Erin Parke, Winner, Ruby Hutchison Award 2019
"There’s a cash prize!
I wouldn’t be a proper journo if I buried the lead.
There is a very generous cash prize involved with winning the Ruby Hutchison Award for Consumer Protection reporting, but also a lot more. It’s great to have stories that empower consumers and expose questionable operators recognised, as a way of honouring the memory of the late WA MP Ruby Hutchison, who sounds like a real character – a single Mum with seven kids who pioneered efforts to stamp out dodgy salesmen and unfair trading practices in this state. What a star!
I was fortunate enough to receive the award in 2019 for a series of stories about a Kimberley cruise ship company that repeatedly breached basic safety requirements and ripped off customers – and eventually went bust. The stories involved some tense confrontations and lots of outdoors mobile phone filming in sticky Wet Season conditions, so it was a really wonderful surprise to have the series recognised. There’s so much great work being done by journalists to expose scammers and greedy institutions and the human stories involved, and it’s a vital public service. And did I mention… there’s a cash prize!"
Glennys Marsdon, Winner, Rona Okely Award 2019
"For the past seven years I’ve attended the Consumer Protection Awards ceremony to hear from quiet achievers doing great things that enrich our community. Motivating, heart-warming and grounding, the ceremony is my annual reminder about what’s really important in life. It was overwhelming to receive the Rona Okely Award this year given the other nominees, and more importantly having met Rona. I see it as recognition for all the consumers who’ve shared their concerns with The Customers’ Voice over the past three decades. Their openness has allowed us to ensure their voices get heard by key decision makers.
The Award has provided me with new opportunities to remind consumers about the value of speaking up, answering surveys and getting involved when they see an issue in the community. Problems can’t be solved if people don’t hear about them. Many thanks to the Department for all they do to protect us all. If you know someone toiling away in the background to make Perth a safer place I urge you to nominate them."
Consumer Credit Legal Service (WA) Inc., Winner, Richard (Dick) Fletcher Award
"We were very honoured to be the winner of the Richard (Dick) Fletcher Award for 2018. CCLSWA rely on a team of well- trained law student volunteers to deliver our service to the public, under the supervision of a small team of committed staff. Their hard work and professionalism is to be commended. The award was a moral boost to the whole team who work very hard to service the community every day."
Nanette Williams, Winner, Rona Okely Award
"I was deeply honoured to receive the Rona Okely award. I pay tribute to Rona Okely and to her vision for the award and the prestige it has engendered. My thanks to the Department for the huge role they play in consumer protection and for their work every year in producing and facilitating these esteemed awards. The awards creatively enable consumer and tenancy advocates to be recognised while also highlighting the availability and importance of consumer protection services in W.A. and the role they play in educating and defending the rights of consumers."
Karen Merrin, Winner, Rona Okely Award
“Being the 2017 recipient of the Rona Okely Award was a pleasant surprise and a great honour. I am truly humbled to receive such a prestigious award and thank Consumer Protection for its continuing support of consumers in Western Australia and their ongoing support of community organisations and support workers.
As an Advocate I am committed to assisting the community and hope that I have been able to make life a little easier for the most disadvantaged. On behalf of the community I gratefully accept the award and acknowledge my fellow Advocates who each day work tirelessly to create a better world for us all.”
Midland Information Debt and Legal Advocacy Service Inc. t/as Midlas, Winner, Richard (Dick) Fletcher Award
“Midland Information Debt and Legal Advocacy Service Inc. t/as Midlas was greatly honoured to be recognised for the fundamental work that we do in educating, supporting and building resilient communities by being chosen as the winner of the Richard (Dick) Fletcher Award for 2017. Although Midlas engages with vulnerable clients from various cultural backgrounds and life circumstances, this nomination focused on the work Midlas does to support clients with disability and the promotion of their rights to access fair and equitable information and to assist with informed choice and decision making.”
Goodstart Early Learning, Winner, Kidsafe Award
“Winning the Kidsafe Award was amazing recognition of the work done day in, day out by our educators. It also highlights the commitment we have to ensure we have great outcomes for children, and our commitment partnering with families to ensure every child is safe.
We also take great pride in the fact that our campaign highlighting the importance of safety, has enabled Consumer Protection to engage in the industry to promote these messages to a wider audience.
