Friday 20 Apr 2018

Interview with David Lodge, Bethany Warrnambool

Please tell us about your background.

Born in the 'burbs of Melbourne. Moved to Warrnambool to work and enjoy the coast - especially surfing - a couple of decades ago.

Prior to financial counselling: Accounting and finance roles, Student advocacy - in a student association.


What motivated you to pursue financial counselling?

Needed the money! an interesting, rewarding field, building on my past work lives in student advocacy and finance. A natural progression!


What are the unique aspects of your role or the area you work in?

I am a generalist FC in Warrnambool, including outreach to Hamilton. The agency I work for, Bethany, services the South West of Victoria - an area larger than some European countries.

Outreach country work entails a broad range of clients and an hour and a half drive to set up in a community space to see 3 or 4 clients and an hour and a half drive back to base.

Clients often have to travel a lot with limited incomes and limited public transport options to attend appointments. The country drive is okay, sometimes see emus and kangaroos (mainly road kill) and see the country change through the seasons.

Clients in the area we cover are diverse in their circumstances, generally Anglo-Saxon, with some indigenous clients. They include broken-down shearers, mortgage-stress clients struggling to make loan payments in remote properties, and others battling to make ends meet and dealing with debt. 


What has been your proudest achievement to date?

Making grown-ups cry when we win a waiver!


What do you see as the biggest challenge facing the financial counselling sector?

Getting sufficient funding for the FCs to be able to provide service to isolated people in the country areas, and meeting the increasing demand.


What has been the most valuable resource or advice you’ve received?

Good case notes = good defence
Bad case notes = bad defence
No case notes = no defence


And now the easy questions:

What artist are you listening to at the moment?

Joe Henry – great song writer/producer

What TV show are you currently watching?

Anything French, so I can practise some language prior to travelling to France shortly – ooh la la!