Andrew Williams, Chief Executive Officer

Andrew Williams photoAndrew is an experienced executive with extensive operations, management and commercial experience and a demonstrated track record in achieving planned outcomes, enhancing customer focus and driving process improvement.  His experience base spans a wide range of commercial disciplines in both private and public sector industries, including 20 years as an officer in the Royal Australian Navy where, as a specialist Navigator, he held a wide range of operational roles, both ashore and afloat.

Andrew joined ACCAN as the Director of Operations in 2019, was appointed Deputy CEO in July 2021, and became CEO in March 2022. He is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and holds tertiary qualifications in Arts, Business Administration, and Law.

 

Gareth Downing, Deputy CEO

Gareth Downing - Deputy CEOGareth oversees a team responsible for ACCAN’s policy work, community engagement and membership. His career has focused on policy and regulation and he has worked on policy across a number of regulated sectors including telecommunications, energy and water.  Gareth is committed to advancing consumer’s interest through his leadership of ACCAN’s policy team.

Gareth has previously sat on the ACCAN board, and prior to that worked for ACCAN in the role of Senior Policy Analyst providing advice on a wide range of policy, economic regulation and pricing matters. Gareth holds tertiary qualifications in policy, economics and law.

 

Dr Wayne Hawkins, Director of Inclusion

Wayne Hawkins - Director of InclusionWayne is Director of Inclusion with the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN). Wayne joined ACCAN in 2010 as Disability Policy Advisor and has led ACCANís work on telecommunications access for consumers with disability, broadcast television access for people with disability and emergency services along with ACCAN's work in digital platforms and data security and privacy. Prior to joining ACCAN Wayne was National Policy officer with Blind Citizens Australia.

 

Tanya Karliychuk, Director of Operations

Tanya KarliychukTanya oversees a team responsible for ACCAN’s federally-funded Grants Scheme, commissioned research program, and consumer education program. She provides leadership ensuring ACCAN adheres to its values and advances its strategic direction. With extensive experience in research management within the Australian university and NFP sectors, combined with a background in international development, Tanya is especially focused on maximising the outcomes achieved from community-sector collaborations.

Tanya has driven the writing, winning and delivery of large government grants in the international development sector, as well as smaller community sector grants for various volunteer projects. She is currently Co-Convenor of the NSW Chapter of the Australasian Research Management Society. Tanya holds a Master of International Affairs from ANU and a Bachelor of Psychology (Hons) from Macquarie University.

 

 

As part of its consultation strategy, ACCAN has four Standing Advisory Forums. The four Standing Advisory Forums have replaced the previous Standing Advisory Committees that made up ACCAN's consultation framework – the Standing Advisory Committee on Consumer Affairs (SACCA) and the Standing Advisory Committee on Disability Issues (SACDI).

The new framework commenced in 2015 and will see each Advisory Forum meet annually. Additionally, where there are specific issues which require consultation, the ACCAN CEO may form Expert Advisory Committees.

  • The Members Advisory Forum will focus across all the areas of ACCAN's activity and policy work.

  • The Disability Advisory Forum will address issues regarding accessibility and suitability of communications services and products for Australians living with a disability.

  • The Indigenous Advisory Forum focuses on Indigenous communications issues and suitability of communications services and products for Indigenous consumers.

  • The Small Business Advisory Forum will work to ensure that the voice of small business consumers is heard in the telecommunications industry.

Julian Thomas  (Chairperson)

Photo of Professor Julian Thomas - ACCAN Board Member

Professor Julian Thomas is Director of RMIT's Social Change Enabling Capability Platform, and Director of the Technology, Communications and Policy Lab in the University’s Digital Ethnography Research Centre. He works on new media, information policy and the evolution of communications technologies. He is the lead author of the Australian Digital Inclusion Index (Telstra, 2016-18), and has published widely on privacy, communications policy and regulation.

 

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.

 

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.

 

 

 

 

The Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) is Australia’s peak communications consumer organisation representing individuals, small businesses and not-for-profit groups as consumers of communications products and services. ACCAN focuses on goods and services encompassed by the converged areas of telecommunications, broadcasting, the internet and online services, including both current and emerging technologies.

We aim to empower consumers to make good choices about products and services. As a peak body, ACCAN will represent the views of its broad and diverse membership base to policy makers, government and industry to get a better outcome for all communications consumers. Member groups include community legal centres, disability advocates, indigenous organisations, financial counsellors, regional organisations, farmers’ federations, parents groups, seniors organisations and other individual members.

The operation of ACCAN is made possible by funding provided by the Commonwealth of Australia under section 593 of the Telecommunications Act 1997. This funding is recovered from charges on telecommunications carriers.

