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.
Anita Tang – Co-Chair
Anita has a strong background in public policy reform and community organising across a range of social justice and community service areas. She is currently community organising director at the Centre for Australian Progress, building the capacity of civil society for systems change, following five years running her own advocacy and campaigning consultancy supporting NGOs to bring about social change. Her other experience includes more than a decade at Cancer Council NSW where she led the transformation of its advocacy work, and senior roles in the Community Services Commission and the Social Issues Committee of the NSW Legislative Council.
Anita has completed the Leadership, Organizing and Action: Leading Change program through Harvard University, and the Stanford Executive Program for Non-Profit Leaders. Anita has served on the Boards of the Council for Intellectual Disability NSW, the Intellectual Disability Rights Service, the Centre for Australian Progress and Democracy in Colour, a racial justice campaigning organisation.
She is a longstanding 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 was appointed Chair in 2020, and in 2021, became part of an inaugural new leadership model of Co-Chairing. She is also Chair of the Impact Committee and a member of the Governance, Culture and Ethics Committee.
Nic Cola - Co-chair
Nic is currently the CEO of RMIT Online and also acts as Chair of Picaluna, a disruptor in the funeral industry. Prior to this he was a director at Satinay Partners, a consulting and advisory firm focused on advising media, market places, education and digital businesses.
Nic has over 22 years of general management and CEO experience in high growth, sales and marketing-led organisations, with expertise in delivering revenue and share growth across a diverse range of business models in traditional and digital media, education, and e-commerce. His key strengths are strategy, mergers and acquisitions, operations, digital transformation and change management.
His previous roles have included Group General Manager of Retail and Digital Transformation at Helloworld Ltd, CEO of Open Colleges and CEO of Marketplaces at Fairfax Media where he was one of the founding executives of Fairfax Digital.
Nic was active in building the digital industry in Australia having been on the board of the Australian Interactive Multimedia Industry association (AIMIA) for several years as well as serving as Chairman of the Australian Internet Advertising Bureau. He has a Bachelor of Business from UTS and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors course.
Nic joined the CHOICE Board in November 2019 and from November 2022 stepped into the Co-Chair role, alongside Anita. Nic is also Chair of the Membership Growth & Engagement Committee and a member of the Finance, Risk & Audit Committee.
Samantha is a non-executive director, with more than 20 years' experience in senior accounting, leadership and management roles. She is adept at bringing financial, information technology and risk management oversight and governance to organisations through expertise gained in government, non-government, and multinational corporate sectors.
Samantha is a non-executive director and audit risk committee chair with RSL LifeCare, a non-executive director and finance audit and risk committee chair with Sydney North Health Network.
Samantha's executive career included interim CEO at Arthritis NSW, director corporate services at Agency for Clinical Innovation (NSW Health), deputy CEO at Sydney North Shore and Beaches Medicare Local, and chief accountant at Lexmark International (Australia). Her areas of interest are in primary health, ageing and consumer advocacy.
Samantha joined the CHOICE Board in November 2020 and is Chair of the Finance, Risk & Audit Committee.
Kat has extensive experience in consumer policy and human rights, and is currently Associate Director, Research, at Energy Consumers Australia. She previously led the development of the Victorian Essential Services Commission's strategy to support equitable access and fairness for all consumers through the regulation of essential services. Kat is interested in systems thinking to drive economic and social inclusion, and the intersection between consumer wellbeing, human rights and emerging technology.
Currently, Kat is a director on the Board of Hope Street Youth and Family Services, a specialist youth homelessness service operating in the northern and western regions of Melbourne, and the chair of Hope Street's Business and Development Committee. Kat's previous experience includes more than seven years as a consultant in global media and communications. She has also managed humanitarian aid projects and fundraising through field work in Greece at the height of the Syrian refugee crisis.
Kat holds a Bachelor of Laws/Bachelor of Arts (Media & Communications) and Master of Laws. Through her Masters research, Kat explored human rights-based approaches to regulation of essential services, data, competition and new technology, including artificial intelligence and the implications of the Consumer Data Right.
Kat was elected to the CHOICE Board in November 2020 and is a member of the Impact Committee and Governance, Culture & Ethics Committee.
Fiona Guthrie AM
Fiona has over 30 years' experience in consumer advocacy, including a number of years on the executive of the Consumers' Federation of Australia. Her main interest has been in advocating for people on low incomes or in vulnerable circumstances to get a fair go, particularly in the financial services marketplace.
