Deputy Chief Ombudsman

June Smith

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June Smith

Dr June Smith has a wealth of experience in the financial planning and related sectors, well-developed relationships with regulators, industry and consumer groups and a significant track record as an independent decision maker.

Dr Smith is well recognised for her work developing the role of codes of practice to improve customer service, along with her efforts in promoting professional standards and business ethics in the financial advice industry.

Dr Smith was previously AFCA’s Lead Ombudsman Investments, Advice, Superannuation and Life Insurance. Dr Smith was also CEO of the Code Compliance Monitoring Committee for the Code of Banking Practice, and General Manager of Code Compliance and Monitoring at Financial Ombudsman Service.

Dr Smith 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.

Dr Smith’s current appointments include:

  • Member, Victorian Racing Tribunal
  • Adjunct Fellow, College of Law and Justice, Victoria University
  • Member, Racing Victoria Appeals and Disciplinary Board
  • Member, ANZOA
  • Graduate Member, Australian Institute of Company Directors
  • Member, Women on Boards

Lead Ombudsman

Evelyn Halls – Banking and Finance

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Evelyn Halls

Evelyn has over 20 years of experience in the legal and financial services industry. Prior to the establishment of AFCA, Evelyn spent six years as an Ombudsman at the Financial Ombudsman Service. Evelyn has worked across a range of product areas, including Banking and Finance, General Insurance and Investments and Advice.

Evelyn was previously a partner in the Corporate Group at global law firm Herbert Smith Freehills where she advised corporate and government clients on a wide range of governance matters and significant transactions.

Evelyn holds a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws (Hons) degree from the University of Melbourne. She is also a graduate of the AICD Company Directors Course.

Evelyn is a two-time Olympian and an Executive member of the Australian Olympic Committee. She is also an Integrity Commissioner for Cricket Victoria.

John Price – Insurance

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John Price

John has over 30 years’ experience in the financial services industry. Prior to AFCA, John was Lead Ombudsman – General Insurance at the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) Australia, having previously acted as Referee, Adjudicator and a Panel Chair there too.

John was until recently also a Director of State Trustees Limited and STL Financial Service Limited and Chair of the State Trustees Limited Australia Foundation and member of the Audit, Investment and Remuneration Committees.

John is also a Code of Conduct Commissioner for Cricket Australia and Chair of the Pennant Cricket Appeals Board for Cricket Victoria.

John’s industry knowledge has been built through his experience as a solicitor at Maurice Blackburn & Co from 1978, becoming a partner in 1984. He headed up the industrial personal injuries practice until retiring from the firm in 2004.

John also brings his experience as a member of the Accident Compensation Committee for more than 20 years, a member of the Victorian WorkCover Authority Legal Liaison Committee and numerous Victorian Government working parties and advisory groups.

John is a member of ANZOA, the peak body in Australia and New Zealand for industry-based, parliamentary and statutory ombudsman offices.

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 – Investments and Advice

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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.

Geoff Bant – Small business

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Geoff Bant

Before AFCA, Geoff was with FOS since 2008 as a case manager and Legal Counsel. He became a team manager in Banking and Finance in 2014 at FOS, leading a highly successful team of case workers.

Geoff has worked as a solicitor in major law firms in Australia and London, specialising in banking litigation and business risk management.

He holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) from the University of Western Australia, and a Master of Laws (Commercial Law) from the University of London (King’s College). He also has a Graduate Diploma of Applied Finance from the Securities Institute of Australia.

Ombudsman

Jane Abbott

Jane was appointed as a Member at the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal in 2001 and is still working there 2 days a week. She has a Bachelor of Science (Hons) and Bachelor of Arts from Melbourne University and a Diploma of Superannuation Management. 

Jane has worked in various roles in corporate superannuation with National Mutual, Buck Consultants and NSP Buck. She has worked in Administration, as a trustee and as a consultant advising trustees, and has been part of various committees in ASFA's education program over the years. 

Jane currently serves as a director on the board of the Robert Connor Dawes foundation raising funds for paediatric brain cancer.

Michael Arnold

Before joining AFCA, Michael has had a long and interesting history in law, and across a number of Australian ombudsman and tribunal services. Michael has worked as a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Victoria, been a Foundation Partner at Arnold Thomas & Becker (Solicitors) and been an Attorney, Solicitor and Proctor of the Supreme Court of New South Wales.

