Director Profiles

Our Board of Directors are Accredited Financial Counsellors and independent co-opted directors. Board positions are voluntary.

Geoff Cornwall


Financial Counsellor,
Shoalcoast Community Legal Centre Inc.


Geoff has been a Financial Counsellor since 2013, working for Lifeline Macarthur, Wesley Mission, Uniting, Illawarra Legal Centre and currently with Shoalcoast Community Legal Centre. He is an accredited Trainer for the Diploma of Financial Counselling and in 2019 was the Director/Treasurer of FCAN and stood down from the Board to take on employment with FCAN, facilitating the Intern Program in NSW and ACT.
Geoff has tertiary and post graduate qualifications in Surveying, Economics and Management; has completed the Company Directors Diploma with the Australian Institute of Company Directors and has served as a Director on a State Owned Corporation Board for 8 years and on numerous Committees in a volunteer capacity.

Vanessa Emery


Financial Counsellor, Wesley Mission Financial Counselling Service

Deputy Chair

Vanessa has been employed as a Financial Counsellor since 2013. Vanessa has worked for Parramatta Mission and now as Practice Specialist (Team Leader) at Wesley Mission where she manages a team of 10 financial counsellors while completing her own case work. Vanessa was previously an FCAN Director from 2018 to 2020 and has been a member of the FCAN Creditor Liaison working group since 2019. Vanessa represents FCA on the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) Consultative Group. 

Rob Benton


Financial Counsellor, National Debt Helpline Dubbo and Flood Relief Specialist (secondment) Northern Rivers and QLD


Rob has been both a Financial Counsellor and a Gambling Counsellor since 2009, working for Lifeline Central West, Salvation Army Moneycare, and most recently, for Uniting NSW as a Financial Counsellor on the National Debt Helpline. He was worked in the finance industry for over 45 years, been a business owner and an active board member in service organisations, a chamber of commerce and numerous Non-Profit NGO’s, such as Royal Far West Children, NALAG & a Neighbourhood Centre. He was an FCAN Board member from 2015 to 2021. Since then he has remained actively involved in FCAN’s Creditor Liaison Working Group, The NDH/FCAN Network Group and is also a Financial Counselling Director on the Board of Financial Counselling Australia.

Graham R Smith


Financial Counsellor, Edgeworth Neighbourhood Centre

Membership Secretary and FCA Representative

Graham is currently employed as a financial counsellor for the Community Management Advisory Project which is connected to Edgeworth Neighbourhood Centre in Newcastle. His previous employers have been Muru Mittigar Aboriginal Cultural and Education Centre in Penrith and Samaritans Foundation in Newcastle, having worked in the sector for the last fourteen years. Graham served as FCAN Chair from 2013 to 2019 and was a member of the FCA Sector Leaders Forum and FCA Representative Council during that time.
On re-joining the FCAN Board in 2021, he was elected to the role as the Membership Secretary, handling the accreditation all financial counsellors in NSW. And early in 2023, he was nominated as the FCAN representative to the FCA Representative Council.
He has extensive working experience within the community/ welfare sector that spans back to the late 1970’s. Having worked with disadvantaged communities in Western Sydney on a broad acre public housing estate, in rural areas of NSW as a youth worker and in Central Australia, where he spent 6 years living on remote First Nations communities in the Great Sandy and Great Victorian deserts running community development programs.

Tony Cameron


Financial Counsellor, Central Coast Regional Financial Counselling Service

Tony has worked as a financial counsellor in the Central Coast, Hunter and Sydney areas for the past 12 years and has been a supervisor for the past 10 years. He has been a Director on the FCAN Board since 2020 and in 2022 was the FCAN representative on the FCA Representative Council.
Tony has qualifications from a Bachelor of Arts Degree majoring in Sociology and Education, Diplomas in Community Service and Financial Counselling, Aboriginal and Family Community Counselling and in Small Business. Prior to working in Financial counselling he worked in the community sector in direct support, referral and advocacy roles in family and community organisations in Port Stephens and Hunter areas. 

Susan Cheetham


Financial Counsellor, Salvation Army Moneycare

Susan’s background is in strategic and statutory planning, mental health, local government management, school chaplaincy and mediation. She has been a financial counsellor for nine years, working for financial counselling services located on the Far South Coast and Southern parts of NSW. Susan was on the ground after the 2019-20 New Year bushfires, so gained valuable experience in natural disaster financial counselling, particularly working with people who have been traumatised, and insurance matters.

Chris Heckenberg


Financial Counsellor,
Anglicare Bushfire Recovery Service.

Chris is a proud descendant of the Gadigal Nation of First Peoples whose traditional lands cover the inner City of Sydney and its waters, harbour and ocean.  It is only in recent times that his family has been able to celebrate their heritage, as has been the case for many Stolen Generations descendants who had their identity hidden from them.

He has over 30 years’ experience as a Financial Counsellor in NSW, Victoria and the ACT. Chris established the FCAN Riverina regional meetings and has taken on advocacy roles including serving as Financial Counsellor Representative on EWON Board and addressing systemic issues with local government debt management practices. 

Rovind Kant


Financial Counsellor, Salvation Army Moneycare

Rovind transitioned to the financial counselling sector 10 years ago, initially with CatholicCare in Northern Territory. His background prior to financial counselling was in finance, insurance, mortgages, business and engineering. He has served on boards of other not for profit charity organisations for the past 16 years and is passionate about social justice within the financial counselling framework. His contribution includes Reserve Bank consultation with financial counsellors, stakeholder liaison with lenders and utilities, the small to medium lending reforms, supporting students and FCs, ABC media covering mortgage stress tips and facilitating group activities.
He has worked at Salvation Army Moneycare since 2013 where he assumes financial counselling supervision and leadership responsibilities.

David Coorey
Independent Co-opted Director

David has more than 20 years’ experience as a solicitor working predominantly in the area of consumer law. This includes 16 years experience working with vulnerable clients at Legal Aid NSW, as well as large scale litigation experience (Freehills) and more recently as a decision maker (Ombudsman) at Australian Financial Complaints Authority. He has held Directorships at Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS), Insurance Ombudsman Service and been appointed as Consumer Representative to Insurance Council of Australia and ASIC Customer Advisory Panel. David is currently employed as Special Counsel – Financial Services (TPD) at Carroll & O’Dea Lawyers.

David Ross
Independent Co-opted Director

David’s career has encompassed executive and board appointments in sales management and general management in companies operating in sectors including information  technology, private education and distribution. He has had experience as a Managing Director and as a board member of a public company listed on the Australian Stock Exchange. David was a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (FAICD) and remains a director of several of his own private companies. Following his retirement from corporate life, David has worked in the sector as a volunteer financial Counsellor, interim FCAN EO in 2014, and a volunteer Lifeline telephone counsellor.