About the Prize
The Jan Pentland Prize is our sector’s most prestigious award and is bestowed annually. The prize is managed by Financial Counselling Australia (FCA), not the Jan Pentland Foundation.
Information is included here as people will naturally associate the Jan Pentland Prize and Jan Pentland Foundation scholarships together.
Each year, FCA calls for nominations from the sector for the prize and convenes a three person committee to consider them. The committee includes FCA's chair, together with two representatives from the community.
Nominations could focus on one specific activity or achievement, or on a contribution over an extended period, and should specifically address at least one of the following criteria:
Outstanding achievement in financial counselling and/or consumer advocacy;
Achievement in undertaking law reform, campaign work, community development, and/or community education.
The Committee considering the nominations also considers the extent to which nominees reflect the values of the sector as set out in the Australian Financial Counselling Code of Ethical Practice, including respect, professionalism and social justice.
If someone you know has contributed significantly to the financial counselling sector in the past year, please nominate that special person when nominations open in January 2024.
It's a huge honour to be nominated. You'll make that person's day.
Rachna Madaan Bowman
Rachna is the senior practitioner of financial wellbeing at South East Community Links.
After a career in banking Rachna has specialised in her work with multi -cultural communities particularly refugees, migrants and women facing financial difficulty
Rachna has significantly improved the interpreter services provided by Australia’s major banks through her work on the ABA Consumer Outcomes Group, where she has represented financial counsellors since 2018. She has championed the provision of interpreter services in the sector as an issue of access, inclusion and equity. This has also led to changes to the ABA Banking Code of Practice.
Rachna has also been researching and providing strategic advice to the banks on their easy English guides through her work at the Melbourne Social Equity Institute .
Recently she has also worked on the development of the “Supporting Womens’ Financial Safety Report” in partnership with Swinburne, RMIT, and Good Shepherd Australia, building on her work on women, money and systems intersectionality.
For tireless commitment and passion to driving positive systemic change for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
Mona Mrad has been working in the financial counselling area for over 20 years. She is a recognised by her team as being a great leader who supports, develops and encourages her team.
Susan Cook is a much loved financial counsellor from Queensland. She was the first Indigenous financial counsellor in Australia and has been in the sector for 22 years. Her contribution over that time has been significant, including mentoring other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander financial counsellors. She has been a driving force behind the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Forum since its inception on 2006, including being part of the Steering Committee for many years.
Sue Fraser is a well known and respected financial counsellor from Victoria. She had been involved in the sector in some capacity for over 20 years. Sue has contributed across so many fronts. She helped set up the first hospital based financial counselling service and was a pioneer in recognising the need for people affected by family violence to gain access to financial counselling. She also helped set up "horses for hope" in Shepparton, a program using equine-assisted learning and therapy
Dina is from Victoria. The prize recognised the pivotal role she played in the development of financial counselling through the delivery of training for people to become financial counsellors. This was in the late 90s and early 2000s. She is described as "inspiring, caring and good natured" and "engaging, wise and humorous". Apart from working as a financial counsellor, Dina was also on the management committee of the Consumer Credit Legal Service.
William (Bill) Santo was a team leader and financial counsellor of the Save the Children Australia (SCA) Program. HIs work involved promoting financial literacy and well-being in the primarily Indigenous regional Gulf communities. Apart from providing culturally relevant and appropriate financial counselling and teaching in 2014 William drew public attention to the exploitation of consumers, especially Aboriginal consumers, in remote communities by rental companies.
At the time of his award, Phil has been a financial counsellor with Anglicare in Tasmania for 16 years. His selection as the 2014 winner of the Jan Pentland Prize recognised the contribution he has made to the profession of financial counselling over this very lengthy period. Phil was on the board of Financial Counselling Australia since the year 2000 and Treasurer for the previous 12 years. He also helped set up Financial Counselling Tasmania.
Dr Wayne Warburton has been involved in financial counselling for over 20 years. His achievements and contribution include the development of the Australian Financial Counselling Code of Ethical Practice, numerous training programs for financial counsellors, mentoring and supervision of financial counsellors and working with industry in improving hardship policies. Wayne continues to work tirelessly in editing and being the main contributor of ‘Sharkwatch’.
Kat Lane was the Principal Solicitor at the Consumer Credit Legal Centre NSW (now Financial Rights Legal Centre). Kat's energy and enthusiasm make her a wonderful presenter and she has been a regular trainer at financial counselling conferences for years, always willing to share her deep knowledge of consumer credit law. One of the hallmarks of her approach is the way she works respectfully with financial counsellors. Kat is also the author of a number of really useful resources.
At the time of her nomination, Fran was working as a financial counsellor in the Pilbara, Western Australia. Fran’s nomination recognised her work in highlighting the harm from a predatory door-knocking company targeting Indigenous people in the Pilbara. Due to Frans close ties with the community and her initiative, energy and persistence she was able to help 26 people cancel their contracts with the dodgy company and receive refunds.
At the time of her nomination, Jillian was the Practice Leader, Financial Counselling for Lifeline Community Care Queensland (now Uniting Care Queensland). Jillian was also a past chair of the Financial Counsellors Association of Queensland. Jillian was a tireless advocate for funding from the Queensland Government for financial counselling. This campaign was ultimately successful and in 2009 the Queensland Government, for the first time.
2011 Fran Manuela
2010 Jillian Fletcher