Sector articles of interest - 25 November

Written on the 24 November 2020 by SAFCA

  • FCA Weekly Digest 16-20 November
  • Legal Services Commission Staying Connected
  • Raise the Rate for good campaign update

FCA Weekly Digest 16-20 November

Welcome to the sixth edition of our Weekly Digest, to keep you across recent news and website/toolkit updates.

We decided we should offer an alternative to the Facebook group, as not everyone is engaged via that platform. The Facebook group will remain active and this newsletter reflects the posts we make each week.

Looking for a different Weekly Digest? You can find all our previous versions on the Weekly Digest Toolkit page.

News and Updates

Posted on Facebook Toolkit Group throughout the week.

EAP Keeping Mentally Healthy Newsletter

As part of our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) package for the sector, we receive weekly emails with wellbeing tips that refer to resources on ACCESS EAP's portal, which all financial counsellors can access.
This edition of the newsletter invites all of us to take a moment to rebuild and reinvest in our mental health and wellbeing. Click the link below to see the full newsletter and resources.

Read more

Upcoming Elder Abuse Training

Financial Counselling Australia is pleased to invite you to attend a one day virtual training session about assisting older clients experiencing abuse (elder abuse).

Dates available are:

  • Thursday December 12th SA (ACDT)

Please note that these dates are running on the local time of the state mentioned next to the date. The session will be held using Zoom and runs from 9am 2:30pm. There will be other dates available in early 2021.

Groups are limited to a maximum of 20 people because this is a virtual event. This event is waitlist enabled so you will be notified if a place becomes available if the event is sold out.

The facilitators are Kat Lane (lawyer), Karyn Schluter-White (training consultant) and Fiona Guthrie (CEO of FCA).

Register here for the SA Session

Media Request: Superannuation Poor Performance by Retail Funds

Can you think of a 30-55 year old client (or even someone you know) who has their super in one of these poor performing retail funds?

AMP, Asgard, Macquarie, MLC, OnePath, Perpetual, Zurich.

We know that industry super funds have performed much better than retail super funds, and that retiring with more super income helps people.

A reputable journalist is looking to interview clients for a superannuation story. This sort of story is really good for getting people to reflect on their super, while they still have many years left in the workforce. It's a great 'preventative story'.

The story is being set up by Super Consumers Australia, which is a new consumer advocacy body initiated by our friends at CHOICE.

Lauren Levin from FCA and a number of financial counsellors are on the advisory committee, so we're asking for your help (if you have any other super case studies or anything you want Lauren to raise at the next meeting, please drop Lauren Levin a line,  or call her on 0411 050 035).

Please put a sticky note on your desk to prompt you over the next couple of weeks! Thanks. We appreciate your help.

Campaign Feedback and Letters

We've been asking those of you who are involved in the Save Safe Lending campaign to contact local MPs and Senators.

We'd love it if you could share copies of your letters/emails with us, or anything else that you've been saying to politicians and others about why we need to save safe lending laws!

Your experiences and perceptions as financial counsellors are incredibly valuable to this campaign.

Please email James Sleep at . Thank you.

Our 2019-2020 Annual Report

FCA's 2019-2020 Annual Report has been released.

We last received significant Federal Government funding in 2010, and since then, our organisation has come a long way (as has the profession more broadly).

This annual report reflects on that decade of progress, as well as the past financial year.

You can view the report via our website.

ASIC's Latest Data on Buy Now Pay Later

ASIC has published a new report on the buy now pay later (BNPL) industry, which has grown substantially since ASIC's initial review.

The total amount of credit extended in the BNPL industry has almost doubled in 12 months. The report (REP 672) charts the growth and popularity of these arrangements.

Notably, the number of BNPL transactions increased from 16.8 million in the 2017-18 financial year to 32.0 million in the financial year 2018-19, representing an increase of 90%.

One in five consumers are missing payments. In the 201819 financial year, missed payment fee revenue for all the providers in the review totalled over $43 million, a growth of 38% compared to the previous financial year.

In last 12 months, to make payments on time: 20% of consumers surveyed said they cut back on or went without essentials (e.g. meals); and 15% of consumers surveyed said they had taken out an additional loan.

See the media release and full report for more information on the FCA Toolkit Weekly Digest.

Survey: Supporting Veterans and Serving ADF Members

Just a second reminder to please complete this survey if you have worked with current, transitioning members or veterans of the Australian Defence Force (ADF).

