Julian Thomas  (Chairperson)

Photo of Professor Julian Thomas - ACCAN Board Member

Julian Thomas is Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making and Society, and a Distinguished Professor in the School of Media and Communication at RMIT University. He has written widely about digital inclusion, automation and other topics relating to the social aspects of communications and computing technologies. His publications include the Sage Handbook to the Digital Media Economy (Sage 2022), Wi-Fi (Polity 2021), Measuring the Digital Divide: the Australian Digital Inclusion Index (Telstra, 2016-2021), Internet on the Outstation: The Digital Divide and Remote Aboriginal Communities (INC, 2016), and The Informal Media Economy (Polity, 2015).


Keith Besgrove

Keith BesgroveKeith has extensive communications policy/regulatory qualifications after fifteen years as a senior manager in the Department of Communications (2000-2014). During that time, he was pivotal to ACCAN's establishment; to securing its initial funding; and in shepherding ACCAN through subsequent government, four-year reviews.

Keith has a very wide range of experience of issues relevant to ACCAN. Aside from his work on consumer and disability issues, he developed Australia's first cyber security strategies; over sighted the creation of auDA; crafted legislation to combat spam and internet gambling; established the Do Not Call Register; helped adopt broadband in healthcare and education; managed spectrum sales; and reviewed the TIO. He was responsible for regional and indigenous communications issues for seven years including the second Regional Telecommunications Independent Review Committee, and managed installation of satellite phones and wi-fi points of presence in remote indigenous communities.

Since leaving the Department in 2014, he has worked with many not-for-profit groups, including Financial Counseling Australia and spent 3 years as an advocate at Energy Consumers Australia. He is a Chair of the Funding Committee for Dragon Claw -- a web-based service for rheumatoid arthritis sufferers; a member of the board of an arts company, the CAD Factory; and a governing member of auDA. He is a vice-Chair of Internet Australia, and a member of the ACS’ Profession Advisory Board.


Bobbie Blackson

Bobby BlacksonBobbie is a longstanding member of the Australian Deaf community and has been involved in various paid and non-paid capacities across disability/not-for-profit/government/tertiary sectors spanning 40 years. This has included being the Chair of Deaf Australia, the Chair of Deaf Connect, a member of the Australian Disability Advisory Council as well as a number of state and local organisations. She is a life member and Emeritus Chair of Deaf Connect.

She was a co-founder of Deaflink which saw Australia’s first consumer-driven relay service eventually servicing all of Queensland. Deaflink merged with Deafness Resources Australia to form Australian Communication Exchange which provided the first National Relay Service.

Bobbie has witnessed and supported deaf and hard of hearing people face the challenges of dealing with various traditional and interactive media platforms. Communication technology is potentially an enabler, but also poses many new barriers.

Bobbie lives in rural SE Queensland and has experienced the challenges of adequate reliable communications services. Initially trained as a social worker, she has also gone on to be a Justice of the Peace (Qual), a civil marriage celebrant and is a member and Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Bobbie has lived experience of challenges of navigating life as a deaf person in a hearing focussed, and now voice-activated world.


Chris Dodds

Mr Chris Dodds - ACCAN Board memberChris has been involved in the Community Service Industry for over 40 years in both a paid and volunteer capacity. This has included work as a childcare worker in a Women's Refuge, Coordinator at a Neighbourhood Centre and teaching at both TAFE and University. He served on the Board of NCOSS for 14 years including four year (2002-6) as President. He also served on the Board of ACOSS for eight years including five years on the Executive.

Chris represents ACOSS on and is also Chairperson of Telstra's Low Income Measures Assessment Committee (LIMAC) which oversees $200 million of assistance provided by Telstra to low income customers each year.


David Havyatt

David Havyatt

David had a 35-year career in telecommunications that was structured in the reverse to many others. Post University he started as a clerk in old fashioned customer account teams, worked his way up to General Manager roles in Sales and Strategy, then morphed into a regulatory specialist before ending up in a Minister's office. Post his telco career he spent five years as Senior Economist at Energy Consumers Australia and after retiring spent the last three still focussed on energy consumer issues.

