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Industry trends, career advice and valuable networking opportunities were some of the highlights.

Hosted at the university’s Melbourne City Campus in November, the event attracted over 40 undergraduate and postgraduate students with a range of practical sessions led by financial planning practitioners, industry leaders, professional associations and leading superannuation and fund managers.

Organised by Dr Campbell Heggen – financial planning lecturer in the Deakin Business School (DBS) – the event also reinforced the need for continuing and life-long learning for financial planning professionals.

‘Financial advisers work within a dynamic environment so it’s important for them to remain up-to-date with the latest legislative and regulatory changes, as well as industry trends. This ensures that the advice that they are providing is relevant, compliant, and in their clients’ best interests,’ Dr Heggen explains. ‘One of the motivations for this event was to reinforce with students the need to maintain continuing and life-long learning once they complete their studies with Deakin.’

The day covered a wide range of contemporary topics including career opportunities, professional certification, client engagement strategies, market and regulatory updates, superannuation and a panel presentation on philanthropic advice.


Professor Mike Ewing, Executive Dean of Business and Law

Dr Heggen says that professional development days provide an outstanding opportunity for students to learn more about the practical topics covered in the classroom.

‘An example of this would be the session on “how to use social media to engage with clients and build your personal brand”. I think topics like this will be increasingly relevant for our students’ future careers in financial planning.’

Feedback from the day has been overwhelmingly positive and Dr Heggen says students appreciated the opportunity to gain insights from current practitioners.


Phil Thompson, Thompson Financial Services

‘Many of the industry partners who attended also conveyed that they thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to interact with our students.’

DBS Financial Planning Course Director, Dr Adrian Raftery, says it was a ‘pipeline dream’ to host the professional development day and very rewarding to see it become a reality.


L to R: Caitriona Fay, Perpetual; Farren Williams, Koda Capital; Chris Wilson, Koda Capital; Rikki Andrews, Deakin University Advancement

‘It was industry engagement at its finest with employers, professional bodies, students and academics coming together for the day. I was impressed with the way our students presented themselves on the day and they were a credit to the Deakin brand.  Based on the success of the day we envisage hosting these days on a regular basis in future.’


Julian McCormack, Platinum Asset Management