Adviser News

AFA and Asteron Life Announce AFA Excellence in Education Award Finalists

SYDNEY: 22 August 2016 – The Association of Financial Advisers (AFA) and Asteron Life (Asteron) have announced the 2016 Finalists for the AFA Excellence in Education Award (the Award).

The finalists are:

Adviser Name

Practice Name



Stephen Nielsen

Ascent Wealth Management

GWM Adviser Services


Jason Fittler

Grow Your Wealth Pty Ltd

Grow Your Wealth Pty Ltd


Joseph Hoe


Financial Wisdom

Western Australia

Steve Dobson

Mal Dobson and Associates

Meritum Financial Group

Western Australia

Christie Rigg

360 Private

360 Private Wealth By Design Pty Ltd

South Australia

Simon Duigan

Main Street Financial Solutions



Warren Strybosch

Find Wealth

Clearview Financial Advice


Karen Walmsley

Powe Financial

Alliance Wealth

New South Wales

Nick Hakes, General Manager Member Services, Partnerships & Campus AFA said it is encouraging to see so many advisers embracing higher and higher levels of education.

“There is a real shift in the mindset of advisers towards investing in education as a practical way of adapting to the seismic forces that are shaping the financial advice landscape. The candidates for this year’s Award have simply been outstanding. Their education journeys demonstrate how education has helped them build not only their own knowledge, attitudes and behaviours, but also the knowledge, attitudes and behaviours of their clients,” he said.

Mr Hakes said this year’s finalists have invested heavily in a broad range of academic disciplines that move beyond the traditional technical areas to include practical business knowledge and emotional intelligence, as well as understanding new technologies and innovations. “It is this kind of broad investment in education that will reshape how we think about adviser education and ultimately help them grow the demand for great advice.”

Asteron Life Head of Intermediaries Mark Vilo said, “In our industry we often emphasise the importance of working on your business and not just working in it. The eight finalists for 2016 have demonstrated this through their broad commitment to study. Ongoing education is a vital ingredient for providing quality advice and, in turn, better client outcomes.”

Finalists of the Award are chosen for their commitment to professional development through continuing education and making a difference within the marketplace and their local community through the practical application of their knowledge and expertise.

Candidates are judged on the quality of their written nomination. Judges then conduct phone interviews with shortlisted candidates. Candidates are also given a weighting across four award criteria, including:

  • 50% on formal education
  • 30% on practical application of education
  • 10% on contribution to one’s industry through education
  • 10% on contribution to one’s community through education

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 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 or visit