Completed Projects

Grants for Domestic and Family Violence Financial Counsellors

Domestic and Family Violence Financial Counsellor Grant for Zahra Foundation | September 2020

A grant of $100,000 has been made to the Zahra Foundation to provide financial counselling to women impacted by Domestic Family Violence (DFV) for the next two years. The grant will supplement other funding to ensure Zahra Foundation can continue to provide a financial counselling service. 


Eighty percent of Zahra Foundation’s budget is received through fundraising, but fundraising has been curtailed due to the impacts of the South Australian bushfires and COVID-19. The grant follows the funding earlier this year of 10 full-time specialist DFV financial counsellor positions around Australia for three years. This brings the total grants for this purpose to over $4 million.

Funding for the grant to the Zahra Foundation is from the Financial Counselling Foundation.

Specialist Financial Counselling

Australian Defence Force Personnel | March 2020

The Foundation has provided a grant of $130,000 to the Bravery Trust to deliver a financial counselling service to current and former Australian Defence Force personnel.  The funds came from the Foundation.

Bridging Funding for Agencies Whose Funding was Unexpectedly Withdrawn

Financial Counsellors Association of Western Australia (FCAWA) | November 2019

Financial counsellors regularly require access to legal support and information to work out the best strategies for advocating for their clients. The Foundation has provided a grant to FCAWA of $130,000 for 12 months so it can continue to employ a solicitor to support financial counsellors in Western Australia.


The work will include:

  •  support to financial counsellors including through professional development via webinars and face to face training

  • information papers and guidance for financial counsellors on relevant topics and

  • legal advice to financial counsellors as necessary.

Specialist services | September 2019

A number of agencies providing specialist financial counselling to particularly vulnerable groups lost federal government funding in 2018. The Foundation has provided funding of $130,000 to each of five agencies for 12 months to enable this valuable work to continue and give the agencies time to adjust.

The services to receive support are: Prisoners Legal Service (Qld), Centacare Catholic Country SA, Odyssey House (Vic), VincentCare Victoria, and Southern Youth & Family Services (NSW). 

  • Centacare Catholic Country SA will use the money for face to face counselling case work, focusing on outreach and services to people in remote South Australia, particularly Frist Nation communities.

  • Odyssey House (Vic) will use the funding to continue delivering face to face financial counselling to people with issues arising from alcohol and drug addictions.

  • Vincent Care Victoria will use the grant money to continue delivering face to face financial counselling casework, with a focus on assisting those people at risk of, or already experiencing, homelessness.


  • Southern Youth & Family Services (NSW) will use the grant to deliver face to face financial counselling casework, with a focus on assisting young people, particularly those at risk of, or experiencing, homelessness.


  • ​Prisoners Legal Service will use the grant to deliver face to face financial counselling casework, with a focus on assisting people in prison or people who have recently been released from prison.    


Assisting First Nations People

Phone Financial Counselling Scoping project | September 2019

Financial counsellors have long recognised that First Nations people, particularly those located in regional and remote areas, are not receiving the support that other areas of Australia do. The Foundation has provided funding to research the need for financial counselling to help fill those gaps, looking particularly at a telephone service.

This research project involved interviews with key stakeholders and a workshop. Stakeholders involved included Indigenous Consumer Assistance Network (Qld), Bara Barang Aboriginal Corporation (NSW),  financial counsellors who work in remote communities, Financial Rights Legal Centre (NSW), which runs Money Mob Debt Help, a telephone service providing legal advice and assistance, and the Consumer Action Law Centre (Vic) which runs the Koorie Help Line. The project gathered a wealth of information and experience. Additional work will be done to refine a service delivery model.

This grant was auspiced through Financial Counselling Australia who engaged a consultant to run the project. The total amount is $35,000.  Note:  FCA has not received any funding for administering this project.

Natural Disasters

Victorian Bushfires | May 2020

The Foundation provided a grant of $112,818.54 to Anglicare St Luke’s in Bendigo to go towards employing a financial counsellor to support people in the region affected by the 2019-20 bushfires.  

Townsville Floods | April 2019

Townsville experienced a serious flood event in February 2019, affecting a large number of people and businesses. The Foundation is providing funding for two financial counselling positions for two years to help in the recovery effort ($520,000 in total). The positions are with UnitingCare Queensland and the Indigenous Consumer Assistance Network.  The funds came from a donation from ANZ ($50K), with additional funds from the Foundation.

Rural Financial Counselling | November 2018

Large parts of Australia are in drought. Funds of $520,000 have been shared between five rural financial counselling services to provide financial counselling to small businesses affected by the downturn. These rural financial counselling services are in Cooma, Dubbo, Roma, Longreach and Bairnsdale.  The funds came from a $500K donation from ANZ, as well as the Foundation's funds.

Specialist Financial Counselling

National Debt Helpline | April 2019 and February 2020

The National Debt Helpline is the phone financial counselling service. It is operated by 10 different organisations around Australia. Funding of $1,000,000 has been shared proportionately between them (based on call volumes) for 12 months (1 July 2019 - 30 June 2020). This will allow the services to continue current staffing levels. Without this funding, staff numbers would have reduced as previous funding from an ASIC community benefit payment was exhausted. Some funds have also been provided to Financial Counselling Australia to promote the NDH website. Call volumes to the NDH are increasing year on year.

A second 12 months of funding was approved in February 2020 to cover 1 July 2020 – 30 June 2021.

knowmore legal service | September 2018

Funding of $540,000 per annum for two years has been provided to knowmore legal service to employ financial counsellors. knowmore legal service is a community legal centre set up to assist victims and survivors of child sexual abuse. The service was established in 2013 in response to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.