Broker. June 2024

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The ExperienceReimagining

Tara Davoren, Amy Dimech and the Imagine Experiences team have taken carriage of FBAA’s events program, to deliver meaningful and memorable events for members.

JUNE 2024 Magazine


FBAA’s Peter White AM delivers his regular update, with three new industry-leading education projects in the pipeline, including a Diploma with a Difference.


Kitty Parker writes about how a new breed of entrepreneurs is emerging: mum and dad property investors.


Tara Davoren, Amy Dimech and the Imagine Experiences team have taken carriage of FBAA’s events program, to deliver meaningful and memorable events for members.



The April results from our monthly broker poll are in, covering topics of household expenditure, interest in variable loans, owner-occupiers, regulatory changes and broker mental and physical health.


Standing out from your competitors is now non-negotiable, especially if your business is to stay relevant. netStripes takes us through the digital trifecta.


Meet Gary Scott who joined the broking industry in 2015 after a long career in banking. Gary has grown his business under the Regional Finance Solutions brand.

In the realm of Home Finance, Home Affordability Solutions (HAS) provides an alternative to the conventional ‘family guarantee’ method.


In a huge stride forward in modernising the complaint resolution process, the Australian Financial Complaints Authority has completed its most significant IT transformation endeavour to date.



Peter White AM


Krystal Camilleri


Rachel Licciardello


Krystal Camilleri

Shayben Moussa


Krystal Camilleri


We appreciate hearing from readers. If you have feedback, news or a story idea you would like us to cover, please contact us using the below details.



p: 07 3847 8119


All information and images are subject to copyright. No part of this publication may be reproduced without prior permission in writing to the Finance Brokers Association of Australia Limited. The views and opinions of the authors and advertisers do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the publisher.

While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of information at the time of publishing, the publisher accepts no responsibility or liability for errors, omissions or subsequent consequences including loss or damage from reliance on information in this publication.

56. WHAT’S ON Our upcoming events & webinars. 24. FBAA NATIONAL INDUSTRY CONFERENCE 2024! It’s on again and you can register now! 30. 7 TIPS TO WRITE THE PERFECT AWARD SUBMISSION Karen Hall, Director - Reputation by Design, shares strategies. 04. FROM THE CHAIR An update from Tony Carter, FBAA Chairman of Directors. 54. MEMBER BENEFITS PROGRAM Exclusive deals for FBAA members. 42. BEFORE U LOAN FREE MARKETING ASSETS! We have developed custom-made marketing assets for you!


As we close out financial year 2023/24 it is extremely pleasing to see the growth of FBAA continue unabated – at membership and services level. This does not happen by accident.

Membership continues to grow – proudly supporting over 12,000 members – the vast majority being active broker members. In my time on the Board, FBAA has grown from 6,325 to more than 12,000 active broker members.

The somewhat tired “PD Day” has evolved into a very professional education-based day where active members get to network, gain many insights into a successful broker business and meet many key suppliers to the profession. The rebranding to FBAA Broker Elevate, has lived up to its name and seen many members reporting elevated knowledge and business conduct. Attendance is now regularly at peak with a waiting list in many cities. Book early – you will get value.

We launched – a website providing finance education for consumers, supplied by professionals from within the industry. Consumers can approach borrowing with increased confidence as well as finding links to FBAA brokers in their area. This unique initiative is a win for both consumers and FBAA brokers.

The Board continued to support FBAA Operations through the appointment of key personnel and advancement of long-term team members. The objective being to ensure we remain at the forefront of the professional delivery of services, education, and support for FBAA members.

The move into New Zealand commenced after overwhelming support of members at the 2023 AGM. FBAA has now launched operations in New Zealand. Known as FAMNZ (Finance and Mortgage Advisers Association of New Zealand), this initiative is not just growth for growth’s sake. It is a clear, strategic investment in new market opportunities for members on both sides of the Tasman Sea. Australia can learn from the New Zealand experience and likewise share the Australian journey with New Zealand. This work will evolve over the coming years, however, the early engagement is highly encouraging.

As we move into the 2023/24 financial year you can expect to see a significant focus on Commercial Lending, education, and promotion. We have put together a strong professional team who are experienced and ready to help you expand your existing business in commercial lending or assist others enter this emerging space.

Peter White as Managing Director has direct reports of FBAA’s CFO and Company Secretary Nick Lane, CDO Joanna Lane and FAMNZ Manager Leigh Hodgetts, as well as responsibility for all matters relating to company strategy and advocacy. You are all aware Peter is the energiser bunny – he never stops and is focussed on ensuring FBAA remains Australia’s leading peak body of choice for professional finance and mortgage brokers.

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Nick Lane as Company 2IC, CFO and Company Secretary (appointed in 2023) has a pivotal role in ensuring the direction of the company is maintained in accord with all matters legal and regulatory. This is a massive role and responsibility, one that Nick carries out with an incredible work ethic and highest level of integrity.

Joanna James was appointed during the 2023/24 year as Chief Development Officer (CDO) and has now put together a very professional team eager to continue improving the services offered by FBAA directly and via suppliers and sponsors.

Known to many over the past 14 years with FBAA, Leah Renwick continues her role as National Partnership Manager. Leah’s experience and intimate knowledge ensures high levels of satisfaction through our sponsors and supply partners is maintained. This group deliver some of the very important services to FBAA members.

A team member for 12 years, Christine Anderson has now been in the role of State Manager covering NSW, QLD, ACT & NT for almost two years. Christine’s time as Team Leader in the memberships team assisted her transition to the front-facing role as State Manager and kicking goals with and for members across these states.

