top of page

 Please note that the program is evolving. There may be some changes.  

Program | DAY 2, THURSDAY, MAY 16

10.15 am

Protecting benefit recipients post-Robodebt

David Tennant, CEO of Family Care, talks about the unpicking of normal consumer rights for social security recipients. There have been some positive changes made to individual benefit categories lately but still no broad commitment to ensure social security status is no bar to normal legal rights and consumer protections.


10.40 am

The downs and ups - moving beyond ‘No’ 

In 2017, in the Uluru Statement from the Heart, First Nations people called for the establishment of a First Nations Voice enshrined in the Constitution. In 2023, the referendum to make that change, by setting up an advisory body to the Parliament, was defeated. What next then for First Nations people? The structural issues and disadvantage that the Voice would have helped to address have not gone away. As a nation, we need to find another path.  Hear from Lynda Edwards, a Wangkumara/Barkindji woman, about what the referendum loss has meant and what different paths might open instead. Lynda was the NSW 2023 Aboriginal Woman of the Year, NSW 2023 Premier’s Woman of the Year and is FCA’s Coordinator of Financial Capability.



11.00 am
Morning Tea

Spottalks 2024_edited.png

9.00 am

FCA SPOT talks

Black Swans

Always a favourite. Seven brave souls, seven minutes, a spotlight and a microphone. 


The theme this year is Black Swans. Did you know that the phrase, “black swan”, used to be used in much the same ways as “pigs might fly”? What will our speakers make of it? Strap yourself in for an hour of engaging and thought-provoking talks.


Convened by Jon Yeo.

11.30 am

Let's talk about tax debt 

Given the ATO's crackdown on collections, it's not surprising that tax debt is increasingly present in case work. We bring together Annette Morgan, founder of the Curtin Tax clinic,  Karen Payne, former Tax Ombudsman and Inspector-General of Taxation, and Anita Challen, Assistant Commissioner at the ATO. The session will be facilitated by Helen Davis Manager, Small Business Debt Helpline.


11. 45 am
Giving clients a voice


FCA’s Director of Communications, Maura Angle, hosts a panel discussion about the powerful impact of clients telling their stories.

This session will cover the benefits of clients sharing their experiences with a wider audience including the media and political leaders.

Maura Angle, Financial Counselling Australia

Karen PercyKaren Percy Ink

Mark PearceConsumer Action Law Centre

Tania Clarke, Consumer Action Law Centre 

12.00 noon

Strata Levies: Fighting for Fairness

Join Lody Stewart as she discusses how homeowners are facing aggressive legal action, including forced bankruptcies, over strata levy arrears. You will also hear about current advocacy initiatives driving crucial reforms to provide procedural fairness and protection for vulnerable individuals.

12.15 pm
Short and sharp 

Hold onto your hats for these quickfire updates on things you need to know and more. 

12.45 pm
Now and then

We look back at FCA conferences over the years to see the storms in teacups, the things we didn’t see coming and some (truly) questionable hairstyles.


1.00 pm


2.00 pm

See the Concurrents page for more details. 


3.30 pm
Afternoon Tea

4.00 pm
AI - the good, the bad and the ugly

AI is changing the world. Now. Some of the beneficiaries are scammers. But it is not all doom and gloom. Join Scott Pape and Alex Jenkins they discuss AI and financial counselling 2024. And beyond!

4.30 pm
A Final Word 

Fiona Guthrie was the CEO of Financial Counselling Australia for nearly 15 years and the organisation’s first employee.  She’s seen lots of change over that time and has the grey hair to prove it. In recent years, she wrote a weekly update for the sector that finished with ‘a final word’, where she riffed on lots of things. We thought it was only fair to give Fiona the final word one last time, so she can reflect on her experiences, learnings and the future for financial counselling.

5.00 pm close

Join us for a

‘Post-Ripple Tipple’

in the Liberty Bar

bottom of page