AFA Awards

Celebrating excellence - AFA Excellence in Education Award

The Asteron Life team and I are extremely proud to be supporting the AFA Excellence in Education Award for the tenth year running. A decade onwards has seen the focus and emphasis on education dramatically increased. Our ten alumni winners – along with many of the previous years’ finalists, exemplify how this award has driven greater outcomes for their respective business, their local communities, and for our industry. 
 
It is critical for all of us to embrace professional education as it continues to evolve and become an instrumental part of our business during the coming years, particularly with the introduction of the Professional Standards For Financial Advisers on 1 January 2019. The reforms are designed to enhance trust and to further build the professionalism of our industry. Asteron Life is working closely with the AFA in determining how we can best support advisers through this next era of financial advice. 
 
I wish all of you submitting nominations for this award the best of luck, and remain confident in the knowledge that in our tenth year, the calibre of nominations will again demonstrate the future of financial advice is well placed and in very safe hands. 
 
Daniel Waller

Head of Wealth & Life Intermediaries

 

AFA Excellence in Education Award

The AFA Excellence in Education Award is dedicated to recognising, supporting and rewarding commitment and excellence in advice through participation in further education. We want to discover and reward advice professionals who undertake the challenge of acquiring knowledge, and then applying this knowledge to their business, their clients, their industry and their community.

The AFA Excellence in Education Award recognises your effort in building a solid foundation to achieve great heights within your profession.

The national finalists will be announced at the AFA National Roadshow held throughout July. And the national winner will be announced at the AFA National Conference to be held in the Gold Coast from 11-13 October 2017.

Consumer confidence starts with the knowledge and the comfort that their adviser has the professional training, the “education” necessary to meet their needs.

Education is not just the acquisition of knowledge, it is the skills, values, beliefs and habits necessary to demonstrate the true value of advice. 

Through it’s association with Asteron Life, the AFA is proud to recognise those professionals who go above and beyond, to demonstrate that the core of great advice is the commitment to excellence in education, to further the outcome of great advice for more Australians.

Philip Kewin
Chief Executive Officer

Association of Financial Advisers
 
More Information

For more information on the award, speak to your Asteron Life Sales Team.

Alternatively, you can send us an email with your enquiry to: afaeducationaward@asteronlife.com.au

Association of Financial Advisers Ltd

Phone: 02 9267 4003

Email: info@afa.asn.au

How is the award judged?

The Excellence in Education Award is all about showcasing you. We aim to promote the wonderful job advisers do every day in helping Australians make better decisions for their financial future. The Award is a showcase of excellence in education and professionalism.

Through the judging process we really want to understand how you continually invest in your education and practically apply this when working with your clients.

This award is more than just your academic qualification but importantly about the practical application of your knowledge.

So let's take a look at how the award is judged.

  • Stage one:Review of all nominations
    • The national judging panel sits down and reviews all of the nominations.
    • We make an initial decision on who has best demonstrated professionalism and the continual application of education in their practice. This is based on:
      • your academic qualifications
      • your application of knowledge
      • your commitment to the future of the profession.
  • Stage two:Shortlisted nominees are interviewed
    • Short-listed advisers have a phone-based interview with one of the national judging panel. This helps us get to know you better and understand how you practically apply knowledge within your business.
    • We really like to hear how you have improved the lives of clients through your investment in education.
    • The national judging panel meets to discuss all of the short-listed nominees and uses a quantitative model to determine the national finalists. This includes:
      • Your academic achievements
      • Applying knowledge within the practice
      • Your contribution and involvement within the industry
      • Your contribution and involvement within your local community
  • Stage three:National finalists are announced
    • National finalists are announced at the AFA National Roadshow in July.
    • All national finalists are flown to Sydney for a personal interview with the national judging panel. The interview focuses on your views and ideas on how education can make a major contribution in the promotion and delivery of financial advice to consumers.
    • Finalists will be asked to prepare and present their views and solutions on an industry challenge. This will be set by the National Panel and based on improving professionalism of the industry.
  • Stage four:National winner is announced
    • The Excellence in Education national winner is announced at the AFA National Conference at a special award ceremony on the main platform.
    • The national winner is inducted into the Education Ambassador Role for the next 12 months to promote the continual investment in education.
    • The award winner is then invited to the AFA GenXt road show.

Who are the panel of judges?

nick hakes afa awards judge

Nick Hakes

General Manager, Member Services, Partnerships & Campus AFA

brian knight afa awards judge

Brian Knight

CEO Kaplan Professional

dan waller afa awards judge

Daniel Waller

Head of Wealth & Life Intermediaries

jenny brown afa awards judge

Jenny Brown

Director JBS Financial Strategist & 2013 AFA Adviser of the Year

Here's how to take the first step to becoming the next winner of the AFA Excellence in Education Award. Or why not nominate someone who you believe deserves the Award.

How to enter

Entering is easy. Simply, complete the initial nomination form by clicking on the 'nominate now' button by 16 June 2017. The form requires a short, simple submission.

