Western Australian Consumer Protection Awards
Consumer Protection Awards 2019
Congratulations to the winners and finalists of the 2019 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.
Rona Okely Award
- Bev Jowle
- Robert Evans
- Glennys Marsdon
For 30 years Glennys has researched and advocated for WA consumers across a wide range of issues. In three years on Consumer Protection’s Consumer Advisory Committee (CAC) Glennys has reviewed issues regarding retirement villages, will banks, student housing, overseas cruises, funeral plans, caravan parks and the Residential Tenancies Act.
Glennys alerted CAC to large scale professional ‘get rich quick’ seminars and even attended several of these day-long events to report on the sales techniques. As a result, Consumer Protection wrote to event organisers to make them aware of their legal obligations and placed staff outside the events to distribute leaflets warning consumers.
Glennys’ 2005 book 50 Ways To Grieve Your Lover reminds widows to be especially aware of scammers during the vulnerable period after a funeral. Her book was taken up by the Australian Red Cross, Solaris Care and has been used by counsellors during the Victorian Bush Fires and the New Zealand Pike Mine disaster, continuing to sell today. She has also run workshops on how to avoid being scammed when self-publishing.
Richard (Dick) Fletcher Award
- Tenancy WA
- Goldfields Community Legal Centre
- Street Law Centre WA Inc
Street Law has operated a specialist community legal service to people experiencing homelessness or to those at risk of experiencing homelessness since 2010.
It co-locates with various homeless persons’ community service providers to provide an accessible, collaborative and holistic approach. Street Law further increases its service delivery through pro bono partnerships with law firms that facilitate the secondment of their graduate law students and junior lawyers.
Street Law is also a partner in the Safe as Houses program, providing free, case-managed legal services to women and children experiencing or at risk of experiencing family violence.
Kidsafe WA Award
- Melanie Mitchell (special commendation)
- Bolt It Back For Reef
Reef Kite tragically died in October 2015 after a set of drawers fell on him. His mum, Skye Quartermaine, had asked her landlord permission to anchor the drawers to the wall, but was not given approval. Reef’s aunty, Dee Quartermaine, started the ‘Bolt it Back for Reef’ Facebook page to share his story. The page now has more than 2,000 members and is used to raise awareness of the dangers, share tips on restraining furniture and answer questions.
In 2016 Dee obtained sponsorship to host a free community sausage sizzle, balloon release and information stall. Skye has made herself available for numerous TV interviews and in 2018 she teamed up with Take 5 magazine to share Reef’s story.
Dee and Skye have campaigned for law changes that would allow tenants to anchor furniture without requiring landlord approval, provided any damage is repaired. The WA Coroner’s report into Reef’s death made such a recommendation and a bill was introduced into parliament in October 2018 to amend the Residential Tenancies Act.
Ruby Hutchison Award
- Ngaarda Media
- Carla Hildebrandt
- Erin Parke
Erin reported extensively on the tumultuous operations of cruise company Ahoy Buccaneers, detailing with persistence and tenacity its ongoing issues with seaworthiness, safety and poor treatment of customers. This culminated with the company collapsing in mid-2018, owing millions of dollars to small businesses and booked passengers from across Australia.
The coverage was extensive and across multiple platforms, including television stories, online features, radio news and social media. Erin also became part of a network of ripped off passengers and businesses, some of whom she was able to refer to the local Consumer Protection office for advice.
The stories motivated government agencies to further scrutinise safety practices and helped consumers to make informed decisions as they booked Kimberley holidays.
The coverage was a continuation of Erin’s work advocating for consumers in remote areas of Western Australia, including throwing light on scammers targeting remote Aboriginal consumers, and shoddy second-hard car dealers in Broome. Her stories have distinctively focused on a remote part of Australia where there is less scrutiny of business practices and included vision and voices rarely seen in mainstream, Eastern
About the Awards
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.
Nominations for the 2020 Awards will open in late 2019.
For specific enquiries about the awards:
- phone 1300 304 054
You can find out more about previous ceremonies on the previous winners and finalists page.
Share this page: