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.

 

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.

 

Dr Scott Hollier (Co-Opted)

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.

 

Holly Raiche (Deputy Chairperson)

Holly Raiche

Holly is on the ALAC Leadership Team, representing ALAC’s Asia-Pacific Regional Organisation. She is a Director and Chair of the Policy Committee of Internet Australia (the Australian Chapter of ISOC).  She is also a Director on the Boards of the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) and the Australian Privacy Foundation and a former Board member of auDA. 

She is an Adjunct Lecturer at the Law Faculty of UNSW and lectures at the Department of Media and Communications at Sydney University in Internet Cultures and Governance.

Holly has an MA and an LLB, and is a non-practicing Solicitor in New South Wales.

Victoria Rubensohn AM

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.

 

Dr Scott Winch

Scott Wench headshotDr Scott Winch is Wiradjuri man and the First Nations Senior Policy Advisor for World Vision Australia. His work primarily focuses on First Nations child rights including education and justice. He was the lead author of the “Connecting on Country Report: Closing the Digital Divide for First Nations students in the age of COVID-19” which highlighted the disparity in online access for First Nations people and how that was exacerbated with the accelerated online reliance since the arrival COVID-19.

Scott has over 20 years’ experience in First Nations affairs from local community development and advocacy to international research and projects. His experience spans from urban to remote communities mainly in the health and education sectors including roles in community development, senior management, academia, research and evaluation and policy. He has a PhD which investigated “the impact of school engagement on Aboriginal primary school students in Victoria in relation to their educational outcomes”, a Masters’ of Applied Epidemiology and a Graduate Diploma in Health Services Management.