Our team is comprised of a number of curious, committed and collaborative people with expertise spanning public policy, consumer engagement and outreach, regulation, law reform, psychology and social policy.

We recognise the importance of diversity in skills and understanding when tackling complex policy challenges, and this is a significant reason we often collaborate through our work – building shared understanding of benefits and risks of various approaches to consumer policy.

Lauren was appointed Chief Executive Officer to establish the Consumer Policy Research Centre in May 2017. She has worked in a range of policy roles across the corporate, government and not-for-profit sectors for over a decade, including senior policy roles in the New South Wales Government.

Lauren holds a Bachelor of Resource Economics (Hons) from the University of Sydney. Graduate Diploma in Psychology at Monash University and has undertaken further study in behavioural economics at the London School of Economics, the Executive Program for Non-profit Leaders at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, and Cranlana Centre for Ethical Leadership.

Passionate about the people side of markets, Lauren supports cross-sectoral collaboration, interdisciplinary research and diversity of thought and experience when tackling complex policy issues. Lauren advises policymakers on consumer data and technology via: National Data Advisory Council, Consumer Data Right Data Standards Body Advisory Committee.

Emma O'Neill

Research and Policy Director

Emma joined CPRC in June 2019, bringing more than 10 years’ experience in policy work, research and legal advice for government and the not-for-profit sector. Emma was previously a policy advisor at the Victorian Council of Social Service, specialising in energy policy, and prior to that led projects at the Victorian Law Reform Commission and the Sentencing Advisory Council. Emma began her career in law, as a senior lawyer for the Australian Government Solicitor, advising the ACCC, ASIC and other regulatory agencies. She is particularly interested in marketisation, access to essential services, and the role of regulation.

Emma has a Masters in Criminology from the University of Edinburgh, and a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) and Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Laws (Hons) from the University of Tasmania.

Reach Emma at: emma.oneill@cprc.org.au

Karl Barratt

Research and Engagement Manager

Karl first worked for CPRC (then CUAC) from 2014 to 2016 before re-joining the team in August 2018.  Karl has over 12-years’ experience designing and implementing programs supporting low income households to reduce the cost of their energy bills. In this time, Karl has managed Kildonan UnitingCare’s suite of energy support programs and also established the Local Government sector’s flagship low income solar program, Solar Savers.

Karl has a Bachelor of Social Science (Environment) from RMIT University and a Diploma of Community Work (Financial Counselling).

Karl leads CPRC’s Energy Simplified program and can be reached at: karl.barratt@cprc.org.au

Nina Lewis

Research and Engagement Manager (Consumer Data Right)

Nina joined CPRC in April 2020. She is experienced in the design and delivery of participatory research, project management, and data curation outputs in university, government, and not-for-profit collaborations. Past roles include Program Manager at the University of Melbourne; archivist with the National Archives of Australia; and an independent consultant providing research and strategic services. Prior to joining CPRC, Nina was a Research Fellow on a community-involved research program at Monash University’s Centre for Organisational and Social Informatics, where she investigated intersectional inputs, human impacts, and systemic effects of data practices associated with childhood out-of-home care; and developed tools and strategies to build information capabilities with persons experiencing vulnerabilities.

Nina has a PhD in the area of Communication and Cultural Studies from Deakin University, and a Bachelor of Creative Arts (Hons) from Griffith University.

Contact Nina at: nina.lewis@cprc.org.au

Ben Martin Hobbs

Senior Research and Policy Manager

Ben joined CUAC from Chancellery Operations at the University of Melbourne, where he worked closely with the Vice Chancellor and senior chancellery staff on communications and research projects. Ben also has experience working for the research-based strategy consultancy Andrews Group, and was policy intern at Goodstart Early Learning.

During his Masters studies, Ben developed a particular interest in behavioural economics – the field exploring why individuals make seemingly irrational decisions –  and the implications of this for policymakers. Outside work Ben is a keen musician, enjoys smoking brisket, getting outdoors and travelling whenever possible.

