Tuesday 26 Sep 2017

Interview with Leonie Cooke, Anglicare Bairnsdale

Please tell us about your background.

I worked various roles at Westpac Bank, ranging from entry level to Branch Manager for 16 years, then car yard finance for 6 months (I did not last long as I had morals... can I say that?), Mortgage Broking for over 6 years, and now FC for nearly 7 years.


What motivated you to pursue financial counselling?

I was looking for a change and I had no idea what an FC did, I applied and someone took a chance. I remember I came back from my first FC conference and my then manager asked me what did I learn and I said I learnt that I know nothing about being an FC, and he said that’s a good place to start. What keeps me motivated? This little quote by C. Hoppe:

"I hope that my achievements in life shall be these – that I will have fought for what was right and fair, that I will have risked for that which mattered, that I will have given help to those who were in need and that I will have left the earth a better place for what I’ve done and who I’ve been."


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

Living in a rural setting, there is always a mixture of case work. And being so far away from Metro, you can often feel isolated.


What has been your proudest achievement to date?

My daughter.


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

Keeping up with the demand and still maintaining quality of work while training to keep up with up with relevant changes.


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

The best advice I've received: a client’s situation did not happen overnight, it has taken sometimes years to get to here, so we cannot solve or fix things overnight. Clients reach out at absolute crisis and usually not before.


What TV show are you currently watching?

The Block and Million Dollar Cold Case


What are you listening to at the moment?

Def Leppard - Hysteria

Lady Antebellum - Need You Now