Michael has also been a member of the Legislative Council of the Victorian Parliament, and more recently worked as Legal Counsel to Arnold Thomas & Becker (Solicitors) and Arnold Dallas & McPherson (Bendigo) (Solicitors).

Michael has been a Judge and Deputy President of the Accident Compensation Tribunal in Victoria, a National Referee, Alternate Panel Chair and Adjudicator – Insurance Ombudsman Service and a National Panel Chair – Financial Industry Complaints Service.

Michael first joined the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS), a predecessor scheme to AFCA, as an Ombudsman from 2008 - 2016, before taking a role as an ASIC Approved Independent Expert – Life Insurance Claims Assurance Review and a TCO Tolling Customer Ombudsman and re-joining FOS and now AFCA in 2017 as an Ombudsman.

Michael Brett Young

Michael Brett Young has over 40 years of experience in the legal industry. He recently completed twelve months as the interim Chief Executive Officer of the Law Council of Australia.

In 2015, he was appointed by the Victorian Attorney General to undertake a review of the Victorian Charter of Human Rights, and report on his findings to Parliament. Between 2006 and 2014 he was the Chief Executive Officer of the Law Institute of Victoria.

Previously, he was the Managing Partner of a large national firm which specialises in work injury compensation, transport accident compensation, medical negligence and class actions and business law.

He has extensive experience in Legal Education, having been a member of the Monash University Law Faculty Board, and on advisory groups for both La Trobe University and RMIT. He is currently a member of the College of Law Victoria Chapter Board and is a previous chair of the Estate Agents Council and a former member of the Chiropractors Registration Board.

Michael completed a combined degree in Economics and Law at Monash University in 1975.

David Coorey

David Coorey is a former FOS Board Director and former Senior litigator at Legal Aid NSW. David served on the FOS Board as a Consumer Director for some 9 years. As a Senior lawyer with Legal Aid NSW for 16 years, David specialised in financial services litigation, policy and advice work. David led the Consumer Law Division at Legal Aid NSW for a number of years, including growing the expertise within the organisation in the resolution of financial services disputes through EDR.

David had he has particular experience and expertise in the issues affecting consumers of insurance and credit products, as well as life products within superannuation. He previously worked with the law firm Freehills for three years, including a one year pro bono secondment to Kingsford Legal Centre.

Nick Crowhurst

After working in-house for UBS Warburg in London and with Minter Ellison in Melbourne, Nick Crowhurst joined the Financial Industry Complaints Service Limited in January 2005 as a Case Manager and quickly became its Legal Counsel. He moved to the Financial Ombudsman Service Limited (FOS) as Legal Counsel in 2008 and was appointed its Company Secretary in 2010. Nick stayed in this role for FOS and AFCA until November 2019 when he commenced as an Ombudsman.

He is also the Independent Chair of Tolling Customer Ombudsman Limited, the EDR operator for toll roads, and is the Managing Director of his own strategic advisory firm, The Collaboratus Group Pty Ltd. Nick holds a UK Joint Honours degree in Law and Management Science and is a Graduate of the AICD Company Directors Course and a Fellow of both the Governance Institute of Australia and the Institute for Chartered Secretaries and Administrators.

Ian Donald

Ian has over 20 years’ experience in the financial services industry.  He was with FOS since 2009 as a case manager and Legal Counsel from 2010.  Prior to FOS, he worked in ASIC’s Enforcement Directorate as an in-house lawyer and as a team leader with oversight of complex investigations.  He specialised in commercial and insolvency law in a private legal practice.

Ian holds a bachelor of laws from Queensland University.

Jennifer English

Jennifer has extensive legal experience in the banking and financial services sector.

As a solicitor at a large law firm, she worked across the Financial Services, Banking and Dispute Resolution divisions. She taught Commercial Law at the University of Sydney and was tipstaff to a NSW Supreme Court Judge in the Equity Division (Commercial & Corporations Lists).  

Jennifer was a barrister for over 7 years at the NSW Bar, where she regularly acted for and against ASIC and major financial institutions on complex banking, financial services and superannuation matters. 

Prior to joining AFCA, Jennifer spent 4 years as an in-house legal counsel at a major Australian bank – advising on regulatory engagement with ASIC, significant review and remediation programs, and improving compliance with enhanced requirements under Chapter 7 of the Corporations Act.

