Canberra Advice Financial planning: Developing financial literacy and well-being

Raised in Isparta – the ‘Canberra’ of Turkey – Serhan Mackey moved to Australia as an adult, after studying education and teaching for four years. While running around Lake Burley Griffin and looking towards Parliament, she began dreaming of establishing a financial planning firm in her new hometown.

After completing a Masters in Commerce while working in temp jobs, Serhan started working as a mortgage broker before moving into financial planning in 2007. From that moment on, she knew there was no was no turning back – that’s what she was supposed to do. In 2017, Serhan completed his second master’s degree, this one in financial planning.

After 14 years of experience in leading financial services including the Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation, building a strong reputation as a respected expert and advisor, and helping over 1,000 clients achieve their financial goals, Serhan has established Canberra Advice Financial Planning in May 2021. Its business offers unique personal, strategic and intentional financial advice tailored to the specific needs of each client.

Additionally, Serhan is serving a second three-year term on the ACT Public Trustee Board as an Honorary Member. Inspired by a quote from George Orwell – “If you can feel that staying human is worthwhile, even if it can’t have any results, you’ve beaten them” – Serhan is a curious and caring woman, who is prolonged by her desire to help Canberrans manage their finances so they can be in control of their own lives.

Tell us about your business and your role there.

“I am the founder and principal adviser of Canberra Advice Financial Planning. It was created after I realized there was a big void in the industry for advisors who are not aligned with any product. Following the royal commission, financial planning has changed, and for the better. Empowered by these changes, I wanted to recreate and redefine financial advice and connect the dots between life and finance. I wanted to offer Canberrans a private practice (not through a pension fund, bank, life insurance company or other product provider) that ensures that any solution provided is in their best interests.

What prompted you to start your own business?

“Historically, the majority of financial advice provided was generic. I wanted to give unique personalized advice. I have worked in environments where I needed to see a certain number of clients each day or limit my consultation to a certain amount of time. I wanted to change that and do something about it.

What do you consider to be the strengths of your organization?

“Financial Wellbeing – Canberra Advice believes that feeling good about your financial life is possible for everyone. We’ll help you identify what’s worrying you and address it with clarity and confidence. We’re not aligned with any financial product , which means that our customers are our only priority and we have no incentive to offer products that customers will not need.I also like to discover and fully understand the needs of our customers – no detail is unnecessary for us.

Where to go from here?

“Traditional financial advice has focused on sales and products. We would like to continue to build a reputation as a provider of independent product advice. We are obsessed with people, value and impact. Our vision is to develop financial literacy one person at a time and deliver the best results to our clients while remaining significantly different from most players in the industry.

When you are not at work, where can you be found?

“At home, I take care of my plant friends. They are my mood booster; I hear their call to come and play. Every second weekend you can find me on the coast enjoying the sea breeze.

To find out how Serhan can help you “connect the dots between life and finances”, visit

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