The Financial Planning Association of Australia The Financial Planning Association of Australia

Award winner thanks Gwen Fletcher for forging a path for females

The Financial Planning Association of Australia (FPA) has today announced Amy Early of Crowe Horwath as the winner of the second Gwen Fletcher Memorial Award.

Ms Early, who has been a financial planner for two years, was handed the award for being the highest achieving student in last semester’s CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® (CFP®) Certification Program.

Speaking out about her achievement, Ms Early said: “I’m obviously pleased to have finished my studies and it’s a real honour to receive recognition from the FPA. Gwen Fletcher was an outstanding role model and her commitment to assisting financial planners in helping their clients is very inspiring. Receiving this award is a great motivation to constantly aim for the high standards that Gwen set and make a meaningful contribution to our profession.

“After graduating university with degrees in economics and politics I wasn’t really sure what career path I should take. From my studies and previous work experience I knew that I enjoyed problem solving and helping people. After doing some research, financial planning seemed to be the perfect fit and I haven’t looked back since!”

Mark Rantall, CEO of the Financial Planning Association, congratulated Ms Early on her achievement and said he was pleased that see Gwen’s enduring legacy and commitment being celebrated through this award.

“It is fantastic to see so many bright young planners coming up through the ranks within our profession. It is through planners like Amy – who have a clear commitment to education and higher professional standards – that we will continue to show the true value of quality financial advice.”

According to Ms Early, Gwen Fletcher had a remarkable influence on the development of the financial planning profession in Australia.

“Gwen believed that financial planning was first and foremost about helping people and this shone through in her efforts to constantly improve the profession. The high standard that CFP® professionals hold themselves to today are a testament to her legacy. Gwen left a lasting impact, and perhaps as a result of this, more women than ever are joining the profession.

“As financial planners I think we have a responsibility to commit ourselves to the highest possible professional standards. The CFP® program provides this opportunity through ongoing education and by setting ethical and practice standards. For consumers, the CFP® designation is a valuable tool when engaging a financial planner. Knowing that a planner has undertaken an internationally recognised qualification and that they are part of a professional body that puts clients first can make the decision much easier,” Ms Early said.

Ms Early concluded by saying “I am grateful for the recognition from the FPA for my work and commitment. And I am also appreciative that my employer and mentors Patrick Giddy and Peter Cheadle, really value the CFP® program and have been so supportive throughout my studies. I think it’s really important that all financial planning firms encourage and assist their planners to always aim high in terms of education and professional standards. The CFP® program is challenging, so having support and encouragement from a manager and employer provides a student with that extra motivation to really get the most out of their studies, which in the end, benefits everyone.”

The Gwen Fletcher Memorial Award is presented to the CFP® Certification student who achieves the highest mark in all three required assessments each semester. Winners also receive a $1,000 prize, funded by the FPA.

Pre-admission for next semester’s CFP® program is now open. For more information, go to