AFCA Executive

David Locke, CEO and Chief Ombudsman

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David Locke

David Locke commenced as Chief Ombudsman and CEO at the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) and Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) on 25 June 2018.

David was previously Assistant Commissioner Charity Services at the   Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC).

Prior to the ACNC, David was the Executive Director of Charity Services at the Charity Commission of England and Wales, with responsibility for the strategic leadership and operational delivery of the Commission's one-to-one services to charities.

David has also worked as an adviser to several international governments on the regulation of non-government organisations.

David is a qualified lawyer in the UK, and he started his career in community legal centres where he spent over 10 years managing the delivery of services to the public. David has served as a Board member and volunteer of a number of charities and not-for-profits.

Dr June Smith, Deputy Chief Ombudsman

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June Smith

Dr June Smith is a proud Kureinji woman.  As an ethicist and lawyer, she is a recognised expert in Australian Integrity frameworks, including Codes of Practice, and has significant experience as an independent decision maker.  She is the Deputy Chief Ombudsman of the Australian Financial Complaints Authority, where she leads AFCA’s approach to its Fairness Jurisdiction, including leadership of its ombudsman, adjudication, panel, systemic issues and jurisdiction teams.  Dr Smith also proudly sponsors AFCA’s work on accessibility, diversity, inclusion and belonging.

Dr. Smith’s current external roles include Deputy Chair of the Victorian Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board, Member of the National Sports Tribunal and Member of the Victorian Racing Tribunal.  She is also on the Executive Committee of Australian New Zealand Ombudsman Association.

Dr. Smith is an Adjunct Professor at Victoria University.  She has a PhD in Law from Victoria University, specialising in professional and business ethics and organisational decision-making within financial services organisations. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) and a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Melbourne.

Justin Untersteiner, Chief Operating Officer

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Justin Untersteiner

Justin Untersteiner joined AFCA as Chief Operating Officer in December 2019 and has extensive expertise in leading large scale, significant organisational transformation programs. Justin combines strong relationship management skills with technical knowledge of regulation, procurement, contract management, property management, and financial compliance.

Justin held a variety of leadership roles at the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) over a 13-year career, most recently as the Assistant Commissioner of Integrated Compliance. In this role he was responsible for leading the ATO’s approach to large scale, complex taxation and superannuation matters focussing on compliance in large markets. He designed and delivered the ATO’s strategy and client experience work in the individual taxpayer market with a client base of over 10 million Australians.

Prior to this Justin was the ATO’s Chief Financial Officer, responsible for the agency’s annual budget of $3.5 billion, and has led the ATO’s Corporate Procurement and Tax Management Branch. Justin also brings valuable private sector perspectives and experience from Cadbury Schweppes and Woolworths to his role as COO.

Justin is a passionate advocate for gender equality and workplace equality and flexibility. He has worked throughout his career to build inclusive workplaces that engage, inform and support employees and has designed and implemented a variety of programs to improve outcomes for diverse workforces.

Anna Campbell, General Counsel

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Anna Campbell

Anna Campbell joined AFCA as General Counsel in November 2019 and is experienced senior executive with cross-sector and regulatory expertise. Anna’s extensive knowledge of financial services means she is uniquely positioned to provide expert advice to AFCA on complex legal matters, corporate governance and risk management.

Anna was previously General Manager of Enterprise Compliance at the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) where she was responsible for the ASX Group's regulatory assurance function, involving Corporations Act licensing obligations, Trade Practices Act requirements and other statutory obligations.

Anna also held the role of Deputy General Counsel at ASX for nine years, after joining the ASX from Allianz where she was Acting General Counsel. She has worked as a lawyer in both the private and public sector and exhibits a breadth of experience in providing expert instruction on a range of matters. Anna is a highly effective operative in developing and leading organisational approaches to management, corporate governance, risk management, and stakeholder management. 

Anna holds a Bachelor of Laws from The University of Technology Sydney and a Bachelor of Arts (Hons), Psychology and Economic History from the University of Sydney.

AFCA Leadership team

Gerri Hill, Executive General Manager – Operational Delivery

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Gerri Hill

Gerri Hill has over 30 years’ experience in financial services and came to AFCA in November 2021 from roles with ME Bank and National Australia Bank (NAB). Gerri held a variety of leadership roles in banking, leading large workforces in complex and challenging environments, most recently as General Manager of the Collections and Hardship team at ME Bank , where she led the COVID-19 Customer Care program. At NAB she held service delivery and cultural change roles. Gerri joined AFCA as Head of Service Delivery, before becoming EGM for Operational Delivery.

Michael Ridgway, Executive General Manager Compliance, Risk and Governance

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Michael Ridgway

Michael Ridgway has over 20 years’ experience in alternative dispute resolution and has extensive experience across financial services and leading organisational change. Prior to his current role, Michael was the Executive General Manager - Corporate Strategy & Services with AFCA, overseeing the Finance & Facilities functions, Information Services, and Strategy & Analysis teams.

