Financial Counselling Australia congratulates the financial counsellors who received awards as part of MoneySmart Week.
The Salvation Army’s MoneyCare financial counselling service in Newcastle received the highest honour in the community category, with an outstanding achievement award.
Their You’re the Boss program, set up by financial counsellor Kristen Harnett, is a series of face to face workshops that has now been delivered to over 950 participants in 73 sessions. The program helps participants to develop positive money management habits. The Salvos partnered with Virgin Money and insurer IAG in delivering the program.
Centacare Catholic Family Services Country South Australia won a highly commended award in the community category for its Balancing Bunda program, targeted toward Indigenous consumers. The driving force behind this program is financial counsellor Samantha Forsyth.
This innovative program includes a calendar with art from the Ceduna Art and Culture Centre and financial tips on a selected topic each month such as managing electricity bills, reducing electricity costs, door to door sales, banking, shopping within a budget, low cost recreation, affordable credit, financial counselling, mobile phones and dealing with debt. The My Money budget whiteboard magnet and calculator was provided with the calendar to give consumers a handy budgeting tool.
FCA also congratulates all of the other MoneySmart Award week winners. The awards showcase the many wonderful and varied financial literacy initiatives in Australia.
Financial counsellors are passionate about financial literacy. Making better financial decisions is something that just about all of us need to think about, whether it be in developing a savings habit, budgeting or making sure we have adequate insurance.
However, financial counsellors also know financial literacy is only part of the solution. Safe and affordable financial products as well as adequate resources for the regulator are just as vital. And finally, when things do go wrong – unemployment, illness, relationship breakdown or poverty – access to services such as financial counselling can make the difference between financial recovery and financial oblivion.