Family violence, child safety, funeral insurance in awards spotlight

This announcement is for: 
  • Winners of 2022 WA Consumer Protection Awards announced
  • The awards recognise individuals and groups whose work advances protecting consumer rights in the community

A tenancy advocate and financial counsellor, a domestic violence support group, a child safety program and media stories about funeral insurance were the winners of the 2022 Consumer Protection Awards.


The winners were announced during a presentation lunch at Fraser's Kings Park today.


Mary Martin, a tenancy advocate and financial counsellor at the Northern Suburbs Community Legal Service, took out the Rona Okely Award for an individual who has given their time, energy and experience for the betterment of others. Mary combats homelessness by providing clients with advice on improving their finances and strategies to keep them in stable housing.


The Financial Toolbox Women at Risk Trust was honoured with the Richard (Dick) Fletcher Award for a local government, non-government organisation or group of individuals for their services, initiative or project. Operated mostly by volunteers, the Trust provides support and free online resources to women at risk of family and domestic violence and has produced a toolkit that has been used by over 52,000 people.


Anglicare WA's Housing Stability Project, People With Disabilities WA (Inc.) and Uniting WA Financial Wellbeing Services were finalists in this category.


WA Child Safety Services, which aims to create communities where children feel safe and are encouraged to speak up about abuse, was acknowledged with the Kidsafe WA Award. The service offers home and school programs, parent and staff training workshops as well as abuse prevention books and teaching resources. PLACE Laboratory was a finalist in this category.


Hannah Barry, a journalist working for ABC News Kimberley in Broome, won the Ruby Hutchison Media Award. It recognises a journalist, producer or media outlet for raising awareness and improving understanding of consumer issues. Hannah reported on the fraudulent practices of a funeral insurance fund that targeted Aboriginal communities.


Finalists in this category were Amy Bainbridge, Loretta Florance and Andrew Seabourne from ABC News, Ebbeny Faranda and Kelly Haywood from Nine News Perth, and Patrick Forrest, Rebecca Metcalf and Sissy Reyes from SBS program - The Feed.


Commissioner for Consumer Protection Gary Newcombe presented a special award to former Commissioner David Hillyard, now retired, in recognition of his more than 40 years fighting for the rights of WA consumers. To honour his achievement, a future category named the David Hillyard Award will be created to recognise an outstanding and ongoing contribution by an individual or organisation to consumer protection in Western Australia over a significant period of time.


Comments attributed to Commerce Minister Roger Cook:


"The selfless efforts to protect and educate consumers made by this year's winners and finalists are inspirational and highly commendable.


"The Consumer Protection Awards shine a spotlight on the wonderful work being done in our community by numerous individuals and organisations to educate consumers and tenants about their rights as well as help to enforce them. This is particularly important when dealing with the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.


"I hope the recognition received goes some way towards rewarding their outstanding contribution to the community.


"I congratulate the 2022 Consumer Protection Award winners and finalists and thank them for their enormously important efforts aimed at advancing consumer rights."


Minister's office - 6552 6500

Consumer Protection
Media release
02 Aug 2022

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