Leura resident Rod Stowe, who just recently retired as NSW Fair Trade Commissioner, has been honoured with the top Consumer Champion award from Choice magazine.
Presenting the award to Mr Stowe at its annual Shonky awards, Choice CEO Alan Kirkland said: “It’s been many years since Choice has presented a consumer champion award but this year, with Rod retiring from his role as NSW Fair Trading Commissioner, we wanted to acknowledge his many achievements fighting for the rights of consumers.
“Rod spent six years as NSW Fair Trading Commissioner to cap off an amazing total of 28 years in consumer affairs.
“He managed the successful consumer protection strategy for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.
“As commissioner, he played an integral role in the development of the Australian consumer law and its recent review.
“He led the introduction of the NSW Complaints Register, a landmark reform that put NSW out in front of the rest of the country in terms of transparency about the complaints that consumers are making.
“And he fought hard for reforms on many issues that were raised by groups like Choice over the years, like the need for transparency in free range egg labelling and for better product safety laws.”
Mr Stowe said getting the award was a “great honour”.
“In a long career in consumer protection, getting that recognition from an organisation like Choice is pretty important. It’s a great thing to be able to finish my career with that sort of significant recognition,” he said.
Mr Stowe retired in July and said he is finding the change of pace “exceedingly agreeable”.
After five years catching the 5.37am train from Leura to the city, he’s appreciating sleeping in.
He joked that, as he received his award at Choice’s annual Shonky awards, which name and shame those responsible for dodgy consumer performances, “I was the only winner who was actually there”.
Mr Stowe received the Society of Consumer Affairs Professionals lifetime achievement award in 2015 and the Public Service Medal in the 2011 Queen’s birthday honours list.