Our expert knowledge in researching and rating finance products earns us regular spots on national and regional media. Our Corporate Affairs team, which received industry recognition in the shortlist of finalists for the Mumbrella CommsCon 2020 PR team of the Year (In-House), is on hand to provide timely and insightful data, analysis and commentary to help support journalists’ stories. We are able to draw from our large database to produce anything from a table showing the average fees to a time series graph tracking historical interest rates, and supporting commentary from our experts that provides deeper insights.

For media enquiries, please contact:

Belinda Williamson Belinda Williamson – Group Manager, Corporate Affairs

Belinda.Williamson@canstar.com.au

Mobile: +61 (0) 418 641 637

Brooke Davie Brooke Davie – Senior Corporate Affairs Specialist 

brooke.davie@canstar.com.au

Mobile: +61 (0) 418 750 602

We look forward to hearing from you.

Steve Mickenbecker, Group Executive, Financial Services and Chief Spokesperson

Bachelor of Economics, University of Queensland; Master of Business Administration (MBA), University of Melbourne

Steve MickenbeckerSteve Mickenbecker is in Canstar’s Group Executive Team, bringing more than 30 years of experience in the Australian financial services industry. As a financial commentator for Canstar, Steve enjoys sharing his expertise across topics such as home loans, superannuation, insurance, mortgages, banking, credit cards, investment, budgeting, money management and more.

Steve regularly speaks with leading media outlets across Australia. He is often featured on the morning TV programs Sunrise and the Today Show and leading evening TV news programs and channels including Seven News (7NEWS), Nine News (9News), SBS and The Project. He also provides regular commentary to publications such as the Australian Financial Review, Banking Day, Business Insider, The Courier-Mail, The Daily Mail, The Daily Telegraph, The Herald Sun, Mamamia, news.com.au, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, The Australian, The New Daily and Yahoo Finance.

Steve brings more than a decade of experience at Canstar, with his earlier responsibilities including managing operations and developing the future direction for the business, as well as leading the ratings, PR and editorial teams in providing valuable financial insights and commentary. Today, Steve continues to support the design of Canstar’s financial expert ratings and the group’s strategy development.

Steve started his finance career with National Australia Bank (NAB), gaining more than 20 years experience across business disciplines including branch management, corporate advisory, strategy, credit, regional and district management. He was also a head of business. During his tenure at NAB, Steve undertook various strategic projects, working with consultants such as  McKinsey and Corporate Value Associates. Steve has also worked for Suncorp in Group Strategy, as well as in leadership roles specialising in small business and customer segmentation.

During his professional career, Steve has worked through stagflation, interest rates at 18% and the recession “we had to have”. The digital revolution has opened up a brave new world for fintech to play in, and Steve anticipates that it will be better for customers – as well as more exciting for providers – in the future.

Effie Zahos, Editor-at-Large and Financial Commentator

Bachelor of Economics, University of Queensland
Effie Zahos

Canstar’s Editor-at-Large, Effie Zahos, has more than two decades of experience helping Aussies make the most of their money. Effie is passionate about financial literacy, and aims to help consumers gain a better understanding of their finances.

As one of Australia’s leading personal finance commentators, Effie has a knack for making money matters simple. Effie regularly speaks with media across Australia. In a career spanning 25 years, she’s covered just about every money topic from budgeting and saving to investing and retirement. As the money expert for the Today Show, Effie offers her insights into current money matters.

Prior to joining Canstar, Effie was the editor of Money magazine, having helped establish it in 1999 after working as head researcher of Channel Nine’s Money show.

Effie is the author of a children’s financial literacy book, The Great $20 Adventure, and A Real Girl’s Guide to Money: From Converse to Louboutins. She sits on the board of directors for Ecstra, a not-for-profit organisation committed to building the financial capability of all Australians within a fair financial system.

Effie is also the proud mother of two reformed spenders. An avid podcast listener, she says her greatest fear is retiring in a polyester outfit and drinking cask wine.

Mitch Watson, Group Manager, Research and Ratings

Master of Business Administration and Management, Griffith University

Mitch WatsonMitch Watson is the Group Manager for Research and Ratings, with responsibility for Canstar’s Research program across Banking, Insurances, and Wealth and Utilities. Through this work, Mitch and his team are able to assist Australian and New Zealand consumers identify products of value through Canstar’s flagship Star Ratings and Awards releases . Mitch’s role at Canstar sees him deliver compelling insights that help people make informed decisions about their personal finances and businesses develop more customer-centric products.

As a finance expert and spokesperson for Canstar, Mitch prides himself on providing balanced views on the latest news in the marketplace, to paint a clear picture for consumers. Mitch regularly speaks with leading media outlets across Australia, bringing research-based insights into topics such as what makes a home loan good value, how to cut the cost of your insurance premiums and why you need to be chasing better interest rates on your savings account.