It’s not just about Goodstart Early Learning’s responsibility to children. It about that influence and advocacy for all children across Western Australia. We see this as a platform to generate a much larger and longer-lasting positive impact across Western Australia.”
Jacaranda Community Centre Inc , Winner, Richard (Dick) Fletcher Award
"Jacaranda Community Centre is very honoured to be the winner of the Richard (Dick) Fletcher Award for 2016. It is a great pleasure to be acknowledged with this valuable award in recognition of all the hard work, dedication and commitment staff at Jacaranda Community Centre put in, not just for clients struggling financially in our local suburbs but where possible for the wider community."
ATCO Gas Australia, Winner Kidsafe WA Award
“To be presented with the 2016 Kidsafe WA Award in recognition of ATCO Gas Australia’s contribution to the advancement of injury prevention for children was a great honour. Winning the award has further enhanced the strong reputation the ATCO Gas Blue Flame Kitchen schools program has built since its inception in 2014 and we look forward to building on that.”
Boon-Beng Chew, Winner, Rona Okely Award
“It was a great honour to receive the Rona Okely Award and to have my work recognised amongst a strong calibre of nominees. I am grateful that the Judging Panel has acknowledged the importance of promoting consumer protection in a community as isolated as Christmas Island. I pay tribute to Mrs Rona Okely for her ongoing contribution and support to the Award.
Consumer Protection is to be commended for initiating the annual Consumer Protection Awards and continuing to recognise ongoing commitments to consumer protection services in WA. This Award would not have been achieved without the inspiration and support from my colleagues and the Christmas Island community.”
Council on the Ageing WA, Winner, Richard (Dick) Fletcher Award
“COTA WA is proud (and humbled) to win the Dick Fletcher Award. We are an extremely small organisation and consequently depend on a few people doing a lot of work. The Award recognises and rewards our commitment to advancing the rights, needs and interests of older Western Australians. Underpinning everything we do is a conscious recognition of our role in advocating for older people who often, but certainly not always, are in vulnerable situations and consequently open to exploitation. The Award will help to affirm our continuing advocacy and service delivery roles.” Chris Jeffery, A/Chief Executive."
Anne Miller, Winner, Kidsafe WA Award
"Winning the Kidsafe WA Award for my work in the field of child safety was such an honour. The Award also recognised the dedicated team at School Drug Education and Road Aware who take a range of health and safety programs into all areas of the State, training teachers, early childhood service providers and agencies to deliver effective resilience, drug and road safety education. I would definitely encourage other individuals and organisations to enter the Awards next year."
Louise Burke, Winner, Ruby Hutchison Award
"Winning a Consumer Protection Media Award was a great honour after a very rewarding year of reporting on the consumer issues associated with technology and social media. The Award is a testament to the dedication of my colleagues, including editors, sub editors and photographers, at The West Australian. It is so important for those of us who have means to communicate broadly to use our voices for the benefit of the community. The staff at Consumer Protection have been a great assistance in this mission."
City of Greater Geraldton, Winner, Richard (Dick) Fletcher Award
“It was very exciting to receive the Award and to have the Five Star Food Rating system recognised in this way. Our achievement of this Award was made possible through the continued positive support of the participating food businesses. This Award will enable the City to promote the program further and provide more opportunities for star-rated food businesses to participate in more training and media exposure.” Marie Struwig, Senior Environmental Health Officer."
Jake Sturmer, 7.30 WA, Winner, Ruby Hutchison Award
“It was a great honour to receive the Consumer Protection's inaugural Media Award. It was terrific recognition for the hard work and dedication shown by the entire team here at the ABC. The producers, camera operators, sound recorders and editors were all thrilled to be rewarded for their efforts.
Consumer protection issues are incredibly important for the media because we have the capacity to inform the public about trends, threats or scams. There is a responsibility and a duty to create awareness.”
Denise Brailey, President of Banking and Finance Consumers Support Association (Inc)., Winner, Rona Okely Award
“To win any award is a special moment in one’s life, but to receive an award for “Individual Achievement” involving consumerism has been an extraordinary moment in time. I noticed the other finalists and I must say, I was humbled to be in amongst such tireless workers. However, it was those whom I have assisted in the past who were thrilled the most. Consumer Protection has been dear to my heart for two decades and I hope the good work continues through those who give their time to assist on a regular basis.