Fiona has been the CEO of Financial Counselling Australia, the peak body for financial counsellors since 2009. 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 Committee and a member of the boards of Way Forward Debt Solutions and the Queensland Competition Authority. She holds a BA, LLB and MBA.
Fiona was made a member of the Order of Australia in 2017 for her work in social welfare and financial counselling. She joined the Board in November 2015 and is a member of the Finance, Risk & Audit Committee and Governance, Culture & Ethics Committee.
Fiona is an experienced senior executive and non-executive director who works with boards and businesses undergoing change and growth and operating in highly regulated areas. She brings government experience along with expertise in communications, traditional and digital media advertising and marketing, stakeholder engagement and international trade.
Fiona is the Director of the Classification Board, the Australian Government body responsible for classifying films, computer games and some publications for Australia. Her focus is on improving information about content for consumers of media. Fiona is also a director of Goodwin Aged Care, Rural Financial Counselling Service (NSW), the ACT Cemeteries and Crematoria Authority, Freshmark Fresh Produce; Australian Institute of Building Surveyors and is an elected Councillor for HCF. Fiona has previously served as president of the YWCA of Australia and the chair of Australian Business Volunteers.
Fiona's executive career spans significant work on regulation reform with both the government and private sector. Spending nearly 10 years with Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ), she worked extensively on food policy issues with industry organisations and state and territory governments. Until 2020, Fiona was CEO of Ad Standards, the Australian advertising industry self-regulation body, and implemented significant reforms to the self-regulation system and to industry codes regulating advertising content. She was instrumental in setting up the International Council for Advertising Standards.
Fiona was elected to the CHOICE Board in November 2020 and is a member of the Governance, Culture & Ethics Committee; Technology Committee; and the Membership Growth & Engagement Committee.
Melissa is a practised CEO, senior executive and adviser, with experience spanning corporate, government, the arts and nonprofit sectors with organisations including Sydney Opera House, Department of Prime Minister & Cabinet – APEC Taskforce, the Governance Institute and the United Nations Association of Australia (UNAA).
Currently, Melissa serves as an Independent Director of ASX-listed cyber risk firm WhiteHawk (WHK) and the NSW Institute of Sport, whilst also running her own consulting and advisory business, through which she advises on strategy, governance, business development, marketing and fundraising.
During her tenure as CEO of FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup Organising Committee, the organisation achieved the most attended FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup in the history of the competition and achieved carbon neutrality. While CEO of Surf Life Saving Australia, Melissa was instrumental in navigating the organisation through a time of change and growth with a customer/member-centred approach.
Melissa has a Masters in Business Administration and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. She has completed further education with Cambridge University Institute of Sustainable Leadership and strongly aligns with CHOICE values that promote fairness and empower consumers.
Jamie is a Partner at Humanly Agile, an organisational design and change management consultancy that helps clients discover better ways of working and harness the power of their people. In addition, Jamie serves as the Chief Entrepreneur in Residence at Western Sydney University.
Jamie has more than 27 years' experience working in senior leadership positions for global consulting, advisory and technology organisations. His corporate history has included being the Australian CEO of realestate.com.au and as a Partner at Deloitte.
Jamie was appointed to the CHOICE Board in November 2021 and is a member of the Technology Committee and Finance, Risk and Audit Committee.
Amanda has extensive expertise in economic and social policy, having worked at the most senior levels of the Australian government and across the community and nonprofit sectors for over 20 years, domestically and internationally.
Amanda was deputy chief of staff to the Australian Federal Treasurer and Deputy Prime Minister Wayne Swan in the former government, and worked for nine years with the Federal Treasury. Amanda has expertise in budget and fiscal policy, health and social policy, governance and development economics.
Amanda founded Equity Economics in 2013 and has since delivered original economic policy analysis and advice for governments, think tanks, corporates and the community sector. Amanda is committed to supporting and strengthening the role of the non-government sector in Australia. Amanda combines skills in economic analysis with an ability to formulate policy and communicate complex reform.
Amanda's experience internationally includes roles as senior adviser in the Treasury of Papua New Guinea from 2006 to 2008; deputy director of Australia's flagship economic governance program in Indonesia; and most recently working as a consultant for the World Bank in Washington DC. Amanda holds a Global Executive MBA and Bachelor of Economics (Social Sciences) from the University of Sydney, a Diploma of Law from the NSW College of Law, and a Master of Laws (Legal Practice) from the ANU.
Amanda was appointed to the CHOICE Board in November 2022 and is a member of the Impact Committee and Membership Growth & Engagement Committee.