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How CHOICE is run


For members, by members

CHOICE delivers expert, unbiased consumer information you can trust. Thanks to the incredible support of our members, we've clocked up more than 50 years as Australia's largest consumer movement.

Our membership base means we're able to conduct our own research and testing in state-of-the-art laboratories using rigorous scientific test methods. From smartphones and fridges, to strollers and televisions, the latest products are put through their paces to ensure you get the best quality.

At the same time, CHOICE campaigns for your rights. Whether it's campaigning for better banking, simpler shopping, fairer food labelling or highlighting the truth behind dodgy product claims at our annual Shonky Awards, we protect the best interests of all Australian consumers.

CHOICE corporate governance

CHOICE is the public face of the Australian Consumers' Association, a nonprofit company limited by guarantee. We operate under a constitution, with an independent, skills-based Board that is responsible for the governance of the company. 

Key governance documents:

(Click here for accessible text-only versions of these documents)

CHOICE board of directors

The Board has nine Directors elected by the voting membership. These Directors are elected to three-year terms, with three of the seats open for contest each year. In addition to these elected Directors, the Board can co-opt up to three additional Directors.

CHOICE is committed to ensuring that the Board has the right mix of skills to guide the organisation on behalf of voting members. Each year, the Board identifies the skills it believes are required, so that these can be used as a guide for voting members in the election of Directors.

As well as meeting the skills identified by the Board, Directors must be free from conflicts of interest, to ensure the organisation's continued independence from industry, business or government interests.

The Board Charter explains how the Board goes about its role as defined in the constitution.

Board news

29 August 2017: CHOICE announces Sandra Davey as new Chair

Sandra Davey has been a non-executive director of CHOICE since 2012 and has helped to inform the group's current strategy which has led to new products such as the augmented reality app CluckAR and Do I Need Health Insurance?

  • Sandra Davey

    Sandra Davey Chair

    Sandra is an experienced digital media and internet executive and is the founder and managing director of Product Space. Her love is product management and helping organisations transform or streamline their digital product management practices to improve agility, innovation and customer satisfaction.

    Prior to this, Sandra has been general manager for a boutique software company that specialises in IPTV and connected home solutions, general manager product for Australia's first 4G consumer wireless broadband service, managed the multi-million dollar operations of cross-platform digital products for Telstra's sports portfolio, and was an integral team member bringing TiVo in the Australian market.

    Sandra plays an active role in the tech/digital media industry. She served as a director and chair of the Australian Interactive Media Industry Association and was one of the co-founders and inaugural directors of the Australian Domain Name Authority (auDA). For her ongoing contributions to the digital media industry, Sandra was inducted into AIMIA's Hall of Fame in 2015.

    Sandra joined the Board in 2012, and is Chair of the Board and Chair of the Governance Committee and a member of the Business Innovation Committee. She also serves on the Marketing Advisory Committee to the Board of Bush Heritage Australia.

  • Bill Davidson

    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 Business Innovation Committees.

  • Fiona Guthrie

    Fiona Guthrie

    Fiona has over 25 years' experience in consumer advocacy, including a number of years on the executive of the Consumers Federation of Australia. Her main interest has been on advocating for people on low incomes or in vulnerable circumstances to get a fair go, particularly in the financial services marketplace.

    For the past seven years, Fiona has been the CEO of Financial Counselling Australia, the peak body for financial counsellors. She has held directorships on Energex Retail Pty Ltd, the Insurance Ombudsman Service and the Financial Ombudsman Service, and was previously chair of ASIC's Consumer Advisory Panel. Fiona is currently a member of the ACCC’s Consumer Consultative Panel, ASIC’s External Advisory Panel, the Australian Government Financial Literacy Board and is a director of Financial Literacy Australia. Fiona holds a B.A., LLB and M.B.A.

    Fiona joined the Board in November 2015 and is a member of the Campaigns & Advocacy and Finance, Risk & Audit committees.

  • Alexandra Kelly

    Alexandra Kelly

    Alexandra is Principal Solicitor at the Financial Rights Legal Centre, which operates the National Debt Helpline and the Insurance Law Service. She is a member of the Law Council's Australian Consumer Law Committee and is the consumer representative on the Life Insurance Code Compliance Committee. She served on the Board of the Financial Counsellors of NSW from 2009 to 2012.

    Alexandra has considerable experience developing consumer rights in the financial services sector through lobbying, working with regulators and government, and raising public awareness of issues in the media and through online financial literacy campaigns. She brings to the CHOICE Board high-level legal expertise, extensive sectoral knowledge, and understanding of social enterprises.

    Alexandra holds a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) / Bachelor of Psychology and Master of Laws. She was appointed to the Board in 2017.

