With recognition of the tough conditions faced by many Australian farmers, it’s important to find ways to support rural businesses and the people who run them.
From its College in Orange teachers from TAFE Western are doing their bit to assist farmers by providing training to a group of 15 Rural Financial Counsellors from right across New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria.
As the preferred provider for this important training the counsellors come to Orange three times this year to complete their Diploma of Community Services Financial Counselling while they work in the industry.
Ms Alexandra Ruse, TAFE Western’s Training Advisor for the Diploma of Financial Counselling said, “We are committed to playing a vital part in supporting regional Australia by delivering this training supported by the Australian Government.
“Rural Financial Counsellors assist primary producers and small rural businesses deal with ongoing drought, poor production, declining markets or anything else affecting them.
“Many of our students have been involved with agribusiness or farming previously and have firsthand knowledge of the challenges facing our agricultural sector.
“Coming together allows the counsellors to share stories on issues affecting regional Australia and strategies on ways to help their clients.”
Whilst completing their Diploma of Financial Counselling through TAFE Western students have the opportunity to discuss issues such as climate risk strategies, debt mediation, business and succession planning, government assistance and mental health.
Student Nick Birchley from Innisfail, Far North Queensland said, “So far I have found the course relevant to my position. Our teacher is supportive and I have expanded my skills. I am looking forward to going back home to further assist my clients.”
TAFE Western is also looking at expanding their Diploma of Financial Counselling to Western Australia and Tasmania.