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New Financial Counselling Network will help Western Australians with $500M in Debt

On Thursday 28 July, the  Western Australian Financial Counselling Network was officially launched by the Minister for Local Government and Communities, Hon Tony Simpson MLA.  The event, held at UnitingCare West's Inner City Service Centre, saw all of the Financial Counselling Network partner agencies, and many other sector representatives coming together to celebrate the Network's official launch.

The Network, established following the reinstatement of funding for metropolitan financial counselling in 2015, is made up of nine community organisations, lead by Anglicare WA and UnitingCare West, and will operate across 14 locations in the Perth-Metropolitan region.

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Based on preliminary reports, the Network is expected to support everyday Western Australians to deal with $500M in debt over its first year.

“People usually contact us after a significant life changing experience, a major illness, a loss of job or a breakdown of a relationship. We know that most people are only a couple of pay cheques away from financial crisis and these circumstances can often lead to significant financial pressure. As our economy tightens, we are seeing the need for Financial Counselling growing.  This Network is here for them,” said Ian Carter AM, CEO Anglicare WA.

The collaborative approach taken by the Network is unique in Western Australia.

“This is an innovative model. By bringing together nine community organisations under one set of principles we can ensure the consistency and quality of our service. Our counsellors will be able to refer clients to the whole suite of services on offer from all nine organisations, allowing us to provide holistic solutions to our client’s problems,” said Sue Ash AO, CEO UnitingCare West.

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The Network partners include:

  • UnitingCare West
  • Anglicare WA
  • Midlas
  • Blue Sky Community Group
  • The Spiers Centre
  • City of Cockburn
  • Gosnells Community Legal Centre
  • South Care
  • Mission Australia

Both Anglicare WA and UnitingCare West issued a statement thanking the Department of Local Government and Communities for funding and embracing the new model.