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Teena Forrest Benavides

Senior Aboriginal Community Education & Engagement Officer

Consumer Protection, Western Australia

Faculty: Expert contributors

WA, Australia

Areas of expertise

  • Regulation
Image of ANZSOG NRCoP conference speaker Teena Forrest

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Teena Forrest is a Senior Aboriginal Community Education & Engagement Officer for Consumer Protection, Western Australia. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from the University of Phoenix (California, USA) and a Masters of Marketing from Curtin University, School of Business (Western Australia).

Teena is a Budymia gnarlu from Yamatji barna (country), located on Gascoyne/Murchison barna in Western Australia. She lives and works on Noongar boodjar.

Teena has represented Consumer Protection WA on the National Indigenous Consumer Strategy (NICS) Reference Group for 13 years. NICS includes consumer agency representatives from all Australian States and Territories. NICS focuses on improving outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander consumers.
Professionally, Teena is passionate about empowering Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to exercise their rights under the Australian Consumer Law, Residential Tenancies Act and Motor Vehicle Repairers and Dealers Acts.

Fairer trading for all, is the focus of her work. Ensuring both traders and consumers are aware of their consumer rights and obligations. She encourages and guides consumers through the complaint process and advises consumers on outcomes of complaints. She works closely with conciliation officers and investigators who provide her with investigative and conciliation guidance. In turn, she provides them with cultural guidance and support in reference to Aboriginal consumer enquiries or complaints.

Using her extensive consumer and tenancy law knowledge to great effect, Teena specialises in community engagement & education with Aboriginal consumers across Western Australia. Her seasoned cross-cultural communication skills have led to many successful educational campaign initiatives for Aboriginal consumers.

On the flip side, to ensure a healthy work-family-self balanced life, Teena embraces connecting to country with barefoot walks along the beach, foraging native bush spices & fruit, brewing traditional medicines and teas, “this is my escape space, where ancestors re-charge my spirit”.