AFCA is governed by a Board that is made up of an equal number of directors with consumer and industry experience and is overseen by an independent Chair.
Professor John Pollaers (Chair) – OAM MBA BA
Appointed Independent Chair of the Australian Financial Complaints Authority on 15 May 2021, Professor John Pollaers OAM is an eminent international Chair, Chief Executive and Non-Executive Director. John brings a unique set of experience and insights to his role at AFCA, gained in his many years as a distinguished leader across a range of multi-dimensional and complex industries, including consumer products and advanced manufacturing. He has been chief executive and director of major companies, including Foster’s Group Limited and Pacific Brands, where he regenerated the company culture and was recognised as further simplifying the business model and successfully driving performance of key functions.
Responsible for leading several successful company turnarounds in the face of difficult industry circumstances, John is highly effective in leading organisations operating in ambiguous, unpredictable and sensitive environments. He has been instrumental in building close engagement with the Government and media across a range of complex and dynamic industries, notably as founding Chair of the Australian Advanced Manufacturing Council and Chair of the Australian Industry and Skills Committee, and as a member of the Prime Minister’s Industry 4.0 Taskforce.
Socially minded, John thrives on contributing to much needed debates on a range of issues facing society. He speaks widely on the issues of skills development, the imperatives of 21st-century global business, and the necessity of building meaningful collaboration between research and industry. John is also driven by a passion to harness the benefits of technology and data to make radical, positive change to communities and industries to improve our society.
Professor Pollaers holds an MBA from INSEAD and Macquarie University, as well as degrees in electrical engineering and computer science. He was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in June 2018 for service to the manufacturing sector, to education and to business. He is also currently the Chancellor of Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne.
Directors with consumer experience
Carmel Franklin – BEd Dip (Financial Counselling)
Carmel Franklin was appointed to the inaugural Board on 4 May 2018. She is a former consumer director of the Financial Ombudsman Service Limited.
Carmel has been the CEO of Care in the ACT for 14 years. She has been involved with consumer issues for a number of years, including as the Chair of ACT Gambling Harm Community of Practice, Co-Chair of ACT Anti-Poverty Week Committee, Member of the ATO Individual Stewardship Group, and as a board member on the ACT Gambling and Racing Commission.
She is a former member of the ASIC Consumer Advisory Panel as well as the FOS Consumer Liaison Group and, most recently, former Chair of Financial Counselling Australia, a position she held for 12 years.
Elissa Freeman – BA GAICD
Elissa Freeman was appointed to the inaugural Board on 4 May 2018. She is a former Director of the Financial Ombudsman Service Limited.
Elissa has advocated for consumers’ rights in the financial services, telecommunications and energy and water industries in her roles at CHOICE, the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network and the Public Interest Advocacy Centre. She also led a major investigation into residential mortgage prices at the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
She is currently the Chair of Australian Energy Regulator Consultative Group, a member of Australian Energy Regulator Consumer Challenge Panel and a Director of Super Consumers Australia.
Elissa was previously Chair of the Financial Rights Legal Centre, a member of ASIC’s Consumer Advisory Panel and a Director of the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority
Delia Rickard – BA, LLB
Delia Rickard was appointed Deputy Chair of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) in June 2012. She has extensive public service experience and a passion for consumer protection, and has worked in a variety of senior roles, primarily at the ACCC and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). She is also an Associate Member of the Australian Communications and Media Authority.
Throughout her career she has had a strong interest in financial services and the impact of the financial services industry on vulnerable and disadvantaged consumers. She oversaw development of the highly regarded Moneysmart website at ASIC and has been a member of numerous committees at the ACCC, including those on the consumer data right, enforcement and compliance and product safety, as well as the the ACCC’s Financial Services Competition Board. She also chaired the ACCC’s market study into the cost of insurance in Northern Australia.
She is also a trustee of the Jan Pentland Foundation, which provides scholarships for those who want to work as financial counsellors, and is the Chair of Good Shepherd’s Advisory Committee on Financial Inclusion Action Plans.
