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

Australia’s top performing financial planners honoured at FPA Congress 2018

The Financial Planning Association of Australia (FPA) announced the winners of the 2018 FPA
Awards and Gwen Fletcher Memorial Award at the FPA Professionals Congress event in
Sydney earlier today.

Taking out the coveted FPA CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® Professional of the Year
Award is Michael Carmody CFP® of Viva Wealth in Perth, WA.

The award acknowledges Michael’s passion for helping his clients through financial planning,
and going above and beyond to give them the best possible outcomes.

FPA CEO Dante De Gori CFP® said, “Michael embodies the facets of an exemplary financial
planner: outstanding technical knowledge and capability, as well as care and understanding as
a financial coach and mentor to his clients, helping them create a vision for their future, and
bringing organisation and accountability to their financial lives.

“Michael has recently proven his willingness to take on a new challenge, completing the 2018
Wheel Classic. The gruelling eight-day charity event raises funds for the FPA’s philanthropic
arm, the Future2 Foundation.”

The FPA Professional Practice of the Year Award is Wotherspoon Wealth in Adelaide, SA.
When the founders of Wotherspoon Wealth established their business eight years ago, they set
out with the aim of building a business “that is the very best out there”. Their critical business
decisions are actively focused on making the client experience the best it can be and their
submission highlighted that they are constantly exploring ways to improve this approach.

Winning the FPA Financial Planner AFP® of the Year Award for 2018 is Felicity Cooper AFP®
of Cooper Wealth Management in Surfers Paradise, QLD. The judges in this category
commented that Felicity put herself in strong contention from the very start of the awards
process because the standard of her submitted Statement of Advice was exceptional, and
clearly stood out from the pack.

The FPA Paraplanner of the Year Award was given to Kearsten James CFP® of Queensland
based Sterling Private Wealth. Commenting on Kearsten’s award application, the judges said
that not only was her advice well written and thought out, but the depth of research done on the
issues and the notes around it made it an outstanding entry.

The FPA University Student of the Year Award was given to Mary Hadgis of University of
South Australia (UniSA) in recognition of her academic excellence and commitment tobecoming a future leader within financial planning. Mary is motivated to become a future financial planner because of the opportunity to help people from all walks of life reach their financial goals and achieve their dreams. Mary has also been a driving force behind UniSA becoming an FPEC accredited provider of a financial planning degree.

The Gwen Fletcher Memorial Award recognises the highest performing student in the final unit of the CFP® Certification Program. John Dacker AFP® from Shadforth Financial Group in Sydney, NSW is the 2018 Semester two winner of the honorary award named after the late “first lady of financial planning”, Gwen Fletcher.

Mr De Gori said, “The rigorous CFP® Certification Assessment unit demands students be at the top of their game, so to receive the Gwen Fletcher Memorial Award is a significant achievement. John’s outstanding results reflect his commitment and dedication, and I congratulate him on his efforts.”

The winner of the Community Service Award supported by Future2 is Zacary Leeson CFP® of HPH Solutions in Perth, WA. Zacary receives this award in recognition of his dedication as a volunteer at WA based not-for-profit, Leading Youth Forward. The organisation provides mentorship and positive experiences to disadvantaged Perth teenagers to help them foster respect, positive conversations and personal growth. It’s a purely volunteer run group and for the past five years, Zacary has proudly served on the committee, worked as the treasurer and volunteers manager, and had the privilege of seeing his mentee grow from a troubled young boy into a responsible young adult.

This award from the FPA’s philanthropic foundation recognises the amazing contribution Zacary has given to the organisation and the young Australians it supports with his time and experience.