the staff at FCRC for the tireless work you do to bring this event together. I am sure most would agree, the trip on the Melbourne Star following our AGM on the Wednesday evening and attending the 40th Anniversary Gala awards dinner at the MCG were both added highlights!

Congratulations to our award winners, Jo Parkin (Jan Pentland Memorial Award), Colin Handreck (Virginia Noonan Award) and Issam Alameh (Rising Star Award) – all significant contributors to our wider sector. Also to the unsung heroes, our members that received acknowledgement of their 10 and 20 years of service to financial counselling: thank you for the lives you have made a difference in and the positive change you have contributed to in the space of financial hardship.

Most notably, (I think on this note I would speak for all members) I would like to congratulate Bernadette Pasco on being awarded Life Membership of FCRC. Bernadette has worked tirelessly to ensure we grow as a professional and was instrumental in the development of the Diploma of Financial Counselling delivery in Victoria. Bernadette is currently working with FCRC on the Elder Abuse project and in the national training space with the Indigenous Consumer Assistance Network as Executive Officer of ICAN Learn.

The Board have commissioned a history of our peak body, and over the next few months, we invite our members and stakeholders to contribute memories, stories and photographs to the FCRC office, which we are looking forward to sharing with you all.

I would like to welcome our new Board members Max Smart and Jo McMahon-Hide, and congratulate Colin Harte and Cathy Clark (Secretary) on their re-election to the Board. We also bid farewell to Kay Dilger (Secretary for 6 years) and Jenny Elvey (Board Director for 4 years) and thank them both for their significant contribution to our sector.

Finally, thank you to all the financial counsellors, students, stakeholders, sponsors and guest speakers that attended our conference ensuring the conversations of change for the people we work with continues!