Jade Lee is new to the team and in the role as State Manager for Vic, Tas, SA & WA. Jade has hit the road running using her industry knowledge and contacts in both lender and aggregator fields. We are confident Jade will be welcomed by members across these states.

Steven Ragany, well known across the profession, has just been appointed as National Commercial and Asset Manager. This is a growth area for members currently engaged in commercial and asset lending as well as those adding this sector to their offering.

Renee Tocco is well-known and respected by many in the finance profession and is working within the team as a Commercial and Asset Education Consultant. We are looking forward to this collaboration exclusively to improve knowledge and opportunities for FBAA members.

Imogen Horswell has recently taken on the role of Event and Sales Support Officer. Imogen will become known to members who take up the many offerings from FBAA over the coming years. Imogen will ensure we maintain the highest of standards of excellence for our members.

Peter White’s work in Advocacy continues unabated. With new senior appointments Peter can increase his reach and effectiveness. The work in advocacy is somewhat like the “silent service” where conversations on target subjects develop over time. Politicians and regulators move very slowly, and we constantly find ourselves in the middle of “election cycle” when all thought of action is placed on the back burner while the incumbent government works primarily on vote-winning strategy. In my view the solution is fixed four- or fiveyear terms of government, to achieve real progress. At FBAA we are extremely fortunate to have Peter White who is a registered and experienced lobbyist. This avoids FBAA having to recruit a “gun for hire” on a case-bycase or subject-by-subject basis. A distinct advantage for FBAA, developing long-term relationships with all sides of politics including minor parties and independents. We remain apolitical and focused on the needs of our profession now and into the future.

So, where are we headed in 2024/25? Having achieved 12,000+ members it is not time to relax. FBAA must deliver ever-increasing benefits to members and improvements to the profession overall. We will deliver on our promises.

All we ask is that FBAA members be “best in field” in all you do when representing your client in their needs. Serving them honestly and with their best interest foremost in your mind is a recipe for success. There are no shortcuts to a successful broker business.

On behalf of the FBAA Board of Directors I thank the current and new Operations Team Members as they do their best for our members and thank FBAA members for your ongoing support and positive input.

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Industry Update Always learning

The FBAA continues its commitment to industry-leading education with three new projects in the pipeline, including a Diploma with a Difference. As FBAA laps the country delivering professional development days and other popular events, Managing Director Peter White AM says the focus remains on always learning and growing, in order to help brokers learn and grow.

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Always learning


Education continues to be a big piece for FBAA. We are currently developing some new education pieces to be delivered in 2024, including a Diploma with a Difference, a new entry pathway into broking and a commercial and asset pathway.

The Diploma with a Difference is significant value to existing brokers, or even new brokers. We’ve designed this course by pulling together the best elements of market-leading courses to create an industryleading diploma that is unique and actually worthwhile. Our belief is that if you are going to invest money and time into a qualification, it should be relevant and valuable to you as a broker.

We are working on establishing a new commercial and asset pathway so brokers, or prospective brokers, can access quality training at a reasonable cost. The current cost of some courses is around $10,000. We are aiming to offer ours at under $2000.

The new entry pathway will give aspiring brokers an industry-led, affordable option to acquire the qualification needed to start broking.

I look forward to delivering more information on FBAA’s education offering.


Finance and Mortgage Advisers Association

New Zealand (FAMNZ) held its first official launch event in Auckland in May, to a sell-out venue. FAMNZ Manager Leigh Hodgetts and I welcomed finance and mortgage advisers, with presentations from the NZ ombudsman, FMA (New Zealand’s equivalent to ASIC). It was a great event and robust conversation.

Existing borrowers should be offered the same interest rate as new borrowers, instead of banks deploying front book & back book pricing.

Our due diligence told us the demand for an association like FAMNZ was there, but I have been very impressed with the response we’ve received from advisers, industry and even brokers in Australia.

In August we will start delivering high quality professional development days, lapping around both islands to ensure advisers throughout NZ have the best opportunity to attend.


Our events calendar is jam-packed, lapping us around Australia a couple times a year to make sure you as a valued member have every opportunity to attend our professional development days, Elevate, and more. Our recent Elevate in Sydney saw a sold-out venue, with close to 240 people in attendance. It was a sensational day for members.

Key to FBAA’s events calendar is the annual National Industry Conference, which this year will again be held at Royal Pines Resort.

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10 Broker Magazine INDUSTRY UPDATE

Friday 1 November is the date, and for the first year both the conference and the Awards of Supremacy and gala dinner will all be held at Royal Pines. We expect this to be our best-attended event since pre-pandemic. Our Melbourne event was the same, as we reached capacity in the venue. It tells us that brokers want to connect, want to engage with industry, and elevate their business. The FBAA has always strived to be leading the most relevant conversations for our industry, and the response from our members tells me we are achieving just that.

For more detail on FBAA’s upcoming events, read this edition’s cover story with our events gurus on page 18, and our immediate events calendar on page 52.


Conversations with Treasury continue around outstanding recommendations from the 2020 home loan price inquiry, particularly around front book and back book pricing of loans.

The FBAA’s position is that there should be one book, one price. Existing borrowers should be offered the same interest rate as new borrowers, instead of banks deploying front book and back book pricing. It creates a deceptive market. People are enticed with 0.8% cheaper rate, only to find six to 12 months later they no longer have such a great rate.

We are aware of banks using front book pricing to steal the deal from brokers 24 hours out from settlement when the broker is helping a customer refinance. Our stance is that the “best rate” should be the best rate.