The Awards Presentation, held at Frasers, creates a wonderful atmosphere for all those nominated to come together and having been a finalist in the past, I can only describe the atmosphere as being a magical moment to mix with all these wonderful people. I deal with victims of white-collar crime and all too often these crimes are treated as being of lesser importance, as if there is no 'harm done'. The pain and suffering I witness at the humble kitchen table is, by people who have lost everything they worked 40 years for, is the reason I have to date been unable to let these matters drop. My journey continues and I would like to thank the department and the judges for their kind acknowledgement of this important work."
No Interest Loans (NILS), Winner, Richard (Dick) Fletcher Award
"Winning the Richard (Dick) Fletcher Consumer Protection Award for Organisational Achievement has been the highlight of our 10th Anniversary Year.
To have won this State-wide Award is to receive significant recognition for the work that we do - considering the number of community service organisations in WA, the quality of the services that they provide to a range of clients who need help and assistance, and the high calibre of committed people who, by choice, are involved and serve in this sector.
It is the ‘company’ that we were chosen from that makes us truly proud to receive this honour. Winning this Award has also broadened our focus to more – and different – opportunities in the micro-credit sector, and to expand the scope and coverage of the services that we can provide to people in the low income group in time to come.
Publicity in the media – the newspaper articles, the radio and television interviews, magazine features, and a raft of other press releases and congratulatory messages that we received from other government departments whose clients also benefit from our services – has all given us added impetus and a reason for ‘being’!
To belong, to be needed, to be of service to our people, and to add value to the contributions made by our fellow workers – who are all striving to bring about change in the quality of life and the wellbeing of our people, especially those who are, often, voiceless and almost always vulnerable – is a privilege in itself.
It is hard to find words that describe a change or an improvement that our service brings about in the life of an individual or a family. And, especially, if that change makes a positive impact in the life of a child and a better future that every young Australian deserves – whether that young person lives in the suburbs, in the hills, or in a desert community far from the privileges of urban services and educational opportunities.
So, knowing that we help make a difference – and to be recognised for that contribution – is, perhaps, something worthwhile, something organisations such as ours look forward to.
And others should strive for.
The Dick Fletcher Award will only spur us to further improve our services, to look for more and different opportunities where No Interest Loans can contribute to improving the quality of life and among communities all across Western Australia.
Winning this Award is not a singular effort. We thank all our partners, all the member agencies, the Department for Child Protection, and the paid staff and volunteers who put in significant time and effort and energy in helping their clients complete the loan documentation.
Knowing first-hand the difference this Award can make to everyone involved in the process, we would urge all eligible community service organisations to nominate for this Award. Thank you DOCEP for making it possible!"
Springfree™ Trampoline, Special Commendation, Kidsafe Award
"Winning the Special Commendation Award is a huge honor for Springfree™ Trampoline. We have been working tirelessly for the past 5 years to make backyards safer and this award recognises and rewards that hard work – so thank you for this opportunity.
This award provides consumers with confidence in the World’s Safest Trampoline given the recognition from the Western Australian Department of Commerce and Kidsafe WA."
Sandra Brown, CEO, Citizens Advice Bureau, Winner Richard (Dick) Fletcher Award
“We were absolutely thrilled to win this award which has been excellent for staff morale and a fantastic reward for our hard working volunteers.
Even the Awards Presentation was an excellent opportunity to network with others dealing with consumer protection issues."
Michelle Taylor, Executive Officer, Farmsafe WA Alliance, Winner KidSafe WA Award
“Winning the Kidsafe WA Consumer Protection award was excellent for all involved at Farmsafe WA - an important acknowledgement not only of what we’ve done, but of the importance of child safety on farms.
It also gave us great exposure in metropolitan and regional media, especially regional radio which is important to us.”
Sandie Groves, Financial Counsellor Anglicare, Busselton, Winner Rona Okely Award
“Winning the award gave me a great sense of pride, satisfaction and achievement and confirmed my passion for what I do.
I work in isolation and cover considerable distances so it’s good to have it confirmed that one person can make a real difference by giving people hope. Through this work you’re providing people with a voice to effect change.
In a professional sense it gave me great satisfaction to be recognised by my peers for doing a good job and it also raised the profile and credibility of financial counselling.
The award brought kudos to Anglicare, giving power and meaning for future funding which will help us to continue what we’re doing."
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