Mitch’s insights have appeared in writing over the years in the Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and the Brisbane Times, along with The Daily Telegraph and The Courier-Mail. He has also contributed commentary to online news sites including Domain.com.au, news.com.au, realestate.com.au, Yahoo Finance, and mortgage broking trade outlets such as Broker News and Mortgage Business. He has also featured on ABC Radio, Seven News (7NEWS) and Nine News (9News).

Mitch has worked at Canstar for over a decade, initially boosting his industry and product knowledge as a Relationship Manager, before moving to the Research team as a Research Analyst. During this time Mitch was responsible for a range of lending and insurance portfolios, including Home Loans and Health Insurance.

Mitch is experienced at analysing detailed financial product data to identify key product differentiators and industry trends across product lines for home loans, health insurance, online share trading and margin lending. He also brings excellent product knowledge across financial topics ranging from deposit accounts to credit cards, business loans, personal loans, risk insurance and general insurance.

Belinda Williamson, Group Manager, Corporate Affairs 

Bachelor of Communications (Public Relations)

Belinda WilliamsonBelinda Williamson is Group Manager, Corporate Affairs for Australia’s biggest financial comparison site and research house Canstar.com.au. She oversees the company’s external communications strategy and media relations activity.

A finance enthusiast who has worked in the financial services industry for more than a decade, Belinda joins an esteemed line-up of commentators at Canstar who are leading the conversation on the finance topics that matter today.

Belinda returned to Australia to join Canstar following a stint in North America where she developed media relations, influencer marketing, social media and digital PR strategy for clients of Western Canada’s largest independent public relations firm. She headed up efforts for international clients including Rio Tinto, Dun & Bradstreet’s Cloud Innovation Centre, Cogeco Peer1 and the International Car Sharing Association, as well as some of North America’s most talked about startups.

Prior to this, Belinda was the Head of Corporate Affairs and company spokesperson at one of Australia’s largest, and publicly-listed franchised mortgage brokers where she was responsible for the company’s internal, corporate, media, industry, government and investor communications.

Belinda’s finance exposure and enthusiasm started early on in her career when she picked up a finance brand as one of her very first agency clients. Since then her career has included local and international in-house and agency roles across a wide range of industries including financial services, fintech, real estate, franchising, sport, health and FMCG.

Over the years, Belinda has made appearances on television and radio, and in a multitude of print and online media articles. What she enjoys most about working at Canstar is her role as a finance educator with the goal of helping more Australians confidently choose the right financial product for them.

Belinda is a member of the Public Relations Institute of Australia.

Joshua Sale, Ratings Manager

Bachelor of Commerce, Economics/Finance dual major, Griffith University. Master of Data Science, Strategy and Leadership, RMIT (ongoing studies)

Joshua SaleJoshua Sale is responsible for developing the methodology and delivering Canstar’s flagship Star Ratings, as part of Canstar’s Research Team. With tertiary qualifications in economics and finance, he enjoys helping Australians find more suitable financial products by transforming complex calculations into a consumer-friendly Star Rating that explains the values and benefits of different financial products.

As one of Canstar’s company spokespeople, Joshua is confident participating in print, radio and broadcast journalism interviews. He has participated in interviews with the Australian Financial Review, news.com.au and Money magazine, along with other leading media outlets, discussing topics such as home loan equity, banking incentive schemes, digital wallets and wider finance trends.

Joshua is known for his ability to simplify complex products and technical information, crunching the data into meaningful insights for consumers about finance. He has analysed several consumer markets across banking, insurance and wealth, and is keenly interested in various topics, ranging from how Australians interact with their superannuation funds, to the dynamic nature of the health insurance market, and collecting and redeeming credit card reward points.

Joshua believes that knowledge is the first step towards empowerment. Even while studying, he facilitated peer-assisted study sessions for economics, and represented his University’s Business School in an academic committee.

Joshua’s passion for financial literacy has seen him thrive in his role in Canstar’s Research Team. As a financial commentator at Canstar, he has an opportunity to help inform Australians, and help them learn and engage with the financial products that they use and rely on every day.

As seen on

  • Today Show Logo | Canstar
  • The Project Australia Logo | Canstar
  • The Australian Newspaper Logo | Canstar
  • Sydney Morning Herald logo | Canstar
  • Seven News Logo | Canstar
  • The Age Newspaper Logo | Canstar
  • Herald Sun logo | Canstar
  • Domain logo | Canstar
  • Business Insider Australia Logo | Canstar
  • Banking Day Australia Logo | Canstar
  • News.com.au Logo | Canstar
  • Yahoo Finance Logo | Canstar
  • Nine News Logo | Canstar