19th November 2012 –  Dear Stakeholders

I am delighted to release the Financial Counselling Australia (FCA) Annual Report 2012, containing information about our activities, highlights during the year and our challenges in the future.

Distributing our Annual Report is timely, given the release in late October of the PwC-CSI Community Index – a survey of confidence and operating conditions in the not-for-profit sector. The index confirms what many of us instinctively know: that while our sector collectively is juggling funding uncertainties and increased demand, our services are robust and essential. To quote the report:

“The not-for-profit sector makes an immense contribution to our community, providing essential services to Australians most in need. The sector employs more than eight per cent of the workforce – more than the resources sector – and adds more than $55 billion to the economy.” 

As the peak body for financial counsellors in Australia, FCA helps to build and support the profession, work for increased access to financial counselling and advocates for low income and vulnerable consumers.

Highlights this year include the adoption of the Code of Ethical Practice for the profession and legal protection of the term “financial counsellor” and “financial counselling”. These are both significant milestones for our profession.

Our profession continues to grow in stature and we are proud of the passion and energy of financial counsellors throughout the country. The coming year, like past years, promises to be challenging as we look forward to realising our firm vision for better training, adequate funding and better resources for financial counsellors. We will continue to advocate on behalf of both the profession and consumers, to raise public awareness of and access to our services and to support the wonderful people who make up our industry.

Yours sincerely

Carmel Franklin