The AFA has announced the winners of a number of awards during its 2015 National Conference in Cairns, including the Adviser and Practice of the Year Awards.
In partnership with Zurich, the AFA has awarded David Reed of The Retirement Advice Centre the 2015 Adviser of the Year Award.
The association and Zurich also named Melbourne-based Kearney Group as the winner of the 2015 Practice of the Year.
Commenting on the awards, Philip Kewin, Zurich general manager of retail life and investments, said "now, more than ever" the industry needs to showcase these "exceptional advisers and practices" to the broader community.
"At a time when our industry is on the cusp of great change, the calibre of our winners and finalists – and the way they serve their clients and work collaboratively to shape the evolution of their profession – leaves us incredibly optimistic that the future of advice is in very good hands indeed."
The AFA, in partnership with TAL, awarded Victoria-based financial adviser Sharon Walker the 2015 Female Excellence in Advice Award.
TAL general manager of retail distribution Niall McConville said Ms Walker is an "outstanding candidate and deserving award winner".
"We are proud to encourage and inspire women in the industry to be their best," he said.
"Through this award, the extraordinary contributions of women to the industry can be recognised. Congratulations to all the award candidates, who are making meaningful contributions to their profession."
The AFA, in partnership with ANZ, also named Mildura-based adviser Kylie George of Harvest Wealth as the winner of the 2015 Rising Star Award.
"Kylie has proven that she is on a quest to be the very best financial adviser she can be," Mr Fox said, announcing the award. "She provides great advice to clients in the Harvest Wealth practice, has invested above and beyond in terms of personal and professional development, is an incredible networker and is passionate about her chosen career.
"It is people like Kylie who will ensure the future of our profession and the vital role it plays in providing great advice for more Australians," he said.
The AFA also awarded Synchron Queensland state manager Gerry Porter with the Michael Murphy Award for his consistent contribution to the AFA advice community.
Mr Porter, a former Queensland state director of the AFA, has been dubbed the "grandfather" of GenXt, an AFA initiative that began in 2006 as a way to bridge the gap in knowledge, skills, experience and networks between experienced advisers and new industry entrants.
"Over a period of many years Gerry has displayed the outstanding characteristics that make him such a worthy recipient of the award," Mr Fox said.
The AFA also presented its "recognition awards" at the conference. Winners include Olivia Sarah-Le Lacheur of CommInsure; Rebecca Sheils of The Beddoes Institute; Richard Dunkerley of Zurich; and Nathan Morgan of IOOF.