  • Ben Slade

    Ben Slade

    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 16 years ago. He has spent over 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 Chair of the Campaigns & Advocacy Committee and a member of the Governance Committee.

  • Robert Southerton

    Robert Southerton

    Robert is an experienced professional in marketing, digital, analytics and statistics. He has a broad range of experience across the IT, telecommunications, finance and biotechnology industries, having worked for companies including BT Financial Group, ING Direct and Unwired. He has a strong interest in data-driven decision making, and holds qualifications in statistics and operations research. He also holds a Foundations of Directorship qualification from the AICD, gained in 2015. Robert is currently the Managing Director and co-founder of Gondwana Genomics, an Australian biotechnology start-up exporting genetic technology developed in Eucalyptus.

    Robert joined the Board in September 2014 and is a member of the Business Innovation, the Finance, Risk & Audit and the Governance committees.

  • Anita Tang

    Anita Tang

    Anita has a strong background in public policy reform, having spent 12 years with the Cancer Council where she led the transformation of its advocacy work. Anita currently runs her own advocacy and campaigning consultancy working with a range of NGOs to bring about social change. Anita has also held senior roles in policy and advocacy at the Community Services Commissions and the Social Issues Committee of the NSW Legislative Council. She has completed the Leadership, Organizing and Action: Leading change program through Harvard University, as well as the Stanford Executive Program for Non-Profit Leaders.

    Anita has served on the Boards of the Council for Intellectual Disability NSW and the Intellectual Disability Rights Service. She currently serves on the Centre for Australian Progress Board.

    She is a long-standing member of CHOICE and while at the Cancer Council led a number of collaborative projects with CHOICE, including campaigns against junk food advertising to children and the regulation and eventual ban of commercial solariums.

    Anita joined the Board in March 2017 and is a member of the Campaigns & Advocacy Committee.

  • Helen Wiseman

    Helen Wiseman

    Helen is a chartered accountant, businesswoman and former KPMG tax partner with over 28 years business experience across a range of industries including financial services, manufacturing and distribution, energy and natural resources and pharmaceuticals.

    She is currently a founding director of Imalia, a for-purpose business she established to empower women financially. Helen sits on a number of boards including Bidcorp (Bidvest Foodservice) where she chairs the Audit Committee, Shine for Kids (Chair), Unit (Audit Committee Chair) and the Advisory Council of the Sydney Women's Fund. Helen is also a professional mentor through The Executive Connection. Helen has a strong interest in seeing women are adequately represented in consumer advocacy.

    Helen joined the CHOICE Board in November 2014 and is Chair of the Finance, Risk & Audit Committee.

  • Jennifer Zanich

    Jennifer Zanich

    Jennifer is a senior corporate executive and start-up CEO with a strong entrepreneurial background. Jennifer is the managing partner of Stacked VB, a venture builder company that provides companies with experienced, functional expertise. Her prior roles include CEO and founder of Paloma Mobile, a company that delivered services to new users of smartphones, predominantly in the developing world. Prior to Paloma, Jennifer spent 10 years in the US where she successfully started and funded companies including SeeSaw Networks and Xumii (later acquired by Myriad Group), and was CEO of Wedgetail Communications. She is also experienced in corporate operations, strategy and marketing, having spent eight years as Microsoft's Marketing Director in Australia and Asia Pacific. 

    Jennifer is a strong advocate for the start-up community in Australia as a contributor to the knowledge economy and GDP. She is an experienced Board member with over 15 years Board experience in executive and non-executive roles. She also holds several advisory and board roles in Australia and the US including Bullpen Capital, The Australian Venture Capital Committee and Sirca Technology.

    Jennifer was appointed to the Board in February 2015 and is Chair of the Business Innovation and a member of the Campaigns & Advocacy Committee.

Become a voting member

Voting members are the custodians of the organisation whose role is similar to shareholders in a for-profit company. Voting members are consulted about any major changes to governance or strategy. They can vote in Board elections and on any changes to the organisation's constitution.

All voting members are invited to the Annual General Meeting in November, and can attend in person or via webcast. This includes and opportunity to put questions to the Chair, Directors and CEO.

Voting members also receive a short email briefing from the Chair after each Board meeting.

Eligibility

Anyone who is a member of CHOICE can apply to become a voting member.

There is no fee for voting membership but you must keep your CHOICE membership up to date.

Corporate or organisational CHOICE subscribers are not eligible to become voting members.

Applications for voting membership are reviewed by the CHOICE Board, which considers a range of factors including potential conflicts of interest. Applicants are informed of the Board's decision by email.

Download a voting member application form.

Join the Board

Each year, voting members are invited to nominate as a Director of the Board. The Board sets the nomination requirements, which usually include:

  • a nomination form that sets out the candidate's suitability for the role, signed by two other voting members
  • a 200-word candidate statement
  • a declaration of interests.

