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Our people

Board Staff Committee

Our Board

The Energy Consumers Australia Board Members bring a wealth of knowledge and experience in consumer advocacy, the energy market and regulation. Each Director brings their own unique perspective to the strategic direction of Energy Consumers Australia.

Louise Sylvan

Chair

Louise Sylvan is the former Chief Executive Officer of the Australian National Preventive Health Agency. Ms Sylvan was a Commissioner of the Productivity Commission and previously Deputy Chair of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission where she was appointed for her expertise in consumer affairs.

Steven Graham

Director

Steven Graham has had a distinguished career primarily in the energy sector. He retired as Chief Executive of the Australian Energy Market Commission in August 2013, a position he held from 2006, commencing shortly after the establishment of the organisation in mid-2005. He has held several commercial and change management roles across the national electricity market and government, including roles in RailCorp, Eraring Energy, Pacific Power and NSW Treasury. He has extensive experience in the development of efficient organisations, finance, information technology, project management, commercial contract negotiation, contract management and corporate governance.

As Chief Executive of the Australian Energy Market Commission, Mr Graham was responsible for the establishment of a professional, highly regarded energy market institution focused on the long term interests of consumers. He is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and has served on a range of boards including Pacific Western Pty Ltd, Energy Efficient Research Centre Ltd and Eraring Holdings Pty Ltd. He is currently a member of the board of St Lucy's School Wahroonga.

Catherine Cooper

Director

Catherine Cooper was a past member of the Consumer Advocacy Panel. She has senior management experience with large companies including Elders Ltd, Futuris Corporation and Fosters Brewing Group. She has been involved in a number of industries including energy, finance, banking, insurance, agribusiness, legal and commercial, and health and education

Ms Cooper is the Chairperson of a number of organisations including the Dairy Regulator of South Australia, the Fleurieu Regional Waste Management Authority and the Fisheries and Aquaculture Research Advisory Committee. She also holds directorships in a range of organisations including SA Water, Thoroughbred Racing SA, and has previously held directorships at the Repatriation General Hospital, the national Agri-foods Skills Council and the National Quarantine Export Advisory Council. She is also a commissioner with the Australian Fisheries Management Commission.

Clare Petre

Director

Clare Petre was the Energy & Water Ombudsman NSW from 1998 to 2014. She was previously the Senior Assistant Commonwealth Ombudsman. Ms Petre has experience in the community sector, with government, and the media. She has worked with community legal centres, as a reporter with ABC TV's 4 Corners and The Investigators, and in the health system. Ms Petre has served on a range of NSW and Commonwealth government advisory bodies, and on the boards of community groups, including ACOSS.

Ms Petre was Chair of the Australian & New Zealand Ombudsman Association. Ms Petre has a Bachelor of Social Studies and Diploma of Criminology (Sydney University) and a Masters in Social Administration (London School of Economics).

Virginia Hickey

Director

Virginia is a lawyer, corporate governance consultant and a company director. She was previously a partner of commercial law firm, Finlaysons.

Virginia has experience in national regulatory environments through her previous governance positions as a National Transport Commissioner, as a National Councillor and as the Independent Chair of the Telecommunications Ombudsman Council. Virginia's private sector board positions have included Flinders Ports Pty Ltd, a private company which owns the Port of Adelaide ports.

She has also been on a range of government boards as well as on a number of private, government and not for profits.

Virginia is currently a director of Public Transport Victoria, People's Choice Credit Union, and SAFECOM. Virginia is also the Independent Chair of Fertility SA and the chair of the Audit and Risk Management Committee of Public Trustee.

Our staff

The Energy Consumers Australia team are committed to promoting the long-term interests of Australian residential and small business energy consumers.

Rosemary Sinclair

CEO

Rosemary Sinclair is the CEO of Energy Consumers Australia. She is a Member (part-time) of the Australian Communications and Media Authority, and a Director of the Wests Tigers Rugby League Football Club, where she Chairs the Audit and Risk Committee.