From there our team will be in contact with the nominee to collect the remaining information for the award.(This may be you if you have nominated yourself)

How are winners decided?

National winners will be judged on their answers to questions about their education and their application of knowledge in their practice, industry and local community. During the judging process, we will request copies of your academic records to help make a decision. For further details, please refer to the 'Selection Criteria' section.

National finalists will be announced at AFA National Roadshow held throughout July.

The finalists will be interviewed by the judging panel, to decide the national award winner.

The national winner will be announced at the AFA National Conference to be held in the Gold Coast from 11-13 October 2017.

Current winner

Congratulations to the latest winner of the AFA Excellence in Education Award.

2017

Michael Ward

Michael is a Director at Maxim Private Wealth in Subiaco and has over 15 years experience in the Financial Services Industry.

Michael has a Masters of Financial Planning and is a member of the Financial Planning Association of Australia, the SMSF Association and the Association of Financial Advisers Australia. He is also currently studying CFP.

Michael is passionate about education. This is evident through his work as a mentor, coaching young and aspiring advisers as well as his work running financial literacy sessions for the public.

He is a regular columnist on money matters for the West Australian newspaper where he actively promotes the financial advice industry.

Apart from his work, Michael has been involved in the Australian Army Reserves for 10 years and likes to raise money for the Australian Doctors to Africa charity.

Michael is married with a young family.

 

Previous winners

2016

Stephen Nielsen

Stephen Nielsen has been in the financial services industry for 30 years, with 22 of those in financial advice. Stephen’s journey has seen him transition from being an employed adviser into the area of regional and project management with a large institutional licencee, as well as providing business coaching and practice management support to self-employed advice practices across a multiple licencee organisation.

Stephen is passionate about people and finding out what makes them tick. Deciding in 2007 that he wasn’t “done” with having a direct impact on the lives of clients, Stephen acquired the client group that was to form the operating core for his current practice, Ascent Wealth Management.

Education has always formed the cornerstone of Stephen’s journey. His studies at Diploma, Undergraduate, Graduate Diploma and Master’s level support the business and corporate aspects of his work, and he has honed his advice technical skills through further diploma studies.

Stephen believes that “education is very important because (our) career paths are not linear these days. We don’t have a job for life, we can’t expect to start from the bottom and work our way up – there are zigzags along the way. So the ability to adapt and change is going to be very important for financial advisers, and for anyone in any career. Education gets you equipped to make those changes, to zigzag and get you where you want to be”.

With a passion for the industry, a thirst for learning and a positive outlook for the future, Stephen looks forward to the opportunities the industry’s changing landscape will provide moving forward.

2016 AFA Winner Stephen Nielsen

2015

Charles Badenach

Charles has been recognised for his unique perspective on the rapidly changing world of professional services, and his firm belief that education is the key to lifting the standard of financial advice in Australia. Charles has spent his career in professional services firstly as a lawyer and now as a financial adviser. He worked at the ASX listed Shadforth Financial Group for over 13 years and is currently a Principal and Private Client Adviser with boutique firm Main Street Financial Solutions.

2015 afa winner charles badenach

2014

Peter O'Callaghan CFP, Dip FP, M Fin Serv Law JP (Qual)

Peter's experience includes more than 18 years as a Financial Planner, beginning his career at a major Australian bank before moving into private practice. He has since held senior financial planning positions in private banking and a corporate superannuation fund, and management positions with Rabo Financial Advisers and State Super Financial Services Australia, before establishing his own ‘fee for service’ financial planning business in 2009. In June 2012 he merged his growing practice with MSI Taylor Financial Services Pty Ltd to form MSI Taylor Wealth Management Pty Ltd, a 'fee for service' business with a wide range of specialist financial planning services.

2014 afa winner peter ocallaghan

2013

Anne Graham

Anne’s commitment to education and professional development can be seen through her work and personal life. She has completed a Masters of Applied Finance and is a Certified Practising Accountant and Certified Financial Planner. She specialises in goal planning, business planning and financial planning matters. Anne has been involved in financial services for over 30 years, and has been practicing as a financial planner since 1999. She is currently the Managing Director of McPhail HLG Financial Planning.

2012

Dean Lombardo

Dean’s commitment to education and professional development can be seen through his work and personal life. He is the co-founder of Access Financial Management, and founder of a unique financial planning methodology known as “benchmarking”, which provides clients with greater empowerment and shifts the adviser-client relationship to one of true mentoring and coaching through the use of accountable milestones and the integration of adult learning theory. Benchmarking has now been adopted at the financial planning model of choice within several boutique financial planning practices across Victoria.

He is also a motivational speaker, mentor to financial planners and business owners, and staunch advocate for financial literacy.

2011

Finn Kelly

Finn is committed to ongoing education and professional development. He is the CEO and co-founder of one of Australia’s premier boutique private wealth management firms, Wealth Enhancers, which specialises in providing tailored advice to a select group of high income earning and high net worth individuals. He heads up the Portfolio Management arm of the business, and has developed unique client education and staff training programs.

