The theme for our 2022 Conference was ‘Recovery. Resilience. Reconnection.’ – words that felt particularly fitting when we finally gathered in person last week for the first FCVic Conference since 2019. After several COVID-related postponements and a last-minute public holiday announcement prompting a rearrangement of the program, it felt all the more special to come together as a sector at the Pullman Hotel in East Melbourne on Tuesday 20 and Wednesday 21 September.
With over 425 registrations and 36 exhibitors, this was our biggest conference to date. Justine Sless, our Conference MC, masterfully guided us through a thought-provoking program which spanned a whole range of issues related to financial counselling practice. Highlights included the Local Councils panel, facilitated by Sue Fraser OAM; and the Hypotheticals panel, facilitated by Tom Cobban from Berrill & Watson. Breakout sessions on both days provided members with a chance to delve deeper into particular areas, such as ‘Motivational Interviewing’ and ‘Understanding the carer experience’.
Of course, there were also plenty of opportunities for members to reconnect and reflect on the previous two years of work and life, and the value of being able to do this face-to-face is difficult to capture or overstate. Suffice to say, it made for a refreshing change from Zoom meetings!
The conference ended with a bang – the Gala Awards Dinner at the MCG, a wonderful celebration of our members and the work they do for their clients and the community. We danced the night away, regaled by a fantastic band who played hit after hit. Our most sincere thanks to everyone who came along to the Conference. We look forward to seeing you all again next year!
And finally, a huge congratulations to this year’s award recipients, who were:
- Rising Star award: Sarah Duane and Dean Oakley, joint winners
- Virginia Noonan Award: Carly Baker
- Jan Pentland Award: Michele Padbury
All extremely well deserved!
We will shortly be publishing some of the fantastic photos from the Conference here – be sure to check back to see these.