Previously, Ms Sinclair was CEO of Immediate Solutions, a boutique consultancy practice focused on strategy development, digital technology transformation, stakeholder engagement, governance and government relations. She was also Director of External Relations at the Australian School of Business (ASB), University of New South Wales (UNSW) and prior to that, Managing Director, Australian Telecommunications Users Group (ATUG).

Ms Sinclair has many years of senior large-scale operations, communications and strategy experience in business and government across telecommunications, media and education. She was Chair of the Federal Government’s Regional Telecommunications Inquiry Review Committee from July 2011-2013, and has held a number of Directorships on unlisted company and not-for-profit Boards.

Ms Sinclair has degrees in Arts, Law and Business and a Masters of Commerce from UNSW. She is a qualified CPA and Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Lynne Gallagher

Director of Research

Lynne is an economist/econometrician by qualification and has substantial experience in economic modelling and policy reform processes, including working with the Council of Australian Governments, and in strategic issues management in the corporate sector. Her career has seen her spend 15 years in a technical environment, followed by 12 years in practice and as an adviser. Prior to her appointment as ECA's Director of Research, Lynne was Executive Director, Industry Development at Energy Networks Australia. Lynne brings to ECA strong insights, a strategic focus and a consumer advocacy perspective which has been honed from her work with network businesses, retailers and regulators.

Chris Alexander

Director, Advocacy and Communications

Chris is a public and industry professional specialising in energy and has eight years experience working in Australia and the United Kingdom. Chris has qualifications in Economics, Law, and Government Management.

Before returning to Australia to join ECA, Chris was Head of Energy Regulation with Citizens Advice/Consumer Futures and a member of the senior management team in the energy division. Chris brings to ECA his highly developed communication, analytical and stakeholder management skills.

His proven track record developing innovative solutions to complex commercial and public policy challenges is a great advantage for ECA and consumers within the energy sector.

Sabiene Heindl

Director, Strategic Engagement

Sabiene has both legal and business qualifications with senior level experience in legal practice, stakeholder and consumer engagement across government, industry and not for profit sectors here in Australia and overseas.

In particular, her career has spanned over 17 years initially in legal practice with Allens Linklaters where she was involved in the privatisation of electricity assets in SA with particular focus on competition and regulatory issues. Thereafter, she specialised in new technologies, intellectual property, competition and consumers laws. As General Manager, Music Rights Australia (MRA), for 5 years she was heavily involved in lobbying, educational initiatives and intellectual property protection for and on behalf of MRA?s 2000 members. At the NBN she worked as its Lead Advisor ? Stakeholder Relations where she both formulated and then implemented sophisticated stakeholder engagement strategies involving the telco industry, consumers, small businesses and government.

With a strong interest in renewable energy and consumer advocacy Sabiene has written over 50 publications with emphasis on emerging technologies and consumers. She also is a non executive director on several boards involved in the arts, publishing, copyright and education.

David Havyatt

Senior Economist, CEO Secretariat

David Havyatt has joined ECA in the position of Senior Economist in the CEO Secretariat. In this role David will be providing support to ECA in economic analysis and assisting the CEO in maintaining focus on the policy objective of the Long Term Interest of Consumers.

David joins ECA after a long career in telecommunications including senior sales,strategy and regulatory roles working for Telstra, AAPT, Hutchison and Unwired. More recently he has operated his own consultancy in policy issues in the Digital Economy as well as freelance writing. This was interrupted by two and a half years as a senior adviser to the Minister (and Shadow Minister) for Communications.

In his telco roles David has delivered outcomes for consumers including chairing industry working committees to deliver number portability and consumer protection codes. He was a long time champion of consumer advocate interest in a single consumer code and played a number of roles as both a consultant and adviser in the delivery of the Telecommunications Consumer Protection Code that has resulted in a steady decline in escalated complaints in the industry.

He has been a contributor and speaker to the work of the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network, which is an organization with a similar remit to ECA. In his regulatory and adviser roles he has been engaged in the detail of the economic regulation of telecommunications and the setting of access prices for network services.

