Transparent and independent
CHOICE is run by its members, for its members. A commitment to transparency and independence is enshrined in CHOICE’s governance structure.
- CHOICE is overseen by an independent Board
- Elected Directors must be free from conflicts of interest
- The Board is elected by members annually
- Any voting member may nominate for Board
- Clear lines of responsibility
The CHOICE Board and the CEO are charged with maintaining the independence and high standards for which CHOICE is renowned. Download the ACA Constitution.
Learn more about how the Board operates.
Board Directors are elected to three-year terms with one third of the seats open for contest each year. Board Directors have specific restrictions placed on them to ensure the organisation’s continued independence from all government, business and professional interests, sectional groups, and other vested interests.
Alan Kirkland was appointed to the position of CEO of CHOICE in August 2012.
Alan has held senior management roles with the Australian Law Reform Commission, Legal Aid NSW and the NSW Council of Social Service. He has worked closely with federal, state and territory governments, industry peak bodies as well as private and public stakeholder groups. His work has spanned policy development, change management and public engagement projects.
Board Directors as at August 2014
Nicole Rich (Chair)
Nicole Rich is Director Family, Youth and Children's Law Services at Victoria Legal Aid and was previously its Director Research and Communications. She has considerable experience developing legal research and policy and leading consumer campaigns, including most recently as Director - Policy and Campaigns at the Consumer Action Law Centre from 2007 to 2011. Nicole is committed to ensuring that the consumer interest is represented in policy debates and that consumers, particularly disadvantaged or vulnerable consumers, are given a voice on issues that affect them. Nicole holds a BA along with LLB (Honours). Nicole was appointed to the CHOICE Board in 2008 and is Chair of the Board, Chair of the Governance Committee and a member of the Campaigns & Advocacy Committee.
Rob has experience in media, technology and consumer goods sectors, as an executive, entrepreneur, consultant and corporate advisor. Currently, Rob provides capital strategy and corporate advisory services as an Executive Director at Venture Advisory, a boutique corporate advisory firm. He is co-founder of 3eep Ventures Pty Ltd, a social and digital media incubation business, and is also an advisor to, and shareholder in, a number of early stage media and technology businesses. Rob is a Director of the Juvenile Diabetes Research foundation (JDRF). Rob has an MBA from the Australian Graduate School of Management in Sydney and a Bachelor of Engineering Degree (1st Class Honours, Elect) from the University of Western Australia. Rob was appointed to the CHOICE Board in November 2011 and is a member of the Digital Transformation Committee.
Allan has been a consumer policymaker, advocate, regulator and representative in Australia and overseas, working for a fairer society and a better deal for consumers for nearly 40 years. He has been a senior executive at CHOICE as well as its UK counterpart Which?, Campaigns Director of Consumers International, Deputy Chair of the ACCC (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission) and Commonwealth Ombudsman. He is currently a Visitor at the Australian National University, Regulatory Institutions Network. Allan was appointed to the CHOICE Board in November 2013 and is a member of the Finance Risk & Audit, Campaigns & Advocacy and Governance committees.
Sandra is an experienced digital media and Internet executive and currently holds the position of Country Manager for Netgem, specialists in IPTV and Connected Home solutions and providers of Telstra’s consumer entertainment product, Telstra T-Box. Her specialty lies in bringing new Internet and media based communications and entertainment products to market. She led the end to end product suite for Australia’s first 4G network, has led and managed the rollout and ongoing operations of cross-platform services for Telstra’s multi-million dollar and award winning digital sports assets and with TiVo as part of the core team responsible for launching TiVo in the Australian market. Sandra plays an active role in the Tech/Digital Media industry having served as a Director as well as National President of the Australian Interactive Media Industry Association. She was one of the co-founders and inaugural Directors of the Australian Domain Name Authority (auDA) and worked closely with the Internet Industry Association on Accessibility issues. Sandra joined the Board in 2012 and is Chair of the Digital Transformation Committee.
Bill Davidson (Deputy Chair)
Bill is Managing Director of Australian Hearing, the nation’s leading hearing specialist and largest provider of Government-funded hearing services. Previously, Bill has operated at senior management levels in the Managed Services industry, both within the Private and Public sectors. He has extensive experience in the delivery of contracted, outsourced services here in Australia, and overseas in the UK and South East Asia. Bill was also the interim CEO of CHOICE in 2008 whilst we sought a new CEO. Bill is passionate about finding ways to provide fair competition and deliver a better deal for the Australian Consumer. Bill served on the CHOICE Board from November 2006 until August 2008. Following the appointment of Nick Stace in February 2009, Bill was co-opted onto the Board in November 2009, and then elected to the Board in November 2010. He is Deputy Chair of the CHOICE Board and member of the Finance, Risk & Audit and Digital Transformation Committees.
Frank Muller has a distinguished 39-year career in environmental, energy and land use policy in Australia and the US, working in government, universities, private consulting and the community sector. He currently lectures, writes and advises governments, business and community groups on climate change and sustainable development policy. Frank holds a Masters in Public Administration from Harvard University, a Science degree from ANU and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Frank was elected to the CHOICE Board in 2007, is Chair of the Campaigns & Advocacy Committee and member of the Finance, Risk & Audit Committee.
Ben is Managing Principal of the NSW practice of Maurice Blackburn, a national plaintiff and union law firm, where he specialises in consumer and other class actions. Ben worked at the Redfern Legal Centre and Legal Aid NSW before joining Maurice Blackburn 13 years ago. He has spent 30 years in the consumer movement in Australia involved in community education, consultation, media, lobbying and litigation. He has a passion for consumer rights and he recognises the need to adopt a range of strategies to achieve positive outcomes for consumers. Ben was appointed to the CHOICE Board in November 2013 and is a member of both the Governance and Campaigns & Advocacy committees.
Ian Spight was Managing Director of Thomas Cook’s Australasian businesses and previously a Corporate Finance Director of Midland Bank (now HSBC). In his corporate career with Thomas Cook and Midland Bank, Ian held posts in London, Paris, San Francisco, New York and Sydney. Ian is now the Managing Director of a family company which operates travel agency and currency exchange services in NSW. He is a former Trustee of the Travel Compensation Fund, former Director of the Australian Federation of Travel Agents and former non-Executive Director of Travelex Australia Pty Limited. Ian was appointed to the CHOICE Board in 2006 and is Chair of the Finance, Risk & Audit Committee.
Board Charter (PDF)
Board Register of interests (PDF)
Have your say
Each year all voting members of the Australian Consumers’ Association are invited to nominate as a Director of the Board. With endorsement from two other voting members of the association, a completed questionnaire on their qualifications and affiliations along with a 200 word biography; a member can petition for a seat on the Board. All voting members receive information on candidates along with their voting ballots and the results are declared at the AGM in November of each year.
The continued involvement of members is key to all aspects of CHOICE. Learn more about becoming a member.