Annual Review 2022–23

Our people are at the heart of everything we do at AFCA.  

Our values and culture shape the way we behave and how we engage with our customers, members and other stakeholders. Our People and Culture Strategy ensures we are focused on attracting the best talent, while engaging, developing and supporting our people to deliver a high-quality service, including during times of heavy workloads.

Our culture

AFCA has a People for Purpose culture. Our culture story, ‘Flourish’, sums up who we are. Our four cultural qualities set out the benefits when we show up for each other and our customers. 

AFCA’s four cultural qualities:

  1. Our approach is human-centred.
  2. Our teams are empowered and take ownership.
  3. Our passion for inclusion sets us apart.
  4. Our ideas move us forward.

A Culture Development Plan guides our efforts. This year, we’ve worked hard to embed the four cultural qualities into our people processes including our: 

  • recognition program
  • engagement surveys
  • onboarding activities
  • leadership development programs
  • performance practices. 

Highlights this year were the creation and launch of our:

  • Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging Strategy – reflecting our ongoing commitment to fostering an inclusive culture (see more following)
  • Above and Beyond program – a recognition program for staff, aligned to the four cultural qualities.

We worked hard this year to improve how we attract and select high-calibre candidates within a competitive employment market. We need people who not only enrich our culture, but align with it. By using assessment centres and providing compelling offerings we have developed a pool of exceptional talent by offering: 

  • flexible work arrangements
  • comprehensive leave benefits
  • robust avenues for professional growth. 

Our turnover rate of 9.5% is currently below the industry average.


Leaders are a crucial driver of both our culture and our performance as a business. We invested heavily in building leadership capability. Our Leadership Development Framework underpins all our programs and defines AFCA’s expected leadership behaviours.

Our suite of offerings includes leader support resources and activities such as: 

  • coaching
  • speaker series
  • assessments such as 360 feedback. 

This year we facilitated structured leadership development programs for: 

  • self-leaders (Leader Essentials for Self-Leaders)
  • team leaders (Leader Essentials)
  • Lead Ombudsmen and Executive Leaders (Strategic Leaders).

These efforts have increased networking and collaboration opportunities for our leaders, and employee engagement surveys consistently deliver positive scores on leader capability. 

Diversity, inclusion and belonging

This year, AFCA proudly launched its Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging Strategy. The strategy stems from our vision that all AFCA employees should feel safe, respected and able to be their authentic selves at work. 

The Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging Strategy is run by AFCA’s Accessibility and Inclusion Council, founded and supported by Dr June Smith, with recent sponsorship by Chief Ombudsman and CEO David Locke. This Council includes employee members representing a variety of functions, diverse backgrounds, roles and leadership positions within AFCA. It meets bi-monthly to provide updates on progress towards the three-year action plan. The strategy’s key pillars are:

  1. Strong governance and accountability
  2. Inclusive systems and processes
  3. Embed inclusive leadership
  4. Build diverse thinking teams


We established four Employee Resource Groups this year to enable the voices of AFCA employees to be clearly heard and reflected in our approach. The groups provide opportunities for engagement, support, feedback and a sense of belonging for AFCA employees across:

  1. disability (Vis-ability)
  2. multiculturalism (Multicultural resource group)
  3. being LGBTQ+ (Ally network)
  4. being a carer (Carers network) 


Each group is chaired by an employee member and has strong sponsorship from a senior executive. The groups influence how AFCA acknowledges and celebrates days of significance for our community with in-person events, webinars, external guest speakers, employee stories and other celebrations. All are well attended.

AFCA values our external partners, who provide best practice guidance and support for our strategic initiatives. We work closely with the Australian Network on Disability, Pride in Diversity, Parents at Work and the Diversity Council of Australia.

We want our work in this space to matter and are proud to have achieved Family Friendly Workplace certification, be placed as a finalist in the Financial Review Boss Best Places to Work awards, and to receive bronze recognition from the Australian Workplace Equity Index.

Our wellbeing approach

AFCA’s vision is to create a healthy and safe working environment, which promotes a positive culture and continuously improves our people’s health, safety and wellbeing. 

Our Health, Safety and Wellbeing Strategy has three objectives: 

  1. Promotion: offer initiatives that encourage positive mental and physical health. 
  2. Prevention: avoid situations or events that can lead to harm. 
  3. Support: look after employees with mental health or physical challenges.


During the year we prioritised activities and programs that addressed employees’ daily challenges, while supporting their health and wellbeing.

Our people

AFCA grew significantly as an organisation this year to meet the needs of our customers and members. As at 30 June 2023, there was a 19% increase in employees over the last year. 

1,026 employees
13.06% of employees work part-time
34.2% of employees were born outside of Australia
43.2% of employees identify as being culturally or linguistically diverse
8.9% of employees are people living with disability
50.1% of employees have caring responsibilities
0.6% of employees are Aboriginal Australians and/or Torres Strait Islanders
11.5% of employees identified as being part of the LGBTQIA+ community
56% of our leaders and Board members are female

Source: AFCA Employee Pulse survey April 2023. The survey received 823 responses, which accounted for 93% of employees as at April 2023.

