Christine Raymond has been a financial counsellor with Uniting Communities for over seven years. Based at Christies Beach, approximately 30 minutes south of Adelaide, she works three days a week as a general financial counsellor, and one day a week at the Consumer Credit Law Centre South Australia (CCLCSA).
The CCLCSA was formed in August 2014, the result of significant advocacy over several years to secure funding for the service. Given the benefits of similar centres in other states are readily apparent, Christine and others knew that it could greatly benefit the people of South Australia. The CCLCSA staff consists of two lawyers and three financial counsellors, and provides services in Adelaide, Medindie Gardens, Smithfield and Christies Beach. Although newly established, there is already significant demand for the service.
Christine’s clients present with a wide range of issues, and there are some emerging trends. “We are seeing relationship debt issues more often, including those related to domestic violence,” she says. “People at risk of losing their homes is always a common factor in financial hardship. We’re also seeing more people coming to us who have never known financial hardship issues before.”
As well as seeing clients, Christine helps deliver the Diploma of Community Services (Financial Counselling) in partnership with TAFE SA. She also hosts students participating in the placement requirement for the diploma.
Christine has been a FOS Consumer Liaison Group member since 2012.