Jennifer holds a BEc (Soc Sci), LLB (First Class Hons) from the University of Sydney.

Anne Maree Howley

Prior to joining AFCA, Anne Maree has had extensive experience as a financial services lawyer.  Anne Maree’s experience includes in-house legal roles in superannuation and life insurance companies and working as a solicitor with a top tier law firm. In addition, she has served on a number of trustee committees directed at complaints, claims, disclosure and risk management.

Anne Maree has a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Arts from Monash University.  She also holds a Graduate Diploma of Corporate and Securities Laws from the University of Melbourne.

Chris Liamos

Chris Liamos has been with AFCA and its predecessor schemes since 2007. During this time he has held roles in case management, jurisdictional, and legal counsel roles. He has also served as a Fast Track Adjudicator, a role he had held since its creation in October 2014.

Having graduated with a double degree in law and science, majoring in mathematics, Chris has worked extensively in the insurance sector, handling recoveries, public liabilities, insolvencies, and VCAT hearings since 2000.

Christine McCarthy

Christine has several decades of experience in the insurance industry and in legal practice. She has a Masters of Law from Melbourne University, specialising in insurance law, and is an accredited mediator.

Since 2007, Christine has worked as an Adjudicator with the Insurance Ombudsman Service and previously as an Ombudsman with the Financial Ombudsman Service.

Christine's industry knowledge derives from extensive experience as a partner in a law firm and a senior executive at a statutory authority.

Helen Moye

Before AFCA, Helen previously worked as an Ombudsman with the Financial Ombudsman Service Australia and FOS UK. Helen's diverse professional career developed from her initial years in private legal practice in Australia as a commercial lawyer. This was followed by a period based abroad in the role of head international legal counsel for a private investment group with interests across the Middle East, Europe and the UK. She has also held trustee/board (including chair) positions on several professional and not-for-profit organisations.

Helen has a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) from Queensland University of Technology, and was admitted as a solicitor of the Supreme Court of Queensland and the High Court of Australia. Helen also has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of New England and a Graduate Diploma in Education from Charles Sturt University.

She is a past president of the Women Lawyers’ Association of Queensland and contributed several chapters to a book of biographies of prominent female lawyers in that State.

Vicki Mullen

Vicki Mullen is a lawyer with over 25 years of experience in public policy and regulatory affairs. She has worked in various roles in government including positions with a High Court Judge, the NSW Parliament, the NSW Cabinet Office, and a senior NSW Minister. She has also worked across the insurance and financial services sectors in senior positions with the Insurance Council of Australia, the Actuaries Institute, IAG and the Financial Services Council.

Most recently, Vicki has worked with Swiss Re in the Public Sector Solutions team, working with governments and public sector agencies to support economic resilience. She holds degrees in Arts and Law (ANU), and a Master of Laws (UNSW). She is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Vicki grew up in Armidale in northern NSW, and is passionate about supporting community resilience in rural and regional areas. She is a Director of BackTrack, a not-for-profit organisation supporting kids at risk.

Don O'Halloran

Don was an Ombudsman at FOS before joining AFCA. Prior to coming to FOS, he was a full-time Member at the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT). During his four years at VCAT, he sat in the Civil, Occupation and Business Regulation and Guardianship lists. Before working at VCAT, he was a specialist insurance litigation partner in a large Melbourne legal firm for 21 years.

Don has a Masters of Law from the University of Melbourne and he is the former Legal Member of the Chiropractors Regulation Board and former Treasurer of Headway Victoria.

Jacqueline Pirone

Jacqueline has over 25 years of experience in the legal and financial services industry.

Before her role as an Ombudsman for AFCA, Jacqueline worked for the predecessor scheme FOS as a Legal Consultant to the Lead Ombudsman in the Investment and Advice Decision team.

Jacqueline has previously worked as a Special Counsel at Norton Rose Fulbright, as a Senior Associate at SRB Legal and as a National Claims Manager (General Liability and Product Liability) for CGU Insurance.

Jacqueline has also held a number of Board and Governance Roles, including the Audit & Risk Committee for Tennis Victoria, as a Foundation Board Member for Very Special Kids, and as Delegate Director for Emergency Services and State Superannuation Board.

