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Date: 11-12 September 2019
Time: Registration from 8:30am
Conference begins: 8:55am
Venue: Aerial UTS Function Centre, Sydney

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Day 1, Wednesday 11th September

Session 1: 8:55 – 9:25am


MC: Julie McCrossin

Welcome to country: Uncle Ray Davison, Cultural Representative, Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council

Welcome address: Deirdre O’Donnell, Chairperson, ACCAN Board


Session 2: 9:25 – 9:30am

Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, the Hon. Paul Fletcher MP (video)

Newly appointed Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety, and the Arts, the Hon. Paul Fletcher provides a welcome for the conference participants via a video message.


Session 3: 9:30 – 10:00am

Keynote - Consumer advocacy: Why we need it and why it works!

Presenter: Helen Wellings

Helen Wellings is a well-known ‘crusader for consumer rights’. Over her career, she has appeared on a range of national news, current affairs and radio programs. Helen also hosted and reported on the ABC’s consumer watchdog program, The Investigators, and is currently the National Consumer Affairs Editor for the Seven Network’s daily news.

Helen will reflect on her extensive experience reporting on consumer issues and the important role that consumer advocates play in creating better outcomes for consumers.


Session 4: 10:00 – 10:20am

Keynote presentation – Matthew Lobb, General Manager, Fixed Capability - Vodafone

This session will outline some of the key issues from a Vodafone perspective for consumers and its customers specifically going forward.

10:20 – 10:30am



10:30 - 11:00am: Morning tea


Session 5: 11:00 – 11:20 am

Keynote presentation – Allen Lew, CEO, Optus

This session will outline some of the key issues from an Optus perspective for consumers and its customers specifically going forward.

11:20 – 11:30am



Session 6: 11:30 – 12:20pm

Complaint resolution: what’s working and what’s next?

Julie McCrossin

Judi Jones, Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman
Rose Webb, Commissioner for NSW Fair Trading

In this session, MC Julie McCrossin will lead an engaging conversation with representatives from some of Australia’s top complaint resolution bodies. Find out what issues are the most widespread and the proactive steps that these bodies are putting in place to ensure that complaints are heard and handled in a timely manner.


Session 7: 12:20 – 12:50pm

Reflecting on telecommunications regulation

Teresa Corbin

Nerida O’Loughlin – Chair, Australian Communications and Media Authority
Delia Rickard – Deputy Chair, Australian Competition and Consumer Commission

Regulation provides important safeguards for Australians. Join ACCAN CEO Teresa Corbin, ACMA Chair Nerida O’Loughlin and ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard as they dive into how Australia’s telecommunications regulation framework protects telco consumers as well as the emerging challenges to the current framework.


Session 8: 12:50 – 1:00pm

Standards Australia and telecommunications

Presenter: Neidra Motha, Stakeholder Engagement Manager, Standards Australia

In this session the important role that standards play in providing consumer safeguards will be outlined, as well as the valuable contribution that consumer representation makes to telecommunications issues and Standards Australia.


1:00-2:00pm: Lunch


Session 9: 2:00 – 2:10pm

Digital Inclusion Index - Update

Interviewer: Julie McCrossin

Interviewee: Professor Julian Thomas, Director, RMIT Social Change Enabling Capability Platform

Digital inclusion is a complex and multi-dimensional issue involving technological, social and economic factors. The Digital Inclusion Index is an annual report which looks at how Australia is progressing in better digital inclusion. RMIT’s Julian Thomas will share insights from the latest release of this important research.


Session 10: 2:10 – 3:10pm 

Affordable Broadband for All – No Australian Left Offline – The real cost

Julie McCrossin will interview a panel of experts who understand the impact affordability of services can have on connectivity. Panellists will share perspectives from experiences of consumers who are finding the cost of accessing broadband too high and what happens when someone just can’t afford to stay connected.

Interviewer: Julie McCrossin

Julie Robinson, Project Co-ordinator, The Smith Family
Nan Bosler, President, Australian Seniors Computer Clubs Association
Joel Pringle, Advocacy Campaigner – Older Australians, The Benevolent Society
Lynda Edwards, Coordinator Financial Capability, Financial Counselling Australia
Sue Salthouse, Director, Didactic Enterprises


Session 11: 3:10 – 3:25pm

Report back from indigenous focus day

Presenter: Christine Ross, Facilitator, Indigenous Focus Day

In late June, Indigenous consumers came together in Alice Springs for the Frist Nations Media and ACCAN communications Indigenous Focus Day. This event is a forum for remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and organisations to share experiences and ideas about the potential of internet connectivity and digital tools for themselves, their families and communities. Christine Ross, facilitator at this important event shares insights and areas for future action highlighted on the day.

3:25 – 3:30pm



3:30 – 4:00pm: Afternoon tea


Session 12: 4:00 – 4:20pm

Reliable communications

Interviewer: Julie McCrossin

Tanya Cameron, National President, Country Women’s Association of Australia
Wendy Hick, Immediate Past President, Isolated Children’s Parents’ Association (Australia)

Communications is now an essential service for both consumers and businesses. If they fail, we face real consequences. Join our panellists as they share what having reliable communications means to them, and the impacts faced if these services are down.

4:20 – 4:30pm



Session 13: 4:30 – 4:35pm

Senator Jordon Steele-John (video)

We welcome a video message from Greens Senator Steele-John, outlining his perspectives on telecommunications and consumer issues.


