Tenancy project, financial counsellor, cruise stories scoop awards

This announcement is for: 
ConsumerBusiness / company
  • Consumer Protection Awards celebrating consumer champions
  • Awards recognise individuals and groups who work to advance consumer rights in Western Australia

A project helping keep people with disabilities in their homes and a financial counsellor working with vulnerable Aboriginal communities are among the winners of the 2024 Consumer Protection Awards.

The 20th anniversary ceremony, which celebrates contributions to consumer protection in Western Australia, was held at a presentation breakfast this morning on World Consumer Rights Day.

The Building Tenancy Skills Project was honoured with the Richard (Dick) Fletcher Award for a local government authority, non-government organisation or group for their services, initiative or project. Co-designed by individuals with disabilities and supported by Shelter WA and People with Disabilities WA, the project focuses on preventing evictions and reducing homelessness by empowering tenants with disabilities through awareness of their rights and responsibilities.

Finalists in this category were Consumer Credit Legal Service, Financial Counsellors of Western Australia and Midland Information Debt and Legal Advocacy Service.

Veronica Johnson, a financial counsellor who works with vulnerable Aboriginal communities in remote areas, took out the Rona Okely Award for an individual who has given their time, energy and experience for the betterment of others. Veronica's achievements include initiating a banking project that led to the installation of fee-free ATMs in remote Kimberley communities.

Stephanie Monck, a lawyer with Women's Legal Service WA, was a finalist in this category.

Tallulah Bieundurry, a reporter working for ABC News in Broome, won the Ruby Hutchison Media Award, which recognises a journalist, producer or media outlet for raising awareness and improving understanding of consumer issues. Tallulah reported on the cancellation of luxury cruise voyages along the Kimberley coast that left customers without refunds. Her stories led to a class action being launched and increased communication between the company, administrators and customers.

Glenn Barndon, a radio presenter at ABC Midwest and Wheatbelt, was a finalist in this category.  

The David Hillyard Award, which recognises an outstanding and ongoing contribution to consumer protection over a significant period, was bestowed upon Linda Castle for her extensive background in consumer issues and social justice. Now retired, Linda's remarkable achievements include a 26-year career as a financial counsellor at the Fremantle Community Legal Centre, Legal Aid Commissioner, and Chairperson of the No Interest Loans Scheme. 

Further information on the Awards, including this year's winners and finalists, is on the Consumer Protection website at: https://www.commerce.wa.gov.au/consumer-protection/western-australian-consumer-protection-awards

Comments attributed to Commerce Minister Sue Ellery:

"The Consumer Protection Awards acknowledge the important work by individuals and organisations who have made it their mission to spread awareness about consumer issues and enforce these rights.

"Many Western Australians will have benefited from the dedication of this year's outstanding group of winners and finalists towards protecting their interests.

"Congratulations to the 2024 Consumer Protection Award winners and finalists, our communities are better off thanks to their hard work.

"As we celebrate the 20th anniversary of these awards, I hope there is another two decades of recognition to look forward to."

Consumer Protection
Media release
15 Mar 2024

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