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Professor John Pollaers takes over from Helen Coonan as AFCA Independent Chair

The Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) has appointed Professor John Pollaers OAM as its next independent chair.

Professor John Pollaers takes over from Helen Coonan as AFCA Independent Chair
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  • Karen Tan
  • May 18, 2021
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The board of directors announced the appointment, that follows the term of office of AFCA’s inaugural chair, filled by Helen Coonan.

Professor Pollaers’ experience and background is impressive.

He is chancellor of Swinburne University of Technology, chairman of the Australian Advanced Manufacturing Council, and chairman and founder of Leef Independent Living Solutions.

He was formerly chair of the Aged Care Workforce Strategy Taskforce for the federal government, chairman of the Australian Industry and Skills Committee and a member of the Prime Minister’s Industry 4.0 Taskforce. 

He has also had a distinguished executive career in both retail and advanced manufacturing industries.

Professor Pollaers said he is excited to be joining the organisation, given AFCA’s drive to deliver fair outcomes to members, consumers and small business.

“AFCA provides an essential service to the community and is critical to resolve financial complaints, often in complex situations,” Professor Pollaers said. 

“I am delighted to be working alongside a committed and experienced Board to support Chief Ombudsman and CEO David Locke as we continue to deliver on AFCA’s core purpose to provide fair and independent solutions for financial disputes, and support our members to raise standards and minimise disputes.”

Ms Coonan said Professor Pollaers will make an excellent chair, and brings significant experience to AFCA.

“John is an experienced leader whose career is characterised by a commitment to strong governance and visionary strategic leadership. He has always created strong, effective relationships between industry, government and consumer bodies in all sectors he has been involved in,” she said.

The board thanked Ms Coonan for her outstanding contribution as AFCA’s inaugural chair over the last three years.

During her tenure, AFCA received over 188,000 disputes with over $522 million being paid in compensation to individual consumers and small business owners.

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