David holds a Bachelor of Science, a Master of Arts and a Graduate Diploma in Economics. He is a former Board member of the TIO, ACIF (now Communications Alliance) and AMTA, and is a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Keith Besgrove

Senior Policy Adviser

Keith has over fifteen years experience as a division head in the Department of Communications, where he was responsible for policy advice to government on all aspects of the digital economy. He developed Australia's cyber security strategies; crafted legislation to combat spam and internet gambling; established the Do Not Call Register; helped create the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) and was instrumental in developing a range of consumer protection measures in telecommunications. He also implemented programs to adopt broadband in healthcare and education. Keith has also represented Australia in many international groups including the OECD, APEC ICANN and ITU.Since July 2014, Keith has been mentoring technology start-up companies, chairing committees, and mentoring not for profit groups including Financial Counselling Australia. He is a research associate at the University of Technology (Sydney) and an honorary fellow at the Cyber-security Research Centre at Macquarie University. He is also a member of the board of Internet Australia and of the Australian Computer Society's Professional Standards Board.

Elizabeth Lawler

Executive Officer

Elizabeth Lawler has over twenty years experience in operations and governance. Previous roles include Executive Officer at the Australian School of Business at UNSW, and Company Secretary and Executive Officer at the Australian Telecommunications Users Group.

With experience in membership, events, project management and communication at senior levels as well as board governance, Ms Lawler brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in the advocacy and not-for-profit sector to her role at ECA.

Peter Star

Business Manager

Peter has qualifications in Law, Management and Accounting. He has over 30 years experience working in both the not for profit and for profit organisations in various roles in administration, finance, IT, HR and general management. His most recent role prior to joining ECA was a General Manager Corporate Services at the Energy and Water Ombudsman of NSW. In his current role Peter is responsible for the management of ECA's IT, HR, finance and administration functions.

Oliver Derum

Associate Director, Advocacy and Communications

Oliver has significant experience in economic and policy analysis and development and stakeholder engagement. He has a keen understanding of the political environment and a solid knowledge of the National Energy Market including participants and consumers.

Oliver has qualifications in Government and International Relations, Public Administration and Economic Policy. A recent addition to his skill set has been Engagement Essentials. Prior to his appointment to ECA, Oliver was Senior Policy Officer, Energy and Water Consumers Advocacy Program (EWCAP) within the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC).

Oliver brings to ECA his passion, energy and insights for energy consumers across the complex energy sector.

Kerry Connors

Associate Director, Research

Kerry Connors has been with ECA since its inception, building on her extensive experience on energy consumer issues, previously as Executive Director of the Consumer Advocacy Panel, and the inaugural Executive Officer of the Consumer Utilities Advocacy Centre. She has also worked in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, including a posting to the Australian Embassy in Seoul, and has managed her own consultancy business, strengthening relations between the private and community sectors.

Ms Connors sits on the Executive Committee of the Consumers Federation of Australia and the Management Committee of Manly Women's Shelter.

Tina Wong

Associate Director, Research (Grants)

Tina’s expertise and experience provides a strong foundation on which to maintain and strengthen Energy Consumers Australia’s relationships with the consumer advocates and researchers supported through the Grants Program.
Tina has qualifications in economics and law, having been admitted to the Bar as a Barrister and Solicitor in New Zealand. She has also received a certificate from the Florence School of Regulation, in the Regulation of Energy Utilities.
Before her appointment to Energy Consumers Australia, Tina was a Senior Policy Officer in the NSW Department of Industry. Tina has also worked as a Senior Policy Officer in the Australian Energy Market Commission, and as the regulatory and environmental manager for Integral Energy.

Phil Bourne

Digital Strategy and Production Manager

Phil Bourne is the Digital Strategy and Production Manager of Energy Consumers Australia. He is a communications professional with over 9 years experience. Phil specialises in social media, video content and digital strategy.

Phil has spent the previous three years creating digital content at the University of NSW. Phil's previous role was Digital Content Editor with the Nova radio network, where he collaborated with the radio shows and developed the digital audiences.

Phil studied media at the University of Adelaide and is using his knowledge and expertise to develop exciting new ways for Energy Consumers Australia to connect with stakeholders.