Jacqueline holds a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws degree from Monash University and a Graduate Diploma of Insurance from Deakin University. She is also a graduate of the AICD Company Directors Course.

Shail Singh

Shail joined the Financial Ombudsman Service in 2010 as a case manager and progressed to senior case manager in 2013.  In 2015 Shail began managing the Investments and Advice Unit 1, where his team focused on investments, traditional trustee and life insurance complaints.

In 2018 he was appointed by the Board as an Ombudsman. Shail has significant experience dealing with financial planning, investments, stockbroking, CFD and FX disputes.

Prior to joining FOS, Shail was a Financial Planner at ARA consultants from 2008 – 2010 and Legal Counsel for various organisations including the Medical Practitioners Board (2003 – 2005), Sara Lee (2000) and Worksafe Victoria (2005 to 2008). 

Shail has a bachelor of laws and bachelor of science from Melbourne University (1996) and a Masters in law from Melbourne university (2005) and an advanced diploma financial services (2009).

Neva Skilton

Neva started working at FOS in 2012 as a banking and finance case manager. In 2015, she became a team manager of one a banking and finance team. In 2018, Neva was appointed as an adjudicator in both the general insurance and banking and finance teams. In 2019, Neva became an Ombudsman with AFCA.

Neva has significant experience investigating all different types of complex banking disputes, but has a particular interest in disputes relating to unauthorised transactions.

Before joining FOS, Neva worked in private legal practice specialising in general insurance law. Neva holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) from Deakin University.

Brenda Staggs

Prior to joining AFCA Brenda practiced as a lawyer for 18 years. She worked in-house, in private practice and the social justice sector, specialising in Insurance and Financial Services. 

Brenda worked in major law firms, as a director of a Legal Practice, as a senior lawyer at Redfern Legal Centre and as Disaster Response Co-ordinator at Legal Aid NSW.

Brenda also served as a member of the General Insurance Code Governance Committee.

Brenda holds a Bachelor of Law (HONS) from the University of New England  and is currently completing a Bachelor of Psychology.

Ruth Talalla

Ruth joined FOS in 2007 as a senior case manager in banking and finance. She was appointed as one of the first two banking adjudicators in 2014.

Before joining FOS, Ruth was a Senior Associate at Freehills for six years and a solicitor at top tier firms in London for seven years, specialising in commercial and insurance litigation.

Ruth has a Bachelor of Laws (First Class Hons) from the University of Sheffield (UK).

Jacqueline Thompson

In 2001, Jacqueline joined the Australian Banking Industry Ombudsman as a case manager. In 2009, she was appointed legal counsel with the Banking & Financial Services Ombudsman and remained in that position when it merged with other schemes to become the Financial Ombudsman Service Australia. In May 2018, Jacqueline was appointed an Adjudicator with FOS. 

Before joining the predecessor schemes to FOS, Jacqueline worked as a lawyer and then as a senior associate in the commercial litigation division of an international law firm, and as a corporate lawyer with one of the “big four” Australian banks.

Jacqueline holds a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Melbourne.

Andrew Weinmann

Andrew joined FOS as an ombudsman in 2017 after fifteen years in private practice, working at Australia’s major plaintiff law firms. Andrew was previously the national head of superannuation and insurance at Slater and Gordon, where he grew and led a busy practice helping clients across Australia.

Andrew has served as director with several not-for-profit and community organisations, and has a long record of service as a volunteer at community legal centres in Melbourne and Geelong. He holds a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor Laws (Hons) from Flinders University.

Adjudicators

Andrea Barker

Andrea joined FOS in 2012 as a case manager in the Banking & Finance team. Before joining FOS Andrea worked as a lawyer in private practice and as an in house lawyer with an insurer and a bank.

She has experience investigating and resolving complex banking and finance disputes and holds a Bachelor of Law and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Melbourne.

Vicki Carter

Vicki is a lawyer with over 25 years of experience in the legal and financial services industries.

Prior to joining AFCA in 2017, she held a number of senior roles including as a partner in a Melbourne law firm and as manager of the litigation and dispute resolution team of a major life insurer.

Vicki has worked across a broad range of product areas, including life insurance, general insurance, investments and advice and superannuation.

Brydie Cook

Brydie joined FOS in 2016 as a Case Manager and then went on to become a Team Manager. She was then appointed an Adjudicator in December 2017.

