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CFA Melbourne Workshop – How to make friends and influence people in a new political landscape

Date and time: 27 November 2013, 11am – 1pm.

Venue: Burke and Wills Room, Royal Society of Victoria, 8 Latrobe Street, Melbourne 3000.

CFA is piloting a new initiative – state-based member workshops. The first event will take place in Melbourne this November, with another to follow in Sydney in February next year.

About CFA’s Melbourne Workshop
Changing governments can present consumer advocates with new challenges and opportunities, often requiring a strategic rethink of the approaches to core priorities to influence change.

This timely, two hour workshop sets out the basics – starting with mapping a general strategic approach, we outline steps that will help your organisation form valuable new relationships, and give you tips on how to frame issues in a way that speaks to decision makers in the new environment.

The workshop will be led by experienced consumer advocates Denise Boyd (Consumer Action Law Centre, formerly Australian Conservation Foundation, Greenpeace), Catriona Lowe (CFA and formerly Consumer Action Law Centre) and Jo Benvenuti (Consumer Utilities Advocacy Centre).

RSVP: Please RSVP your attendance by close of business 22 November, 2013 by emailing info@consumersfederation.org.au.

Payment: CFA members may receive one complimentary place on request, while additional attendees or non-member places will cost $20. Payment can be made either by cheque made out to Consumers Federation of Australia, by electronic transfer (CFA postal address or account details available on receipt of RSVP), or at the door.

Refreshments: Morning tea/coffee will be provided.

Host biographies

Denise Boyd is Director of Policy & Campaigns at the Consumer Action Law Centre and has twenty years experience in the not for profit sector. After leaving university, she discovered a passion for advocacy, and so began her campaign career with Greenpeace Australia in the early ‘90s working on toxics, oceans and forests.  Since then she has worked for the International Fund for Animal Welfare (UK and Australia) and the Australian Conservation Foundation. Denise has extensive experience of political advocacy both at the national and international level, and has represented environment and animal welfare interests on Australian government and non-governmental delegations to a number of international forums.

Catriona Lowe has been Chair of CFA since 2007 and is currently consulting on a range of consumer-focused projects.  She was until March 2013 the co-CEO of the Consumer Action Law Centre. Prior to joining Consumer Action, Catriona was a Director in the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s Policy and Liaison Branch. She was Deputy Director and the first Principal Solicitor of the legal practice at Consumer Law Centre Victoria and spent five years in practice as a litigation lawyer.  She is a member of the Board of the Financial Ombudsman Service and a member of the Council of the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman.

Jo Benvenuti is the Executive Officer of the Consumer Utilities Advocacy Centre (CUAC). Jo has extensive experience in the energy and water sectors with a consumer focus, including previous positions as General Manager Strategic Operations with the Energy and Water Ombudsman (Victoria). At the Office of the Regulator-General (now the Essential Services Commission) Jo worked on the first electricity supply and sale code and on customer service reporting. As Executive Officer of the Financial and Consumer Rights Council, Jo researched hardship and utility policy issues. She has experience in welfare services across a diverse range of policy areas, including the aged, housing, and emergency relief provision, and was previously Executive Manager Corporate Affairs at the RSPCA (Victoria). Jo has postgraduate qualifications in Public Policy.