Skip to main content

New Board member Dana Beiglari does not give up in the face of adversity

Dana Beiglari, the TIO’s newest Board member, is no stranger to learning from failure.

“I applied for the TIO Board’s Director with consumer experience role in 2019 but wasn’t successful,” said Dana. The role went to Catherine Wolthuizen who Dana describes as an ‘excellent addition to the Board’.

The feedback she received on her unsuccessful application was that she needed more Board and governance experience. Dana used this feedback to propel her on to her next professional step.

“So, I volunteered - and still volunteer - on the Board of a non-for-profit (NFP) called Ecstra Foundation, a grant making organisation committed to building financial capability in the community.”

“When I applied for the second time, I was bringing more experience in governance, and I’m delighted I was successful this time.”

Finding work-life balance

Between her first and second Board applications, Dana welcomed her daughter, who is now two years old. Recently, she was also offered to manage the Consumer Law Team at Legal Aid NSW.

Juggling the two new positions and a two-year old daughter has been something Dana needed to grapple with.

“I had to strike a balance, which is something I was nervous about,” Dana said.

“But I have managed to find this balance and it is working well. It helps the TIO Board is well supported by the Secretariat and the Senior Leadership Team in terms of providing targeted reports and information and great administrative assistance.”

“In my team, I like setting a culture of working efficiently and clocking off on time to pursue other passions outside of work.”

“I also like being a working mum. I like that I can be a role model for my daughter to show she can do what she wants and be a mum if she wants to.”

External Dispute Resolution (EDR) “the biggest development in consumer law this century”

Through assisting vulnerable consumers with legal aid, Dana has first-hand experience with other EDR schemes. She believes having impartial, free, independent, and accessible dispute resolution services have a real impact on vulnerable people.

“The move in Australia to having external dispute resolution services is one of the biggest developments in consumer law this century,” said Dana.

“It really serves a purpose of equalising the imbalance of power between large businesses and individual consumers. Clients can get a fair resolution without having to go through expensive and time-consuming court cases.”

“I believe that if we get it right for vulnerable consumers, we can get it right for all consumers. There is a flow-on effect, which is also good for industry.”

Every challenge can be an opportunity

Dana joined the Board at the end of February and attended her first Board meeting in March at the TIO Docklands office.

“It was really exciting to see the office,” she said.

“I am really impressed by my Board colleagues, the outgoing Ombudsman, and incoming Ombudsman. It is very interesting and inspiring to meet people who have made big contributions to consumer law.”

Dana thinks the biggest challenge facing the TIO is the dynamic nature of complaints, and how to model and predict the workflow. But in every challenge lies a new way of doing things.

“These challenges are an opportunity to optimise the work we do and try to reach more people,” said Dana. “I look forward tackling that challenge.”

“I am so excited to be in this position, it is a real privilege,” said Dana. “I am looking forward to working hard for the TIO and I am delighted to join all of you.”

As a not-for-profit organisation, the TIO are governed by a Board of Directors. While the Ombudsman is responsible for handling complaints and managing the day-to-day operations, the TIO Board sets the goals and overall strategy, sets annual financial budgets, and approves the company’s statutory accounts.

Find out more about our board members