Now, we’ve seen trends in the market that those differentials are starting to close, which is good but we want greater transparency across the board. We are also working with Treasury to progress loan processes being digitised. These conversations continue.


Clawbacks are still top of our agenda, and conversations continue. We are aware no other advocacy body has been able to progress this conversation to this point, so we are cautious not to overstretch the rubber band. I will update accordingly.


On a personal front, I was humbled to receive the Appreciation of Service Award at the 2024 Vow/YBR Group Commercial Conference in Adelaide in March. I’m entirely committed to advocating for the finance industry, in particular brokers just like you. Awards are just the cherries on the cake, not essential but certainly delicious. Thank you all for your ongoing support.

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Nurturing the Rise of Mum & Dad Property Investors

In the dynamic realm of real estate investment, a new breed of entrepreneurs is emerging: mum and dad property investors. As a mortgage broker, understanding the unique needs and aspirations of this demographic is paramount in facilitating their journey towards financial prosperity. Helping to create generational wealth makes your role equivocally significant. Let’s look at how you can best support this emerging client base to achieve their family’s financial legacy.

The Rise of the Mum & Dad Property Investor

According to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), there has been a notable increase in the number of individuals venturing into property investment since COVID-19. A significant portion of these investors comprise everyday Australian families seeking to secure their financial futures through real estate.

Core Logic’s research further corroborates this trend, indicating that mum and dad investors now represent a substantial segment of the property investment landscape. With a growing appetite for wealth creation through property, these investors are seeking guidance and support from knowledgeable professionals to maximise their investment potential.

Tailored Financial Solutions

Mortgage brokers are uniquely positioned to offer tailored financial solutions to mum

and dad investors, catering to their specific investment objectives and risk profiles. From structuring investment loans to optimising financing strategies, brokers can provide invaluable assistance in navigating the complexities of property investment.

One effective strategy is leveraging the equity in existing properties to fund additional investment endeavours. By harnessing the equity built up over time, mum and dad investors can unlock opportunities for portfolio expansion and wealth accumulation. Mortgage brokers play a vital role in facilitating this process, offering expertise in equity utilisation and portfolio diversification.

Risk Mitigation and Due Diligence

While property investment offers lucrative opportunities for wealth creation, it also entails inherent risks. Mortgage brokers can assist mum and dad investors in conducting thorough due diligence to mitigate these risks effectively. From analysing market trends to accessing and assessing property valuations, brokers provide invaluable insights to help investors make informed decisions.

Moreover, brokers can guide investors through the intricacies of property finance, ensuring they secure loans with favourable terms and conditions. By fostering a culture of risk awareness and prudent investment practices, brokers empower mum and dad

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Brokers foster a collaborative partnership with mum & dad investors, driving mutual success in the dynamic world of property investment.

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investors to navigate the volatile real estate landscape with confidence.

Education and Empowerment

Central to the role of mortgage brokers is the provision of education and empowerment to mum and dad investors. By equipping investors with knowledge about market dynamics, investment strategies, and regulatory frameworks, brokers empower them to make sound investment decisions aligned with their financial goals.

Furthermore, brokers can facilitate access to resources and networks within the real estate industry, enabling investors to expand their knowledge base and explore new opportunities. Through ongoing guidance and support, brokers foster a collaborative partnership with mum and dad investors, driving mutual success in the dynamic world of property investment.

Brokers Fostering Multi-Level Collaboration

As mum and dad investors continue to reshape the Australian property investment landscape, mortgage brokers play a crucial role in supporting their aspirations for financial prosperity. By offering tailored financial solutions, mitigating risks, and empowering investors through education and empowerment, brokers serve as trusted partners in their journey towards property investment success. In doing so, they contribute to fostering a vibrant and inclusive real estate ecosystem that benefits investors and communities alike.

Author bio: Kitty Parker is the Director of Kitty & Miles, and is a multi-award winning buyer’s agent helping residential property buyers across the country buy with certainty (they have a 100% success rate to back this). Services range from expert auction bidding assistance through to a complete end-toend concierge service. To get in touch visit:


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ReimaginingThe Experience

Bringing their impressive corporate event experience to the table, Tara Davoren and Amy Dimech and their team at Imagine Experiences have taken the reins of FBAA’s events to deliver incredible experiences to members. This year’s National Industry Conference is set to be the best yet.

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“The FBAA has grown significantly, and so had their events. We want to build on the great work they had done to establish the conference.”

When it comes to a successful corporate event, finance professionals want more than just a runof-the-mill seminar. No one knows that better than the corporate event gurus Tara Davoren and Amy Dimech. With their roots in the financial services, Tara and Amy are well-versed in what brokers, aggregators and finance professionals are looking for in an event.

Former school teacher Tara founded her business Imagine Experiences 10 years ago, and has carved out a reputation for excellence. Today, the Imagine Experience team has grown to include Tara at the helm, based in Brisbane, event executive Amy who has been by Tara’s side the past three years from Sydney, plus event manager Kelly based in Newcastle and event coordinator Dom in Bowral. Working remotely, the Imagine team plan and deliver events all around the world. In 2023, they added FBAA’s entire suite of events to their portfolio.

Starting out as a school teacher, Tara worked on the Gold Coast and in London, before returning to Brisbane and shifting gears to a corporate career.

“I met Amy when I returned to Australia from London, I had moved to Sydney and Amy interviewed me for a position as Executive Assistant to a CEO in a mortgage aggregation company,” recalls Tara. “I got the job, and eventually took on all of the internal events for the company. I loved it, and that really inspired me to go out on my own.”