Session 14: 4:35 – 5:00pm

ACCAN Awards Presentation and 10 year reflection

Deirdre O’Donnell, ACCAN Chair
Chris Dodds, Deputy Chair

In this session ACCAN will recognise the contribution of many who have been a part of the first 10 years of ACCAN’s journey.


5:00 – 7:00pm: 10 year celebration networking drinks in foyer


Day 2, Thursday 12th September

Welcome back: 8:55 – 9:00am

MC: Julie McCrossin


Session 1: 9:00 – 9:20am

Keynote presentation - Andy Penn, CEO, Telstra

This session will outline some of the key issues from a Telstra perspective for consumers its customers specifically going forward.

9:20 – 9:30am



Session 2: 9:30 – 9:50am

The Mobile Nation - The 5G future

Presenter: Chris Althaus, CEO, Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association

We are pleased to welcome Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA) CEO, Chris Althaus to present on the 5G future. AMTA’s research report examines the productivity benefits that 5G will bring to the Australian economy.

9:50 – 9:55am



Session 3: 9:55 – 10:00am

Shadow Minister for Communications, Michelle Rowland MP (video)

Shadow Minster for Communications Michelle Rowland will outline her perspectives about telecommunications and consumer issues in a video message.


Session 4: 10:00 – 10:20am

Keynote presentation - Stephen Rue, CEO, NBN Co

In this session NBN Co CEO Stephen Rue will provide an update on the organisation’s progress towards their goal of finishing the roll-out of NBN services by 2020.

10:20 – 10:30am



Morning tea: 10:30-11:00am


Session 5: 11:00 – 11:20am

Keynote presentation – Kevin Russell, Managing Director & CEO, Vocus Group

This session will outline some of the key issues from a Vocus perspective for consumers its customers specifically going forward. Vocus providers include Dodo and iPrimus.


Session 6: 11:20 – 11:30am

Introduction to Accessible Telecoms

Presenter: Wayne Hawkins, ACCAN Director of Inclusion

ACCAN’s Director of Inclusion Wayne Hawkins leads a demonstration of the Accessible Telecoms project. This ground-breaking resource is a nation-wide disability telecommunications information service which provides information on the accessibility of mainstream and specialised telecoms equipment.


Session 7: 11:30am – 12:30pm

Small providers’ forum

Teresa Corbin, ACCAN CEO

Adrian Panozzo, Founder, Better Life Mobile
Jeremy Way, CEO, Jeenee
David Joss, Managing Director, Southern Phone
Jock Graham, Managing Director, Wi-Sky

While most recognise the three big telco providers, Australia’s telco market has dozens of small providers. In this session, ACCAN CEO Teresa Corbin sits down with a range of these smaller providers to discuss how they operate and what they can provide to consumers.


Lunch: 12:30 – 1:15pm


Session 8: 1:15 – 1:30pm

Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia perspectives

Introduction: Julie McCrossin, MC

Interviewee: Mohammad Al-Khafaji, CEO, Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia

Australia is a vast country with a wide variety of people who call it home. This session will explore the way that Australia’s ethnic communities communicate and how their telcos needs mirror or diverge from other communities across Australia.

1:30 – 1:35pm



Session 9: 1:35 – 1:55pm

Regional, Rural and Remote Communications Coalition - Update

Presenter: Tony Mahar, CEO, National Farmers’ Federation

This session will take a look back at what the Regional, Rural and Remote Communications Coalition has achieved since forming in late 2016. With inputs from a wide variety of groups from education, to farming and agriculture, the RRRCC has made considerable progress in raising the profile of the communications needs of regional and remote Australians.


Session 10: 1:55 – 2:15pm

Privacy - A day in the life of data

Presenters: Lauren Solomon, CEO, Consumer Policy Research Centre

Consumer Policy Research Centre CEO Lauren Solomon presents findings from CPRC’s ”A Day In the Life of Data Report”. The report presents the personal data extracted from consumers each day, often without their full knowledge, understanding, or consent.


Session 11: 2:15 – 2:30pm

ACCAN grants program

Interviewer: Tanya Karliychuk, ACCAN Grants and Research Manager

Dr Amber Marshall, QUT - Connectivity and digital inclusion in FNQ agricultural communities
James Meese, UTS - Consumer rights to personal data

Each year, ACCAN funds a number of projects through the ACCAN grants program. In this session, two successful past applicants will share the results from their projects and insights gained during the process.


Session 12: 2:30 – 3:30pm

QandA Fast Forward to 2030 – What does the future look like for telco consumers?

Host: Elise Davidson, General Manager Strategic Communications, Australian Competition and Consumer Commission

Elise Ball, Special Counsel, Maddocks Lawyers
Erin Turner, Director, Campaigns & Communications, CHOICE
Mohammad Al-Khafaji, CEO, Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia
Lauren Solomon, CEO, Consumer Policy Research Centre
Christine Ross, Facilitator, Indigenous Focus Day
Sue Salthouse, Director, Didactic Enterprises

We’ve seen the telco space change at an unprecedented pace during ACCAN’s first 10 years. In this session, we look forward to what the next decade may hold for telco consumers. With insights from some of Australia’s most prominent consumer advocacy voices, this is a session not to be missed.


Closing remarks: 3:30 – 3:40pm 

Presenter: Teresa Corbin, ACCAN CEO

Conference close: 3:40pm 

Afternoon tea 3:30 – 4:00pm

ACCAN AGM: 4:00pm


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