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ACCAN the national communications consumer peak organisation today announced Robin Banks, Kate Cornick and Dr Tim Dwyer as members of its Independent Grants Panel.

ACCAN CEO, Allan Asher said members of the panel were chosen for their expert knowledge of communications policy, strong experience in consumer advocacy and research and their demonstrated understanding of ACCAN’s mission, vision and strategic goals.

Robin Banks is the Chief Executive Officer of the Public Interest Advocacy Centre, Sydney. Robin is highly experienced in antidiscrimination law, disability and human rights, privacy and indigenous issues and has authored a number of papers on these subjects. Robin holds a Bachelor of Law and a Bachelor of Architecture.

Kate Cornick is the Executive Director for the Institute for a Broadband Enabled Society at the University of Melbourne and former policy advisor to the Minister for Communications Senator Conroy. Kate has strong communications policy and government experience. She holds a doctorate in telecommunications, a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) and a Bachelor of Science.

Dr. Tim Dwyer is a Postgraduate Research Coordinator at the University of Sydney. Tim has written a number of books on media law and policy and convergence issues. He holds a PhD in Media and Communications, a Masters degree in Media Studies and Master of Legal Studies.

The Independent Grants Panel will assess and make recommendations for ACCAN’s Grants Scheme which funds research and advocacy projects to improve the lives and communications experiences of consumers.

Applications for the first and second round of grants are open. The first round of the scheme will deliver $101,600 of funds for projects completed by June 2010. Applications for round one will close February 18th.

The second round of funding will provide grants totalling $250,000 for projects that commence after 1 July 2010 and are completed by 30 June 2011. Round Two applications will close March 18th 2010.

Organisations and individuals are encouraged to apply for a grant in the amounts of $10,000, $20,000 or $50,000.

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