I am pleased to note that my former colleague at ASIC – the Australian Securities and Investments Commission – has now been appointed a new consumer director at COSL, the Credit Ombudsman Service Limited, which is one of Australia’s two ASIC-approved credit ombudsman services.
I worked closely with Amanda for almost two and a half years in ASIC’s Community Outreach Program: she was the team leader and I was the deputy team leader. I know of nobody who is better able to take on this important role – especially given her long experience and commitment to financially vulnerable and disadvantaged Australians.
The Board of the Credit Ombudsman Service Limited (COSL) announced the appointment of Ms Amanda Barker as the new non-executive consumer director of the company, effective 22 October 2014.
Ms Barker is well known for her work with culturally and linguistically diverse communities. Indeed, she has been nominated for the Prime Minister’s Community Award and was awarded the Public Service Medal in 2012 which recognises outstanding service by employees of the Australian Government.
Ms Barker was the Senior Manager of the Community Outreach Program at the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), where she was employed to engage more meaningfully with vulnerable and disadvantaged communities.
Ms Barker’s experience ranges from individual casework to policy reform and educating consumers in relation to consumer credit. She has worked collaboratively with government departments that fund programs for these target groups and has provided guidance and advice about policy settings and service delivery.
Mr Mark Scanlon, COSL’s Chairman, congratulated Ms Barker on her appointment and noted: “Ms Barker is exceptionally well qualified for the appointment as COSL’s new Consumer Director given her experience working in consumer advocacy and consumer protection, particularly in relation to consumer credit.”
“Her acknowledged stakeholder engagement and management skills and reputation, dealing particularly with the vulnerable and disadvantaged, will contribute to the effectiveness of COSL’s work in this area. I look forward to working with Ms Barker in continuing to develop COSL as a leading external dispute resolution scheme,” Mr Scanlon said.
“Ms Barker replaces Ms Karen Cox who stood down from the Board on 27 August 2014. My Board, staff and I are indebted to her for her input into the development and continued growth of COSL,” continued Mr Scanlon.