ACCAN administers a Grant Program as part of its funding agreement with the Commonwealth Department of Communications. The aims of the Program are to support consumer research and representation that is aligned with ACCAN’s strategic plan.

 

 

ACCAN is now accepting Expressions of Interest to serve on its Independent Grants Panel. The role of the Panel is to assess eligible applications to the ACCAN Independent Grants Scheme and recommend the strongest to the ACCAN Board for funding.

ACCAN Grants Scheme
The ACCAN Grants Scheme funds projects that work towards our vision of available, accessible and affordable communications that enhance the lives of consumers. The focus is on creating versatile resources for consumers and a strong evidence base for communications consumer representation.

The Program carries an annual budget of over $270,000. Annual rounds run in the first quarter of each calendar year, with funded projects expected to commence on the 1st of July each year.

Selection Process
Panel members will be selected through a competitive process taking into consideration the following selection criteria. Members will be chosen based on their individual expertise. A sub-committee of the ACCAN Board will assess the applications and make a recommendation to the Board.

Selection Criteria
The Panel will meet face-to-face once a year to discuss proposals, with teleconferences and separate reviews of grant applications in addition to this. To be a member of the Panel, you will need to be available at various intervals between mid-April and May 2015. Reimbursement of travel expenses and a sitting fee is available for the face-to-face meeting. All applications must address the following selection criteria:

a) Understanding of communications issues especially ACCAN's Mission, Vision and Strategic Goals;
b) Expert knowledge about consumer issues (sectoral or general);
c) Awareness of, or experience in, the community sector;
d) Demonstrated knowledge of research methodology and/or project design;
e) Proven ability to act independently and make impartial assessments;
f) Commitment to good governance principles especially transparency and accountability; and
g) Understanding of the diversity of ACCAN's membership base.

How to submit an application
If you would like to make an Expression of Interest please write a short statement (no longer than 3 pages) addressing the selection criteria and submit this with your curriculum vitae (CV) to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by 5pm AEDT on 12 December 2014.

More information: docxIndependent Grants Panel EOI 2014.docx88.38 KB

pdfIndependent Grants Panel EOI 2014.pdf442.58 KB

 

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Banner image for ACCAN Events picturing ACCAN CEO and industry representatives taking part in a consultative forum.

 

As part of our commitment to community and industry consultation, ACCAN runs a number of events each year.  Our current and upcoming events can be found on this page.  ACCAN encourages its Members to profile their communications events through our website.

If you would like any further information regarding our events, or to include your event on our site, please contact us.

You can see the speakers' presentations from the ACCANect 2018: Confidence in the connected world on the conference event page.  If you are looking for information regarding past events it can be found in the events archive.

 

ACCAN acknowledges the need to actively promote equal access to all ACCAN events, consultations, submissions and other information. This reflects our principles of equal access and meaningful inclusion of people with disability. ACCAN strives to be a model in this field, for other not-for-profits, industry and government.

ACCAN endeavours to maintain its website in accordance with the WCAG 2.1AA guidelines and WCAG2.1AAA where possible. We welcome feedback on our content.

Accessibility Toolbox icon Our site contains an accesibility toolbox to change colour themes and resize text. The standard and inverted colour themes meet WCAG 2.1AAA contrast ratings.  Browsers also have their own text resizing capabilities outlined below.

Change your text size

If you would like to increase the size of text you see on this website we recommend you use your web browser to zoom into the sites pages making the text larger while preserving the layout of the page. Here's how to do this for the most popular browsers;

Firefox

First, at the top of the Firefox window on the menu bar, click the View menu, scroll to the Zoom sub-menu and use the zoom controls as required.

Zoom with keyboard

  • To increase the text size / zoom in, press and hold the "Ctrl" while pressing +.
  • To decrease the text size / zoom out, press and hold Ctrl while pressing -.
  • To reset your text size to default, press and hold Ctrl while pressing 0.


Mouse: If your mouse has a scroll wheel, press and hold Ctrl while scrolling up to decrease the text font size and down to increase it.

More about resizing in Firefox

Google Chrome

Open the "Customize and control Google Chrome" spanner icon (see image right). Use the Zoom controls to resize your text as required.

Zoom with keyboard

  • To increase the text size / zoom in, press and hold the "Ctrl" while pressing +.
  • To decrease the text size / zoom out, press and hold Ctrl while pressing -.
  • To reset your text size to default, press and hold Ctrl while pressing 0.


Mouse: If your mouse has a scroll wheel, press and hold Ctrl while scrolling up to decrease the text font size and down to increase it.

More about resizing in Chrome

 

Microsoft Edge / Internet Exporer 7+

Zoom with keyboard

  • To increase the text size / zoom in, press and hold the "Ctrl" while pressing +.
  • To decrease the text size / zoom out, press and hold Ctrl while pressing -.
  • To reset your text size to default, press and hold Ctrl while pressing 0.