Amy continued working in the finance sector for another seven years before joining Tara at Imagine Experiences in 2021. “When Tara left the company, I took over her role managing the internal events,” says Amy. “Everything I know I’ve learned from her.”

Amy describes Imagine Experience’s team culture as respectful and collaborative, treating the company like a family. “This aligns with our experiences of working with FBAA,” says Tara. “We feel like FBAA has allowed us to join you all on this journey, and we are a great fit. We have the same passion for what we do.

“We have multiple clients across multiple industries,” continues Tara. “The financial services sector is a big one for us, and also real estate and property. This means multiple deadlines and competing priorities. Both Amy and I have sharp organisation skills, foresight as to what clients need before they know they need it, and great attention to detail. As well as adding a bit of sparkle to all that we do,” she says, referring to what makes an event memorable.

Creating epic events has taken Imagine Experiences

all around the globe, to South Africa, Canada and Vietnam. Since COVID, Tara and Amy haven’t delivered as many overseas experiences, but have continued to create bucket-list memories for clients.

“It’s really been about looking for opportunities domestically,” says Amy. “We look at how we can create these events for guests that not only meet all their needs from an educational point of view, but also what experiences can we create that you can’t just do as a leisure guest. Whether it’s Port Douglas or Hobart or the Hunter Valley, we want people to have had an inspiring, amazing time they will continue to talk about.”

In May, Tara and Amy collected a few more stamps in their passports, as they headed to New Zealand to deliver FAMNZ launch events in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. Also this year, Imagine Experiences has completed a first lap of Australia for FBAA’s Elevate series, is planning key events for RUOK? Day, International Men’s Day and the launch of The Wellness Hub, and is working on building FBAA’s Commercial Masterclass. FBAA’s signature event though is of course the National Industry Conference which will return to Royal Pines Resort on Friday 1 November, themed ‘Empower Excellence’.

“We first met Peter White a few years back, through our client Vow Financial, while Amy was actually still working for Vow,” recalls Tara. “He saw what we were doing, and thought we’d be a good fit for FBAA.”

Tara and Amy started working with FBAA in 2023. Following membership growth in recent years, the task of continuing to deliver the association’s numerous events around the country was increasingly unsustainable for the association’s internal team.

While the FBAA had done a great job of growing their events and has always nurtured a highly engaged membership, Tara and Amy identified opportunities to streamline the events.

“The conference in particular had grown to the point where it had completely outgrown its venue, with exhibitors having to set up in the car park because not everyone could fit inside,” explains Tara. “The FBAA has grown significantly, and so had their events. We want to build on the great work they had done to establish the conference.”

Last year the conference was held at Royal Pines Resort, and received great feedback from attendees, brokers, sponsors and exhibitors. “The sponsor trade area was buzzing, the whole conference had such a great energy,” recalls Tara.

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“We also received feedback that attendees want more down time, more time to network between scheduled events,” adds Amy. “To achieve this, this year we will hold all events for the day at Royal Pines Resort – the conference, the Awards of Supremacy and the Gala Dinner.

“Of course, guests can still expect the same pizzazz the FBAA events always offer, in particular the Awards of Supremacy,” assures Amy.

The 2024 conference’s speaker line up is currently being finalised, and includes a top-notch program, covering topics like scaling a small business into a global brand, an economist to talk about the broking world, mental health of course, and lots more.

Tara says all of FBAA’s 2024 events have been tracking at higher-than-expected numbers, a trend Tara and Amy expect to continue for National Industry Conference, Awards of Supremacy and Gala Dinner. “This is a must-attend event for industry, and this year is going to be exciting!”

To register for the 2024 National Industry Conference, Awards of Supremacy or gala dinner, go to website:

The Imagine Experiences team, from left to right: Dominique Carroll, Amy Dimech, Tara Davoren & Kelli Spruce.
“Guests can still expect the same pizzazz the FBAA events always offer, in particular the Awards of Supremacy.”
– Amy Dimech

HAS Redefining Homeownership Deposit Solutions

In the realm of home finance, Home Affordability Solutions (HAS) provides an alternative to the conventional ‘family guarantee’ method, offering families and communities a way to assist homebuyers while also earning returns on their investment. Unlike conventional approaches, HAS introduces a deposit enhancement solution that empowers potential homebuyers to enter the housing market with just a 2.5% deposit and avoiding Lenders Mortgage Insurance. Established since 2016, HAS is tried and tested, operating Australia-wide.

Challenges with Traditional Deposit Solutions

Traditional homeownership often hinges on meeting strict deposit requirements, typically ranging from 10% to 20% of the property’s purchase price. For many aspiring homebuyers, accumulating such a sizable deposit can be a daunting hurdle and can take up to 10 years to achieve. This barrier to entry often excludes individuals with limited savings or non-traditional financial backgrounds from accessing mortgage finance.

An Alternative

HAS recognises the limitations of traditional deposit solutions and offers a range of alternatives that empower brokers to assist a broader client base in achieving homeownership. Customers benefit from a low interest rate at 3.25% in return for a share of capital growth for the investor.

Returns on Investment

Through their program, HAS facilitates family and community support at arm’s length, meaning investors aren’t directly linked to the property but receive returns on their investment. This model positions HAS as the intermediary between investors and homeowners, offering a unique opportunity for community backing while ensuring financial returns for investors.