Michael has been with AFCA and its predecessor schemes, FOS and the Financial Industry Complaints Service, since 2004, and has held a number of positions during this time, including Executive General Manager – Assessment and Resolution.

Prior to that Michael worked with the Australian Securities and Investments Commissions and the Energy and Water Ombudsman Victoria in various roles.

Michael holds a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws from the University of Melbourne and is a qualified mediator.

Sarah Edmondson, EGM Regulatory, Policy and Research

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Portrait of Sarah Edmondson

Sarah Edmondson joined AFCA as the Executive General Manager – Regulatory, Policy and Research. Sarah commenced with AFCA on 14 August 2023.

Sarah joins us from ASIC where she led the Behavioural Research and Policy team in ASIC’s Strategy group. This team was responsible for consumer-facing work on financial system redress, which included the establishment and oversight of AFCA, internal dispute resolution standards, and data reporting and remediation. The team also led ASIC’s behavioural function which focussed on applying behavioural insights and evidence into ASIC’s regulatory work and understanding how the system works for real people.

Sarah has more than 25 years of regulatory and consumer protection experience. She was one of the original members of ASIC’s first consumer protection team and has held senior roles in the financial advice and deposit takers and insurers teams. In addition to working at ASIC, Sarah has worked in environment protection and superannuation policy and at the Banking Industry Ombudsman. She also has experience in competition regulation.

Michelle Kumarich, Executive General Manager – Jurisdiction

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Michelle Kumarich

Michelle Kumarich has more than 15 years experience in alternative dispute resolution with extensive experience leading many varied operational teams including jurisdictional assessment, investigation, legal, conciliation and policy.  In her current role, she oversees AFCA’s systemic issues identification and reporting to financial services regulators as well as ensuring that AFCA operates within its jurisdiction.  She has experience and regularly leads leading transformation programs across whole of organisation.  

Prior to joining AFCA’s predecessor schemes BFSO/FOS, Michelle worked as in house counsel at a number of big 4 banks.   Having practiced law for more than 20 years with a background in litigation, Michelle started her career as a lawyer at Clayton Utz.  She has experience in insolvency and general commercial litigation having appeared in Supreme Court, Federal Court and High Court matters.

Michelle holds a Bachelor of Science (Honours) and Bachelor of Laws (Honours) from Monash University and is a trained mediator.  

Brigid Parsonson, Executive General Manager – Corporate Services

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Brigid Parsonson

Brigid brings significant change, project and commercial expertise developed over 12 years in senior executive positions across the private and public sectors.  Prior to joining AFCA in February 2020, she spent seven years with the Australian Taxation Office leading a broad range of corporate services including strategic planning, finance, projects, facilities and procurement. Complimenting her public sector experience, Brigid's background includes working at Ernst & Young as well as internationally at Heathrow Airport, where she oversaw the development of all operational contracts.  Brigid effectively leverages her extensive experience to design and implement innovative strategies, improve business outcomes and lead whole of organisation transformation change programs.

Brigid holds a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting) from the Australian National University and has been admitted as a solicitor to the Supreme Court of Victoria.

Mathew Paine, Executive General Manager – People and Culture

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Mathew Paine

Mathew has more than 20 years of senior HR experience across Australia, New Zealand and the UK, in private, public and not-for-profit sectors. He joins AFCA from the NSW Department of Planning and the Environment (DPIE) where he was Chief People Officer responsible for more than 17,000 cluster team members. 
 
Mathew and his team at DPIE recently won two of the 2022 Australian HR Institute Awards: the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People Employment Award, and the Inclusive Workplace Award. In addition, he and the team were finalists for the Gender Equality Award and the Disability Employment Award. In a previous role as Director of Human Resources for the International Convention Centre (ICC) in Sydney, Mathew led the organisation-wide diversity and inclusion strategy, including an Australian first with the addition of gender transition in the ICC Sydney Enterprise Agreement.

Susie Cotterill, Executive General Manager – Communications, Engagement and Brand

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Susie Cotterill

Susie has held leadership and management roles in public affairs, communications and stakeholder engagement across a range of public, private and not-for-profit sectors, building engaged and vibrant teams focussed on delivering evidence based, insight-driven communications and engagement.

Susie was previously the Head of Communications and Brand at the Australian Financial Complaints Authority. Prior to this, she was the Director of Public Affairs and Education and the Head of Digital Strategy at the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission, the national charity regulator, and started her career in the creative advertising and PR industry.

Passionate about the role of professional communication in the not-for-profit sector, she is also a Director and Company Secretary for charity Little Sparklers, which provides perinatal mental health support to over 180,000 members globally, as well a Director of the Eastern Domestic Violence Service (EDVOS) which is the lead specialist family violence service in Melbourne’s Eastern Metropolitan Region.

Susie holds an Executive Masters of Business Administration with Distinction and Bachelor of Communication in Advertising and Marketing.

