We love feedback from our members here at CHOICE – it lets us know whether we're doing the right things when it comes to helping Australian consumers make better decisions and get a better, fairer deal.
So when we wanted to share the stories behind the work we do, we turned to you, our members, and our staff who work here behind the scenes every day.
We gathered a bunch of members and staff for a day of talking all things CHOICE: what being a member means, what it's like to work here, and why CHOICE is more relevant today than ever before.
As a member, you're always welcome to join the conversation with us and make your voice heard on consumer issues or ask your questions. Visit CHOICE Community or join Voice Your Choice to let us know what you think – together we are stronger!
Chatting to our members
As most of you know, CHOICE is independent and nonprofit, so every cent we make goes back into supporting the work we do. And we can't do that work without the support of you, our members. We loved listening to what you had to say.
Karl, 51, CHOICE member for five years
"I use CHOICE as a source of truth, an information source for many of the big decisions I make in life when it comes to purchasing or ultimately big issues in the world as well. It acts as a voice, a voice of reason, if I can use that word, because it really gives an opinion, which in some cases is contrary to that of a commercial opinion.
"What makes CHOICE unique in my view is that it's a not-for-profit organisation that's truly independent in nature. It's been really good for me and for my family."
James, CHOICE supporter
"I value CHOICE's independence, because you are never really sure what influences are being had upon certain organisation to either promote certain certain companies over others. The funding comes from the membership of subscribers and from selling the magazines, so it makes me feel like they're a bit more trustworthy than something that's been set up by one company or several companies to really just promote their brands.
"I value being a supporter of CHOICE because they've raised issues that I hadn't thought about before that are very important. When you're in a situation where you're just a single consumer or household and you know, you've got all these choices between different companies... well, it's good to have someone that's there to say 'we've already looked at this and this is what we think'."
Chatting to our staff
As part of the campaign, we also brought a few CHOICE staff members out of the office to share a bit about the work they do, from testing products to campaigning government officials for better laws and uncovering shonky business practices.
Saimi Jeong, investigative journalist
"As part of my job, I get to delve into pretty complex consumer issues and actually take the time to find out what's really going on as it relates to us as consumers. It's important because everyday we're making transactions and buying products, services, and it's hard to be really informed about what you're getting into."
Marg Rafferty, managing editor
"CHOICE is so varied – it's always interesting. It's really great to be able to tell stories that help make the world better for consumers. CHOICE is important because it fights for the little guy and is a voice for those who can't speak for themselves.
"It stops the companies that just want to put profits before people and it just makes the world fairer. There are so many organisations that say they'll tell you the truth, but really don't, so CHOICE ensures Australians have a source for honest advice."
CHOICE managing editor, Marg Rafferty, with the very first edition of CHOICE magazine.
Fiona Mair, kitchen test co-ordinator
"I have a background in home economics and I have been at CHOICE for 22 years. I suppose it's because it's so varied. Apart from just testing kitchen appliances, I also do food taste tests and I write test methods and I also do test research.
"What interests me most is actually getting the results from comparing all these products and finding out which ones the best choice is important.
"Most people don't realise we have several labs on site at CHOICE. I'm in the kitchen lab, where all the kitchen appliances are tested. We also have a TV lab, computer lab, small appliance lab, laundry lab, a fridge lab.... and we have amazing testers! They all have great expertise in their field. And they test each product honestly and fairly."
Read more about Fiona's work at CHOICE, including her kitchen lab secrets, why an oven shelf was named in her honour and why working here is her dream job.