We’re lucky in our business to bring together people from all over the world. From Malaysia to Sri Lanka, the United States to South Africa, we celebrate diversity every day.
Harmony Week is an opportunity to celebrate Australian multiculturalism, based on the successful integration of migrants into our community. It’s about inclusiveness, respect and a sense of belonging for everyone, yet sadly, it has been a tough week for cultural inclusivity in our corner of the world.
For Harmony Week at CFMG, each person involved brought a dish that reflects their cultural background. This allowed us to learn about the diverse history, values and experiences that make up CFMG and celebrate the strength that we gain when everyone belongs and we are united.
With a variety of sweet and savory items ranging from simple foods to complicated dishes, the team had a great time sharing a little part of who they are with the rest of the business.
We’re very proud of our people, and value everything that makes them unique.
A little while ago I found myself really needing to access some support to help someone through a mental health crisis. Making a phone call wasn’t an easy option as I would need to find somewhere quiet and private, and I also knew that I was likely to become emotional – something I wanted to avoid.
Then I discovered that Beyond Blue has an online chat option from 3pm – 12am, seven days a week. I spoke to a crisis support counsellor who talked me through the situation, where I could go for more help if I needed it, and gave me a tonne of useful information about what to say etc.
Lifeline also has a chat line at night, but is also trialling a text service for crisis support. You can text 0477 131 114 from 6pm to 10pm, seven days a week to speak with Lifeline’s crisis supporters.
These online and text options aren’t available 24/7 just yet, but it’s so great to know that these organisations are starting to provide support in ways that really work for people.
For all other hours of the day, Lifeline and Beyond Blue have phone lines with really great crisis support counsellors on hand.
Where to go for help:
24/7 Phone Line: 13 11 14
Online Chat 7pm – 12am: https://www.lifeline.org.au/get-help/online-services/crisis-chat
Text 6pm – 10pm : 0477 131 114
24/7 Phone line: 1300 224 636
Online Chat 3pm – 12am: https://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/get-immediate-support
On Tuesday, the AFIA Comprehensive Credit Reporting (CCR) Symposium brought together three of Australia’s largest credit reporting bureaus sharing insights into how CCR has already impacted the Australian credit landscape and what lies ahead for consumers, lenders, and the industry as a whole.
Interesting discussion points:
- Global experience shows CCR often leads to increased lending with decreased levels of default
- Use of risk-based credit set to increase dramatically, based on better access and analysis of customer credit data
- Financial literacy more important than ever, consumers must know and monitor their credit score
A key question remains: how will the industry and regulators manage and record financial hardship in the context of credit reporting? How do we balance the right to privacy with responsible lending best practices?
Also interesting in the Hardship Space will be the Senate enquiry report on ‘Credit and financial services targeted at Australians at risk of financial hardship’ due to be released today.
Event Moderator: David Grafton, Director, PwC
Panel: Mike Cutter, Group Managing Director Asia Pacific, EquifaxPoli Konstantinidis, Executive General Manager, Credit Services & Decision Analytics A&NZ, ExperianSimon Bligh, CEO, illion
We are excited to announce CFMG have partnered with a local twilight care as an extension of our long-standing Community Support Program. The initiative, dubbed ‘Many Moons’ will run throughout 2019 with Team members taking a few hours a month out of their workday to spend time with the elderly, whether it’s running bingo, painting nails, reading a book aloud or just having a yarn.
We are especially passionate about this partnership because we are able to contribute meaningfully to an industry with similar challenges to our own, being debt recovery and aged care. They may not be shiniest draw cards for participation but they are a necessary and important part of our society.
Many studies reveal that social isolation is a major area of stress for older people, having widespread impacts on their physical as well as mental health and wellbeing. Our objective is to provide increased social contact to the elderly within our local community in order to help improve their quality of life. Other aims include expanding the opportunities for our team members to give back as an integral part of their personal employee experience, as well as gaining perspective and learning life lessons from the wisdom and experience of those with increased life tenure.
We will post updates on how Many Moons is tracking in the coming months!
Central Finance Management Group is thrilled to have welcomed Chris Bevan to the team in September as our new Head of Compliance.
Chris has more than 20 years’ experience in financial services with large domestic and international institutions, and has worked and lived in Sydney, Melbourne, Kuala Lumpur, London and Bengaluru.
He’s particularly skilled at internal and external audit, risk management, and quality programs, as well as preparing and presenting management reporting to local and global risk committees and stakeholders.
Sian Ineson, Managing Director said:
“Chris has been such a welcome addition to the CFMG executive team, and has hit the ground running. His in-depth knowledge of risk methodologies, hands on personal management style, and technical background have made for a really smooth transition.
His experience and personable presentation style give us immense comfort in his ability to lead our Compliance Department and collaborate with other Department Heads to drive the business forward. We’re very thankful for his efforts to date, especially his help in the final stages of ISO27001 Certification.”
Last month the entire Central Finance Management Group gathered for the company’s first ever Town Hall meeting.
