Commonwealth Financial Counselling

Funding is available to help people across a range of income and financial literacy levels to manage their money, overcome financial adversity.


  Commonwealth Financial Counselling



Commonwealth Financial Counselling services are delivered by community and local government organisations and help people in personal financial difficulty to address their financial problems and make informed choices. Services may include direct casework (e.g. provision of advice and information); advocacy and/or negotiation; referral; and community education. Circumstances that can lead to personal financial difficulty include unemployment, sickness, credit over-commitment and family breakdown.

Commonwealth Financial Counselling commenced in 1990. Originally administered by the Attorney-General’s Department, the initiative was subsequently managed in the Department of Industry, Science and Tourism and the Department of the Treasury, before moving to the Department of Family and Community Services in late 1999.



The Commonwealth Financial Counselling Financial Management Program aims to build financial resilience and wellbeing among those most at risk of financial exclusion and disadvantage. The Commonwealth Financial Counselling Financial Management Program helps people across a range of income and financial literacy levels to manage their money, overcome financial adversity, participate in their communities and plan for the medium to long term.



The distribution of funding is based on Government policy priorities and the needs of Australian people and families. A number of factors are considered including: the number of recipients receiving certain Australian Government payments (e.g.Newstart Allowance) and indices of disadvantage (e.g. Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA), bankruptcy and insolvency data, and housing affordability data).

Depending on the funding requirements and available services in target locations, open and direct selection processes may be used to select new service providers.All service providers receive funding through a FaHCSIA funding agreement —from 2011-12, most agreements will have an activity period of three years.


Eligible Projects

Commonwealth Financial Counselling Financial Management Program funding is to be used in accordance with any operational guidelines and funding agreements, by services to promote financial inclusion by helping people avoid or resolve financial difficulties, build financial capability and achieve financial self reliance.

To facilitate flexible service delivery, service providers are expected to prioritise services and distribute assistance to clients according to the providers’ own needs-assessment processes and to determine the level and type of assistance that is most appropriate in each individual circumstance.


Eligible Applicants

Eligible organisations delivering services under the Commonwealth Financial Counselling Financial Management Program are generally not-for profit and one of the following:

  • Incorporated Association.
  • Incorporated Cooperative.
  • Organisation established through specific Commonwealth or state/territory legislation (e.g. churches/public benevolent institutions).
  • Company incorporated under the Corporations Act 2001.
  • Non-government legal entity.

Funding may be provided to for-profit or government agencies, but this is not the principal funding model.



Applications close on 2:00 pm AEDT 12 February 2013.


Expert Assistance

Writing a good quality grant application is a critical element in the application process. An application needs to be well thought through, written concisely, have clear objectives and purpose, and show clear links to the objectives of the grant guidelines.

The grant application must answer all questions, provide all required information and respond to the merit criteria. It should also reflect your organisation’s business strategy.

Writing a good application takes time and effort, and requires particular writing skills.

Bulletpoint are expert grant consultants and can assist with all aspects of grant preparation.

Call us on (03) 9005 6789 or email to discuss further.

We have significant experience in applying for grants. Typical areas where we can be of assistance include:

  • Demonstrating the identified need;
  • Highlighting the relevance to current government policies and priorities;
  • Complete the Project Plan and Budget Projections;
  • Identify Outcomes that are measurable;
  • Detail the applicant organisation’s experience or expertise in undertaking the project/s;
  • Calculating the value for money; and
  • Demonstrating capacity to deliver quality outcomes


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