Hon Simon O'Brien MLC

Hon Simon O'Brien MLC

Former Minister for Finance; Commerce; Small Business

    Consumer advocates honoured with awards

    23/03/2012 12:00 AM
    • Financial support, food standards and child safety recognised
    • Awards honour efforts of those who promote consumer protection

    A woman who established a financial support organisation; a major regional council; and a group campaigning for child safety are this year’s recipients of the prestigious Consumer Protection Awards.

    For the first time, a media category was included at the awards, which were presented by Commerce Minister Simon O’Brien during a ceremony at the University Club of Western Australia.

    Ms Lyndsey Fitzgerald, who established the Jacaranda Community Centre in Belmont in 2000, was declared winner of the Rona Okely Award - named after the well known WA consumer protection pioneer.  Ms Fitzgerald is the chief executive officer of the centre which offers financial counselling and welfare support services for people on low incomes.  Jacaranda was initiated by Aboriginal people wanting a centre where they felt they could belong, without it being a solely indigenous organisation.

    Winner of the Richard (Dick) Fletcher Award (named after the late former Consumer Affairs commissioner) was the City of Greater Geraldton. The council has introduced an innovative star rating system to ensure food produced and sold in their region is of the highest quality and standard for consumers.

    The Kidsafe WA Award went to Parents for Window Blind Safety, an organisation which focuses on raising awareness and educating the community about the danger of curtain and blind cords to young children. The group was established after the tragic death of a child from a blind cord in 2006 and has contributed to mandatory safety standards being introduced.

    The Media Award was won by ABC TV reporter, Jake Sturmer, for his two-part series on 7.30 WA investigating a property developer accused of misleading consumers and failing to honour obligations under contracts with property owners.

    Mr O’Brien said the Western Australian Consumer Protection Awards, now in its eighth year, recognise the tireless work being done in the community by the many people who help consumers and promote awareness of consumer issues.

    “The award winners and finalists are just a sample of the array of people in our community who work selflessly to protect, inform and assist consumers,” he said.

    “I hope this recognition is a reward for their magnificent achievements and efforts in this area and we thank them sincerely for their contribution to consumer protection in WA.”

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