December 2019 saw 12 months of discussion and planning between the ADF Financial Services Consumer Centre and ICAN Learn culminate in a week of intense education immersion for consumer centre personnel. The training expanded their understanding about ways to support the provision of financial information to ADF personnel, pre and post-deployment, to reduce risks of financial difficulty.
Employees of Bravery Trust, a national organisation helping injured, serving, and ex-serving members of the Defence Force and their families with urgent financial assistance, are actively involved in this initiative, sharing their experience about how mental health, and the effects of service, can impact a family’s financial wellness.
ICAN Learn is delivering content of the Diploma of Financial Counselling [CHC51115] to ADF Consumer Centre and Bravery Trust participants. This will build a full understanding of how the ADF can proactively provide links to financial counsellors around the country, building opportunities to link those actively providing services to our country, to post-service support.
“It is a fantastic opportunity to work with the ADF,” said Bernadette Pasco, Executive Officer of ICAN Learn. “We are learning a lot from the incredibly well-qualified participants in our group about ADF Consumer Centre services and ways we can work together. Participants in the group have made us incredibly welcome and been really open to new ways of thinking about links between financial difficulty, mental health, and other key issues for better long term outcomes.”
“We were privileged to be in a training space in the war memorial in Sydney for a whole week, and got a sense of the depth of dedication of those providing service to others. It was very moving, on lots of fronts.”
Geoff Cornwall, ICAN Learn teacher and financial counsellor from NSW and member of the Financial Counselling Association Board of Management, was part of the training delivery in December.
In addition to providing financial counselling expertise, Geoff was able to share some of his experiences as an Official Visitor (mental health) at the South Coast Hospital, where there are specialist services for ADF members with post-traumatic stress disorder. Geoff enriched the training by providing an insight into difficulties experienced by defence staff when PTSD affects the ability to function, and frequently drives financial and other disadvantage.
ICAN Learn continues to work with the ADF and Bravery Trust to support members and Veterans in a directed way into the future.