Executive

Gerard Brody (he/him), Chair 

Gerard is CEO of the Consumer Action Law Centre, an independent, not-for-profit consumer organisation based in Melbourne. Consumer Action provides financial counselling, legal advice and representation to support vulnerable and disadvantaged Victorian consumers, and draws on its direct knowledge of the consumer experience in modern markets to pursue consumer interest campaigns and policy reform at both state and national levels. Gerard represents consumer interests on a range of bodies, including the Australian Securities & Investments Commission External Advisory Panel and the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission’s Consumer Consultative Committee.

Gordon Renouf (he/him), Deputy Chair

Gordon is one of the team at Ethical Consumers Australia: an organisation dedicated to making it possible for consumers to buy products and services that match their values. ECA created Good On You, a service that provides comprehensive ethical ratings for clothing and accessory brands via the Good On You app (goodonyou.eco). Gordon represented consumers on the Banking Code Monitoring and Compliance Committee and the Board of the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman. He is Deputy Chair of Justice Connect and a board member of Good Environmental Choice Australia. Gordon was previously Director, Policy and Campaigns, for CHOICE, a member of the Commonwealth Consumer Affairs Advisory Council, Director of the Northern Territory Alcohol Framework, and Foundation Director of the National Pro Bono Resource Centre.

Chandni Gupta (she/her)

Chandni is a Policy and Program Director leading the Consumers in a Digital World workstream at the Consumer Policy Research Centre – an independent, non-profit, consumer think-tank. Chandni brings compliance and community engagement experience from various state and federal agencies. Prior to CPRC, she designed and led the online compliance initiative for product safety at the ACCC, working closely with digital marketplaces to deliver safer outcomes for Australian consumers. She also brings a global perspective from experience in the Strategic Communications arm of the United Nations, and most recently leading global consumer policy development in product recall effectiveness at the OECD. A tech geek earlier in her career, she’s passionate about digital products and markets that are safe, accessible, and meaningful for consumers. Chandni is also a member of the Consumer Data Right’s Data Standards Advisory Committee.

Professor Gail Pearson (she/her)

Gail is a leading academic in the fields of financial services, commercial and consumer laws. She is the author of Financial Services Law and Compliance (Cambridge University Press 2009) and co-author of Commercial Law: Commentary and Materials (ed2) Lawbook 2004, the major Australian text in this area. She has also published numerous articles in Australian and international journals including a piece on risk, self regulation and innovation in financial services.

Ian Jarratt (he/him)

Ian is a retired economist and policy analyst. He is a member of the Queensland Consumers Association and undertakes research and advocacy on a range of topics including energy, market information, trade measurement, and labelling. Ian lead the national campaign that in 2009 resulted in large supermarkets being required to display the unit price (price per unit of measure) for prepacked food and grocery products. Ian is a consumer representative on several advisory/consultative committees and represents CFA on FSANZ’s Consumer and Public Health Dialogue. In 2006, he was awarded a Churchill Fellowship to study unit pricing in the USA and Europe, in 2010 he was the inaugural recipient of Choice’s Consumer Champion Award, and in 2017 he was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for his consumer work.

Julia Steward (she/her)

Julia is the Head of Policy and Government Relations at CHOICE, the leading consumer advocacy group in Australia. Before starting at CHOICE, she was the Policy Director for the NSW Minister of Innovation and Better Regulation and an advisory to the NSW Attorney General. A qualified lawyer, she has also practised in the corporate and community legal sectors. 

Meredith Lea (she/her)

Meredith is the Policy Manager at the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN), the peak communications consumer organisation in Australia. ACCAN represents individuals, small businesses and not-for-profit groups as consumers of communications products and services. Meredith was previously ACCAN’s Disability Policy Adviser, and worked to ensure the rights of consumers with disability were upheld in the communications sector. Prior to her roles at ACCAN, Meredith was employed at a Disabled Peoples Organisation where she advocated for the rights and interests of consumers with disability across a range of areas.

Philip Cullum (he/him)

Philip is a highly experienced consumer advocate and regulator in Australia and the UK. He is a board member of the Consumer Action Law Centre, a member of the Consumer Policy Research Centre’s reference group and the Consumer Member of the Customer Owned Banking Code Compliance Committee. In the UK he held senior roles at Which?, the National Consumer Council and Consumer Focus, and he has chaired or been a member of various UK consumer panels and advisory committees in financial services, food safety, aviation and water. He was a senior advisor to the Australian Energy Regulator in 2017–2020, working on strategy, governance and change. Philip was previously at the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, on secondment from the UK energy regulator Ofgem, where he was the Consumer and Sustainability Partner and created its influential Consumer Vulnerability Strategy. He was appointed by the UK Government to its Better Regulation Commission, Risk and Regulation Advisory Council and Regulatory Policy Committee.

Sandy Ross (he/him)

Sandy has been Executive Officer of Financial Counselling Victoria (FCVic) since 2017, in which role he advocates on consumer issues encountered and raised by financial counsellors on behalf of their clients. These issues tend to focus on how providers of goods and services, especially financial services, utilities and telcos, respond to customers who are in hardship, or with debt issues, including customers experiencing family violence or other vulnerabilities. FCVic is a member body of Financial Counselling Australia (FCA), and is an active participant in campaigning to improve regulation of pay day lending, debt vultures and buy now pay later businesses at the Federal level. Prior to this role, Sandy led the science division in the Community and Public Sector Union, and worked as an academic in politics and public policy, and for the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman, along with voluntary board roles on various community organisations.

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