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Postcards from...Far North Queensland


The Indigenous Consumer Assistance Network (ICAN) provides consumer education, advocacy and financial counselling services to Indigenous consumers across the nation.

With the many recent natural disasters in Queensland, the need for financial counsellors in that area has risen dramatically and their role has expanded – especially regarding general insurance complaints. Jon O’Mally, an ICAN Senior Financial Counsellor, recently assisted a Cyclone Yasi victim to negotiate with their insurer. The case had been stalled in negotiations for over 13 months.  With the help and assistance of ICAN the consumer was able to receive advice and the help they needed to navigate their way through the claim process to ultimately a successful end for both the consumer and insurer. 

Over the past twelve months, ICAN has enjoyed a strengthened relationship with FOS. ICAN participates in the FOS Consumer Liaison Group (CLG)*, which provides an opportunity for FOS to share ideas and information with consumer representatives from across Australia who have a significant number of disputes with us.

Jon O’Mally says that his enhanced relationship with FOS has helped him to respond to the increased disputes occurring as a result of the recent natural disasters in Queensland. Jon says: “I have been a financial counsellor going on 18 years and I still believe it is important to utilise contacts, resources and available networks to insure that as a financial counsellor I am providing the highest standard of service to my client”.

*ICAN is one of eleven members of FOS’s recently launched Consumer Liaison Group (CLG). The CLG is made up of consumer representatives and advocates from around Australia. The CLG was established to improve the flow of information and ideas between FOS and those who represent the most vulnerable Australians. In the next edition of The Circular we will report on the outcomes and improvements we have made to our process and education programs as a result of ideas raised within this forum.