AFCA names Paul Kearney as new EGM for people and culture

ME BANK executive Paul Kearney will join the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) as its new executive general manager for people and culture.

Mr Kearney has been ME Bank’s general manager of people experience and business partnering since June 2017. He will join AFCA on July 5.

“Paul is an energetic and progressive HR executive who has a great deal of experience in leading complex organisational change programs,” AFCA chief operating officer Justin Untersteiner said in announcing the appointment.   

“He’s passionate about improving the employee experience and has deep experience across people partnering, learning, leadership, workplace relations and talent management and acquisition.”

Prior to ME Bank, Mr Kearney worked internationally as a human capital management consultant with Deloitte, including as chief of staff HR transformation for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

He has also worked in HR and employee relations roles for media groups the BBC and Fairfax, along with Swedish-American company Autoliv.

“Paul will be an asset to AFCA as we continue to implement our vision to be a world-class ombudsman, with a world-class experience for our people,” Mr Untersteiner said.

AFCA is a non-government ombudsman service established to provice 'free, fair and independent help with financial disputes'. It assists consumers and small businesses who have disputes with their financial firms, in areas such as banking, credit, insurance, advice, investments and superannuation. Where an agreement cannot be reached between parties, AFCA can issue decisions that are binding on financial firms.

AFCA has searchable public data on financial complaints available at


FSC, AFCA name Jan McClelland as Life Code chair

THE Financial Services Council (FSC) and the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) have jointly appointed Jan McClelland as chair of the Life Code Compliance Committee (LCCC).

Ms McClelland is currently the deputy chancellor of the University of New England, chair of the Gateway Network Governance Body, and a member of the Advisory Board of the NSW Circular Economy Innovation Network. Ms McClelland has extensive experience in industry codes of practice, and has served on audit and risk committees in legal, health and local government sectors.  

Ms McClelland is also chair of HeartKids Limited, a director of Stewart House and managing director of a management consultancy practice providing advisory services across public, private and not for profit sector organisations in the areas of strategic planning, organisation reviews, complaints handling, and industry codes of practice.

The LCCC, established in 2017, is the independent body responsible for overseeing compliance with the FSC Life Insurance Code of Practice, the industry’s first consumer facing code designed to promote high standards of service, provide a benchmark of consistency within the industry and establish a framework for professional behaviour and responsibilities.

AFCA provides the secretariat services for the LCCC, which is made up of a representative from industry, a consumer representative and an independent chair. Ms McClelland takes over the LCCC chair responsibilities from the previous chair, Anne Brown, who completed her three-year appointment earlier this year.

AFCA CEO David Locke said, "The LCCC has an important role in monitoring the effectiveness of the Life Code and therefore supporting good industry practice. Ms McClelland will bring deep and diverse experience to leadership of the committee.”

FSC CEO Sally Loane said, “I am pleased to welcome Ms McClelland to the LCCC and look forward to working closely with her in ensuring the Life Insurance Code of Practice delivers for Australian consumers. I would also like to thank Anne Brown for her contribution to the committee during her time as chair.”




Global security specialist Matt Glyde joins 6clicks as non-exec director

CYBER security software-as-a-service specialist company 6clicks has appointed former CEO of billion-dollar global technology services company NTT Security, Matt Gyde as non-executive director.

Based in San Francisco, Mr Gyde’s previous role with NTT Security was to lead the enablement of NTT Group companies to deliver resilient business solutions for clients’ digital transformation needs. NTT Security has 10 security operations centres (SOCs), seven R&D centres, over 1,500 security experts and handles hundreds of thousands of security incidents annually across six continents. 

Mr Gyde’s career in IT security spans more than 20 years, including high-level roles with Dimension Data and Datacraft-Asia, providing him with a deep understanding of how security platforms should be implemented and managed to ensure clients’ business outcomes are achieved, while ensuring their risk is minimised.

Mr Gyde said what makes 6clicks a leader is its unique integration of content, functionality and world-first artificial intelligence engine , trademarked Hailey, which follows PhD-led research over 18 months. 

Right now, Hailey automates compliance mapping between regulations delivering gains of up to 14 times in time-saving over manual alternatives.

