Monday 26 Nov 2018

Interview with Sam Levey, Carlton Fitzroy Financial Counselling Service

What motivated you to pursue financial counselling?

I have always worked in the community sector and my last job was as an Emergency Relief and NILS worker. I found that I was always referring people to see financial counsellors and my boss one day said to me, why don’t you study financial counselling and it got me thinking and eventually I went back to school and got my Diploma. I am so glad I made the decision as I really love my job.


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

I work for Carlton Fitzroy Financial Counselling Service and am based at the Neighbourhood Justice Centre. Most of our clients have infringements and we assist them with everything from Special Circumstances Applications, Internal Reviews, payment plans etc. Working at the court we also get referrals from lawyers and can be called upon to write financial reports for people attending court.


What has been your proudest achievement to date?

I still remember the first time I assisted a client with a debt waiver application. She was an elderly woman who had a credit card which she could not afford – I remember seeing the email informing me that her debt had been waived and it was such a great feeling.

We were also involved in setting up and running a fines clinic at the Neighbourhood Justice Centre, which involved financial counselling students and law students assisting people with their fines.


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



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

My co-worker once said to me when I was feeling frustrated about clients not attending follow up appointments that even if you see someone once and they don’t come back that they have left with more information than they came with.


And now the easy questions...

What TV show are you currently watching?

I am watching The Sinner on Netflix – it’s great and total escapism.


What is your favourite podcast?

I have come late to podcasts however was told about The Teacher’s Pet and have started listening to it and am really enjoying it.