Before joining FOS, Brydie worked in private practice as a solicitor specialising in insurance law. Brydie also worked in legal policy for the ACT Government.

She holds a Juris Doctor from the Australian National University and a Bachelor of Communications (Journalism) from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology.

Carolyn Dea

Carolyn joined the Banking and Financial Services Ombudsman (BFSO), the predecessor scheme to FOS and AFCA, in 2004 as a banking and finance case manager. Since then she has undertaken roles as a senior case manager dealing with complex banking and finance disputes, as an advisor providing jurisdictional advice and as a Team Manager managing jurisdiction and banking and finance teams. Carolyn was appointed as an adjudicator in 2019.  

Before joining BFSO, Carolyn had a finance industry background working with one of the large Australian banks and holds a Bachelor of Science (Hons) from Monash University.

Qasim Gilani

Qasim joined FOS in 2010 as a case manager and was appointed to the role of Adjudicator in 2015.

Before joining FOS, in the initial years of his professional career Qasim worked in private legal practice as well as worked with the United Nations - World Health Organisation. Qasim has worked extensively in the insurance sector handling claims, legal recoveries and dispute resolution.

He holds a Bachelor of Arts (Law and Political Science) and a Bachelor of Laws (Hons).

Terri Gladwell

Terri joined FOS in 2011 as a banking and finance case manager. Since then she has undertaken roles as a senior case manager dealing with banking and finance and insurance disputes and as a team manager. She has experience investigating and resolving complex banking and finance disputes and insurance disputes. Terri was appointed as an adjudicator in 2018.  

Before joining FOS, Terri worked as a lawyer in both criminal and corporate law. She has worked in private practice as senior legal counsel at one of the “big four” Australian banks.

Terri holds a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Economics from Monash University.

Mark McCourt

Mark joined FOS as a case manager in 2016. He worked in the General Insurance and Banking & Finance teams before being appointed as an adjudicator in 2019.

Before joining FOS, Mark worked as a lawyer specialising in commercial litigation.

Mark holds a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Laws from Monash University.

Wes Pan

Before joining FOS as legal counsel in 2010 in the financial difficulty team, Wes worked in the banking, insurance, and superannuation sectors. He worked in-house at Commonwealth Bank dealing with its retail banking disputes and being responsible for litigation involving its general insurance (CommInsure) and life insurance (Colonial Mutual Life Assurance Society Limited) businesses, and then worked in superannuation at AXA Asia Pacific Holdings (now AMP).

He holds a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Laws from Monash University and was appointed as an adjudicator in 2017 and as an ombudsman in 2020.

Chris Siemers

Chris is a qualified Counsellor and has worked in private practice as a relationship and therapeutic counsellor for many years.

He later trained and worked as a Financial Counsellor. Prior to coming to FOS Chris worked over three different not-for-profit Government agencies in Ballarat, Bacchus Marsh and Geelong as a financial counsellor, assisting vulnerable and disadvantaged consumers.

Chris has also worked at NAB as a coach - assisting vulnerable and disadvantaged customers who had been through the hardship program and had not recovered from their financial difficulties.

Chris joined FOS in January 2012, starting in Financial difficulty as a Case Analyst, then Case Manager. In 2017 he joined the Systemic Issues team as a Case Manager, joining the B&F Adjudicators in February 2019.

Mervyn Silverstein

Mervyn joined AFCA in 2018 as a Case Manager in AFCA’s new Superannuation area.  He was appointed the first Superannuation Adjudicator in June 2019.  Mervyn has a BSc from Melbourne University and is an Associate of both the Actuaries’ Institute and the Institute of Actuaries (London).

Mervyn has worked in various senior roles in corporate superannuation with consulting actuarial firms, administrators, public offer funds and in the trustee office.  In those roles, he has worked as a consultant advising trustees & employer sponsors and as a trustee.

Teresa Willemsen

Teresa joined FOS in 2010 as a case manager in Banking and Finance. She became a team manager in Banking and Finance and then an Adjudicator in 2015.

Before joining FOS, Teresa worked in commercial and corporate law, both in private practice and as in-house legal counsel.

Teresa holds a Bachelor of Commerce / Laws (Hons) from the University of Melbourne and a Graduate Diploma in Applied Finance and Investment from FINSIA.