Denis Nelthorpe is one of the best known consumer advocates in the financial services sector in Australia. He has been a consumer advocate for over 40 years a passionate defender for the vulnerable
in our community, a mentor for consumer lawyers and advocates and someone who builds consensus both within the consumer movement but also with industry and other interest groups to shift the adversial narrative to “we can make a change for the better together
During our conversation , we discussed the challenges faced by individuals in debt and the misconception that all clients have the means to repay. Assessing each person's circumstances and stability in payment arrangements was emphasized. Closing certain debt cases and adopting a waiver approach were seen as beneficial by industry stakeholders and financial counselors. Categorizing individuals based on their ability to pay or manage structured repayments gained acceptance, leading to a shift from pursuing bankruptcy to seeking waivers.
While acknowledging concerns about unjust cases, the efficiency and broader impact of issuing waivers to a large number of people were emphasized, reducing the need for lengthy legal battles.
We also discussed the importance of media appearances and developing a style for engaging with the public. Sharing two memorable TV moments, Denis emphasized the need to be knowledgeable and explain complex matters simply. Focusing on what we know and delivering concise, impactful statements were deemed essential for media interviews.
Building relationships was another crucial aspect. Identifying genuine partners willing to engage in productive dialogue was highlighted, distinguishing them from those who simply talk without action. Being part of boards provided opportunities to assess individuals' effectiveness in achieving results.
Denis’ media experiences emphasized the power of simplifying complex topics and delivering impactful statements. Lastly, he stressed the importance of building relationships with influential individuals who can effect change.