Chairman of 6clicks, Ian Buddery said, “We are delighted to have Matt join our board. He brings invaluable experience to help us drive growth in the global cybersecurity compliance market. Our investment in artificial intelligence, new functionality and integrated content will continue throughout 2021, accelerating value for our customers.”

6clicks offers a Risk and Compliance Operating System that revolutionises the way organisations mature their cyber security, data privacy, risk management and compliance capabilities. With a suite of modules including a curated and customizable content library, award-winning mobile app, world-first AI engine and ground-breaking risk intelligence social network, direct customers and partners can leverage the 6clicks Risk and Compliance Operating System easily and at a low cost. The company has offices across Australia, the UK, US and India.


Macquarie Telecom appoints cyber warfare specialist Maj. Gen. Marcus Thompson

MACQUARIE Telecom Group (ASX: MAQ) has appointed former head of the Australian Defence Force’s cyber warfare sector, Marcus Thompson, as senior advisor within the company’s newly established Federal Government advisory board.

Major General (rtd) Thompson, AM PhD, has joined Macquarie following a 34-year career in the Australian Defence Force, during which he was Defence’s inaugural head of the Information Warfare Division (IWD), which coincided with Defence recognising cyber as a battlefield domain for the first time.

Under Dr Thompson’s leadership the IWD defended Australia’s military assets and information from foreign cyber attacks, and Defence’s cyber capabilities developed into a world class counter offensive cyber force.  

Speaking on his appointment, Dr Thompson said the decision to join Macquarie was fuelled by a desire to champion three causes close to his heart: prioritising Australia’s national cyber security defence; moving Australia’s digital supply chain onshore to protect our sovereign information; and building our sovereign cyber capability to better support our cyber defences, stimulating national economic growth in the process. 

“Macquarie shares my view that cyber security needs to transform from a fleeting thought in the national psyche to an issue that is front and centre with the private sector, government and the population at large,” Mr Thompson said. “In my previous role I’ve seen firsthand just how important cyber security is to every aspect of our society.

“The government’s Cyber Security Strategy 2020 was a step in the right direction. It has put greater maturity into conversations about cyber security.

“Australia needs board members and executive teams to develop their expertise in cyber security further, and to cement cyber as a central business operational risk – one that’s mission critical to corporate planning.”

The appointment of Dr Thompson comes just weeks after then Home Affairs Minister and newly appointed Defence Minister Peter Dutton highlighted how cyber attacks against Australian businesses were on the rise.

In March the Australian Federal Police also labelled 2021 the year of the cyber-criminal, and the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) shared its prediction that espionage by nation-state hackers would surpass terrorism as the biggest threat to Australian security by 2025.  

Evidence of regional tensions seeping into the online world has formed the basis of Dr Thompson’s rallying cry, that all levels of our digital supply chain can and should be resident in Australia. 

“The fact remains that most of the time we don’t know where our data is stored or who can access it. Much less the laws to which the companies storing and accessing it are subject,” he said. 

“The risk this poses to our cybersecurity and data protection are very real. It necessitates the use of digital supply chain providers that are majority Australian owned and operated and subject to sovereign controls.” 

Beyond the threat posed by nation-state hackers, Dr Thompson said Australia should prioritise local technology, cloud and cybersecurity providers to cultivate local industry, create jobs and capability that will drive economic recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic, uplifting our national cyber security posture in the process.  

“The government is doing this with Defence industry through major procurement of land and naval platforms. It should do the same in cyber where we are already served by local industry capability that is world-class,” Dr Thompson said.

Macquarie Telecom Group CEO David Tudehope welcomed the appointment.

“Marcus embodies what we value most – maximising Australia’s sovereign skills and capabilities, and keeping Australian data stored and protected onshore,” Mr Tudehope said.

“Collectively, we need to amplify the voices of experts like Marcus who have dedicated their careers to protecting Australia’s people and our way of life.”

Dr Thompson’s appointment follows the launch of Macquarie Telecom Group’s IC5 government-certified data centre in Canberra, which supported more than 400 jobs in the ACT throughout 2020. 

Bruce Billson appointment welcomed by ASBFEO office

THE OFFICE of the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman has welcomed the appointment of former Liberal Government Small Business Minister, Bruce Billson, to the post.

