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Terms of service

Terms of Service

Eligibility of Service

To be Eligible, you will need to:
– Live in Victoria and were affected by the bushfires
– Be 18 years and older

Your Safety

If we become concerned about the safety of you or anyone else during an call or chat session, we will take steps to try to make sure you and/or others are safe. If necessary, we may need to pass on your contact information (if you have supplied it) to authorities who can help protect you and/or others, such as a crisis service or the police. Where possible we will work with you openly letting you know if our concerns reach the point where we need to involve other services.

We are obliged to try to protect you and/or others if the information you submit tells us that:

  • You are being seriously hurt by someone else
  • You are thinking of seriously harming yourself
  • Someone else is being, is likely to be, seriously hurt by you or another person.


If you need to contact someone urgently outside of our business hours, please call:

  • Lifeline: 13 11 14
  • beyondblue Info Line:1300 224 635
  • Mensline: 1300789978
  • SuicideLine Victoria on 1300 651 251
  • Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467
  • National sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling and information referral service: 1800 RESPECT


Technical issues

We are not able to answer technical or IT questions. We cannot guarantee that the technology used to deliver online counselling will always be available, function as intended or operate without interruption. In the event of a technical failure, the counsellor will work with you to try and maintain the continuity of the chat session as much as possible given the limitations.


Use of electronic communications

You must not forward email messages or other electronic communications from Bushfire Financial Counselling service and/or its counsellors to other persons, except in situations where this has been agreed in advance by us, and is done with written permission. You may not use advice or information provided by us out of context, or pass on the advice to another person or organisation.


Important notice

Online counselling is only one form of counselling and may not be appropriate for all people. You should consider other options which might suit your personal needs, such as face to face or telephone counselling.

You may consider options other than online counselling if:

  • You are at risk of self-harm
  • You may be at risk of harm from another if the details of the counselling conversation became known
  • You have a diagnosed mental health issue
  • You do not feel comfortable using written words to express yourself.

Any decisions you make and any action you take as a consequence of your online counselling session is at your own risk and is your responsibility. We do not accept any liability or responsibility for any loss, damage, and/or injury suffered, nor for any action or inaction taken by you.


If your counsellor identifies concerns that you are at risk of harming yourself or others, they or another counsellor will speak with you about this. In most circumstances, we will follow the process below:

  • Request details such as your location and telephone number so that a counsellor may provide support and/or practical assistance.
  • The counsellor may also utilise the contact collated once an online counselling session has started to call you to provide this support (IP address and name).
    If the counsellor is unable to contact you via phone, the counsellor will continue to work with you online and attempt to obtain as much relevant information as possible. They will work with you to help keep you safe, and provide referrals to face-to face and local services.
  • If you chose not to provide a counsellor with information, we may be unable to follow up in the event of an emergency, and will be limited in the amount of practical assistance we can provide.
  • In the event that your safety cannot be assured, The counsellor may choose to alert local emergency services in efforts to protect your safety or the safety of others.