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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 – we've been the voice for Aussie consumers for more than 50 years. Whether it's campaigning for better banking, simpler shopping, fairer food labelling or highlighting the truth behind dodgy product claims at our Shonky Awards, we protect the best interests of all Australian consumers.

CHOICE corporate governance

CHOICE is the public face of the Australian Consumers' Association (ACA), a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee. CHOICE operates under a constitution. Responsibility for the governance of the company rests with an independent, skills-based Board of Directors. The Board consists of nine Directors elected by the voting membership. The Board can also co-opt up to three additional Directors. The Board's role and responsibilities are set out in the Board Charter. Voting members are the custodians of the organisation whose role is similar to that of shareholders in a for-profit company.

Key governance documents:

CHOICE board of directors

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.


  • Nicole Rich

    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 has practised in the private profession and community legal centres and is also a current board member of the Telecommunications Universal Service Management Agency. 

    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.

  • 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 Digital Transformation Committees.

  • Ian Spight

    Ian Spight

    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.

  • Allan Asher

    Allan Asher

    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.

  • 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 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.

  • Frank Muller

    Frank Muller

    Frank Muller has a distinguished 38-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 and is Chair of the Campaigns & Advocacy Committee.

  • Helen Wiseman

    Helen Wiseman

    Helen is a chartered accountant, entrepreneur and former KPMG tax partner with over 25 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 Shine for Kids (Chair), the Sydney Community Foundation, the War Widows Guild of Australia (NSW) and Advisory Board of the Sydney Women's Fund. She also chairs the Bidvest Asia Pacific and South America Audit Committee.

    Helen has a strong interest in seeing women are adequately represented in consumer advocacy. She joined the CHOICE Board in November 2014 and is a member of the Finance, Risk & Audit Committee.

  • Robert Southerton

    Robert Southerton

    Robert is an experienced professional in marketing, digital, analytics and statistics. He has a broad range of experience across 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 has qualifications in statistics and operations research. He is currently the General Manager, and a Director, of Gondwana Genomics. Robert joined the Board in September 2014 and is a member of the Digital Transformation Committee.

  • Sandra Davey

    Sandra Davey

    Sandra is an experienced digital media and Internet executive. Her most recent position has been as Country Manager for Netgem, specialists in IPTV and Connected Home solutions and providers of Telstra's Award-winning consumer entertainment product, Telstra T-Box.

    Her specialty lies in bringing new Internet and media based products to emerging and/or established markets. She led the end to end consumer product suite for Australia's first 4G network, managed the rollout and ongoing operations of cross-platform services for Telstra's multi-million dollar and Award-winning digital sports assets and was integral in 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.

  • Jennifer Zanich

    Jennifer Zanich

    Jennifer is a senior corporate executive and start-up CEO with a strong entrepreneurial background. She currently heads up Paloma Mobile, a company she co-founded, which offers mobile phone services to the three billion 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, holding 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 a member of the Digital Transformation Committee.

Become a voting member

Voting members can vote in Board elections and on significant matters like changes to the organisation's constitution.

All voting members are invited to the Annual General Meeting, held in November, where they can put questions to the Chair, Directors, CEO and senior staff.

All voting members receive an electronic copy of the Annual Report plus a short email briefing from the Chair after each Board meeting.

Eligibility

Any person with a current CHOICE Plus, CHOICE Online, CHOICE Magazine, CHOICE Computer, CHOICE Computer Plus (including digital options) or CHOICE Health Reader membership.

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

There is no separate fee for voting membership but voting members must keep their CHOICE membership up to date.

Applications are considered by the CHOICE Board, which considers a range of factors including potential conflicts of interest. Applicants are informed of the outcome in writing.

Download a voting member application form.

Join the Board

Each year, all voting members are invited to nominate as a Director of the Board as long as they supply:

  • endorsement from two other voting members
  • a completed questionnaire on their qualifications and affiliations
  • a 200-word biography.

Following that, 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 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. 

    Alan has also worked on the other side of the fence, in government. It was his work as CEO of Legal Aid NSW during the global financial crisis, where he saw the human impact of poor lending practices, that developed a passion for consumer rights. 

    These days it is his job to make sure that CHOICE stays relevant to the needs of Australia's consumers, all while having a little fun along the way...

  • George Perry

    George Perry Director, commercial and finance

    George Perry joined CHOICE in 2009 originally as Commercial Director. Since 2010, in addition to building new revenue streams including the CHOICE Recommended scheme, George has also led the finance and ICT teams.

    Prior to his appointment at CHOICE, George had an extensive career in sports and events including roles at Sydney FC, Australian Rugby and the Sydney Olympics.

  • Matt Levey

    Matt Levey Director, Campaigns and Communications

    Matt joined CHOICE as Head of Campaigns in 2011, and since 2013 he has led the media and campaigns teams in their work across a range of consumer protection issues and advocacy projects. 

    He has also previously worked as a policy adviser with the Australian Government in areas including energy efficiency, climate change, environmental protection, and the arts. 

    Matt began his career working as a music journalist, writing for a number of Australian publications.

  • 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.

  • Thomas Taylor

    Thomas Taylor Director, digital innovation

    Thomas Taylor joined CHOICE as Director - Digital Innovation in December 2012. He has worked in digital businesses since 1997, holding senior roles with large publishers such as ninemsn and news.com.au as well as launching new online products.

    Thomas has a background in product strategy and development, mobile platforms, re-positioning digital businesses and finding new revenue streams. He is interested in how we transform businesses and ourselves to adapt to a digital world.