School of Advertising, Marketing and Public Relations Business Breakfast

Creating better outcomes for customers experiencing vulnerability: A practical approach

Industry Business Breakfast with Professor Rebekah Russell-Bennett, School of Advertising, Marketing and Public Relations, and Co-Director of the Centre for Behavioural Economics, Society and Technology, QUT, and Amanda Forster, Executive Manager of the Customer Advocate Office, Suncorp (Bank and Insurance).

About the event

Rebekah explained why we as humans focus on loss rather than gain and default to deficit rather than strengths-based approaches when working with customer experiencing vulnerability. She outlined a project funded by the Queensland Government to prevent homelessness in mature women to demonstrate how to shift strategy and language to create positive change. This project, the Womens Butterfly Project, worked with Suncorp and Moreton Bay Regional Council to undertake a proof-of-concept for involving organisations who are an early touchpoint for mature women experiencing a change of circumstances (a trigger of homelessness). The presentation outlined actionable insights for organisations to support causes that support customers experiencing vulnerability and be a part of the solution.

Amanda spoke to the role of the Customer Advocate Office in Suncorp and the way her team works with Consumer Advocates to bring the voice of those with lived experience into the organisation. She also shared some insights on how Suncorp’s strategy and roadmap galvanised the organisation to create better outcomes for customers in vulnerable circumstances.

Presentation Recordings:

Creating better outcomes for customers experiencing vulnerability: A practical approach | Prof. Rebekah Russell-Bennett

About the presenters:

Prof. Rebekah Russell-Bennett

Professor Russell-Bennett’s research lies at the nexus of the social marketing (behaviour change) and services marketing domains where she works with organisations to develop innovative solutions for social problems such as electricity use, educational disadvantage, homelessness, energy use, alcohol use and overconsumption of resources.

Rebekah’s research partners include numerous Commonwealth government departments, Queensland Health, Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads, Queensland Department of Housing, Brisbane City Council, Moreton Bay Council, Catholic Education, Suncorp, Mission Australia, PwC, Energy Queensland and many others. She has conducted extensive research into services and goods for marginalized, stigmatized or disadvantaged customers experiencing vulnerability.

Rebekah was the 2019 Australian Top Researcher in the Field of Marketing (The Australian) and has over 250 peer-reviewed publications.

Amanda Forster

Amanda Forster is a passionate customer experience executive with a 15 year track record of designing and delivering large-scale, highly successful cultural transformation strategies. In her roles, she has operationalised corporate visions and strategies to create employee cultural change programs that emphasise accountability, empowerment and customer obsession.

In her role Amanda designs and embeds the Group’s vulnerability, hardship and accessibility strategy and raises the voice of the customers through Board and Executive Leadership Team Customer Committees. Amanda’s unique insights and perspectives deliver better employee experience, balanced decision-making and fairer outcomes for customers.


Location: Gibson Room, Level 10, Z Block, Gardens Point campus
Start Date: 06/10/2022 [add to calendar]
Start Time: 7.15am arrival for a 7.30am - 8.30am (AEST)
Organiser: QUT School of Advertising, Marketing and Public Relations