Free financial information from Dubbo to Bourke and in between

Not many of the Department of Human Services staff do their job in a shearing shed or catch chooks while they’re on duty, but Darienne Keizer has.

She’s been the department’s Dubbo-based Financial Information Service (FIS) Officer for the past 12 years, and is incredibly passionate about her role.

“It’s a brilliant job, I love it so much,” said Darienne.

“Being able to help my local community is a really fulfilling part of my role.

“As I’ve lived in Dubbo since 1983 people know me in the area, so they feel comfortable asking me questions. They’ll even ask me a quick question if I see them in the street.”

Darienne provides free financial information within the community through seminars, face to face interviews and over the phone, and many of her questions come from farmers.

“Succession planning is huge,” she said. “When it’s time for the farm to be passed on, six or seven people involved in the farm might all come for a meeting with me, as well as their accountant, to find out information to help them make the right decisions.”

Travel is part and parcel of being a rural FIS Officer. One of Darienne’s career highlights was working with the NSW Farmers group, solicitors, financial planners and accountants to run a series of seminars in smaller farming communities. Sometimes this meant running the session in a paddock or a shearing shed.

“That was a great experience,” she said. “We got so much positive feedback about how the seminars helped farmers gain understanding and assistance with financial matters.”

And catching chooks? That highlight was at a family fun day. Darienne participated in the annual event, trying to catch chooks after they’d been released into a circle she formed with the other stallholders.

“It was a lot of fun, but chook catching definitely isn’t my forte,” she laughed. “I prefer financial information any day of the week!”

To find out when a FIS seminar is being held in your local area, head to the department’s website.

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