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Law Council of Australia

Consumer Rights Forum 2023

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Key Speakers

We are pleased to announce the key speakers for this event.

The Hon. Catherine Holmes AC SC
Commissioner (30 June 2023), Royal Commission into the Robodebt Scheme

The Honourable Catherine Holmes AC SC holds the degrees of B.Econ (ANU), B.A. (Hons), LLB, LLM (Advanced) (UQ). She was admitted as a solicitor in 1982 and as a barrister in 1984, taking silk in 1999. While in practice, Ms Holmes was at various times a part time member of the Anti-Discrimination Tribunal, Deputy President of the Queensland Community Corrections Board and, during 1998 and 1999, Counsel assisting the Forde Commission of Inquiry into Child Abuse. 

Ms Holmes was appointed to the Supreme Court of Queensland in March 2000. She was the judge overseeing the Court’s criminal list for some years, and was the judge constituting the Mental Health Court from February 2005 until May 2006, when she was appointed to the Court of Appeal. From 16 January 2011 until 16 March 2012, Ms Holmes was the Commissioner of the Commission of Inquiry into the Queensland Floods 2010-2011. She was sworn in as Chief Justice of Queensland on 11 September 2015. On 26 January 2020, Ms Holmes was appointed a Companion (AC) of the Order of Australia. 

Ms Holmes resigned as Chief Justice of Queensland with effect from 19 March 2022. On 18 August 2022, she was appointed to conduct the Royal Commission into the Robodebt Scheme, with a reporting date (after extension) of 30 June 2023.

Mr John Berrill
Principal, Berrill & Watson

John Berrill is a Principal of Berrill & Watson Lawyers and is a superannuation and insurance lawyer.

He is an accredited personal injuries specialist.

John is on the boards of the Consumer Action Law Centre and the TAL, CBA and Suncorp Consumer Advisory Councils. He is also a volunteer at Social Security Rights Victoria and the Mental Health Legal Service.

He was a member of the Financial Ombudsman Service, the Superstream Advisory Council, the Stronger Super Implementation Committee, the Natural Disaster Insurance Review Panel and the AFCA Transition Board.

He has worked in the areas of superannuation, insurance, Centrelink and financial services law for 28 years, providing advocacy and advice to consumers, workers, community groups & disability groups.

Dr Rhys Bollen
Senior Executive Leader, Credit, Banking and General Insurance, Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC)

Rhys leads ASIC’s Credit, Banking and General Insurance team, which is within ASIC’s Regulation and Supervision group. Rhys’s team has primary responsibility for the supervision of general insurance providers, retail banking, credit intermediaries (including mortgage brokers), consumer and small business credit, and electronic payments. He also oversees ASIC’s Indigenous Outreach Program.

Rhys was previously the Senior Executive Leader of ASIC’s Insurers team and, before that, the Investment Managers team. He has also held senior leadership roles in ASIC’s international strategy, consumer, and strategic policy teams.

Rhys has more than 20 years’ experience as a regulator, academic and public policy practitioner. Before joining ASIC, Rhys was an Executive Director at the NSW State Insurance Regulatory Authority, and Assistant Commissioner for Policy and Strategy at NSW Fair Trading. He has also worked in private legal practice. Rhys has a PhD in financial services regulation and Masters degrees in both law and business.

Ms April Blair
Senior Ombudsman, Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA)

Mr Brendan Moon AM
Coordinator-General, National Emergency Management Agency

Consumer Rights Award 2023

The Consumer Rights Award will be awarded to an individual who champions the rights of consumers in the promotion of consumer law in Australia. The recipient has made a substantial contribution to the promotion, understanding or protection of consumer rights in their practice of consumer law or in their contribution to the legal, academic or wider community.

The Award is conducted annually by the Australian Consumer Law Committee of the Law Council’s Legal Practice Section. It recognises the range of skills, interests and contributions of those committed to the development and implementation of the law and practices in this field.

Nominations are closed. 

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