It is designed by UCare Gawler, with funding from the Ecstra Foundation, to build a solid evidence base for how the transition experience can be improved to foster financial wellbeing and capability.

The information you provide could lead to ongoing support to provide financial wellbeing literacy education. You can complete the survey here.

Your contributions to this survey will be greatly appreciated! Thank you to those who have already completed it.


Legal Services Commission Staying Connected

Welcome to 'Keeping Connected' - a fortnightly e-resource to help keep workers up to date with relevant legal topics.

As workers in organisations, government departments, and education sites, you are in the perfect position to share important information, resources, and steer people in the right direction to get the help they need.

Each fortnight we highlight our resources on a particular legal topic.

This edition of Keeping Connected is about seeking your feedback on our Easy Read Guides.

Feedback on our Easy Read Guides

The Legal Services Commission is currently reviewing and updating our Easy Read Guides. Part of our review of these resources will be to make sure that they are accessible to screen readers.

We are interested in people telling us what topics the Easy Read Guides should cover, and any legal questions that they think are important. We are also interested in feedback on language, terms and images.

We invite you to provide us with your feedback or suggestions.

Any feedback or suggestions must be provided by 18 December 2020.

If you wish to provide feedback on any of the Easy Read Guides (including suggestions for new topics) please provide your feedback by email to or by calling ph: 1300 366 424.

You can access the Easy Read Guides below, or visit here

What are Easy Read Guides?

Easy read guides are a way of making information easier to understand for everybody by:

  • using plain language
  • using short sentences
  • explaining legal words
  • sharing only the key messages
  • using pictures to explain the words

Current Easy Read Guides for Consultation

Free Legal Help. Easy Read Guide - Click here

This resource sets out what to do if you have a legal problem, including what services are available at the Legal Services Commission and how to access them.

Do you have a court date? Easy Read Guide - Click here

Have you been charged with an offence? Do you have a court date? This easy read resource sets out what you need to do.

Need a lawyer?  Easy Read Guide - Click here

Have you been charged with an offence and been to court?  This easy read resource sets out what to do.

Free Legal Help Flip Book - Click here

Do you have a legal problem? This easy read resource shows there are many ways the Legal Services Commission can help. We can assist you when you visit one of our offices, when you call our Legal Helpline or online.

Going to court about your child's welfare? Easy Read Guide - Click here

This easy read resource sets out what to do if you are going to court about your child's welfare. It includes information about how to access the services available through the Legal Services Commission.

Has your child been removed? Easy Read Guide - Click here

This easy read resource sets out what you can expect after the Department for Child Protection have removed your child, and how you can access legal advice and representation from the Legal Services Commission.

Laws to protect people from sexual abuse. Easy Read Guide - Click here

This easy read resource sets out the laws that protect people from sexual abuse and where help is available.

How to get legal advice and assistance

Legal Help Line 1300 366 424
Free, confidential legal advice on the telephone about most legal issues.
Available 9am 4.30pm  Monday Friday.
We can arrange and pay for interpreters.

Online Legal Aid Form

Apply for a grant of legal aid using our new online form. Upload electronic copies of supporting documents at any time and start your application.

Legal Chat

Got a legal question? Type to chat to a legal advisor for personal assistance with legal information. Available during business hours. Click on the Legal Chat icon in the bottom right screen to start Legal Chat.

Raise the Rate for Good

Last Friday, SACOSS participated in another Raise The Rate For Good National Day of Action. This day was directed at protesting the proposed cut to JobSeeker and other income support payments slated to take place on December 31. While the Federal government has committed to extending the Coronavirus Supplement until March 28, the supplement will be reduced to $150 per fortnight. This will take the payment back below the poverty line.

While we acknowledge that extending the supplement until March is a welcome change, SACOSS is deeply disappointed that our federal government has still not committed to a permanent and adequate increase to JobSeeker and other payments. With many Aussies facing long stretches of unemployment, we desperately need a payment that offers continued financial security.

In recent weeks, we were heartened to see that five SA northern suburb councils have joined the call to #RaiseTheRateForGood - in acknowledgement that the boosted payment has been transformative for people living in low income communities. However, the fight is far from over. We encourage all of our members and supporters to consider joining the Raise The Rate For Good campaign and contacting their MPS to voice their opposition to the Xmas cuts. To sign up, visit the campaign website.




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