Mr Billson will start his five-year term as Ombudsman on Thursday, March 11, 2021, replacing inaugural Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Kate Carnell AO.

Ms Carnell welcomed the appointment, describing the former Small Business Minister as a champion of the sector.

“Having played an integral role in the establishment of the Ombudsman’s office, Mr Billson is well positioned to carry the torch,” Ms Carnell said. “He is highly regarded by the small business community and I am confident he will be an effective advocate for the sector.” 

Mr Billson thanked outgoing Ombudsman Ms Carnell for her "unwavering commitment to the small business sector over the past five years".

“Ms Carnell leaves a lasting legacy, as a fierce advocate for Australian small businesses and a strong foundation to build on,” Mr Billson said.

“The pandemic has been punishing for many of our small and family businesses, which will need a supportive environment to help lead the nation into recovery.

“All of my efforts will go towards putting the wind in the sails of small business and helping to energise enterprise to Australia’s benefit.

“Most importantly, I’ll be focused on ensuring the small business community has the support and confidence they need to survive and thrive well beyond the COVID crisis.”


Indigenous lawyer Leah Cameron wins multiple awards

MARRAWAH LAW founder and principal solicitor, Leah Cameron was awarded the Women In Law Excellence Award and the Indigenous Lawyer of the Year Award in the annual Lawyer’s Weekly Women in Law Awards on December 10.

The awards program, now in its ninth year, recognises the outstanding women shaping and influencing the legal profession, acknowledging executives, barristers, academics, pro bono, students and other legal professionals.

The 2020 Women in Law awards hybrid event named 35 individual and group winners, with recipients both ‘Zooming in’ over the broadcast platform – and speaking from The Star in Sydney – to a combined live and virtual audience of about 750 guests.

In accepting her award, Ms Cameron acknowledged those who had nominated and supported her and outlined the factors that have helped shape her success.

“Firstly, I want to acknowledge all of the finalists – I am proud to be in your company,” Ms Cameron said. “I was genuinely surprised, but I am very honoured to be awarded both of these awards. 

“I am grateful to Holding Redlich for nominating me and I thank my wonderful and supportive team at Marrawah Law for the work that they do – it continues to inspire me every day.

“Being part of this event has shown me the incredible outcomes female lawyers are achieving in every fact of the profession,” Ms Cameron said. "As a champion for increased gender and racial diversity within the law, these awards encourage me to push for opportunities and outcomes for my team, colleagues and emerging practitioners.

“These awards also remind me of why I established Marrawah Law, to continue to work with our clients and make an impact for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people right across Australia.

“I also want to thank them for their continuous trust and confidence in the Marrawah Law team,” Ms Cameron said.


Ombudsman congratulates Outstanding Western Sydney Women award winners

THE Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Kate Carnell has congratulated the winners of the Outstanding Western Sydney Women Awards, "many of whom are hard-working small and family business owners".

The awards, held in Bankstown last night, recognised the resilience and agility of community leaders, entrepreneurs and tradies in this challenging time.

“Congratulations to the winners and finalists – who are all exceptional women,” Ms Carnell said.

“It’s inspiring to see these extraordinary women recognised for their success, despite the incredibly difficult year that 2020 has been.

“Maxine Merle Colligan – a world-renowned spray painter – took out the overall Outstanding Western Sydney Woman title and I congratulate her on being a leader in her field as well as an impressive advocate for her fellow women in trades," Ms Carnell said.

“Among her most recent achievements, Maxine represented Australia at the WorldSkills International Competition in Russia, winning the Best of Nation Award 2019 and placing in a number of other categories. 

“She also devotes much of her spare time to mentoring up-and-coming spray painting students," she said.

“My office is a proud partner of these awards and supports the efforts of Western Sydney Women, which aims to help women in the region advance their businesses and career paths.

“Western Sydney Women has been highly effective in connecting women in the region and assisting them in achieving their business and career goals," Ms Carnell said.

“Research shows the most successful small businesses are created by those who have a network or mentors for support. Western Sydney Women offers a critical mass of female entrepreneurial role models.

“It was an honour to take part in this year’s Outstanding Western Sydney Women Awards, celebrating the achievements of these talented women.”


Contact Us


PO Box 2144