Six Griffith financial planning leaders recognised with national awards

Graeme Morris with his mentor and employer Nat Daley.

Six Griffith University representatives have been recognised at the recent Financial Planning Association of Australia (FPA) Awards, with a current student, alumni and a team of academics named winners in their respective categories.

Third year Bachelor of Commerce student Graeme Morris was named FPA Student of the Year, alumni Crystal Bobir FPA Financial Planner AFP of the Year and Lachlan Haigh FPA Paraplanner AFP of the Year, and academics Dr Tracey West, Richard Olley and Dr Tom Verhelst took out the Financial Planning Education Council Award.

Graeme said he originally wanted to be a physiotherapist, but after a few years of study had a change of heart and decided to become a financial planner because of his difficult childhood.

“I was raised one of five with a single parent and we had a lot of financial difficulties”

“A lot of people struggle with money, so I wanted to become a financial planner to help not only my family and friends, but the wider community with their financial goals,” Graeme said.

FPA Student of the Year winner Graeme Morris.

The FPA Student of the Year award is given to celebrate the outstanding work of a university student in the field of financial planning.

“Twelve months ago, I said to myself that I wanted to win this award,” he said.

“Winning the award was amazing and it caps off a very challenging year.

“As a financial planning student, there is no other achievement greater than this award.”

He said all financial planning students should aspire to win the FPA Student of the Year award as it is beneficial for career opportunities.

Griffith’s Master of Financial Planning Program Director Dr Kirsten MacDonald said she was proud of Graeme’s efforts.

Dr Kirsten MacDonald.

“Graeme has worked incredibly hard to take home the FPA University Student of the Year Award and is deservedly ecstatic with the result,” Dr MacDonald said.

Two of the three national finalists in this award were from Griffith, with Amanda Barrow-Scott also nominated.

“To have two out of three student finalists from Griffith highlights the calibre of our Financial Planning students and programs,” Dr MacDonald said.

“I am extremely proud of the Griffith University representation, with students, alumni and academics among the winners.”

Alumnus Crystal was commended for her client relationship skills as well as her ability to demonstrate how her advice was in the best interests of the client, and judges commented on Lachlan’s excellence in paraplanning.

Dr West, Mr Olley and Dr Verhelst were collectively awarded a $5000 grant for their research, Quantifying the dynamics of elder abuse.