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A Day in the Life

Posted by SAFCA on 6 March 2024
A Day in the Life

"A day in the life" is an opportunity for key decision makers to gain a greater understanding of financial counselling and the issues facing people experiencing financial vulnerability. Kym Della-Torre is SAFCA’s relatively new independent board member who started with us in 2023. He was offered an opportunity to shadow UnitingCare Wesley Bowden's Peter Gantley while he worked from Housing SA’s Port Adelaide office, one of the organisations many outreach sites in Adelaide's west.

Kym enjoyed his day with Peter as he gained a practical understanding of day-to-day issues that financial counsellors are facing as Australia continues through a cost-of-living crisis.

Kym was able to sit and observe how Peter undertook detailed financial counselling discussions with a face-to-face client, and then went to work on the ‘behind the scenes’ case work and advocacy on behalf of his ongoing clients. He said that it was fascinating to see the way Peter engaged with banks and utility providers. From what was seen, Kym feels the general community probably don’t appreciate the levels of negotiating power that financial counsellors have with utilities and creditors, and how they can help.

He also saw the importance of partnering with external agencies, like Housing SA, as a good way of using resources that are already there, being in the places people go, and with established relationships. It is also a great representation of how government can provide in-kind support to support the financial counselling sector to reach clients.

Kym’s takeaway from the day: “The most important step the client makes is walking through the door”. Peter emphasised that the financial counsellor and their clients were partners in the process - walking in is the first step. Kym appreciated the approach to Peter’s practice enabled clients to take back control and build capacity to self-advocate and have ‘self-success’ moving forward.




Tags:HardshipfinancialwellbeingSAFCAfinancial counsellingA day in the life


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