Consumer Rights Award
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 for the 2023 Award are now closed.
To be eligible for the Award, a nominee must be, or in the past 12 months must have been:
- engaged in legal practice in any Australian jurisdiction (including in private or government practice, as in-house counsel or in an NGO); or
- an academic teaching or researching in the field of consumer law or a related area at an Australian university; or
- an individual who works with consumers or on the development or implementation of laws and practices concerning consumer legal rights in Australia.
The key criteria for the Award are:
- an outstanding contribution to the field of consumer protection law, including through legal practice, law reform, education, advocacy or research; or
- contributions to the wider community, such as through assisting consumers (either individually or collectively) in the promotion or protection of their legal rights.
Nominations may be in the form of a letter or document that describes how the nominee meets the above criteria. Supporting references may be provided but are not required.
The recipient of the Award may be invited to become an observer on the Law Council’s Australian Consumer Law Committee for the following year.
Mr Brody has worked as a lawyer, policy officer and consumer advocate for 20 years. He was recently the CEO of the Consumer Action Law Centre, an independent, not-for-profit consumer organisation based in Melbourne. Consumer Action provides financial counselling, legal advice and representation to support vulnerable and disadvantaged Victorians, and draws on its direct knowledge of the consumer experience in the marketplace to pursue consumer interest campaigns and policy reform at both state and national levels.
He has been on the board of the Energy & Water Ombudsman Victoria since 2014, the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman since 2022, and Community Legal Centres Australia, the peak body for community legal centres, since 2021. In addition, he is the Chair of the Consumers’ Federation of Australia, the peak body for consumer organisations in Australia.
Ms Rickard has been a Deputy Chair of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission since 2012. She sits on the ACCC’s competition exemptions, communications, consumer data right, enforcement and compliance and product safety committees. She is also an Associate Member of the Australian Communications and Media Authority.
Ms Rickard’s work in consumer protection started in 1990 when she was an adviser to the Minister for Justice & Consumer Affairs Senator the Hon Michael Tate. From 1992 to 1993 she served as Chief of Staff to Consumer Affairs Minister, the Hon Jeanette McHugh, before being appointed as a Senior Executive, in charge of the Consumer Protection Branch, at the Trade Practices Commission.
In 2000, Ms Rickard was appointed as a Senior Executive at the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), where she was responsible for consumer issues in banking, financial literacy and capability.
From early in her career, Ms Rickard had a strong interest in financial services and in particular the impact of the financial services industry on vulnerable and disadvantaged consumers. Outside of work, she is a trustee of the Jan Pentland Foundation, an organisation dedicated to providing scholarships for those who want to work as financial counsellors and Chair of Good Shepherd’s Advisory Committee on Financial Inclusion Action Plans.
In 2011, Ms Rickard was awarded the Public Service Medal in 2011 for her contribution to consumer protection and financial services. She has also been awarded the Society of Consumer Affairs Professionals Lifetime Achievement Award.
For more information, please contact the Section Administrator:
Ms Chelsea De Silva
T. 02 6246 3722