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.
- Overseen by an independent Board
- Elected Directors must be free from conflicts of interest
- Annual vote for positions
- Any member may nominate for Board
- Clear lines of responsibility
CHOICE is overseen by an independent Board, elected by members annually. The Board and the CHOICE CEO are charged with maintaining the independence and high standards CHOICE is renowned for. 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.
In accepting the position Alan said that he looks forward to consulting and building relationships with CHOICE members, consumers, businesses and government.
“It is an honour to join an organisation that is trusted by consumers for its history of fierce, independent advocacy.
“The challenge is how we build upon that expertise to ensure that CHOICE is reaching out to consumers in a rapidly changing marketplace.
“Technology is shifting the way we shop and what we buy, and CHOICE needs to ensure that its unique advice is available to consumers however, whenever and wherever they choose to shop.
“I am committed to ensuring CHOICE continues to drive innovation, to further enrich the services provided to CHOICE members, and to ensure that all consumers get a better deal.”
Board Directors as at January 2013
Jenni Mack (Chair)
Jenni Mack is an experienced Director and a long serving consumer advocate. She is a Director of the Financial Ombudsman Service and Food Standards Australia New Zealand and a trustee of the Travel Compensation Fund. She sits on the Advisory Boards of the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority and the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority. Jenni chairs the Australian Securities and Investments Commission’s (ASIC) Consumer Advisory Panel. Jenni is a former member of the NSW Judicial Commission and was the Deputy Legal Services Commissioner in NSW in the mid-90s. She was the executive director of the Consumers’ Federation of Australia in the early 90s and has worked as a political staffer and journalist. Jenni has a BA in Journalism and a Masters of Administrative Law and Policy. Jenni has served on the Board since 2003. She is the chair of the Governance Committee and is a member of the Policy Advisory Committee.
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 joined the Board in November 2006 and is Chair of the Finance and Audit Committee.
David Marcus has been involved in consumer policy and advocacy since 1979 when he worked for the then-Shadow Minister for Consumer Affairs as advisor on national consumer policy. After a period as a public servant, he joined CHOICE as deputy manager of the policy and advocacy department from 1987-89, leading campaigns in areas such as telecommunications, food safety and aged care. Subsequently, David worked as an evaluation, audit and policy consultant, particularly in the field of health financing, consumer access to health services and Indigenous health issues such as petrol sniffing and drug and alcohol services. He recently worked for UNICEF HQ in New York for three years reviewing its operations in a number of areas. David is also a member of the ACT Pedal Power Advocacy Team. David was elected to the Board in November 2010 and is a member of the Governance Committee and the Policy Advisory Committee.
Frank Muller is a professorial visiting fellow at UNSW's Institute of Environmental Studies and also a Commissioner of the National Transport Commission. He has a distinguished 36-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 Master in Public Administration from Harvard University, a science degree from ANU and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Frank joined the Board in November 2007 and chairs the Policy Advisory Committee.
Nicole Rich is Director - Research and Communications at Victoria Legal Aid. She was the Director - Policy & Campaigns at the Consumer Action Law Centre from January 2007 to May 2011, and prior to that role has worked as the senior ministerial adviser to the Victorian Minister for Consumer Affairs, the Supervising Solicitor at the Consumer Law Centre Victoria and a lawyer at one of Australia’s leading commercial law firms. 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. She has produced significant research reports on bank penalty fees, access to energy and water, the cost of telecommunications services for low-income households and Australian and international consumer protection regulation. Nicole joined the Board in November 2008 and is a member of the Policy Advisory Committee and the OH&S Committee.
Bill Davidson is CEO of Job Futures, a leading social enterprise committed to finding jobs for the more disadvantaged members of our community. Previously, Bill has operated at senior management levels in the Managed Services industry, both within the Private and Public sectors. He has extensive experience of the delivery of contracted, outsourced services both here in Australia, and also overseas in the UK, and South East Asia. Bill was also the Interim CEO of CHOICE whilst we were in the process of seeking and appointing our current CEO, Nick Stace. He is passionate about finding ways to provide fair competition and deliver a better deal for the Australian Consumer. Bill served on Board from November 2006 until August 2008. Following the appointment of Nick Stace in February 2009, Bill was co-opted onto the Board again in November 2009. Bill chairs the OH&S Sub-committee and is a member of the Staff Rewards Committee.
Rob has experience in traditional media, new media, technology and FMCG sectors, as an executive, entrepreneur, consultant and corporate advisor and is passionate about growing businesses. Currently, Rob provides strategic advisory services in media and technology with Medianext, and capital strategy and corporate advisory services as a Partner at Hall Capital, 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. He is on the Advisory Board for Araya Pictures, a filmed entertainment production company, and for Nearmap (Ipernica Ltd), an innovative mapping technology business. Rob is a Director of the Sydney Film Festival, and 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 joined the Board in November 2011.
Sandra Davey 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. Her specialty lies in bringing new Internet and media based communications and entertainment products to market. She lead the end to end product suite for Australia’s first 4G network, has lead 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 Digital Media industry having served as a Director as well as National President of the Australian Interactive Media Industry Association and has worked closely with the Internet Industry Association on Accessibility issues. She was one of the co-founders and inaugural Directors of the Australian Domain Name Authority (auDA) and currently serves as an inaugural Director of the Connected TV Marketing Association.
Peter Fray is one of the Asia-Pacific's most experienced and respected media professionals. In career spanning almost 30 years, he has been the editor or editor-in-chief of four major metropolitan mastheads, across Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra, and played a key role in the transition of the media industry from print to digital in Fairfax Media, the country's largest independent publisher. Under his editorship, the Sydney Morning Herald was named the best newspaper in the Asia-Pacific two years in a row (2009, 2010). He is passionate about the need to hold powerful institutions and people to account -- and the move towards an audience-first approach to journalism and other forms of content. After leaving Fairfax Media in mid-2012, Peter has forged a career as a media consultant and not-for-profit board member and is currently developing several start-up initiatives in the digital media space. He is due to take up a position at Sydney University in early 2013. He is a published author, a performed playwright and a very poor painter. He lives in Sydney with two kids, a cat — and a wife who is twice the playwright he will ever be.
Governance process for ensuring appropriate skill sets on CHOICE Board (PDF)
Board Charter and Guidelines (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.