Lead Ombudsman

Emma Curtis – Insurance

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Emma Curtis

Emma Curtis has 25 years of experience in financial services law and governance, including over 10 years as a regulator. Her most recent role was as Senior Executive Leader, Insurers, with ASIC, having developed its stand-alone insurance supervision team.

Ms. Curtis was joint Acting Executive Director of ASIC’s Financial Services Group through the period that included the 2019-20 bushfires and the unfolding of the COVID-19 pandemic. She established and led ASIC’s bushfire disaster working group and sought to ensure fair treatment of consumers as the pandemic emerged, working with financial firms on minimum hardship practice. She also led strategic engagement on the business interruption insurance issues that arose out of the pandemic.

Ms. Curtis’s work at ASIC also included helping to achieve over $300 million in remediation for consumers for the mis-selling of consumer credit and car-yard add-on insurance.

Heather Gray – Superannuation

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Heather Gray

Heather started her career at Arthur Robinson & Co (now Allens) and was a partner there for a number of years.

Heather has also held partner roles at other law firms, specialising in superannuation and financial services law.

Heather has sat on the Law Council of Australia’s Superannuation Committee for more than a decade, including a term as its Chair, and has consulted widely with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA), and the Australian Taxation Office and Treasury on superannuation issues.

Heather has hands on superannuation industry experience, having been a director of the legal industry superannuation fund Legalsuper.

Prior to joining AFCA, Heather led the national superannuation practice for Hall & Wilcox.

Natalie Cameron – Banking and Finance

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Natalie Cameron

Ms Cameron began her career at Clayton Utz, where she completed her articles and became a solicitor focusing on insurance and litigation. She then worked with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) focusing on regulatory policy and markets.

In 2005, Ms Cameron moved into industry, where she operated as the General Counsel and Company Secretary for AIA Australia. As a member of the executive committee, she was responsible for all litigation, disputes and complaints resolution. Ms Cameron’s time at AIA Australia also spanned roles managing operations, pricing, distributor relationships and product. She later became CEO of AIA New Zealand.

Prior to joining AFCA, Ms Cameron was the Chief of Customer Operations for MLC Life Insurance.

Suanne Russell – Small Business

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Suanne Russell

Suanne Russell is Lead Ombudsmen, Small Business, with the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA). In this role she oversees the handling of small business complaints about financial services and products. In addition, Suanne has oversight of banking transactions including scams complaints. She also works closely with the Lead Ombudsman, Banking and Finance. Suanne, a banking and finance lawyer, joined AFCA from Westpac in 2021, bringing her experience in the small business and consumer banking sector.

Suanne’s past roles have included as Head of Institutional and Business Banking Legal for St George Bank, Practice Leader for Business Banking with Westpac, and Head of Business Legal for Westpac. There, she had oversight of business lending disputes, business bank remediation projects and regulatory projects, and worked with industry bodies and regulators. Suanne was part of the Westpac team that worked on the development of business relief packages and special facilities for small business and consumers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Shail Singh – Investments and Advice

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Shail Singh

Shail completed a law/science degree at the University of Melbourne in 1996 and commenced his legal career in 1997 at a top-tier Australian Law Firm Blake Dawson Waldron (now Ashursts). Since that time, Shail has worked both in-house, and as legal counsel for various regulators including Worksafe Victoria and the Medical Practitioners Board of Victoria.

Shail completed his Masters in Law at the University of Melbourne in 2005, and in 2008 he left the law to train and work as a financial planner, completing his Advanced Diploma of Financial Planning in 2009 at Kaplan, before joining AFCA’s predecessor scheme, FOS, as a case manager in 2010.  

Shail was appointed as an Ombudsman at the commencement of AFCA in 2018, and then the Senior Ombudsman (Investments and Advice) in 2021. He is currently the Acting Lead Ombudsman, Investments & Advice and is a member of AFCA’s senior leadership team.

Shail has now worked in dispute resolution for over a decade and is a specialist in Investments and Advice complaints. This includes financial planning, derivatives, managed funds, timeshare, cryptocurrency and stockbroking disputes.

General Counsel

Dawn Logan Keeffe, Deputy General Counsel

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Dawn Logan Keeffe Headshot

Dawn Logan Keeffe is a senior governance professional who joined AFCA in 2023 from New York Stock Exchange listed Clarivate Plc, a large multinational information and data company. Dawn was Company Secretary and Senior Trademark Counsel based in Clarivate’s London office, then in Sydney. Dawn is a lawyer and chartered company secretary, having started her career in the UK as an intellectual property attorney. She has had extensive experience in Australia and the UK, working in top-tier intellectual property legal practices and in governance and legal counsel roles for large, global corporate entities.

Independent Assessor

Melissa Dwyer, Independent Assessor

The Independent Assessor reviews complaints about the standard of AFCA’s service and works independently of AFCA’s internal complaints process. The current Independent Assessor of AFCA is Melissa Dwyer. 

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