Excerpt from the Chair’s Report
The 2019/20 year has been a tough but rewarding
year for Rural Financial Counselling Service
Victoria – North West.
Like the rest of Victoria, our work this year has
been challenged by the impacts of COVID-19. And
while this created additional risks to viability for
regional and rural farms and business, and added
complications to service delivery, I am proud of how
our team has continued to put clients first.
And while we have grappled with the new COVID-19
landscape, traditional and existing challenges did not
abate. The impact of the drought in the Millewa was
extreme, and in stark contrast to neighbouring areas.
As the Millewa community sought additional
resources and support, all levels of government
Our service was able to accompany and inform
visiting politicians as they travelled to see the
devastating conditions first hand, including Agriculture
Minister, David Littleproud; Victorian Premier, Daniel
Andrews; State Agriculture Minister, Jaclyn Symes;
and the Mildura Rural City Council Mayor and
In November 2019 we were invited to meet with Mick
Keelty, Inspector General for the Murray Darling
Basin. In March 2020 Shane Stone, Coordinator
General for the National Flood and Drought Recovery
agency visited our Mildura Office.
These less formal meetings enabled us to promote
our services to key stakeholders and to secure
recognition of their responsibilities across our region.
It also gives these important stakeholders firsthand ‘grass roots’
feedback on the issues faced by individual communities.