Sheila McHale

Sheila McHale

Minister for Disability Services; Tourism; Culture and the Arts; Consumer Protection

    Call for consumer protection champions

    20/11/2007 1:34 PM

    The importance of protecting children from unsafe products is being highlighted in a new category in the 2008 Western Australian Consumer Protection Awards.

    Consumer Protection Minister Sheila McHale said the annual awards publicly recognised individuals and organisations that champion the rights of consumers.

    Ms McHale said for the first time, businesses would be invited to nominate for the awards in the new Kidsafe WA Award.

    “This new award acknowledges a significant and enduring contribution to advancing product safety for WA children,” she said.

    “The need to protect children from unsafe products has been highlighted this year through the banning of a number of dangerous and toxic toys.

    “As regulators, we can remove dangerous products from shop shelves and develop tougher standards, but we also rely on others to help us protect children by promoting product safety and developing safer products.

    The WA Consumer Protection Awards has three categories:
    • The Rona Okely Award for the individual who had influenced and inspired the advancement, development and promotion of consumer protection in their community;
    • The Richard (Dick) Fletcher Award for a non-government organisation or group of individuals who have made a significant and enduring contribution to the advancement of consumer protection in their community; and
    • The Kidsafe WA Award for businesses, non-government organisations, individuals, or a group of individuals who have a made significant and enduring contribution to the advancement of product safety for children in their community.
    Each winner receives a cash prize of $2,500, a trophy and framed certificate. The awards close on Friday, December 14, 2007.

    “I urge people to nominate special individuals and groups who have made a difference to their community,” the Minister said.

    “It could be through direct advocacy and support for individual consumers, raising awareness of consumers’ rights, research or involvement in the developing policy and law.”

    Ms McHale said last year’s winner of the Rona Okely Award, Julie Eady, was a passionate advocate for better food labelling and researched the effects of food additives to stop her children developing asthma and allergies.

    Mrs Eady established ‘Additive Alert Pty Ltd’ to promote better consumer awareness of food additives and to advocate for better labelling of Australian foods. She is the author of ‘Additive Alert’, ‘Your Guide to Safer Shopping’ and regularly speaks to parents, health and other groups on the issue.

    “This award really helped to lift the profile of ‘Additive Alert’ and my work,” Mrs Eady said.

    “It has opened doors to greater opportunities to promote the need for better food labelling and I’ve even been asked to speak at a food industry conference in Sydney.”

    For more information about the WA Consumer Protection Awards 2008, call 1300 30 40 54 or visit

    Minister's office: 9213 6900