Australian and New Zealand Ombudsman Association

2016 ANZOA Conference

conference topics and speakers


The Ombudsman in Australia and New Zealand:
One model; many applications

Opening and welcome

  • Judi Jones, ANZOA Chair & Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman


Keynote address: The Ombudsman today – an international context

The context within which Ombudsmen operate is changing. Changes in consumer expectation, technology, service provision, and the policy environment give rise to questions such as:

• Should Ombudsmen determine the dispute or resolve the conflict?

• Are there tensions between the concepts of right, fair, just, and reasonable?

• Is the work of Ombudsmen a calling or a profession?

• What might this mean for Ombudsman training, development, and education?

This view from the United Kingdom will consider the issues, the questions, and present some thinking on how Ombudsmen could respond, and are responding, to these changes.

  • Carolyn Hirst, Lecturer - Ombudsman and Complaint Handling Practice, Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, UK 
    presentation       paper


What we need from Ombudsmen today – views from the outside

  • Gill Callister, President, The Institute of Public Administration Australia, Victorian Division (IPAA Victoria)
  • Gerard Brody, CEO, Consumer Action Law Centre, Victoria
    speaking notes


The continuous rise of the rules of natural justice

The law relating to the obligation to provide natural justice continues to evolve. Barry will discuss recent developments in this area and the implications for Ombudsman offices.

  • Barry Dunphy, Partner and Head of Government Services, Clayton Utz


Tigers' teeth or teddy bears? The Ombudsman and the Regulator

An interactive panel session which will explore the developing relationship between industry-based Ombudsman schemes and industry regulators

  • Peter Kell, Deputy Chair, Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC)
  • Delia Rickard, Deputy Chair, Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC)
  • Nicola Sladden, Banking Ombudsman New Zealand
  • Gary Smith, Head of Regulatory Compliance, Optus
  • Catriona Lowe, Public Policy Director and Consultant


Complaints, corruption and maladministration – exploring the boundaries

A panel session exploring the interaction between Ombudsman offices  and anti-corruption bodies

  • Wayne Lines, South Australian Ombudsman
  • Richard Connock, Tasmanian Ombudsman
  • Professor AJ Brown, Professor of Public Policy and Law, Program Leader - Public Integrity & Anti-Corruption, Centre for Governance and Public Policy, Griffith University, Queensland
  • Stephen O'Bryan QC, Commissioner, Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC), Victoria


Developing our people for today's environment and tomorrow's challenges

The professional development of Ombudsman staff is a crucial part of our success. This session will explore the emergence of TIO’s development of a formal qualification for Alternative Dispute Resolution and the approach FOS is taking to build its leaders through a three tier Management Development Program directed towards aspiring, leading and senior managers.

  • Di Carmody, Deputy Ombudsman, Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman
  • Shane Tregillis, Chief Ombudsman, Financial Ombudsman Service


Future ready – dispute resolution and technology

Amazon and eBay have successfully introduced Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) for low value, high volume consumer transactions. But what is the role of ODR when it comes to more complex disputes? Should the organisations which we oversight be expanding their Internal Dispute Resolution systems through the introduction of ODR? What benefits could it offer citizens and consumers? And what may be the domino effect for Ombudsman offices, especially in the face of calls to embrace 'big' and 'open' data?

  • Professor Tania Sourdin, Dean, University of Newcastle Law School, NSW
  • Stephen Mumford, Assistant Ombudsman, Victorian Ombudsman
  • Ross Paull, CEO, Guided Resolution  


Success for today's Ombudsman

With the contemporary focus of Ombudsman on fixing the systemic causes of complaint, is the ultimate sign of success fewer and fewer complaints? Is it right for an Ombudsman to boldly state "If I do my job well, I won't have a job!". This presentation will explore the 'success' of fewer complaints in the context of Ombudsman's role.

  • Simon Cohen, Deputy Secretary, Regulation and Director, Consumer Affairs Victoria, Department of Justice & Regulation, Victoria


Protecting the most vulnerable – the changing role of Ombudsman offices

Over time, changes in Ombudsman jurisdiction, coupled with changing community needs have demanded that Ombudsmen reconsider and adapt their roles in protecting the rights of the vulnerable. This session will present Parliamentary Ombudsman, Industry-based Ombudsman and Consumer Advocate perspectives on developments in this aspect of an Ombudsman’s role.

  • Tim Goss, Senior Manager - Financial Difficulty, Financial Ombudsman Service
  • Denis Nelthorpe AM, Chief Executive Officer, WEstjustice, Melbourne
  • Deborah Glass, Ombudsman, Victorian Ombudsman

Session chair: Cynthia Gebert, Energy and Water Ombudsman (Victoria)


Engaging the core constituency – outreach to Indigenous communities

There have been many years of discussion and consultation about improving indigenous engagement. Now is the time for action to promote indigenous awareness and practical access to Ombudsman complaint services.

  • Judge Peter Boshier, Chief Ombudsman and Tracey Harlen, Principal Adviser, Office of the Ombudsman New Zealand  presentation
  • Danny Lester, Deputy Ombudsman, Aboriginal Programs, NSW Ombudsman
  • George Masri, Senior Assistant Ombudsman, Commonwealth Ombudsman


Plenary debate

Ombudsmen – made to last?
Pillars of the system or a passing phenomenon?

  • Professor Anita Stuhmcke, Faculty of Law, University of Technology Sydney
  • Philip Field, Lead Ombudsman–Banking and Finance, Financial Ombudsman Service
  • Professor Ron Patterson, Ombudsman, Office of the Ombudsman New Zealand
  • Karen Stevens, Ombudsman, Insurance & Financial Services Ombudsman Scheme New Zealand
  • Chris Wheeler, Deputy Ombudsman, NSW Ombudsman


Wrap-up and close

  • Judi Jones, ANZOA Chair

Quick links

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