We are proud to introduce our three new FCVic team members to you today. Joining our staff are:
- Annette Devereaux – Professionalisation and Service Integration (Gambling) Lead
- Julia Monsbourgh – Project Officer
- Tracey Blythe – Disaster Recovery Coordinator
These three have taken some time out of their days to share a little about themselves, so you can get to know them better today and find out why and how they have come to work with FCVic.
Annette Devereaux– Professionalisation and Service Integration (Gambling) Lead
Please tell us a little of your career background: Having worked as a financial counsellor and team leader of a financial counselling/financial capability and emergency relief program for the last 13 years has been both rewarding and challenging. The difference we can make to our community is why we do this work isn’t it? It is for me!
Can you tell us about your new FCVic role? I’m now working with FCVic in a Gambling Lead specialisation role and get to see the fabulous work financial counsellors do across the state in the Gambling Harm sector and offer support where possible. Being a new role is exciting – something that will provide increased awareness of financial counsellors back to Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation, Gamblers Help programs and agencies.
In addition to this role, I’m teaching at RTOs providing the Financial Counselling Diploma – I really love seeing the next generation of financial counsellors coming into our sector, training and supporting them where possible.
What interests you beyond financial counselling? I’ve always worked in Community Services and enjoyed the various roles I’ve had – including teenage foster care program management and placement, juvenile detention work, independent living skills worker and event management for a large cycling organisation. I love to keep active and challenge myself as much as possible – this year I hope to hike in Scotland over 10 days (with the same crew I hiked to Base Camp Everest with in 2019).
Julia Monsbourgh (pronounced: MONS-burra) – Projects Officer
Please tell us a little of your career background: I have a background in teaching and the performing arts. More recently I worked in accounts, before studying the Diploma of Financial Counselling in 2021 at RMIT.
How did you come to join the FCVic team? I approached Suzy Goldsmith (Lead – Special Projects) after her presentation at the FCVic conference in 2022, because I was really interested in her creative approaches to outreach work.
What are the unique aspects of your role? We have a range of projects being developed simultaneously. Each day brings broad discussion and planning, including developing interactive resources and guides for young people, through to designing sessions for older Victorians and carers in local libraries, and with partner organisations.
And outside of work, what are you reading at the moment? I am currently dipping into the Summer section of Thrifty Gardening – money-saving tips and know-how for a flourishing garden by the Country Women’s Association Victoria branch. It includes recipes and has been written with a Victorian climate context.
I recently finished Barefoot Kids, which was a great way to see how language can be used so effectively, to engage young people in their discovery of money, considering what good money decisions look like, and developing personal accountability.
Tracey Blythe – Disaster Recovery Coordinator
Please tell us a little of your career background: I was a financial counsellor for 16 years in the Southern Metro Region across Not-For-Profit, Community Legal and Community Health sectors, commencing when FCVic was ‘CAFCA’, in a service where Jan Pentland and Mary-Ann Day were the inaugural financial counsellors. I was on the Board of ‘FCRC’, and taught in the Tertiary Education sector, including Financial Counselling, at RMIT. I moved into Local Government, then the latter part of my career was in the Public Health sector before retiring as Executive Officer of a Primary Care Partnership in 2022, where I led workforce capacity building and cross sectoral partnerships.
How did you come to work with FCVic in the disaster recovery space? My interest in disaster recovery began following Black Saturday, when I coordinated a recovery centre in my local area.
I have a long-held admiration and respect for financial counsellors and was keen to contribute to the sector once again. The Disaster Recovery Coordinator (3 days per week) supports FCs working in this challenging space (post flood, storms, bushfires), to build specialist skills, share peer learnings, and respond to systemic issues encountered, whilst supporting clients and communities experiencing trauma.
Outside of financial counselling, what special interests do you have? I have a deep love of music and am listening to 2 albums from a recent folk festival by artists Kerryn Fields and Michael Waugh, and am looking forward to attending WOMAD in March.