Board Members

BBus (Banking and Finance) David is the former General Manager, Broker Operations at NAB, and has extensive experience in the areas of credit and debt. He is currently CEO of Way Forward Debt Solutions Ltd, a not for profit established by the four major banks, ABA and Financial Counselling Australia with a focus on assisting people in hardship with debts across multiple organisations.
LLB BA LLM DipEd Vic Marles is the CEO of Trust for Nature, a statutory entity established by the Victorian Conservation Trust Act 1972 working in the area of private land conservation. Prior to that, Vic was the first Legal Services Commissioner and CEO of the Legal Services Board, a position she held for four years. Vic was the Deputy Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman from 2002 to 2005. She worked as a lawyer with the Communications Law Centre from 1993 to 2002, and was the Deputy Director and manager of the Melbourne office. She was a legal member of the Guardianship Board and Guardianship List of VCAT for ten years, finishing in 2002. Vic has worked as a solicitor at Corrs and Holding Redlich. Vic has held a number of board and council positions. She has been a member of the Consumers Federation of Australia Council and the TIO Council. She chaired the board of Circus Oz for fourteen years until 2007. She has been a member of the Board of the Victorian Arts Centre, the Victorian Women's Trust, the Australian Community Support Organisation and the Melbourne Writers Festival. She chaired Vic Health's Community Arts Participation Scheme program for ten years, finishing in 2007.

Vic Marles

Deputy Chair

BA LLB John is a principal of the consumer law firm Berrill & Watson practising in superannuation, insurance & financial advice claims & disputes & is also a volunteer lawyer at Social Security Rights Victoria & the Mental Health Legal Centre.

John Berrill

Board Member

Ciara is a leader who believes in the power of cross-sector collaboration to make real change for people experiencing vulnerability and exclusion. She is motivated by her passion for human rights and her belief that everyone deserves an equitable system, adequate living standards, and to live free from discrimination. As Founding CEO for the Thriving Communities Partnership, she convenes over 200 organisations, together with people with lived experience, to forge deeper understanding of vulnerability and drive ecosystem change through social design innovation. She has over 20 years’ experience collaborating across corporate, government and community sectors to address the root causes of hardship and inequality. Ciara spent over 10 years in leadership roles at Yarra Valley Water, including as Head of Community Inclusion and she was recognised as the Australian Water Professional of the Year in 2018. She pioneered approaches to supporting customers experiencing vulnerability, hardship and family violence, and led the water industry’s response to the Victorian Royal Commission into Family Violence.

Ciara Sterling

Board Member

LLB David is CEO of Shepparton-based FamilyCare and has held a variety of roles in the community sector. From 1995 to 2008 he was employed by Care Inc Financial Counselling Service in the ACT, initially as a consumer lawyer, then as the agency’s Director from mid-2000. From April 2003 to November 2008 David was the Consumer Member of the Australian Code of Banking Practice Compliance Monitoring Committee. Prior to appointment with FamilyCare David was Civil Practice Manager with Legal Aid ACT. He has also spent periods as a Visiting Fellow at the Australian National University and a Senior Manager with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. David has held a number of representative roles, including terms as Chair of both the Consumers Federation of Australia and the Australian Financial Counselling and Credit Reform Association (now Financial Counselling Australia). Along with his current position at FamilyCare, David is a Trustee of the Jan Pentland Foundation, a member of the Law Help Assessment Panel for the Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations and participates in a number of local and regional networks and committees.

David Tennant

Board Member

Philip is principal of Consumer-wise Consulting, working on strategy, policy, engagement and governance. He is a member of the Boards of the Financial Basics Foundation (which he chairs), Clean Energy Council, and Consumers’ Federation of Australia. He is also a member of the Customer Owned Banking Code Compliance Committee and the expert panel at the financial ombudsman AFCA, and he chairs the independent Customer Advisory Panel for three Victorian energy networks. He previously worked at the Australian Energy Regulator, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, the UK energy regulator Ofgem and three UK consumer organisations.

Philip Cullum

Board Member

Meseret Abebe
Meseret has been advocating for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) communities since arriving in Australia in 1996 and understand the settlement and refuge issues. She has been working in a community service sector for more than 20 years. She is passionate for community inclusion, empowering the disadvantage section of our community and advocate for the social justice. Currently she is a responsive case manager for youth homelessness, led and mentor many young people. Meseret also sits in different community boards and served the community at large. She holds a Bachelor of Art in Community Development, and she is a member of Australia Institute Company Director member.

Meseret Abebe

Board Member

Sarah is a Director of Policy & Reform in the Victorian Department of Transport. Sarah is an economist and has worked with the Federal Government in the Departments of Treasury and Prime Minister & Cabinet. Sarah has also worked as a senior ministerial adviser in the Victorian Government, serving former Minister for Energy & Resources and Treasurer Michael O’Brien (now Opposition Leader). Sarah is currently completing a Masters of Global Competition & Consumer Law at the University of Melbourne.

Sarah Leslie

Board Member

Tehanee Bardolia
BA/JD. Tehanee is currently Legal Counsel at SEEK Limited and a volunteer lawyer at Refugee Legal. She has diverse legal experience across the corporate, not-for-profit and academic sectors, having also worked as Legal Counsel at RMIT University, a solicitor at Herbert Smith Freehills and a lawyer at Justice Connect. Tehanee is committed to addressing the structural inequalities affecting Australian consumers.

Tehanee Bardolia

Board Member