Both recipients were recognised for their ongoing efforts in representing
the rights of consumers, each with longstanding careers in their respective fields.
Fiona Guthrie was acknowledged for her work in "social welfare and
financial counselling", where she has championed consumer rights for more
than two decades.
Currently she is the chief executive of Financial Counselling Australia, a
government-funded organisation that offers free information, support and
advocacy to people experiencing financial difficulty.
Guthrie also serves as a board member of CHOICE and the federal government's
Financial Literacy Board, and has a history of serving on boards including
the Insurance Ombudsman, the Financial Ombudsman Service and ASIC's
Consumer Advisory Panel.
The award marks due recognition for Guthrie's body of work, says Alan
Kirkland, the chief executive of CHOICE.
"This award recognises decades of contribution to the financial counselling
movement, which helps thousands of people across Australia every week who are
struggling to meet their financial commitments," he says.
Also recognised on the day was Dr Ken Harvey, who earned commendation for
his "significant service to community health and the pharmaceutical
His contribution to the development of guidelines for the ethical use of
antibiotics was singled out.
Associate Professor Kenneth Harvey, currently of Monash University's School
of Public Health and Preventative Medicine, has been campaigning since the
1970s to improve regulations for the use and promotion of therapeutic
His "fearless" campaigning against weight-loss scam SensaSlim led to him
being sued by the company in 2011. The court case – which came at a
personal expense to Dr Harvey – ruled in his favour, resulting in SensaSlim
being delisted and the company's principles being prosecuted.
CHOICE recognised Dr Harvey's contributions in 2012 with a Consumer
Champion award and a lifetime subscription.
Fiona Guthrie and Dr Ken Harvey were among almost 900 recipients to be
recognised with awards on the Queen's Birthday.
They join CHOICE Consumer Champion Ian Jarrett, who was recognised on
Australia Day 2017 for his efforts in introducing unit pricing to