The Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) is pleased to announce the appointment of Kathy Bowlen as the inaugural Executive General Manager – Communications and Stakeholder Relations.

Announcing the appointment, AFCA Chief Executive and Chief Ombudsman David Locke said Kathy’s wealth of experience would be a huge asset for the growing organisation.

“I am delighted that Kathy has joined us here at AFCA,” Mr Locke said.

“She brings a wealth of expertise from her 20-year career in journalism at the ABC, as well as her more recent roles running communications and media functions at Melbourne’s St Vincent’s Hospital and before that, at the Australian Red Cross Blood Service.

“Kathy’s career demonstrates a clear commitment to informing and empowering the Australian public and she shares AFCA’s values of fairness and justice.”

Reflecting on her appointment, Kathy said “I’m excited to be joining AFCA, at a time when the community has such a strong focus on financial services.  

“AFCA is a vital service for consumers and small business.

“Having only been in existence for six months, we need to let people know we are here, we’re a free service, and we are ready to help.”

One of the first projects Kathy will lead is a nation-wide roadshow.

“We will be visiting more than 70 regional, rural and remote communities around Australia so that we can hear about people’s financial issues first-hand,” Ms Bowlen said.

AFCA is a free one-stop-shop for consumers and small businesses with complaints about financial firms, including banks, credit providers, insurance organisations, investments, financial advisers and superannuation.

Under Kathy’s leadership, AFCA will also establish a dedicated member services team that will work closely with financial firms to help improve industry practices.

Kathy commenced in the role on Monday 29 April.

Media enquiries: media@afca.org.au

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