Easing Financial Burden

HAS collaborates with a panel of first lenders to cover up to 80% LVR. Secured by a second mortgage, HAS

provides additional deposit support, offering a loan as low as 3.25%, fixed for 5 years. This offers a low entry cost for borrowers and ensures predictability and stability, leading to manageable monthly expenses. Additionally, HAS creates an establishment period by including the first 3 years’ monthly payments within its facility, providing homeowners and investors the ability to pay extra into the first mortgage across the first 3 years and lower the principal. This allows for further reduction of initial costs and provides a smoother transition into the loan term and homeownership. Lastly, HAS matches the loan term of the first mortgage, up to 30 years. This combination not only eases financial burdens but also empowers individuals to think long term while purchasing their dream home without unnecessary financial stress.

Flexible Financing Options

HAS collaborates with reputable lenders to offer flexible financing options tailored to diverse financial circumstances. Whether it’s assisting first-time or reentering buyers, investment purchases, self-employed individuals, or established and construction purchases, HAS provides personalised financing solutions that prioritise affordability and sustainability Australia wide.

Comprehensive Support and Education

HAS goes beyond financial solutions by providing comprehensive support and education to clients and mortgage brokers alike. Through workshops, seminars, and consultations, HAS equips brokers with the knowledge and tools needed to navigate alternative deposit solutions and guide clients towards successful homeownership.

Empowering Mortgage Brokers with HAS

For mortgage brokers, partnering with HAS opens new avenues to assist clients in achieving homeownership. By leveraging HAS’s innovative deposit solutions, brokers can expand their client base and offer tailored financing options that align with individual needs and goals. HAS’s commitment to transparency, integrity, and client empowerment enhances the broker-client relationship, fostering trust and satisfaction throughout the homebuying process.

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“HAS collaborates with a panel of first lenders to cover up to 80% LVR.

Secured by a second mortgage, HAS provides additional deposit support, offering a loan as low as 3.25%, fixed for 5 years.”

Dreams into Reality

HAS’s approach not only breaks down barriers to homeownership but also transforms dreams into reality. By redefining deposit solutions and promoting financial inclusion, HAS contributes to stronger communities and a more equitable housing market. HAS enables brokers to guide clients towards successful property ownership, transforming aspirations into tangible achievements. As HAS continues to redefine industry norms and champion accessibility in Home Finance, it exemplifies the potential of collaborative, client-centred approaches in reshaping the future of homeownership.

Author bio: Beth Comino, CEO of Home Affordability Solutions, creates alternative mortgages to make homeownership accessible, empowering aspiring homeowners and enhancing financial inclusivity for individuals and families. She is dedicated to providing hope, dignity and security through homeownership.

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7 Tips to Write the Perfect Award submission

Submitting for prestigious awards is an excellent way to gain recognition and raise your profile. However, with so many talented people and businesses vying for the same accolades, crafting a compelling and persuasive entry is crucial. In this article, I share seven tips and strategies to help you create the perfect award submission.

1. Choose the Right Award

This is my #1 tip for a reason. Take the time upfront to research and identify the most suitable awards and categories for your accomplishments. Consider the award’s focus, eligibility criteria, and prestige within your industry or field. Ask yourself: “What do I want to be known for?” Applying for awards that are well-aligned with your work and achievements increases your chances of standing out and being recognised.

2. Understand the Criteria and Requirements

Before you begin writing, thoroughly review the award criteria, guidelines, and submission requirements. Understand what the judges are looking for, and tailor your submission accordingly. This includes answering each part of the question, which may be made up of multiple sub-questions. Pay close attention to word counts, formatting guidelines, and deadlines to ensure your submission meets all the necessary specifications. It’s also important to match your writing to the awards period, most of which will be past tense.

3. Tell a Compelling Story

Effective award submissions are more than just a list of accomplishments; they tell a captivating story that engages the judges emotionally as well as technically ticking their judging scorecards. Use vivid, active language and specific examples to bring your story to life and make it memorable.

Remember that the judges are human, and they’re likely reviewing numerous submissions. Craft your writing in a way that engages and inspires them. Use compelling anecdotes, and thought-provoking insights to capture their attention and leave a lasting impression.

4. Quantify Your Achievements

While storytelling is essential, it’s equally important to back up your claims with tangible evidence and measurable results. Quantify your achievements whenever possible by providing concrete data, statistics, and metrics that demonstrate the scale and significance of your work. This numerical evidence lends credibility and weight to your submission and is one of the biggest things I see missing in entries. And remember, you get to choose which metrics you put in, so you can choose the most compelling statistics available.

5. Highlight Your Uniqueness

Throughout your submission, emphasise what makes you or your work unique, innovative, and groundbreaking. Highlight any pioneering techniques, novel approaches, or exceptional accomplishments that set you apart from your peers. A good tip to approach this, once you’ve written your submission, is to read your entry back and ask yourself, is each initiative a genuine point of difference?

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6. Provide Supporting Materials

Many award submissions allow or even require supporting materials such as testimonials, press clippings, or multimedia content. Choose these supplementary materials carefully to reinforce and strengthen your narrative. Ensure they are relevant, high-quality, and aligned with the award criteria, and reference them in your written submission by adding “(see attachment)” to guide the judges as to each attachment’s relevance.

7. Proofread and Edit

Finally, before submitting your award entry, proofread and edit your work meticulously. Ensure there are no spelling or grammatical errors, and that your submission flows logically and coherently. Always have someone else review your submission to catch any mistakes or areas for improvement.


By following these top tips, you’ll increase your chances of crafting a standout award submission that resonates with the judges and showcases your exceptional achievements. Remember, the key is to tell a compelling story, provide tangible evidence, and highlight what makes you truly unique and deserving of recognition.

