EnergyAustralia’s Queensland FC Teacher Program Underway

Top L to R: Jon O’Mally, EA’s Mathew Morrison, Natasha Syed Ali, Tukie Balanzategui, Mathew Morrison and Jill McKinlay. Bottom L to R: Jill McKinlay, ICAN Learn’s Majella Anderson & Robyn Shepherd-Murdoch, EA’s Louise Nicoloudis and Natasha Syed Ali.

ICAN Learn and EnergyAustralia recently caught up with all four of Queensland’s up and coming financial counselling teachers at the annual Financial Counselling Association of Queensland (FCAQ) conference held at Southbank Brisbane, between the 5thand 7thof March. The Queensland contingent is part of a larger EnergyAustralia sponsored Financial Counselling Teaching Development Program in South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales where a total of 20 experienced financial counsellors are either currently completing or updating their TAE40116 Cert IV in Training and Assessment.

Tukie Balanzategui, Natasha Syed Ali, Jill McKinlay and Jon O’Mally have a combined 50+ years of financial counselling experience that they will share with the sector. “I want to support and boost the professionalism of financial counselling by doing my part to ensure we have well-trained, well-informed and well-supported people,” said financial counsellor, Tukie Balanzategui.

Experienced financial counsellor, Natasha Syed Ali supported Tukie‘s sentiments, stating, “A lot has changed over the last 10 years in the consumer advocacy space, I would like to expand my passion and motivate new financial counsellors to be the best they can, not just for our clients but also for our sector.”

Highlighting the need for teaching diversity within the financial counselling teaching program, ICAN Learn Executive Officer, Bernadette Pasco said, “We want to match the right teachers with the right units within the Diploma of Financial Counselling. Everyone has a passion, and when they’re sharing that passion, it’s an extremely effective way to share and build knowledge .”

Jill McKinlay commenced her career in financial counselling after the Brisbane floods in 2011. For Jill, the impact of financial counselling on a person’s economic and personal wellbeing has always been an extraordinary thing to observe. “People will often comment that they wish they’d known about financial counselling sooner,” said Ms McKinlay. “I recently studied a masters of counselling to meet the increasingly complex needs of our vulnerable clients, learnings to be utilised in my teaching endeavours.”

Newly appointed FCAQ president Jon O’Mally summed up the EnergyAustralia sponsored program, “It’s about practising financial counsellors taking charge of the teaching provided to new people coming into the sector,” said Mr O’Mally. “This makes the teaching relevant and a real game-changer for the professionalism of the sector.”