Kristine Eslick

Executive Support Officer

Kristine Eslick has worked for over eight years in project management with NSW Government and more than 20 years as an executive assistant in various roles within public and private sectors.

In particular, she therefore brings extensive experience in planning, managing and organisation to her ECA role of Executive Support Officer.

Leo Demidjuk

Finance Officer

Leo has over 40 years of experience servicing small to medium enterprises in the service and not for profit sector.

Leo holds a Bachelor of Business (Accounting) Degree and a Diploma in Financial Planning. Leo is also a member of the CPA Australia, Governance Institute of Australia and the Taxation Institute.

Our Reference Committee

The Energy Consumers Australia Reference Committee members are chosen on the basis of their expertise and represent a broad cross section of all of our stakeholder groups. The Committee advises the Board on emerging consumer issues and the development of Energy Consumers Australia's work program.

Carly Hyde

Carly Hyde is the Manager of Essential Services at the Queensland Council of Social Service (QCOSS). Her focus is on advocating for policy improvements to protect and empower low income and vulnerable Queenslanders in the energy market, as well as providing resources and support to educate and empower the Queensland community sector on energy issues so they can provide informed advice and support to their clients.

David Headberry

David Headberry is Managing Director of Headberry Partners, a company which assists energy customers and provides consumer input to government and regulatory reviews and investigations on energy supply issues.

A qualified engineer, he is also the Public Officer for Major Energy Users Inc, a national group representing the views of large energy consumers. Mr Headberry is a member of the Australian Energy Regulator's inaugural Consumer Challenge Panel, and was a consumer director of the Energy and Water Ombudsman Victoria for 12 years.

Gavin Dufty

Gavin Dufty has a long-standing interest in researching household income expenditure and affordability trends. In relation to energy markets, he focuses on how market developments and government policies interact with households' income and expenditure patterns. Mr Dufty has a detailed knowledge of energy retail markets and energy tariffs. His expertise also includes concession frameworks and their ability to support eligible households in a changing energy market.

Gerard Brody

Gerard Brody is CEO of the Consumer Action Law Centre (CALC), and has over ten years experience as a consumer advocate and lawyer. Mr Brody has represented consumers on a number of bodies, including the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's Consumer Consultative Committee, and the Australian Energy Regulator's Customer Consultative Group. He is also a Consumer Director of the Energy and Water Ombudsman Victoria.

Helen Scott

Helen Scott has been endorsed by the Federation of Ethnic Communities Councils (FECCA) to represent and advocate for Australia's culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) energy consumers in the National Energy Market since 2009.

She has been involved with CALD energy consumers, both householders and small to medium sized (SME) ethno-specific business owners and managers, for over a decade.

Jo De Silva

Jo De Silva is the Senior Policy Officer for the South Australian Council of Social Service (SACOSS). Her areas of interest include consumer engagement, network regulation, affordability and hardship, state of the SA Energy Market (wholesale, network, retail), complimentary protections and supports, new and emerging products and services, East Coast Wholesale Gas Market and Pipeline Frameworks Review, metering, Embedded Networks, pricing, and consumer advocacy, including National Consumer Roundtable on Energy.

Kath Mclean

Kath McLean works in policy and advocacy for the Tasmanian Council of Social Service (TasCOSS) and has an interest in Tasmanian energy supply issues from the perspective of low-income and disadvantaged consumers. Her particular interests relate to energy as an essential service, issues of affordability and maintaining ongoing access.

Peter Strong

Peter Strong has been the CEO of the Council of Small Business of Australia since 2010. This role requires advocacy for the Small Business community and representation of issues from members to politicians and government agencies.

Mr Strong participates in various advisory groups to the Australian government, in roles including his position as Chairman of Treasury's Business Advisory Forum on Standard Business Reporting. In the past, he has been the Deputy Chairman of the Small Business Advisory Committee; a participant in the COAG Business Leaders Forum; an attendee at the 2012 Tax Summit and Economic Forums; participant in various round tables on industry issues including the motor industry, superannuation and finance.