Candidates are considered by a Nominations Committee, which makes recommendations to the Board about information to be provided to voting members as part of the election process.

All voting members receive information on candidates and are able to vote online or request a paper ballot. The results are declared at the AGM in November of each year.

The senior management team

The day-to-day management of CHOICE is handled by the CEO and the senior management team.

  • Alan Kirkland

    Alan Kirkland CEO

    Alan Kirkland has been stirring up trouble since he was a teenager. His career before joining CHOICE in 2012 involved campaigning on issues as diverse as education funding, homelessness and public transport. He has also worked on the other side of the fence, in government. As CEO of Legal Aid NSW during the global financial crisis, Alan saw the human impact of poor lending practices, which sparked his passion for consumer rights.

    These days, Alan sees his job as making sure that CHOICE stays relevant to the needs of Australia's consumers, all while having a little fun along the way.

  • Alex Brooks

    Alex Brooks Managing Editor

    Alex is passionate about using technology to help build audiences and deliver valuable and engaging content. 

    Alex has worked as a freelance content strategist and copywriter, developing content design for new online publications. She has been the head of content for marketing technology company Pureprofile, where she oversaw publisher curation and data creation. She is best known for her role as executive editor at Australia's largest parenting website Kidspot from 2009 to 2014, which was acquired by News Corp in 2012. 

    Alex has also been a contributor, editor or publisher of various consumer publications, including Labor Herald, G magazine, Domain, Smash Hits, House & Garden, Girlfriend and Sunday Life.

  • Erin Turner

    Erin Turner Director, Campaigns and Communications

    Erin became a CHOICE director in 2017. She leads CHOICE’s Campaigns and Communications Department which fights to keep industry and government accountable and achieve real change for Australian consumers.

    Erin joined CHOICE in 2014, initially with a focus on finance policy and campaigns. Erin previously worked in government relations, policy and campaigns roles for non-government organisations, including CBAA, the peak body for community radio stations, and the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN).

    Erin has a Master of Politics and Public Policy and a Bachelor of Arts. She is currently a board member of the Superannuation Consumers' Centre and a member of the Financial Rights Legal Centre Management Committee.

  • Ian Morgan

    Ian Morgan Director, Strategic Delivery

    Ian is responsible for overall delivery of the business plan and leading the Strategic Delivery department. Strategic Delivery comprises the Product, Digital Delivery, Content Management and Creative teams, who together design, build, and manage CHOICE's online, print and tablet channels.

    Ian arrived at CHOICE in 2011 after a 10-year career in magazine publishing in London. He started out as a picture editor and has worked variously as a sub-editor, production editor and editor covering local government, health, fashion and travel. Before moving to London to seek his fortune in journalism Ian worked at Chase Manhattan and as an air traffic controller and a bookseller.

    Ian has a joint honours in History and Politics from Keele University and is currently studying a masters at Macquarie Graduate School of Management.

  • Jessica Hill

    Jessica Hill Director, People and Culture / Company Secretary

    Jessica joined CHOICE as an HR consultant in 2011. Since 2014, she has led the People and Culture team to establish a strong focus on employee engagement, development, talent attraction and retention.

    Jessica has human resources management experience within a range of industries, including publishing, manufacturing, retail and hospitality.

  • Matthew Steen

    Matthew Steen Director, Products, Content and Testing

    Matthew became Director in 2016.

    Matthew leads the testing labs, content, and facilities support teams, which produce all test reviews for CHOICE and also the Test Research development areas.

    Originally joining CHOICE in 2003 as a consumer services employee, Matthew had previously worked for 12 years in information, communications and technology around the world for various corporate sectors, including banking, accounting and computer hardware manufacturers.

  • Michelle Rappaport

    Michelle Rappaport Director, marketing and membership

    Michelle started at CHOICE in July 2014. She is a data-driven marketer who has specialised in enhancing customer experience across marketing channels and touch-points and driving revenue via customer acquisition, retention, and winback. 

    She has experience across multiple consumer service industries, such as insurance, telecommunications and health in Sydney and New York. Michelle oversees the Marketing, Customer Service and Consumer Insights teams.

  • Viveka Weiley

    Viveka Weiley Head of New Things

    Viveka joined CHOICE in October 2015 to start up New Things, a team designed to engage with emerging consumer needs. He has a background and advanced degrees in both design and technology, most recently working with UTS Creative Intelligence and Innovation and as creative director of the ABC's R&D unit. He has spent much of his career in research-driven startups powered by advances in computer graphics and interactive techniques.

    Viveka has studied creative cultures around the world, including PhD research that took him behind the scenes at Pixar and other innovative workplaces. He believes in the creative power of communities working together for a shared vision, and hopes to work with CHOICE experts, members and supporters to further extend our mission of fair, just and safe markets.