23 August 2023

On Monday, I was delighted to open the Financial Counsellors Association's Conference at the Fairmont Resort in the Blue Mountains. The Financial Counsellor's Association is an organisation whose services go well beyond just educating people about financial literacy. Based in NSW, the Association provides a lifeline to those navigating financial turmoil. Financial counsellors are not only the people who advise on budgets and money plans, but they also lend a compassionate ear to those in need - offering emotional support along with their practical advice to help those in difficult circumstances. They link individuals with community and government services as well offering support in emergency relief and domestic violence situations. I commend the Association for provision of tools, resource and professional development opportunities to its members. Life is unpredictable, and financial hardship can befall anyone. Speaking to the Association I was reminded of the impact the financial counsellors had on my own family during difficult times. During a cost‑of‑living crisis we know that people are struggling and that the need for financial counsellors is growing. I was honoured to attend, open a conference that brought these people together, and express gratitude for their important, life-changing work.