AFCA is governed by a Board that is made up of an equal number of industry directors and consumer directors, and is overseen by an independent Chair.

Independent Chair

The Hon Helen Coonan (Chair) – BA, LLB (Syd)

Helen Coonan was appointed as the inaugural independent Chair by the Minister for Revenue and Financial Services on 4 May 2018.  

Helen is a former Australian Government cabinet minister for communications, minister for revenue and assistant treasurer. She is a commercial lawyer and trained mediator with a track record of leading stakeholders through major economic reforms and handling complex policy settings.  

Ms Coonan’s current appointments include non-executive directorships of Crown Resorts Limited and Snowy Hydro Limited. She is Chair of Place Management NSW and Co-Chair of GRA Cosway Pty Limited. She chairs boutique fund manager Supervised Investments Australia Limited, is a member of the Advisory Council of JP Morgan and was previously a member of the Board of Advice for Aon Australia. 

Consumer Directors

Carmel Franklin – BEd, Dip (Financial counselling)

Carmel Franklin was appointed a consumer Director on 17 July 2017 and continues in that capacity, having been appointed to the inaugural Board on 4 May 2018. She is a former consumer Director of the Financial Ombudsman Service Limited.  

Carmel has been involved with consumer issues for a number of years, including as the Director of Care Financial Counselling and the Consumer Law Centre of the ACT, as the Chair of Financial Counselling Australia and through her role on the boards of the National Information Centre on Retirement Investments and the Welfare Rights and Legal Centre. In addition to these positions, she is a Director of 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. 

Elissa Freeman – BA (UNSW), GAICD

Elissa Freeman was appointed a consumer Director on 16 February 2018 and continues in that capacity, having been appointed to the inaugural Board on 4 May 2018. She is a former consumer Director of the Financial Ombudsman Service Limited. 

Elissa has advocated for consumers’ rights in 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 has represented consumers at the ASIC Consumer Advisory Panel, the ACCC Consumer Consultative Committee, and as a council member of the Energy and Water Ombudsman of NSW.  

Elissa was previously Chair of the Financial Rights Legal Centre (formerly the Consumer Credit Legal Centre of NSW) and Manager of Consumer Policy at CHOICE.  

She is currently a Director in the ACCC’s Financial Services Unit. 

Catriona Lowe – LLB (QLD)

Catriona Lowe was appointed a consumer Director on 16 February 2018 and continues in that capacity, having been appointed to the inaugural Board on 4 May 2018. She is a former consumer Director of the Financial Ombudsman Service Limited. 

Catriona is a member of the Boards of the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman and Legal Practitioners’ Liability Committee. She is also a Director of the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority and Chair of the ACCC Consumer Consultative Committee.  

She is formerly the Treasurer of the Consumers’ Federation of Australia and Co-Chief Executive Officer of the Consumer Action Law Centre. Catriona has also served as a member of the Board of the National Information Centre on Retirement Investment, a member of ASIC’s External Advisory Panel, a member of the National Australia Bank Social Responsibility Advisory Council, a member of the Insurance Council of Australia Consumer Reference Group, and a member of the Motor Car Traders’ Guarantee Fund Claims Committee. 

Erin Turner – BA, MPP

Erin Turner was appointed a consumer Director by the Minister for Revenue and Financial Services on 4 May 2018. 

Erin is the Director of Campaigns and communications at CHOICE and is a high profile and experienced consumer advocate. She regularly appears in the media to advocate for consumers using financial services and to educate them on their rights.  

Erin represents CHOICE on the ACCC Consumer Consultative Committee and is a former member of the ASIC Consumer Advisory panel.  

Alan Wein – LLB (Melb), PRI-Med-NMAS

Alan Wein was appointed a consumer Director by the Minister for Revenue and Financial Services on 4 May 2018. 

Alan is a skilled lawyer, experienced mediator and advocate for small- and medium-sized businesses. He was appointed the inaugural Chair of the Victorian Government Small Business Advisory Council and was the business delegate on the Victorian Government Infrastructure Planning Council.  

Alan is a member of LEADR, (Office of Franchise Mediation Advisor – OFMA) and the Law Institute of Victoria. He is also a senior panel mediator on the Victorian Office of the Small Business Commissioner (OSBC).

Industry Directors

Robert Belleville – MBA

Robert Belleville was appointed an industry Director on 17 July 2017 and continues in that capacity, having been appointed to the inaugural Board on 4 May 2018. He is a former industry Director of the Financial Ombudsman Service Limited. 

