Good Shepherd receives grant for family violence financial counsellors in Brimbank-Melton area

14 June 2017


Minister for Consumer Affairs Marlene Kairouz and Annie Pettitt, General Manager Advocacy & Strategic Partnerships, Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand

Today, Minister for Consumer Affairs Marlene Kairouz visited Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand in St Albans to present our family violence and financial counselling services with a grant for $71,584.

The grant is part of the Victorian Government’s commitment to train and employ 10 full-time family violence financial counsellors at 14 agencies across the state. Counsellors will assist vulnerable women access financial hardship programs and negotiate with creditors and debt collectors to protect assets from repossession.

Family violence financial counsellors have so far supported 44 women living in the Brimbank-Melton area.

“We are thrilled that the Minister has provided us with this grant,” said Ms Dimity Fifer, CEO, Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand. “It will enable us to continue to support women and children locally who are experiencing or recovering from family violence.”

Funding for family violence financial counsellors is provided as part of Consumer Affairs Victoria’s Financial Counselling Program, which is a free, independent and confidential phone or face-to-face service delivered by community agencies across Victoria. This family violence financial counselling service is a recommendation of the Royal Commission into Family Violence.

“Investing in family violence and financial counselling services is essential to ensuring women and children can live safe, full lives,” added Ms Fifer.

At Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand we support women at risk of, experiencing or recovering from family violence in a range of ways. We provide specialist family violence recovery, crisis and housing services and work closely with emergency and protection services. We also provide financial counselling and coaching and no interest loans, and help families through counselling and parenting programs.