AFCA confirms chair

A former government taskforce leader and university chancellor has commenced as chair of the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA).

John Pollaers, chancellor of the Swinburne University of Technology and chair of the Australian Advanced Manufacturing Council has been appointed independent chair of the consumer complaints agency. 

Previously, he was chair of the Aged Care Workforce Strategy Taskforce for the federal government, as well as chair of the Australian Industry and Skills Committee and a member of the Prime Minister’s Industry 4.0 Taskforce. 

He has replaced former Liberal minister Helen Coonan in the AFCA chair role, after her three years leading the organisation from its inception.


During Ms Coonan’s tenure, AFCA fielded more than 188,000 disputes, with over $522 million being paid in compensation to individual customers and small-business owners. 

At AFCA’s annual meeting in November, Ms Coonan signalled that she would not be seeking reappointment to her position when her term ended in May. Her last day with the organisation was on Friday.

On Mr Pollaers’ appointment, she commented: “John is an experienced chair and 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. John’s independence and experience will be instrumental in driving AFCA’s vision to be a world-class ombudsman service into the future.”

Mr Pollaers added that he is excited to be joining the organisation. 

“AFCA provides an essential service to the community. AFCA’s role to effectively work with financial firms, consumers and small business to resolve financial complaints, often in complex situations, is critical,” he said.

Mr Pollaers is also chair and founder of mobility equipment retailer Leef Independent Living Solutions. In 2018, he was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia, for service to the manufacturing sector, education and business.

AFCA confirms chair
AFCA confirms incoming chair
ifa logo


Stimulate new ideas. Stimulate new thinking. Top up your CPD points and hear from industry experts with ifa’s Knowledge Centre. Keep up to date with the latest trends and reforms, all while adding to your CPD hours. Explore the Knowledge Centre now.

Subscribe to the ifa bulletin

Receive daily online news,analysis, reports and business strategies
By signing up you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy

Website Notifications

Get notifications in real time and stay up to date with content that matters to you.