2010

Katherine Hunt

Katherine was our 2010 AFA Student of the Year awardee. Her strong academic background has seen her successfully complete multiple Bachelor degrees in Psychological Science, Commerce and Financial (Honours) at Griffith University, where she was a recipient of the University Medal.

Katherine is continuing her studies to develop life skills, critical and creative thinking, and contribute to financial planning.

2009

Dr Dennis Maddern

Dr. Dennis was chosen as our 2009 AFA Student of the Year, for his commitment to lifelong learning. He has been recognised for the continual improvement of his advice skills and applying this knowledge to his business, clients and community.

2008

Jo Bean

Jo completed her Diploma in Financial Services (Financial Planning) with RG146 Training Australia in 2008. She took out the 2008 AFA Student of the Year award in recognition of her commitment to developing exceptional advisory skills.

 

2017 Finalists

WA

Bradley Smith

As a qualified and experienced Financial Adviser AFP® Brad has been helping families and business owners make sense of their money for the past 16 years. He helps clients learn about their money, restructure their situation and plan for a better financial life ahead.

Brad enjoys working in a family business focused on providing financial solutions for their loyal client base and now helps the children of his clients. His business provides financial assistance to growing families, businesses and more recently aged care planning.

 

Brad’s team understand the importance of further education and are always looking for effective ways to help clients and deliver new services.

 

Outside of work Brad loves to spend time with his young family and sits on several committees, including the Securitor Financial Group West Australian Circle; Sorrento Football Club and XY Adviser Mastermind Leader. He is also involved in fundraising for Cancer Care WA, The Movember foundation and SIDS Kids.

 

 

 

NSW

Justin O’Donoghue

Justin O’Donoghue has a background in accounting and tax having spent 6 years working with KPMG. In 2012 he entered the financial planning industry when he purchased his father’s financial planning business.

 

Justin believes education is both a challenge and an opportunity for the Industry to become a more vital, trusted and valued profession.

 

He’s also a firm believer that education “is about developing core skills, behaviours and attributes rather than something you merely tick-off (your to-do list).” 

 

Justin wants to see the financial planning profession as a destination of choice for graduates.

 

Justin is a family man spending time with his three young children when he’s not working.

 

 

NSW

Jonathan Chong

Jonathan is passionate about improving the lives of the people around him and has spent the last 10 years helping clients to better manage their money at Goodwin Financial Services.

 

Jonathan prides himself on offering value driven advice that is tailored to his client’s needs and understands the importance of ongoing education.

 

Earlier this year, Jonathan went overseas to provide financial advice to a group of women living in poverty.

 

A self-proclaimed sports junkie, Jonathan is trying to improve his tennis forehand when he’s not working or spending time with his two sons.

 

 

QLD

Helen Russo - Highly Commended

Helen has over 20 years’ experience as a Certified Financial Planner. She started her career in financial advice with MLC and Macquarie Bank before establishing her own practice, ‘Encompass Wealth – Financial Life Planning’ in 2013.

Over the years Helen has provided advice across a broad area including investment planning, superannuation & SMSF, risk management, retirement planning, home & aged care as well as estate planning. 

In March 2017, Helen was appointed Director – CLIME Private Wealth and focuses her attention on providing advice to ‘baby boomers’ transitioning into retirement.

Helen is passionate about further education and has a long list of qualifications and specialist accreditations including a Master’s in Financial Planning, Advanced Diploma FP, along with SMSF, Home & Aged Care and ALPA ASX accreditations.

Helen is currently enrolled in a Bachelor of Behavioural Science and believes her studies will further enhance the quality of her advice.

 

 

WA

Michael Ward - Winner 2017

Michael is a Director at Maxim Private Wealth in Subiaco and has over 15 years experience in the Financial Services Industry.

Michael has a Masters of Financial Planning and is a member of the Financial Planning Association of Australia, the SMSF Association and the Association of Financial Advisers Australia. He is also currently studying CFP.

Michael is passionate about education. This is evident through his work as a mentor, coaching young and aspiring advisers as well as his work running financial literacy sessions for the public.

Michael is a regular columnist on money matters for the West Australian newspaper where he actively promotes the financial advice industry.

Apart from his work, Michael has been involved in the Australian Army Reserves for 10 years and likes to raise money for the Australian Doctors to Africa charity.

Michael is married with a young family.

 

 

Asteron Life™ is committed to providing customers with long term financial security. We provide life insurance products including Income Protection Covers, Trauma Cover, Total & Permanent Disablement (TPD) Cover, Life Cover and Business Expenses Cover. To obtain a copy of our privacy statement, please contact us on 1800 221 727 or visit the following website www.asteronlife.com.au/privacy to view or download the policy.

Suncorp supports and adheres to the Life Insurance Code of Practice (Code). The Code has been developed voluntarily by the Life Insurance industry through the Financial Services Council to promote high standards of service to consumers, provide a benchmark of consistency within the industry, and establish a framework for professional behaviour and responsibilities. Download the Code here. For more information contact the Financial Services Council on (02) 9299 3022 (local call cost), email info@fsc.org.au or visit www.fsc.org.au