Bio: Karen Hall is the Director of Reputation by Design, an agency specialising in trust and reputation as an asset to drive business growth. Karen helps businesses become multi-award winning by finding the right awards for them to enter and professionally ghostwriting their entries.

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The AFCA’s IT transformation: revolutionising complaint

Australian Financial Complaints Authority - In a huge stride forward Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) has completed its most significant

The project is a significant shift in how AFCA manages complaints. It leverages state-of-the-art technology to streamline operations and enhance the experience of members of the AFCA external dispute resolution (EDR) scheme, consumers who make complaints, and AFCA’s employees.

At the core of the transformation lies a comprehensive overhaul that merges three systems into one fully integrated solution.“By consolidating the internal case management system, member portal and consumer portal into one cohesive ecosystem, we are pioneering what is a revolutionary approach to delivering fair, effective and timely dispute resolution,” said AFCA Chief Operating Officer, Justin Untersteiner.

“Our IT transformation also heralds a new era of data-driven decision-making. By leveraging advanced analytics, AFCA will gain even greater insights into the root causes of complaints, and what affects complaint progression, allowing us to identify trends and issues that will be of value to members too.”

The new member portal

The transformation includes new technology, streamlined processes and integrated systems that foster greater collaboration to aid swift and efficient resolution of disputes. The new member portal is fully integrated with AFCA’s brand-new consumer portal and case management system, allowing for advanced communication and document sharing.

The system streamlines processes by removing administrative tasks and introducing new automations. Complaints are automatically processed and progressed at key points, including newly lodged complaints being automatically referred to the financial firm. Complaints are then tracked through custom dashboards that display status, actions and due dates.

The benefits for members

This modern system delivers enhanced efficiency and effectiveness. Through improved communication and information sharing capabilities, members have greater visibility and insight throughout the complaint resolution process.

Members can now communicate with AFCA about specific complaints, systemic issues and their membership all within the new, centralised member portal, significantly reducing the need for email.

Through improved reporting functionality, members can manage caseloads more efficiently and review all complaint information and milestones in one location.

A key feature for members is the ability to create unique role types and control permissions, with new ways for firms to view, allocate and track complaints within their internal EDR teams.

“Our goal was to deliver a portal that is user-friendly and secure, and able to evolve with members’ needs. We believe we’ve achieved that, but that doesn’t mean the work ends. The foundation is there for new functionality to support our goal of providing a high-quality service,” Justin said.

How AFCA is supporting members

AFCA has numerous dedicated resources, including training materials, available to help members as they navigate the new portal. The online resources include:

• How-to-guides

• Video tours and tutorials

• Interactive learning modules for complaints handling staff

• Live support

All the training resources can be found on AFCA’s website:

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transformation: complaint resolution.

forward in modernising the complaint resolution process, the Australian significant IT transformation endeavour to date.

AFCA’s new, integrated technology represents a significant and important shift in how complaints are managed and resolved. Through streamlined processes, enhanced communication and data-driven insights, AFCA reaffirms its dedication to delivering fair, effective, and timely dispute resolution.

About AFCA

The Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) is a non-government ombudsman service providing free, fair and independent dispute resolution to individual consumers and small businesses when they are not able to resolve complaints directly with financial firms in banking and finance, insurance, investments and advice, and superannuation. AFCA aims to help the parties reach agreement, but it can issue decisions that are binding on financial firms.

Any questions about how AFCA’s new member portal will impact you or your business, please email membership@afca.

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Pictured: AFCA Chief Operating Officer, Justin Untersteiner.

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Informed direction

The April results from our monthly broker poll are in, covering topics of household expenditure, interest in variable loans, owner-occupiers, regulatory changes and broker mental and physical health. The FBAA uses these insights to identify where and how we can help broker members and Australian loan customers.

In 2024, FBAA has partnered with global specialist research and insights consultancy Coredata to conduct a suite of research to inform our work in advocacy, education and support.

Key to this research is a monthly poll, conducted by sending an online survey to a sample set of 100 current FBAA broker members. The survey takes just two minutes to complete, and is an opportunity to help us understand the current market and members’ current pain points.

Our April survey findings were released in May, with findings across increased household expenditure, increased interest in variable loans, owner-occupiers, awareness of Compensations Scheme of Last Resort and stress impacting broker health.

The respondent pool was diverse, with 60% of brokers offering insights from metro areas and 40% from regional.


Some 73% of brokers reported seeing an increase in household expenditure among their clients in the past 6 months. Key factors driving increased expenditure include rising costs of living which are causing increases in non-discretionary spending.

Seven in 10 brokers surveyed, or 71%, reported an increased interest from clients in variable loans over the past 6 months. Given the high interest rate environment, clients are looking to protect themselves against being locked in at a high rate, indicating hopes interest rates will drop during the course of their loans.

Brokers report that two-thirds of their clients, or 67%, are buying property as their primary residence, and roughly a third of their clients (33%) are purchasing property for other reasons such as investment property or a vacation home.

This survey is an opportunity to help us understand the current market and members’ current pain points.” “

Most brokers (97%) report making a medium or great effort to stay informed with regulatory changes that affect the industry. When asked about their awareness of the Compensation Scheme of Last Resort (CSLR), which commenced in April, brokers report low awareness, with 62% having never heard of it. Among brokers that make great efforts to stay informed on regulatory changes affecting the industry (45%), it was common to not understand CSLR.

More than half (57%) of brokers have noticed their mental or physical health had been affected by stress in the past six months. More than a third of brokers surveyed (36%) report feeling supported in managing stress at work, but an almost equal number of brokers reported they feel unsupported (37%).