She 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 and in 2022 was named the inaugural winner of the Law Council of Australia’s Consumer Rights Award.
Erin Turner – BA MPP GAICD
Erin Turner was appointed a consumer director by the Minister for Revenue and Financial Services on 4 May 2018.
Erin is the CEO of the Consumer Policy Research Centre and the Chair of Financial Rights Legal Centre.
Previously she was the Director of Campaigns and Communications at CHOICE. She represents consumer interests on the ACCC Consumer Consultative Committee and has previously sat on the ACMA Consumer Consultative Forum and the ASIC Consumer Advisory Panel.
Directors with industry experience
Jennifer Darbyshire – BA LLB (Hons) LLM FAICD
Jennifer Darbyshire was appointed to the inaugural Board on 4 May 2018. She is a former industry director of the Financial Ombudsman Service Limited.
Jennifer has extensive senior executive experience in governance, law, conduct risk and regulatory risk across a range of sectors and in a variety of roles and organisations, including international experience on two separate occasions.
Jennifer previously worked at the National Australia Bank, where her roles included EGM Conduct & Regulatory Risk, General Counsel Governance and General Counsel Corporate (including eight months as Acting Group General Counsel). She also previously worked in private legal practice (including King & Wood Mallesons in Melbourne and Linklaters in London).
Jennifer currently sits on the Melbourne International Jazz Festival Board and the Melbourne Theatre Company Foundation Board. Previous directorships include Heide Museum of Modern Art (Chair) and St Vincent’s & Mercy Private Hospital.
Gary joined the AFCA Board on 1 January 2022 and has more than 37 years experience in the retail financial services sector, holding senior roles with Suncorp Group, IAG, Lend Lease, AMP and St George Bank.
He was most recently Chief Executive, Insurance, for Suncorp, having also been Chief Executive of its Customer Platforms and Personal Insurance units, as well as its Vero Insurance business in New Zealand. At St George, Gary played an integral role in the successful conversion of St George from a building society to a bank.
Gary is a former President and Chair of the Insurance Council of Australia, former President of the Insurance Council of New Zealand, and a former director of CareFlight NSW. He is currently a non-executive director with Hollard Insurance and Chair of the panel advising the NSW Government on the design of Decennial Liability Insurance for apartment buildings.
Gary is currently the Independent Chair of the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA).
Andrew Fairley – AM LLB (Melb) Hon Doc (Deakin) FAICD & FAIST
Andrew Fairley AM was appointed an industry director by the Minister for Revenue and Financial Services on 4 May 2018. He is a Commercial and Equity Lawyer with over 40 years experience in Superannuation, and is a Consultant at Hall & Wilcox. He is the immediate past Chair of Equip Super, an industry fund with assets under management of over $30b. He founded the Law Council of Australia’s Superannuation Committee in 1985, and served as its Chair for 10 years.
Andrew is the Chair of Qualitas Limited, a leading Australian alternative real estate investment manager. He is the former Chair of Zoos Victoria, Parks Victoria, and a former Deputy Chair of Tourism Australia.
He is very involved in the philanthropic sector as Chair of the Sir Andrew Fairley Foundation and Deputy Chair of the Mornington Peninsula Foundation.
Claire Mackay – BComLLB LLM GAICD
Claire Mackay was appointed an industry director by the Minister for Revenue and Financial Services on 4 May 2018.
Claire is a Director and Principal Adviser at Quantum Financial and is a Chartered Accountant, Certified Financial Planner, Chartered Tax Analyst and a Self-Managed Superannuation Fund specialist. Previously Claire held roles at Macquarie Bank and PwC.
Claire is a Director of the Accounting Professional and Ethical Standards Board. Her current appointments include the FPA Professional Standards and Conduct Committee, the RMIT School of Accounting Program Advisory Committee and the Finance Audit and Compliance Committee for Surf Lifesaving NSW.
As the owner of an independent financial services business, Claire regularly engages with other business owners and smaller financial firm operators in industry forums and conferences.
Anna Campbell - BA LLB
Anna Campbell joined AFCA as General Counsel in November 2019, and is an 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.