He brings to ACCAN extensive governance and regulatory experience. His regulatory experience has been primarily in industry, though he was particularly focussed on roles improving consumer experience. He served on the Boards of CommsAlliance, AMTA and the TIO as well as being Chair of the Board of Endeavour Credit Union and the Glen Street Theatre.

David prides himself on being a creative thinker who looks for the less obvious answers to “wicked” problems.


Dr Scott Hollier 

Dr Scott HollierDr Scott Hollier specialises in the field of digital accessibility and is the CEO and co-founder of the Centre For Accessibility Australia, a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to alleviating hardship caused by digital access issues. With a Ph.D. in Internet Studies and senior management experience across the not-for-profit, corporate and government sectors, Scott is an internationally-recognised researcher and speaker.

Scott’s other roles and achievements include Finalist for 2022 Australian of the Year, holds academic positions at Edith Cowan University and the University of South Australia, and is an Invited Expert for the W3C Accessible Platform Architectures Research Questions Task Force. In addition, Scott is legally blind and as such has both a professional and personal understanding of the importance of accessibility. 


Vince Humphries

Vince Humphries

Vince worked in communications regulation for over 30 years, most of that time with the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) and its predecessors. In his various roles, he dealt with most aspects of telecommunications regulation, together with regulation of online content, spam and telemarketing calls.

In the area of telecommunications regulation, Vince led the ACMA’s efforts to drive a stronger emphasis on telco compliance with consumer safeguards, develop a range of consumer safeguards specific to the NBN, introduce publication of regular reports on complaints received by telcos and on how telcos deal with financial hardship, and a range of initiatives focusing on consumers in vulnerable circumstances.
Vince drove the use of research commissioned by the ACMA and by major research organisations to inform the ACMA’s strategic priorities related to consumer protection. He also worked for 3½ years with the European Communications Office, based in Denmark, supporting the work of European communications regulators related to numbering, addressing and next generation networks.
Vince has a strong and long-standing interest in consumers having access to reliable and quality communications services, the protection of rights of consumers in vulnerable circumstances, and design of fit-for-purpose regulation.

Vince lives in regional Victoria and has lived experience of some of the challenges in having reliable access to quality communications services in regional areas.


Delia Rickard PSM 

Delia RickardDelia has worked in consumer protection for 30 years, the last 10 or which were as the Deputy Chair of the ACCC. In that role she sat of the ACCC’s Communications and Enforcement committees, was a member of their Digital Platforms board as well as participating in multiple areas involving consumer protection. Her passions include stopping scams and creating a more equitable & sustainable society. She also previously worked senior roles at ASIC where one of her main focuses was financial capability. In 2011 she was awarded the Public Service Medal for ‘outstanding public service in the development of consumer protection for financial services’. She has also been awarded the SOCAP Lifetime Achievement award and in 2022 the Inaugural Australian Law Council’s Australian Consumer Rights award. Delia is currently involved with a range of not for profit organisations including the Australian Financial Complaints Authority; Super Consumers Australia; Good Shepherd’s financial inclusion action plans and the Jan Pentland foundation.


Victoria Rubensohn AM (Deputy Chairperson)

Picture of Victoria Rubensohn AMVictoria Rubensohn has been closely associated with ACCAN from its beginning as well as predecessor CTN. Victoria is a lawyer with special expertise in intellectual property, international communications and media regulatory policy. Victoria is a former member of the Telephone Information Services Standards Council, the Australian Broadcasting Tribunal, the Bond Inquiry, the Mobile Premium Services Code Review Panel and is currently the consumer representative on Communications Compliance Ltd. Victoria also has extensive experience in the governance of not for profit organisations having been founding Director and Secretary of the Fred Hollows Foundation, Director and Secretary of the Australian Caption Centre and is a founding Director and Secretary of Media Access Australia and a Director of the Communications Law Centre. Victoria also has a longstanding interest in matters affecting remote indigenous communities, most recently through associations in Alice Springs.