Ben holds a Master of Public Policy and Management and a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) from the University of Melbourne.

Ben can be reached at: ben.martinhobbs@cprc.org.au

Andrew Thomsen

Senior Research and Policy Manager

Andrew joined CPRC in March 2020 after almost 4 years with Great Britain’s energy market regulator Ofgem where he worked on consumer protection and retail market policy. While at Ofgem Andrew played a leading role on reforms to the principles-based Standards of Conduct regulations (which requires energy retailers to treat consumers fairly); worked on the introduction of price protections for vulnerable consumers; and, carried out research and policy development on a joint project with the UK Government to establish a more flexible and responsive retail energy market.

Before a stint in the UK, Andrew worked in various policy roles over 5 years with the Queensland Government – including with the Department of the Premier and the Cabinet and the Department of Energy and Water Supply.

During his time in policy and regulation, Andrew’s developed a keen interest in how innovation, data and technology affects consumers’ relationships with markets – and the implications rapidly changing markets pose for regulation and policy development processes.

Andrew comes to CPRC with a Masters in Public Administration from Griffith University and a Bachelor of Economic (Hons) from James Cook University.

Andrew can be reached at: andrew.thomsen@cprc.org.au

Cam Crome

Energy Trainer

Cam joined CPRC in April 2019, bringing 13 years’ experience in the energy industry, working in household and commercial energy assessment for organisations as diverse as ATA, Ecovantage, Kildonan and MEFL. He also has extensive experience training and mentoring workers around Australia for various energy programs designed to assist vulnerable members of the community.

Cam has presented and spoken about energy at numerous community engagement presentations, forums and also radio throughout Victoria. He is a keen musician, loves gardening, is an avid reader and is very passionate about the environment, which led him to undertake his degree – a Bachelor of Science (Environmental Science) from RMIT University.

Cam can be reached at: cameron.crome@cprc.org.au

Claire Rizzo

Administration Manager

Claire is our Administration Manager. Claire has 8 years of administration experience across a variety of industries and roles including Local Government, Recruitment, RTO’s, Marketing, Medical Indemnity and the Energy Industry. Prior to joining CPRC in July 2017, Claire dealt with customer complaints at AGL. Claire is passionate about social justice and helping those less fortunate. She is enrolled to study a Diploma in Project Management.

Claire can be reached at: claire.rizzo@cprc.org.au

Gillian Jervis

Finance and Partnerships Officer

Gillian joined CPRC in November 2019 and brings with her extensive experience in the not-for-profit sector, focusing primarily on finance and governance in community advocacy organisations.  Gillian is a firm believer in striving for a more environmentally sustainable world, through effective collaboration and community connections.  Working in various finance roles in the not-for-profit sector has inspired Gillian to continuously strive for financial innovation and sustainability, endeavouring to make a positive difference to our society no matter how small.

Gillian is currently Treasurer and Resources Committee Chair for the Yarra Riverkeeper Association and has also held several Treasurer Committee roles in the environmental and early childhood sectors.  Prior to this, Gillian worked in a variety of audit and risk management roles within the corporate and public sectors including ANZ, BHP and the Royal Commission into the Building and Construction Industry.

Gillian is a qualified CPA and has a Master of Applied Finance Degree from the University of Melbourne, a Bachelor of Commerce Degree from Deakin University and is a member of the Institute of Community Directors.

Gillian can be reached at: finance@cprc.org.au

Sian Kilgour

Communications Manager

Prior to joining CPRC in December 2018, Sian managed communications for a global, interdisciplinary research program at the Monash Sustainable Development Institute. She has worked in various consulting and in-house communications roles across the not-for-profit, corporate and academic sectors, and also spent time volunteering in developing contexts internationally.

Sian holds a Bachelor of Mass Communication from the Queensland University of Technology and a Master of International Development Practice from Monash University.  She has a keen interest in how policy can drive social change, and improve the wellbeing and livelihoods of vulnerable and marginalised groups within our communities.

Sian can be reached at: sian.kilgour@cprc.org.au