From 11-13 October 2023 SSRV financial counsellor Graeme Parsons and community lawyer Eloise Cox attended the FCVic Conference, which was held in Lorne. Graeme and Eloise were excited about the opportunity to meet and engage with the financial counselling sector in person, and found it refreshing to be able to do so.
The theme of the conference was ‘Rock the Boat’ with a focus on inspiring positive reform and challenging the status-quo. It was three days of professional development, information sharing, networking and cross-sector collaboration.
One highlight of the conference includes Graeme speaking in The Great Debate. The topic of the debate was ‘There’s no such thing as a free lunch’ and it was MCed and judged by friend of SSRV John Berrill. John is a volunteer for SSRV, and law firm Berill & Watson continues to contribute valuable pro-bono assistance to SSRV.
Graeme was on the affirmative team – and he had his work cut out for him. During the debate the crowd cheered and gave support for both the affirmative and the negative, and in the end, John called the debate an equal draw.
We would like to thank everyone who visited our stall and contributed to conversations. Over 300 people, from metro and rural Victoria, attended the conference. It was at the same time gratifying and humbling to hear from financial counsellors about their positive experiences using the SSRV Worker Helpline and attending SSRV community legal education seminars.
Graeme and Eloise were also excited to meet financial counsellors who had not heard of our service before and to build new relationships with new services.
We look forward to working closely with our financial counselling colleagues in the future and for further opportunities for cross-sector collaboration.