Executive

Gerard Brody (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 (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.

John Furbank (Secretary)

John is President of Consumers Association of South Australia and member of the National Measurement Institute’s Consumer and Industry Liaison Committee. John is Co-Chair on ISO COPOLCO Key Areas Working Group, represented Australia as Head of Delegation ISO COPOLCO 2011-2018, was Chair of ISO PC 294 Guidance on unit pricing and represents CFA on a number of Standards Australia Committees including ISO COPOLCO Mirror Committee, AI, Button batteries, Trampoline park facilities and Food safety.

John is a compliance professional specialising in advising and auditing industry on compliance with Australian and international technical standards and consumer protection legislation. Formally, John held a number of senior positions with fair trading and consumer protection authorities in Australia, United Kingdom and, during the 1990’s, was Director of Fair Trading, Fiji. John is the author of Graffiti management A guide to the prevention and removal of graffiti (published SAI Global 2004) and Buying and selling organic food (SAI Global 2008).

Professor Gail Pearson 

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.

Gemma Mitchell

Gemma is the Managing Solicitor of the Consumer Credit Legal Service (WA). CCLSWA is a community legal centre based in Perth, which provides free legal advice, representation, community legal education to, and law reform on behalf of WA consumers in the areas of consumer banking, finance, and consumer law. CCLSWA’s vision is for a strong community, empowered by understanding fair, just and accessible consumer and financial rights and responsibilities. In 2018, CCLSWA won the WA Consumer Protection Award for the organisation that has made a significant contribution towards the advancement of consumer protection in WA. Gemma also sits on the Consumer Advisory Committee of WA and the WA Consumer Advocacy and Regulatory Agencies Network.

Ian Jarratt 

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

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 advisor to the NSW Attorney General. A qualified lawyer, she has also practised in the corporate and community legal sectors.

Kerry Connors

Kerry currently works at Energy Consumers Australia, managing its Power Shift project, which aims to help industry and government provide practical assistance to consumers to help them manage their energy bills. She has extensive experience on energy consumer issues, having worked previously as Executive Director of the Consumer Advocacy Panel, and the inaugural Executive Officer of the Victorian Consumer Utilities Advocacy Centre. Kerry has previously served on CFA’s Management Committee. She also sits on the Management Committee of Northern Beaches Women’s Shelter.

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