For more research results from FBAA, visit our website:

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April 2024

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The Ultimate Guide to Digital Trifecta Strategies

With everything changing so fast, standing out from your competitors is now non-negotiable, especially if your business is to stay relevant. That’s why the Digital Trifecta is crucial—a game-changing trio of strategies designed to lift businesses to goal achievement through digital success.

46 Broker Magazine
46 Broker Magazine

Let’s examine how these powerful strategies make digital success a reality for finance brokers.

1. Paid Media: Turbocharge Your Brand’s Impact

Imagine having the ability to target your ideal customers with precision, ensuring your message cuts through the noise and resonates with those who matter most. The big issue here is that when not done right, business owners lose tens of thousands of dollars on this medium, a huge problem that must be avoided.

Real-life example: Picture a commercial finance broker wanting to expand their reach and attract businesses and tradespeople beyond their neighbourhood. By harnessing the power of targeted Facebook ads, the Finance broker can showcase their vehicle finance options to discerning customers, enticing them with exclusive promotions and captivating visuals. When done professionally, the right mix and strategic set-up of advertising can unlock the full potential of paid media to drive tangible results for a business.

2. Owned Media: Transform Your Digital Assets into Goldmines

Your website, blog, and social media platforms are more than just digital placeholders – they’re invaluable assets waiting to be optimised for maximum impact.

You must begin with a strategy focused on your business’s financial goals to achieve results.

• What is your customer strategy?

• Who are your ideal customer personas?

• Who are the customer types you will not work with, meaning your anti-persona and your service strategy?

• How will you position your business to set yourself apart from your competitors?

It is important to get it right; hence, get some expert guidance so you can transform these channels into dynamic hubs of engagement and conversion. From SEO enhancement

of your websites to content-rich blogs, it is about strategies to captivate your audience and professionally elevate your brand’s online presence.

3. Earned Media: Amplify Your Brand’s Influence Through Advocacy

Earned media, fueled by the passion and advocacy of your loyal customers, has the power to propel your brand to new heights. Innovative businesses can cultivate a community of brand ambassadors who eagerly share their love for your products and services across social platforms, amplifying your reach and credibility in the digital sphere.

Real-life Example: Imagine a local mortgage broker in a regional NSW town who aims to expand their customer base beyond its brickand-mortar location. Through a strategic approach to social media marketing, the broker launches a social media campaign, encouraging prospective home buyers and investors to stick to their dreams of home ownership and grow their wealth and security through property investment despite the complex economic challenges everyone faces from time to time. The mortgage brokers’ online visibility soars, attracting customers far and wide, even from interstate, while providing the entrepreneur with a huge confidence boost.

In a world where digital dominance is the key to success, you’ll be able to transform your business into a digital powerhouse by integrating paid, owned, and earned media strategies into your digital playbook with the right guidance.

If you need help building your business’s digital strategy, book a free advisory session with Netstripes digital specialists today.

Dinesh De Silva is the CEO & Founder of netStripes, a digital and marketing solutions business in Sydney. He is a leading authority on small and medium business digital innovation and is regularly called upon to share his insights as a thought leader.

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48 Broker Magazine

Broker in business


Changing career nine years ago at 59 years old, Gary Scott found his new direction as a finance broker. Passionate about his local community of Kempsey on New South Wales’ beautiful mid north coast, Gary has grown his business under the Regional Finance Solutions brand. He now balances his broking career with making sure his motorcycle and caravan each hit the road regularly.

“My advice is to join a good network because this is a difficult industry to survive on your own.”

An active community member in Kempsey, Gary was local Chamber of Commerce president for 11 years, as well as board member for regional and state Chambers. “I don’t network for myself, I network because I like to give back to my community.”

In the last 12 months Gary has been actively involved with a local fundraising group in Kempsey, The Lilli Pilli Ladies, and helped chair a forum that was instrumental in lobbying for cancer treatments locally.

Starting his career back in 1974 as a 17-year-old bank teller, Gary Scott first moved into broking in 2015 as one of the early brokers under the Regional Finance Solutions brand. He brought with him decades of lending experience.

“I started in banking before computers were the norm, when every teller has a handgun as part of their cash tray – amazing to think of that now,” recalls Gary. “I then spent 25 years in credit unions and had previously established a credit union branch in Kempsey from scratch in 2001 for my former employer. So I had local contacts and a good personal and family reputation.

“I was looking for a career change, which a friend mentioned to David Trainor [who owns Regional Finance Solutions].” David reached out to Gary, and the rest as they say is history.

“Initially I had a limited concept of what broking was all about – I’d always assumed broking was the ‘dark side’ and wondered why this industry was gaining such traction, but I had a fairly extensive lending background, so understanding policies came fairly easy.”

Gary’s personal insights into the lending process helped him achieve a near 100% conversion rate from enquiry to application and grow his client base to almost 400 clients. Gary says none of his clients have, to-date, ever faced hardship on the loans he has written as a broker.

Gary says he was at the stage he probably should have been planning his retirement, but instead he continued broking because he enjoys the work.

“I’m not so much trying to find an income stream, so I’m not pressured by what I do. I think my clients understand that and that’s the reason why I’ve got a fair loyalty base of clients that stick with me because they realise I’m doing it really to help them rather than purely to make money.”

“Anybody can write an easy loan. My strength as a broker has always been working with clients who have difficulty accessing finance.” This is how Gary’s business has grown through word-of-mouth.

“Our most recent success was having a dedicated mini treatment centre at the local hospital for low-risk chemotherapy treatments for local patients, finally open this year. Having lost my father, my greatest mentor, to cancer, I was only too happy to come on board with this group.”