In Internet Explorer 8 simply use the Magnifying glass in the bottom right corner of your browser frame.

More about resizing in Internet Explorer 8

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To adjust the text size:

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A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

2508+ Disconnected

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Able Australia

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Acceleon

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AccessPlus WA Deaf

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Achieve Australia

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ACT Council of Social Services Inc.

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Adult Learning Australia

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Association of Independent Retirees

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Australian Council of Social Service

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Australian Federation of Deaf Societies

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Australian Federation of Disability Organisations

Link to website

Australian Privacy Foundation

Link to website

Australian Regional Business Development Specialists

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Australian Seniors Computer Clubs Association

Link to website

Australian Smart Communities Association

Link to website

Better Hearing Australia

Link to website

Better Internet for Regional, Rural and Remote Australia (BIRRR)

Link to website

Blind Citizens Australia

Link to website

Broadband for the Bush

Link to website

CARE Inc

Link to website

Central Land Council

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Centre for Appropriate Technology

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Centre for Inclusive Design

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Centre for Indigenous Technology, Information & Engineering Solutions

Link to website

CHOICE

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Collective of Self Help Groups

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Combined Pensioners and Superannuants Association of NSW

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Combined Pensioners and Superannuants Association of Victoria

Link to website

Communications Rights Australia

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Community Broadcasting Association of Australia

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Community Legal Centres NSW

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Consumer Action Law Centre

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Consumer Credit Legal Service WA

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Consumer Policy Research Centre

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Consumers' Association of South Australia

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Consumers' Federation of Australia

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Cotton Australia

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Council of Small Business Organisations of Australia

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Council on the Ageing Australia

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Council on the Ageing Western Australia

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Country Women's Association of Australia

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Deaf Australia

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Deafblind Australia

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Deaf Children Australia

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Deaf NT

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Deaf Society of NSW

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Deafness Forum of Australia

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Desert Knowledge Australia

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Differently Abled People Association Inc.

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Digital Tasmania

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Electronic Frontiers Australia

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Ethnic Communities Council of WA

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Expression Australia

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Family Drug Support

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Federation of Ethnic Communities Councils of Australia

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Financial Counsellors Association of Queensland

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Financial Counsellors Association of Western Australia

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Financial Counselling Australia

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Financial Counselling Victoria

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Financial Rights Legal Centre NSW

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First Nations Media Australia

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Westjustice (Footscray Community Legal Centre)

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Health Consumers of Rural & Remote Australia

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Hitnet

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HK Training & Consultancy P/L

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IDEAS NSW - Information on Disability & Education Awareness Services

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IEEE Society for the Social Implications of Technology (SSIT) – Australia Chapter

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Illawarra Legal Centre

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Indigenous Consumer Assistance Network

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Infoxchange

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Inner Sydney Regional Council for Social Development

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Internet Australia (formerly Internet Society of Australia)

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Isolated Children's and Parents Association Australia

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Isolated Children's and Parents Association QLD

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Isolated Children's Parents' Association NT 

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Isolated Children's Parents' Association NSW

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Isolated Children's Parents' Association WA

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itControl

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Kingsford Legal Centre

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Leep NGO Inc Link to website

Macarthur Legal Centre

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National Association of Community Legal Centres

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National Children's and Youth Law Centre

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National Council of Women of Australia

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National Ethnic Disability Alliance

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National Farmers Federation

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NSW Farmers Association

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People with Disabilities WA

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People with Disability Australia Inc

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Physical Disability Australia

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Physical Disability Council of NSW

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Public Interest Advocacy Centre

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Queensland Consumers Association

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Queensland Council of Social Service

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Redfern Legal Centre

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South Australian Financial Counsellors Association

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Tasmanians with Disabilities Inc.

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Tenants Queensland Inc.

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The Benevolent Society

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Think + DO Tank Foundation Limited

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Uniting Care Wesley Bowden

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Vision Australia Limited

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Westwood Spice

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Women's Legal Services Australia

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Women's Legal Services NSW

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Women with Disabilities Australia

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Youth Affairs Network of Queensland

Link to website

 

 

 

The purpose of the Members Advisory Forum (MAF) is to discuss the most important issues from the perspective of ACCAN's members and the people they represent, with a view to incorporating these into ACCAN's work priorities.

The purpose of the Small Business Advisory Forum (SBAF) is to discuss the most important telecommunications consumer issues from the perspective of key representative in the small business environment and the people they represent, with a view to incorporating these into ACCAN's work priorities.

The purpose of the Indigenous Advisory Forum (IAF) is to discuss the most important telecommunications consumer issues from the perspective of key representative in the Indigenous consumer/community's environment and the people they represent, with a view to incorporating these into ACCAN's work priorities.