Age of employees

Gender of employees

Recognising that employee engagement significantly influences performance, satisfaction and retention outcomes, AFCA conducts bi-annual assessments. The information we gain about employee engagement through our surveys turns into action plans to drive change. Our May 2022 survey had 828 respondents with a response rate of 92%, and we found:

  • 85.0% overall engagement at AFCA
  • 92.0% of employees were proud to work for AFCA 
  • 88.6% think AFCA is a truly great place to work 
  • 85.4% feel they belong at AFCA 
  • 72.1% state that working at AFCA motivates them to work above their regular role.

Organisation chart as at 30 June 2023

Our leaders

AFCA Senior Leadership Group at 30 June 2023 

AFCA is led by a Chief Ombudsman and independent CEO and supported by a strong Senior Leadership Group.

  • David Locke, Chief Ombudsman and CEO
  • Justin Untersteiner, Chief Operating Officer
  • June Smith, Deputy Chief Ombudsman
  • Anna Campbell, General Counsel
  • Silvia Renda, Chief Advisor and Head of Government Relations
  • Susan Cotterill, Executive General Manager – Communications, Engagement and Brand
  • Mathew Paine, Executive General Manager – People and Culture
  • Brigid Parsonson, Executive General Manager – Corporate Services
  • Michael Ridgway, Executive General Manager – Compliance, Risk, Policy and Governance
  • Geraldine Hill, Executive General Manager – Operational Delivery
  • Robert Guest, Executive General Manager – Operational Excellence
  • Michelle Kumarich, Executive General Manager – Jurisdiction
  • Prue Monument, General Manager – Code Compliance and Monitoring
  • Natalie Cameron, Lead Ombudsman – Banking and Finance
  • Emma Curtis, Lead Ombudsman – Insurance
  • Shail Singh, Lead Ombudsman – Investments and Advice
  • Suanne Russell, Lead Ombudsman – Small Business
  • Heather Gray, Lead Ombudsman – Superannuation

AFCA Senior Leadership Group 2022-23 departures

  • Paul Kearney, Executive General Manager – People and Culture

Decision makers as at 30 June 2023

Decisions – Consumer Credit

  • Natalie Cameron, Lead Ombudsman – Banking and Finance 
  • April Blair, Senior Ombudsman
  • Louise McAuliffe, Senior Ombudsman
  • Jesse Marshall, Ombudsman
  • Alan Price, Ombudsman
  • Christopher Siemers, Ombudsman
  • Carolyn Dea, Ombudsman
  • Ian Clyde, Ombudsman
  • Lauren Wasley, Adjudicator
  • Andrew Johnstone, Adjudicator
  • Elizabeth Johnson, Adjudicator
  • Andrea Barker, Adjudicator
  • Terri Gladwell, Adjudicator

Decisions – Small Business

  • Suanne Russell, Lead Ombudsman – Small Business
  • Neva Skilton, Senior Ombudsman
  • Diana Tchorbanov, Ombudsman
  • Tami Rabinowitz, Ombudsman
  • Susan Wong, Ombudsman
  • Anthony Dyrenfurth, Ombudsman
  • James Taylor, Ombudsman
  • Damyon Lill, Ombudsman
  • Geoffrey Bant, Ombudsman
  • Catherine Armour, Ombudsman
  • Maxwell Pringle, Adjudicator

Decisions – Insurance

  • Emma Curtis, Lead Ombudsman – Insurance
  • Andrew Weinmann, Senior Ombudsman
  • Christos Liamos, Senior Ombudsman
  • Vicki Carter, Senior Ombudsman
  • Brydie Cook, Ombudsman
  • Mark McCourt, Ombudsman
  • Jeevanie Mendis, Ombudsman
  • Qasim Gilani, Ombudsman
  • Matthew O'Donoghue, Ombudsman
  • David Short, Ombudsman
  • Jennifer Lewis, Ombudsman
  • Donald O'Halloran, Ombudsman
  • Helen Moye, Ombudsman
  • John Price, Ombudsman
  • Daniel King, Adjudicator
  • Stephanie Kouvas, Adjudicator
  • Moreen Attia, Adjudicator
  • Kate Toppi, Adjudicator
  • Angelia Talagala, Adjudicator
  • Emma Heagney, Adjudicator
  • Jerome Hew, Adjudicator

Decisions – Superannuation

  • Heather Gray, Lead Ombudsman – Superannuation
  • Anne Maree Howley, Senior Ombudsman
  • Benjamin Norman, Ombudsman
  • Ben Taylor, Ombudsman
  • Mervyn Silverstein, Ombudsman
  • Senthur Kugathasan, Adjudicator

Decisions – Investments and Advice

  • Shail Singh, Lead Ombudsman – Investments and Advice
  • Nicolas Crowhurst, Senior Ombudsman
  • Ian Donald, Senior Ombudsman
  • Patrick Hartney, Ombudsman
  • Alexandra Sidoti, Ombudsman
  • Graeme Plath, Ombudsman

Decision maker 2022-23 departures

Decisions – Consumer Credit

  • Brenda Staggs, Senior Ombudsman
  • Jennifer English, Ombudsman

Decisions – Insurance

  • Rebecca Clark, Adjudicator

Decisions – Small Business

  • Wes Pan, Ombudsman
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