EnergyAustralia backs ground breaking financial counselling development initiatives


ICAN Learn hosted EnergyAustralia and state financial counselling peak body leaders from Victoria, South Australia, New South Wales and Queensland at a workshop in Cairns earlier this month. The purpose of the workshop was to create a wide-ranging training and professional development plan for the sector. The resulting plan will form the basis of a $1.2 M, three year investment by EnergyAustralia for the continued professionalisation of financial counselling. Significant planning goals include the development and delivery of an educators scholarship program, a Diploma of Financial Counselling scholarship program, an accredited Professional Supervision/Mentor scholarship program and an Advanced Diploma of Financial Counselling scholarship program for participating states.

Speaking on EnergyAustralia’s investment into the Financial Counselling sector, Briar Hall (Leader Vulnerability) said, “We are proud to partner with ICAN Learn to deliver the EnergyAustralia Financial Counselling Development Program, over the next three years we will invest to build growth, capability and new opportunities for a sector and its people we believe, must be invested in.”

Highlighting the significance of EnergyAustralia’s investment, Bernadette Pasco, ICAN Learn Executive Officer said, “EnergyAustralia has provided the financial counselling sector and ICAN Learn an opportunity to build educational and career pathways for both expert and new financial counsellors. There will be educational opportunities for experienced financial counsellors to add training delivery, supervision, casework specialisation and leadership to their skill set, generating new career prospects. Holding true to our mantra of, “real education, industry connections, advance your profession.”

The EnergyAustralia, ICAN Learn and state peak financial counselling association partnerships will offer some ground breaking initiatives including a scholarship program to increase the number of financial counsellors qualified in teaching the Diploma of Financial Counselling. Another new enterprise is the development of an Advanced Diploma of Financial Counselling that aims to grow the professionalisation of the sector and develop career pathways for skilled practitioners. Workshop participants also discussed designing an accredited “Professional Supervision/Mentor Skill Set”, that could be delivered on its own or credited towards the Advanced Diploma of financial counselling.

EnergyAustralia and ICAN Learn plan to formally launch the partnership initiatives at each participating state financial counselling conference over the coming months. First cab off the rank was the Financial Counsellors Association of NSW (FCAN) conference held in Sydney last week, where EnergyAustralia’s Briar Hall and ICAN Learn’s Robyn Shepherd-Murdoch made the important announcement at the start of the event. Commenting on the announcement response, Graham Smith, FCAN Chair said, “the NSW financial counselling conference attendees were really excited about the opportunities presented and love the fact that they have been developed by financial counsellors for financial counsellors.This EnergyAustralia investment is a ‘game changer’ for the Financial Counselling sector.”

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