Previous award winners and finalists

The Consumer Protection Awards provides an opportunity to reward and recognise the achievements of individuals, non-government organisations, businesses, local governments, journalists and media outlets that have increased awareness of consumer issues, provided support for disadvantaged consumers or contributed to injury prevention for children. Potential nominees may have helped consumers with tenancy matters, scam prevention, debt management or understanding contracts.

Congratulations to all previous winners and finalists of the Consumer Protection Awards and thanks to all the nominees for their dedication to advancing consumer protection and injury prevention for children in Western Australia.

Consumer Protection Awards 2017 

Congratulations to the winners and finalists of the 2017 Consumer Protection Awards and many thanks to all the nominees for their dedication to advancing consumer protection and injury prevention for children in Western Australia.

2017 Consumer Protection Awards Winners and Finalists

Consumer Protection Awards 2017 Finalists and Winners
Consumer Protection Awards 2017 Finalists and Winners, by Consumer Protection

Left to Right: Christine Layton, Laura Gartry, Steve Pratt, Justine Clarke, David Hillyard, Anne Driscoll, Kate Davis, Karen merrin, Amy Bainbridge, Megan Butt, Chenee Marrapodi, Todd Dawson and Kelly Edwards

Rona Okely Award

Kate Davis

Karen Merrin Rona Okley Award winner 2017
Karen Merrin Rona Okley Award winner 2017, by Consumer Protection
Karen Merrin (pictured with Acting Commissioner David Hillyard) - Rona Okley Award winner 2017

Karen Merrin

Karen commenced work in the community legal sector in 1994 following a move to the city from the north of WA.

She was employed as an Advocate at the Welfare Rights and Advocacy Service, initially for twelve months, and then as the Project Officer to set up to the Northern Suburbs Community Legal Centre (NSCLC) in Mirrabooka.

The Centre commenced operations in 1996 with Karen as the  inaugural Manager, a position she has maintained for many years. 

During that time the Centre has grown from the initial small Mirrabooka office to expand to three centres located in Mirrabooka, at the Edith Cowan University in Joondalup and also at Wanneroo.

The organisation has 20 employees including nine lawyers , a nurse advocate, a client advocate, two tenancy workers and one lawyer/educator all supported by  excellent and capable client service officers.  NSCLC delivers advice, advocacy and represents to over 3,800 people per year.  In addition, each year staff conduct over 100 education sessions for members of the community.

The development of a partnership with the Edith Cowan University School of Law  provides law students with the opportunity to undertake a community law course and spend time working in the Centre.   Up to 15 students each year are provided with the chance to further their career through graduate law placements at NSCLC.  A number of students are now community lawyers working in other community legal centres, private firms and across government.


Richard (Dick) Fletcher Award

Cancer Council Western Australia and
Cocos Keeling Islands Community Resource Centre

Justine Clarke and Megan Butt from Midland Information Debt and Legal Service - Richard Fletcher Award winner 2017
Justine Clarke and Megan Butt from Midland Information Debt and Legal Service - Richard Fletcher Award winner 2017, by Consumer Protection
Justine Clarke and Megan Butt from Midland Information Debt and Legal Advocacy Service - Richard Fletcher Award winner 2017

Midland Information Debt and Legal Advocacy Service

The Midland Information Debt and Legal Advocacy Service Inc. (Midlas) is a not-for-profit community legal centre offering free financial, emergency relief, legal, tenancy and disability advocacy and information services.

The Centre has had over 25 years’ experience in developing, delivering and managing programmes for vulnerable and disadvantaged consumers within the Northeast region of Perth. There are five essential programmes offered including financial counselling, tenancy advocacy, disability advocacy, emergency relief, and a family and domestic violence legal service. Midlas has been consistently selected to provide programmes to the community and is funded through multiple State and Federal sources.

Although Midlas engages with vulnerable clients from various cultural backgrounds and life circumstances, their nomination for this award has focused on their support for clients with a disability. Working across service areas, the Centre staff aim to empower people with a disability to access fair and equitable information and to assist them to make informed choices when it comes to the purchase of goods and/or services.

Guided by their Disability Access and Inclusion Plan, the Centre promotes the rights of people with disability and provides tailored services and customised delivery in line with the United Nations Convention of Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the National Standards for Disability Services.

Richard (Dick) Fletcher Award Winner

Midland Information Debt and Legal Advocacy Service


Kidsafe WA Award

Todd Dawson from Goodstart Early Learning Kidsafe WA Award winner 2017
Todd Dawson from Goodstart Early Learning Kidsafe WA Award winner 2017, by Consumer Protection
Todd Dawson from Goodstart Early Learning - Kidsafe WA Award winner 2017

Goodstart Early Learning

Goodstart Early Learning (Goodstart) is Australia’s largest early learning and care providers, with 647 centres in all states and territories of Australia. They are a not-for-profit social enterprise with 13,500 staff who care for 71,500 children from 60,000 Australian families. Goodstart are reinvesting the surplus funds from their centres back into improving quality of early learning for all children and access for children who are vulnerable.

