About Us

How we came about

RFCS NSW has been helping rural communities since 1986. The Rural Financial Counselling Service program was created in response to the financial difficulties facing the rural sector at the time – high interest rates, the deregulation of the financial sector, drought, and depressed commodity prices. It was initially intended as a short-term assistance measure but, thanks to the program’s success, we continue to service communities across NSW to this day.

Who we are now

Today, RFCS NSW is a charitable organisation which provides free, unbiased, confidential, and professional advice through our Rural Financial Counselling Service and Personal Financial Counselling Service in the Illawarra Region. We support primary producers in southern, central, and far western New South Wales, servicing 78% of the state.

Our history

  • 1986
    program commences as a response to increased financial pressures across the rural sector, drought, and depressed commodity prices.
  • 2004
    63 long-term community-based services and five industry-based services are introduced.
  • 2006
    new administrative arrangements consolidate services to 16 providers.
  • 2006
    Rural Financial Counselling Service, NSW – Southern Region is formed as an Incorporated Association after the amalgamation of the community-based services in the southern third of NSW.
  • 2020
    the Drought Communities Small Business Support Program pilot commences, expanding services to small businesses beyond those related to primary production.
  • 2021
    successful competitive tender for program delivery from 2021 to 2024 for NSW Southern Region and NSW Central Region. Service providers reduced from 12 to 10.

Our values and vision


We are committed to doing what’s best for our clients. Whilst helping clients to identify options, we responsibly use public funds to deliver informed, unbiased, and independent general advice and support.


We know things change, so we prepare for it. Sometimes change is uncomfortable, but it helps us evolve and improve.


We listen first and aim to see things with a new perspective. This enables us to empower our clients to find their best way forward.


We are part of the communities in which we work. We have strong local relationships but always maintain privacy and confidentiality.

Our programs

RFCS NSW’s primary goal is to help regional and rural businesses succeed through the provision of unbiased and independent financial counselling. We strengthen communities by helping primary producers and related regional enterprises be prepared, responsive and sustainable.

To do this, we:

  • Offer free, independent, confidential, and professional expert financial counselling and support to farmers, fishers, foresters and other rural businesses that are experiencing, or at risk of, financial hardship.
  • Provide clients with the appropriate tools, skills, knowledge, and referrals to enable them to regain financial and emotional independence.

Our Approach

RFCS NSW believes in an holistic approach to business and business planning. Our services are based on the philosophy that a successful, financially self-sufficient rural business requires alignment between four main pillars:

  • the business
  • the business owner
  • the family and
  • the business support network.

We’ll work with you to review each of these pillars in your business, as well as define what it means to be successful, and how we can help you achieve success by building key competencies and strong relationships.

Success is determined by each client but may include:

  • Negotiating with creditors and accessing support so that you can trade out of financial hardship
  • Running a successful farm or small business to build wealth and reduce the risk of financial hardship
  • Planning a dignified exit from the industry
  • Achieving viable family succession of the farm or commercial small business
  • Reducing stress and increasing personal wellbeing
  • Increasing business management capability.

What Our Clients Say

"It has allowed me to continue when I thought all was lost."

"They have been a great assistance in guiding us through the quite complex application process for the Farm Household Assistance program."

"Tony's knowledge was very beneficial when applying for the Farm Innovation fund. The up to date information via email helpful."

"Very helpful in understanding how to fill in certain forms needed, for the Farm Household allowance. Also had plenty of information on other loans available for our business."

"Encouraged pro-active actions, and assisted with strategic business planning and cash flow preparation to enable us to secure the RIC loans and Drought Loans. Also provided valuable assistance, which is giving us more confidence in our negotiations with the bank."

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The Rural Financial Counselling Service Program is funded by the Australian Government and the New South Wales Government and is administered by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry