I am Carolyn Bond. I live in Melbourne Australia. I have been involved in consumer advocacy work (particularly in financial services) and community legal centres since 1980. Most recently I was co-CEO of the Consumer Action Law Centre. While I have not worked in the health sector, I am also concerned about misleading information in relation to health and health products – particularly where that information (such as inaccurate anti-vaccine information) has the potential to impact on health outcomes.
My focus is primarily on how broad problems can be addressed, rather than how one individual consumer might be helped. For example, in some cases the regulator needs to take action against the company or industry which is causing the problem. Sometimes publicity may be enough to stop unfair practices – in other cases law reform may be the only solution.
All material on this website reflects my personal views, and not the views of any organisation.
While my general attitude to life is a positive one, I have worked in various consumer advocacy roles for decades, and for specialist consumer legal services for over 15 years. Some of the people who come to those services for help would have benefited from being more sceptical, and less trusting, of businesses offering everything from educational software to property investment.
Most of the “advice” on the web is to stay away from “naysayers”, “dreamstealers”, “dreamkillers”, “energy vampires” and more recently “neg-heads” . Of course no-one wants to listen to negative talk all the time – but following your “dream” and ignoring anything that questions what you are doing seems foolhardy to me – and there is ample evidence that financial loss and other poor outcomes are often linked to pushing ahead without asking the right questions – rather than as a result of listening to “naysayers”.
In 2013 I received an Order of Australia for “distinguished service to the community through the protection of consumers, particularly in relation to financial services, as an advocate and counsellor and through the provision of legal assistance services.”