Robert is a member of the Insurance Manufacturers of Australia (IMA) Board, Chair of the IMA Board Risk Committee and a member of its Audit Committee. He is also the Chair of the Insurance Council of Australia’s Consumer Liaison Forum.

He was employed by AAMI for more than 37 years, culminating in his appointment as Chief Executive in 2002. Soon after he added the position of Chief Executive of Promina’s Direct Division, followed by positions with APIA, Shannons and Just Car Insurance. Following the successful offer by Suncorp to take over Promina, Robert was appointed Group Executive, Personal Lines, which added GIO and Suncorp portfolios to his oversight. Despite retiring in December 2008, Robert stayed on with Suncorp as a part-time consultant until September 2009.

Jennifer Darbyshire – BA, LLB (Hons), LLM (London), GAICD

Jennifer Darbyshire was appointed an industry Director on 16 February 2018 and continues in that capacity, having been appointed to the inaugural Board on 4 May 2018. She is a former industry Director of the Financial Ombudsman Service Limited

Jennifer joined National Australia Bank in 2006 and was appointed General Counsel, Corporate in March 2016. From late-2014 to early 2016, Jennifer was the General Manager, Group Regulatory Strategy & Affairs. From mid-2012 to late 2014, she was General Counsel and Company Secretary for NAB’s UK banking operations.

Jennifer has previously worked in private legal practice (including Mallesons in Melbourne and Linklaters in London) and in major Australian corporations (including Coles Myer). She has a corporate legal and executive background with extensive governance, regulatory and transactional experience.

Jennifer was the Chair of Heide Museum of Modern Art until January 2016 (and a Director since 2006). Previous directorships include St Vincent’s & Mercy Private Hospital (2006–2011) and St Vincent’s Advisory Council Melbourne (2011–2012).

Andrew Fairley – AM, LLB

Andrew Fairley AM was appointed an industry Director by the Minister for Revenue and Financial Services on 4 May 2018.

Andrew is the independent Chair of Equipsuper and an equity lawyer with over 35 years’ experience in superannuation. He founded and ran Australia’s first specialist superannuation firm, IFS Fairley. He also founded the Law Council of Australia Superannuation Committee and served as its Chair for 10 years.

Claire Mackay – BCom, LLM, CPA, CFP, CTA, GAICD

Claire Mackay was appointed an industry Director by the Minister for Revenue and Financial Services on 4 May 2018.

Claire is a highly regarded financial planner and the Principal Adviser at Quantum Financial. She is a Chartered Accountant, Certified Financial Planner, lawyer, Chartered Tax Analyst and a self-managed superannuation fund expert. Ms Mackay is a member of the ASIC External Advisory Panel.

As the owner of a small financial services business, Ms Mackay regularly engages with other small financial firm operators in industry forums and conferences.

Johanna Turner – BA, LLB (Macquarie), GAICD

Johanna Turner was appointed an industry Director on 16 February 2018 and continues in that capacity, having been appointed to the inaugural Board on 4 May 2018. She is a former industry Director of the Financial Ombudsman Service Limited.

Johanna has gained extensive executive experience in the financial services industry over the past 25 years, working in domestic and international banks, exchanges and regulatory bodies. She has expertise in risk management, compliance, regulation, policy and corporate governance. She combines this with extensive industry experience in consumer banking, consumer credit, wealth management, corporate and investment banking, exchange traded funds and derivative markets. As a Managing Director of Citibank, Johanna held the positions of Chief Risk Officer and Chief Country Compliance Officer. She has also held senior roles at Macquarie Bank, the Australian Stock Exchange, the Sydney Futures Exchange and ASIC.

Johanna is an independent compliance committee member for Blackrock Investment Management (Australia) Limited and Fundhost Limited. She is also a member of the NSW Government Council for Women's Economic Opportunity, Chair of the AFMA Professionalism Committee and Panel member of the ASIC FSCP. Johanna was formerly a Board member of Women in Banking and Finance and Chair of their Audit, Risk and Governance Committee.

Company Secretary

Nicolas Crowhurst – BA, LLB (Hons), FGIA, FCSA 

Nicolas Crowhurst was appointed Company Secretary on 17 July 2017. He is a former Company Secretary of the Financial Ombudsman Service Limited. 

Nicolas qualified as a barrister in the United Kingdom in 2000, and has previously served as Legal Counsel to the Financial Industry Complaints Service Limited, the Financial Ombudsman Service Limited and the company. He is also a former Director of Financial Services Compensation Scheme Pty Ltd and worked at Minter Ellison Lawyers prior to entering the alternate dispute resolution industry.

He is a Fellow of the Governance Institute of Australia, and the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators.