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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. We operate under a constitution, with an independent, skills-based Board which is responsible for the governance of the company. The Board has nine Directors elected by the voting membership and it can also co-opt up to three additional Directors. The Board's role and responsibilities are set out in the Board Charter.

Key governance documents:

CHOICE board of directors

Board Directors are elected to three-year terms with three of the seats open for contest each year. Board Directors must be free from conflicts of interest 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 is Executive Director Family, Youth and Children's Law 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. 

    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 and Chair of the Governance 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 Business Innovation Committees.

  • 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 Campaigns & Advocacy and Governance 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. She has been involved in numerous campaigns to improve the marketplace for consumers, particularly in financial services but also in regulation of tenancy databases and electricity. 

    For the past six years Fiona has been the executive director 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 holds a B.A., M.B.A. and LLB. 

    Fiona was elected to the Board in November 2015.

  • 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.

  • 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 holds qualifications in statistics and operations research. 

    Robert is currently general manager and a director of Gondwana Genomics. He joined the Board in September 2014 and is a member of the Business Innovation and Finance, Risk & Audit Committees.

  • Frank Muller

    Frank Muller

    Frank Muller is an experienced independent director with a 40-year career in public policy in Australia and the United States in government, universities, private consulting and the community sector.  He recently completed a 5 1/2 year term as Commissioner of the National Transport Commission.

    Frank's career has spanned a wide range of policy and management areas, including environment, energy, transport, climate change, urban planning, consumer affairs, employment and local government. He 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. He is Chair of the Campaigns & Advocacy Committee and a member of the Finance, Risk and Audit committee.

  • Helen Wiseman

    Helen Wiseman

    Helen is a chartered accountant, businesswoman 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 War Widows Guild of Australia (NSW) and Advisory Board of the Sydney Women's Fund. She also chairs the Bidvest Foodservice International 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 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. Her most recent role was co-founder of Paloma Mobile, offering 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, holding several advisory and board roles in Australia and the US including Bullpen Capital. Jennifer was appointed to the Board in February 2015 and is a member of the Business Innovation and Campaigns & Advocacy Committees.

  • Sandra Davey

    Sandra Davey

    Sandra is an experienced digital media and Internet executive and is currently the Chief Marketing Officer with NetComm Wireless, an established Australian tech company specialising in communication devices for broadband networks.​ ​Prior to joining NetComm, Sandra was General Manager for Netgem, a boutique software company that specialises in IPTV and Connected Home solutions and is the provider 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 an integral team member responsible for launching TiVo in the Australian market.

    Sandra plays an active role in the Tech/Digital Media industry having served as a Director and Chair 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 Business Innovation Committee.

Become a voting member

Voting members are the custodians of the organisation whose role is similar to shareholders in a for-profit company. They can vote in Board elections and on 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. They receive an electronic copy of the Annual Report plus a short email briefing from the Chair after each Board meeting.


Anyone with a current CHOICE Plus, CHOICE Online, CHOICE Magazine, CHOICE Computer, CHOICE Computer Plus (including digital options) or CHOICE Health Reader membership 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 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, all voting members are invited to nominate as a Director of the Board as long as they supply:

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

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.