Goodstart was founded with a vision for all Australia’s children to have the best possible start in life.

Goodstart in WA has the opportunity, in fact they believe an obligation, to advocate for the 6,100 children and over 5,300 families that use their early education and care services. Safety is reflected in their organisational overview and is integral to their operations, however in addition Goodstart also see their role in being to offer an important and trusted conduit of information on child safety to their client families, regulators and the broader community.

Goodstart’s size and scale in WA comprising 52 early education and care centres, provides them with a unique opportunity to engage with 5,300 families about child safety. They provide services to children aged 6 weeks to 6 years old, the ages where children are universally recognised as being vulnerable to injury as they learn, explore and grow.

Their broad geographical spread of centre across WA means their messages can be shared far and wide for the benefit of all children and families. They see this as an inherent obligation and part of their core operating ethos as a not-for-profit organisation and good community citizen.


Ruby Hutchison Award

Laura Gartry, Christine Layton, Chenee Marrapodi and Nick Sas

Amy Bainbridge from ABC - Ruby Hutchison Award winner2017
Amy Bainbridge from ABC - Ruby Hutchison Award winner2017, by Consumer Protection
Amy Bainbridge from ABC (pictured with Acting Commissioner David Hillyard) - Ruby Hutchison Award winner 2017

Amy Bainbridge

As the ABC’s consumer affairs reporter, Amy files nationally to a broad range of news and current affairs programs across the network. The Consumer Affairs round was introduced in 2013, and Amy has since grown in the role as she continues to expose wrongdoing and promote the rights of consumers.

Amy has an excellent knowledge of Australian Consumer Law and has reported in a wide range of issues affecting WA consumers, as well as for consumers in all parts of Australia. These include stories on property investment schemes, scams, financial fraud, the national Broadband network, product safety and the solar industry.

All these issues have been important to WA audiences, particularly those in rural and remote communities. Amy uses social media to connect with young people, and is now helping to produce Facebook videos with simple consumer messages.


Previous years


CP Awards finalists and winners 2016
CP Awards finalists and winners 2016, by CP Media

CP Awards finalists and winners 2016

Left to Right: Lyndsey Fitzgerald – Jacaranda Community Centre; Karren Merrin – Northern Suburbs Community Legal Centre; David Hillyard, A/Commissioner for Consumer Protection; Estelle Lewis – Channel Nine; Annabel Hennessy – The Sunday Times; Alison Muir – ATCO Gas Australia, Michael Mischin, Minister for Commerce; and Anne Driscoll, Director General


Richard (Dick) Fletcher Award – Winner: Jacaranda Community Centre Inc

Jacaranda Community Centre offers counselling and support for people experiencing financial and welfare difficulties. It was initiated by Aboriginal people wanting an organisation where they felt they could belong without it being a solely Aboriginal organisation.

The Centre aims to meet the needs of people on low incomes, regardless of family circumstances, gender or race. The Centre also provides financial management training, emergency relief, referrals to other support agencies and assistance with consumer credit issues and rent-to-buy schemes.

Finalists: Midland Information Debt and Legal Advocacy Service Inc and Northern Suburbs Community Legal Centre.

Kidsafe WA Award – Winner: ATCO Gas Australia – Schools Program

ATCO Gas Australia delivers natural gas to over 700,000 homes and businesses in Western Australia. The company’s commitment to keeping consumers safe saw the development of the ATCO Gas Australia Blue Flame Kitchen School’s Program.

This interactive program piloted in 2014, provides gas safety education to school children in years five and six. Students are shown how natural gas is delivered, given tips on how to use gas safely and gain useful kitchen skills. Take home material booklets include safety messages and helpful hints around the use of natural gas, the importance of servicing appliances and what to do if gas is smelt.

Ruby Hutchison Award – Winner: Annabel Hennessy

Annabel is the property reporter at The Sunday Times and PerthNow. In 2015 she conducted a three month undercover investigation into WA’s property investment seminar industry. Her story exposed some of the methods used to lure property investors and the unscrupulous techniques used to sell property. The warning featured in a double page spread in The Sunday Times and on the PerthNow website.

Annabel has also worked with Advocare to alert consumers about property related elder abuse and the potential financial pitfalls that could occur.

Finalist: Estelle Lewis.