Gary’s career highs have generally been helping new businesses get off the ground, and clients purchase their home. “Helping my clients buy a home or launch their business, after the challenges our region has experienced with bush fires and floods has been a highlight.”

Gary’s advice to those considering broking as a new career, is to make sure your motives are not only on generating a good income. “If you’re only focused on your dollar income, you’ll fail. If you don’t understand the concepts of lending, how to tailor a loan to suit that client, know where to go looking for that particular type of loan or understand why lenders have these particular policies, you’ll struggle, which could lead to you giving up,” says Gary.

“As experienced as I was coming into broking, I couldn’t have understood the system without having a few other brokers a few years ahead of me. If you’re going to go out on your own, my advice is to join a good network because this is difficult industry to survive on your own.

“The beauty of working in a small broking group like Regional Finance Solutions is that we support each other and help each other overcome challenges, grow business and network.”

Regional Finance Solutions gives brokers a brand to work under, along with the support from head office. After just two or three years working for Regional Finance Solutions, Gary’s brought in his wife Jan to help manage the compliance and administration work. His daughter Brooke also supports the family business through her expertise in marketing, helping Gary improve his brand positioning.

This year marks Gary’s 50th in finance. “I’m still trying to come to terms with actually winding back from broking. If I was to retire, I might be bored!” says Gary.

“To this end, I am working to becoming a future mentor for new brokers as I enjoy this aspect of my work whenever a new broker enters our team.”

50 Broker Magazine
“Anybody can write an easy loan. My strength as a broker has always been working with clients who have difficulty accessing finance.”

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Broker Magazine



Join us for an exclusive coffee meet-up designed for FBAA industry professionals!

Connect with your local FBAA WA CouncillorLuke Bray & Latitude Finance for an enriching morning filled with coffee and conversation.

Time: 9.30AM – 12.00PM AEST

Location: Dome Cafe, 100 The Esplanande, Mount Pleasant.

Click the register now button to register.


Topics we’ll cover include:

• Why business owners are not getting results

• Understanding online buying behaviour

• Social media hacks for success

• Importance of professional campaign set up, copy and design

• Common advertising mistakes that cost thousands of dollars

Time: 4PM – 5PM AEST


Click the register now button to register.

57 Broker Magazine


The 2024 Industry Commercial Masterclass will be delivering you a range of never-beforeseen keynote presentations, panel sessions and lender experiences.

Become a master in diversifying your business into these new areas and ultimately increasing your bottom line $$$!

This event including details will be available to register for on our website soon!




The 2024 Industry Commercial Masterclass will be delivering you a range of never-beforeseen keynote presentations, panel sessions and lender experiences.

Become a master in diversifying your business into these new areas and ultimately increasing your bottom line $$$!

This event including details will be available to register for on our website soon!

58 Broker Magazine


The 2024 Industry Commercial Masterclass will be delivering you a range of never-beforeseen keynote presentations, panel sessions and lender experiences.

Become a master in diversifying your business into these new areas and ultimately increasing your bottom line $$$!

This event including details will be available to register for on our website soon! AUG 07 SAVE THE DATE


The 2024 Industry Commercial Masterclass will be delivering you a range of never-beforeseen keynote presentations, panel sessions and lender experiences.

Become a master in diversifying your business into these new areas and ultimately increasing your bottom line $$$!

This event including details will be available to register for on our website soon! AUG 13 SAVE THE DATE

59 Broker Magazine


Topics we’ll cover include:

• Why business owners are not getting results

• Understanding online buying behaviour

• Social media hacks for success

• Importance of professional campaign set up, copy and design

• Common advertising mistakes that cost thousands of dollars

Time: 4PM – 5PM AEST


Click the register now button to register.


The 2024 Industry Commercial Masterclass will be delivering you a range of never-beforeseen keynote presentations, panel sessions and lender experiences.

Become a master in diversifying your business into these new areas and ultimately increasing your bottom line $$$!

This event including details will be available to register for on our website soon!


60 Broker Magazine


This event including details will be available to register for on our website soon!

Time: 11.30AM – 12.30PM AEST




Welcome to Broker Elevate Series 2 Adelaide, an event tailored to those in the brokering field.

Elevate your brokering business by gaining valuable insights into business acumen, presented by some of the most inspiring speakers in brokering.

This event including details will be available to register for on our website soon!


61 Broker Magazine
With Whitey


Scott Beattie

Queensland - State President

Cube Central Mobile: 0402 720 613 Email: scott.b@

Paul Biddle

New South Wales & Australian Capital Territory - State President

Mortgage Rate Finder Mobile: 0450 573 336 Email:

Marios Rokka

Victoria - State President

Lending Centre Australia Mobile: 0400 880 880 Email: marios.rokka@


Justin Delanty

Tasmania - State President

Lending4U Mobile: 0458 031 569


Luke Bray

Western Australia - State President

Purely Finance Mobile: 0430 036 857

Email: lbray@

Kym Russell

South Australia & Northern Territory - State President

Nieuvision Financial Planning Mobile: 0402 201 510 Email:

Would you like more information on an FBAA event or PD Day thats happening in your local area? Maybe you have some feedback or an issue you would like to discuss?

Finance Brokers Association of Australasia

Level 1, 1 Miles Platting Road, Eight Mile Plains QLD 4113

Post: PO Box 4792, Eight Mile Plains QLD 4113

Phone: (07) 3847 8119 / Email: / Web:

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62 Broker Magazine
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~ Henry Ford

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