Dr Sian Ineson, Managing Director said:
“In 2018 we found genuine collaboration become a powerful strategic advantage. We want to be as transparent and inclusive as we can, so it made sense to shift from smaller team meetings to one big, collective Town Hall. It was absolutely brilliant having everyone together to hear how the business is tracking, celebrate achievements, reward some deserving employees and host a Q&A session to answer any burning questions.”
Chris Bevan, Compliance Manager opened the meeting with a little about why he joined the business.
“One of the things that attracted me to this role and the company was the opportunity to affect change. We have a tremendous baseline that we can build on, and compared to our competitors, we have a really unique service proposition.”
Janinne Smith, Human Resources Manager launched some exciting new wellness initiatives aimed to provide team members with stress relief tools and techniques. In addition to fortnightly meditation sessions, Janinne announced that our quiet room is now kitted out with lego, mindful colouring-in, bluetooth speakers and a community library of books to read. We also have a whole suite of meditation and breathing exercises available on our intranet.
Sian Ineson also announced exciting changes to Learning and Development, with a complete refresh launching early this year.
“We’re really passionate about giving our team members opportunities to grow and develop, and the refresh will help align our induction and training programs to the way the business is evolving. To support face to face sessions, we’ll have loads of new online resources which will help increase access to these opportunities, as well as some new programs for our emerging leaders and the Power Users of our key software platforms.”
Overall the Town Hall was a great success, giving a broad overview of how the business has been performing and what’s coming up in the new year. With all of our leaders in one place, it also gave our teams the opportunity to ask questions and comment on anything that was discussed. The Town Hall meetings will now be held bi-annually.
Congratulations to the team for achieving ISO27001 Certification!! This certificate further demonstrates our commitment to, and achievement of, quality and information security excellence.
Partnering clients can be confident that the data entrusted to us is secure, with our Information Security Management System being independently audited and confirmed to meet the requirements of this increasingly important international standard.
Central Finance Management Group’s Board of Directors recently announced significant leadership changes, seeing Alexander Ineson, Head of Operations and Sian Ineson, Head of Support Services, step into a new, joint role as Managing Directors of the business.
Roselle Cains, Chair of the CFMG Board of Directors congratulated the pair and thanked them for stepping so seamlessly into their new positions.
“The Board wishes Alexander and Sian all the best as they continue to transition into their new roles, bringing with them new energy and focus. We have great confidence in them as a team, and trust what they will bring to the company in this elevated capacity will allow CFMG to build on the momentum it has achieved to date,” adds Roselle.
Alexander has been with the company for more than six years and has held a number of leadership roles in this time in human resources, collections and operations. Mr Ineson has been the company’s second in charge for three years.
Sian was appointed to the CFMG Board of Directors in 2017 and has held executive roles in marketing and support services for more than three years. She has a deep personal connection to the business through her family and is passionate about its quality and culture.
“Alexander and Sian bring intimate knowledge of the business and its history to the role and are passionate about the company’s strong set of values and vision for the future. We’re truly looking forward to seeing the company flourish under their leadership,” finished Roselle.
The faster people with unmanageable debt get back on their feet, the better it is for everyone. We understand how stressful and overwhelming the experience can be for many people. To ensure they have all the information they need to make the best decisions for their situation, we actively promote the free financial resources available.
These resources provide free help and guidance on:
- managing and consolidate debts
- Asking for help
- Budgeting and saving tools
- Legal assistance
Sian Ineson, Managing Director said:
“The majority of customers we come into contact with are not aware of that there are free financial resources available to them. Actively promoting these online tools and financial counselling services is an important part of our role, helping to financially rehabilitate customers sooner and to ease feelings of isolation and helplessness. ASIC’s MoneySmart is a fantastic resource, providing fast help to those who need it and providing budgeting tools that can safeguard long-term financial health”
Other handy resources that can help people manage debt include:
- Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) – Help when you’re in debt
- Australian Financial Security Authority – Options for dealing with unmanageable debt
- Free financial counselling through the National Debt Hotline. This service is a not-for-profit service that offers a free, independent and confidential help to get people get back on track
- NSW Justice LawAssist – Dealing with debt
- New Zealand – Inland Revenue – Facing financial difficulty and debt
This month we’ve decked out our premises with Halloween decorations as a reminder of how to avoid becoming a technology horror story.
Sian Ineson, Managing Director and Head of Support Services said:
“We’ve seen so many examples around the world of people in businesses clicking on links or taking process shortcuts and landing in a data breach or cyber-attack. Since employees are the most important asset in data hack prevention, we’re conducting in-depth training this month.”
The training will focus on three key pillars, including:
- Availability – ensuring all authorised parties are able to access the information and systems they need to do their jobs, and that information is recoverable in the event of a disruption
- Confidentiality – protecting information from disclosure to unauthorised parties, whether internal or external, intentional or unintentional
- Integrity – protecting information from unauthorised modification or deletion, whether internal or external, intentional or unintentional, to ensure it is accurate and complete
Our people will be learning how to identify and avoid risks, understand why and how CFMG classifies, handles and disposes of information, and how important it is to follow information security policies such as password practices.
“Not only will this training help us to reduce the risk of a data breach or less, it’ll help us improve overall efficiency and help us to deliver even more for our wonderful clients,” said Sian.