Rona Okely Award

  • Winner: Shirley Glover
  • Finalist: Fran Manuela

Richard (Dick) Fletcher Award

  • Winner: Advocare Incorporated
  • Finalists: Consumer Credit Legal Service (WA) and Edmund Rice Centre Mirrabooka

Kidsafe WA Award

  • Winner: Surf Life Saving Western Australia
  • Finalist: City of Busselton – Safe to Skate

Ruby Hutchison Award

  • Winners: Oliver Peterson and Scott Rollinson
  • Finalists: Amy Bainbridge and Suzanne Dredge; and Mark Gibson

For more on the 2015 presentation ceremony read our media statement.


Details about the 2014 Award finalists are in our media statement about the shortlist. There is also a Ministerial Media Statement about the winners.

Rona Okely Award

  • Winner:  Sandra Brown
  • Finalist: Gavan Forster

Richard (Dick) Fletcher Award

  • Winner:  Consumers' Association of WA
  • Finalist: Advocare Incorporated and Consumer Credit Legal Service (WA) 

Kidsafe WA Award

  • Winner: RAC - bstreetsmart
  • Finalist: Samantha Menezes

Ruby Hutchison Award

  • Winner: Natalie Bonjolo
  • Finalists: David Weber and Rashelle Predovnik


Rona Okely Award

  • Winner: Boon-Beng Chew
  • Special Commendation: Lynda Wennstrom

Richard (Dick) Fletcher Award

  • Winner: Council on the Ageing (WA)
  • Finalists: Consumer Credit Legal Service (WA) and Jacaranda Community Centre

Kidsafe WA Award

  • Winner: Anne Miller
  • Finalist: Shady Days

Ruby Hutchison Award

  • Winners: Louise Burke and 720 ABC Perth
  • Finalists: Kalgoorlie Miner and Natalie Bonjolo (Channel Seven Perth) 


Rona Okely Award

  • Winner: Lyndsey Fitzgerald
  • Finalist: Jill Rudeforth

Richard (Dick) Fletcher Award

  • Winner: City of Greater Geraldton
  • Finalists: Jacaranda Community Centre and The Spiers Centre

Kidsafe WA Award

  • Winner: Parents for Window Blind Safety

Ruby Hutchison Award

  • Winner: Jake Sturmer
  • Finalists: David Weber, Natalie Bonjolo and 6PR Perth


Rona Okely Award

  • Winner: Linda Saverimutto
  • Finalists: Darryl Yeeda and Vikki Kelly, Iris Watt

Richard (Dick) Fletcher Award

  • Winner: WA Retirement Complexes Residents Association
  • Finalists: Jungarni-Jutiya Indigenous Corporation and Consumer Credit Legal Service

Kidsafe WA Award

  • Winner: The City of Stirling
  • Finalists: Parents for Window Blind Safety


Rona Okely Award

  • Winner: Denise Brailey
  • Finalists: Darryl Yeeda and Vikki Kelly, Linda Saverimutto

Richard (Dick) Fletcher Award

  • Winner: WA No Interest Loans
  • Finalists:  Advocare and Western Australian Retirement Complexes Residents’ Association

Kidsafe WA Award

  • Winner: Springfree Trampoline 


Rona Okely Award

  • Winner:  Sandie Groves
  • Finalists: Georgina Coomer and Lois Gatley

Richard (Dick) Fletcher Award

  • Winner: Citizens Advice Bureau
  • Finalists: Citizen Council on the Ageing and Pilbara Community Legal Service 

Kidsafe WA Award

  • Winner: Farmsafe WA Alliance


Rona Okely Award

  • Winner: Graham Mabury
  • Finalists: Denise Brailey and Rowena Strain

Richard (Dick) Fletcher Award

  • Winner: Southern Communities Advocacy Legal and Education Service
  • Finalists: Citizen Advocacy Perth West Inc and WA No Interest Loans Network Inc

Kidsafe WA Award

  • Winner: Lee-Beau Creations - Oven Guard
  • Finalist: Hurphy Durphy Pty Ltd – Seat Belt Buckle Guard


Rona Okely Award

  • Winner: Julie Eady
  • Finalists: Ian MacDonald and Ellen Walker

Richard (Dick) Fletcher Award

  • Winner: The Tenants Advice Service
  • Finalists: WA No Interest Loans Network Inc, Consumer Credit Legal Service Inc and Youth Media Society of WA Inc (Special Mention)  


Rona Okely Award

  • Winner: Verity Cripps
  • Finalists: Dylan Desaubin and Samuel Dinah

Richard (Dick) Fletcher Award

  • Winner: The Geraldton Resource Centre
  • Finalists: Consumer Utilities Project - WACOSS and WA No Interest Loans Network Inc


Rona Okely Award

  • Winner: Anne Hawkins
  • Finalists: Gay McNamara and Denise Brailey

Richard (Dick) Fletcher Award

  • Winner: The Geraldton Resource Centre
  • Finalists: Health Consumers Council and Youth Legal Service WA


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