As the winter months slip by, the preparations for our conference and Annual General Meeting continue apace. We now have a draft new constitution out for comment, after a lot of committed work from our constitutional review committee. I want to acknowledge the work of David Balcombe, Maria Turnbull and Patrick White who volunteered to join the committee and who have attended meetings, read drafts, emailed and engaged with a range of drafting issues. Our Board members do enormous amounts of voluntary work for FCRC in their roles, and those who have been on the constitutional review committee should also be acknowledged, in particular Norm McMurray who has chaired the committee for the last 14 months, as well as Cathy Clark and Colin Harte. Last year Heather Barclay and Jenny Elvey also made valuable contributions.
Over the last two months we have also begun engaging with State Trustees, and we are working to develop stronger links between that organisation and the financial counselling sector. We welcome State Trustees’ constructive engagement with the Victorian Ombudsman’s review of their organisation, and genuine desire to work with and learn from our sector as part of a stronger focus on their clients’ interests. A lot of our training has potential relevance to State Trustees; one good example relates to elder abuse. Thanks to funding from the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services, Bernadette Pasco has developed a two day training course for financial counsellors working with older persons at risk of or experiencing elder abuse. This training has been run twice now in July and August, with great feedback from participants. Bernadette is continuing to work with Elder Abuse Prevention Networks on including financial counselling as part of the service framework for older persons at risk of elder abuse.
You can find out more about this and other work at our conference in Ballarat in October.