CAWA secretary, Verity Cripps wins Consumer Protection Award

CAWA would like to congratulate Verity Cripps on her 30 years of voluntary service to consumers in WA. She richly deserves the Rona Okely Consumer Protection Award for 2006.

The article and photograph that follows, appeared immediately after the Awards in the Western Suburbs Weekly, and are reproduced here with the kind permisson of the newspaper and the journalist Pamela Medlen.

Verity Cripps

Price is right for shoppers’ friend

VERITY Cripps still has the first edition of the Australian Consumers’ Association magazine Choice, which sparked her interest in consumer issues.

The Floreat woman said she got a subscription to the magazine in the early 1960s.

“I liked to know what things cost and how things worked and how effective they were for the household,” Mrs Cripps said.

Her interest in consumerism grew and she became one of the founding members of the Consumers’ Association of Western Australia in 1975.

It was her commitment to the Association that earned her the Rona Okely Consumer Protection Award on Friday night.

Nominated for the award by a friend in CAWA, Mrs Cripps is very humble about her achievements and the way she slipped into the voluntary role.

“In recent years there has been so much legislation but 30 years ago there was not so much interest in consumers,” Mrs Cripp said.

“Consumers didn’t know what to do about it so we were really raising awareness as to their rights.”

“I have always felt that people are rather apathetic and some of that  is because they don’t know how to complain,” Mrs Cripps said.

However times have changed and people were more likely to stand up for their rights as consumers now.

“Back then it was different; people were more concerned with the price of milk or a loaf of bread, now it’s more about safety, health issues and building disputes,” she said.

“People have always had these problems but weren’t aware what could be done about them.”

Mrs Cripps said that while many consumer services had been set up over the years, there was still work to be done in the field.

“Most other organisations are funded and we are very small beer compared to them,” she said.

“We are really a watchdog and spend more time making submissions on legislation.”

“I don’t want the organisation to die with me and we have had some good young presidents recently which is good, so I’ll hand over the reins some time,” she said.

Pamela Medlen

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