Community service providers that offer support to some of our most vulnerable consumers have been recognised in the Consumer Protection Awards, along with a program to prevent infant sleeping deaths and a regional reporter.
The 2020 winners were announced at a ‘virtual’ event on the Consumer Protection Facebook page after the awards ceremony in March was cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Community leader Sharryn Jackson, who heads Community Legal WA, has been honoured with the Rona Okely Award for an individual who has given their time, energy and experience for the betterment of others.
Ms Jackson is executive director of the organisation, which represents 28 centres that provide free or low cost legal assistance and education to the community. Under her leadership, Community Legal WA has re-branded, with a new website that provides consumers with a one-stop shop for information and referrals to get further advice.
Midland-based Indigo Junction Incorporated was awarded the Richard (Dick) Fletcher Award for a local government, non-government organisation or group of individuals for their services, initiative or project. The centre has been offering education and welfare services for 39 years, supporting young people, families and individuals who are in crisis and dealing with disadvantage. Clients are provided with information and education about scams, payday loans and rent-to-buy schemes.
Red Nose, Australia’s leading authority on safe sleep and safe pregnancy, took out the Kidsafe WA Award. This award focuses on the promotion of product safety and injury prevention for children.
Red Nose offers support for families affected by Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and runs a program aimed specifically at reducing the risk of sudden infant deaths in Aboriginal communities. The program developed the Pepi-Pod – a small, portable, purpose-built plastic tub designed to create a safe sleeping space for babies.
Callum Hunter, a former reporter at the South Western Times in Bunbury, has won the Ruby Hutchison Award. The award acknowledges a journalist or media outlet for raising awareness and improving understanding of consumer issues.
Specialising in consumer affairs reporting, Mr Hunter investigated and produced two front-page scam stories – one about an Australind retiree who lost more than $2,000 to an NBN scam and the other about a businesswoman who lost almost $700,000 to an online investment scam.
As stated by Commerce Minister John Quigley:
“The award recipients are the unsung heroes of our community who either give vital advice and assistance to consumers, improve safety or help to educate and inform the public about consumer issues.
“The Consumer Protection Awards aim to recognise their selfless efforts and give us an opportunity to pay tribute to those who work in the community services sector and the media.
“I congratulate the winners and the finalists who obviously demonstrated to the judging panel that they are very much worthy of having their great work acknowledged.”