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The ABA Leadership

The ABA’s Executive Leadership Team leads the organisation’s work with government, regulators and other stakeholders to improve public awareness and understanding of the banking industry’s contribution to the Australian economy and community.

Anna Bligh
Anna Bligh
Chief Executive Officer
Anna Bligh

Anna Bligh is a respected Australian leader and former premier of Queensland. Since 2017, she has led the Australian Banking Association through a period of critical reform, delivering on the recommendations of the Royal Commission.

While working to strengthen bank culture and rebuild trust, Anna has also driven the industry’s response to COVID-19. She was instrumental in delivering a united approach by Australia’s banks, ensuring millions of customers were supported through the pandemic.

Anna was the Premier of Queensland from 2007 – 2012. She delivered significant economic reform to the state, including investment in infrastructure, science, innovation and the arts. In 2011, Anna managed the state’s response to a devastating series of natural disasters including cyclones and floods.

After her retirement from politics, Anna was appointed CEO of YWCA, NSW with a mission to build a safer world for women and children.

She was awarded the Companion of the Order of Australia in 2017 for services to the Parliament of Queensland, and as an advocate for education, the role of women in public life and services to the not-for-profit sector.

Anna is a non-executive director of Medibank Private and Playwriting Australia and holds Honorary Doctorates from the University of Queensland and Griffith University.

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Vanessa Beggs
Vanessa Beggs
Chief Operating Officer
Vanessa Beggs

Vanessa is the Chief Operating Officer at the Australian Banking Association.  She is responsible for working with member banks and supporting the Chief Executive Officer in providing leadership, governance and operational management. Driving the performance of the organisation and the achievement of the industry’s strategic objectives.

Vanessa brings over 25 years’ experience across the corporate, government and not for profit sectors.  Vanessa previously held the position of the CEO for the YWCA NSW – leading the organisation from a federated model to a united national organisation, and has also held executive roles in strategy, change management, cultural transformation and organisational development predominantly with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

Vanessa serves as a non-executive director of Variety NSW/ACT- the Children’s Charity and of Driveabout World – an Edtech start up improving driver knowledge to achieve road safety.

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Christine Cupitt
Christine Cupitt
Chief of Policy & Strategy
Christine Cupitt

Christine Cupitt is Executive Director, Policy at the Australian Banking Association. Chris works with member banks, regulators and international agencies to understand and respond to disruption, rapid changes in technology, and the effects of climate change. Chris leads the industry’s policy strategy on major projects, including the transformation of the Australian Payments System and the Sustainable Finance portfolio.

Prior to the ABA, Chris held senior risk, compliance and governance roles in financial services and professional services. Chris holds a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Wollongong and is a Vincent Fairfax Fellow.

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James Abbott
James Abbott
Chief of Corporate Affairs
James Abbott

James is Chief of Corporate Affairs at the Australian Banking Association. James is responsible for working with member banks to lead the association’s government relations, communications, media and campaign strategies. 

James has more than 20 years’ experience in the private and public sectors having advised a number of CEO’s while in senior executive roles. Early in his career James was strategy director with Royce Communications in Melbourne and multinational Weber Shandwick. James has since held senior corporate affairs roles at Lendlease and subsequently as a senior executive with the NSW Government.

James was Director of Corporate Affairs overseeing the property and public works portfolios followed by Executive Director leading communications, engagement, marketing and reputation across the planning, industry, property and housing, water and environment portfolios for the NSW Government. James has also successfully led his own consultancy advising clients predominantly in property and infrastructure.

His deep corporate and government experience has involved navigating highly complex issues and generating effective organisational and industry outcomes. James joined the ABA in August 2022.

James has recently played an important pro bono role to support the alliance between Camp Quality, Canteen and Redkite.

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