The Australasian Furnishing Association (AFA) has announced the appointment of Parveen Akther, as Chair of the newly established AFA Regulatory Committee (AFARC).

The AFA Regulatory Committee brings together likeminded member representatives, with specialist technical expertise and insights into compliance across the entire supply chain including designers, individuals, training providers, designers, suppliers of components, services and materials, manufacturers, importers, exporters, wholesalers, retailers, testing and certification providers and international groups.

‘The committee supports the AFA’s involvement in various standards and compliance roles in education and training, Australian standards, regulations, quality assurance and policy advice or government submissions,’ says Patrizia Torelli, CEO of the AFA. ‘Ms Akther’s appointment is a coup for our organisation because she brings a high level of expertise and experience in the area of testing and certification that will ensure the committee’s direction is focussed on the things that matter to our Members and protect the community.’

Ms Akther has worked in multinational companies with large portfolios covering industries from industrial services, energy, renewables, medical and manufacturing in domestic and commercial environs. She has helped businesses to grow, finding solutions and developing internal and external clients to achieve the best outcomes.

‘I look forward to supporting the furnishing industry – and the outcomes required to meet quality assurance and regulatory needs’, says Ms Akther. ‘Leading a committee which deals with the day to day challenges faced by AFA Members in relation to compliance, standards and regulatory requirements will be just one component of the work that needs to be done by the group to ensure furnishing products that are designed, made and distributed in Australia meet safety standards and regulations imposed at local and international levels.’

The AFARC is dedicated to promoting the design, manufacture and distribution of sustainable, compliant, quality, safe furnishing products through a cohesive cooperation of the industry supply chain that will actively participate in regulatory, industry & standard reviews relating to the safety of furnishing products.


Parveen is a former National Business Development Manager for  SGS Australia, the world’s largest testing, inspection and certification company, with more than 90,000 employees globally. She was involved in a number of Strategic Committees including Fuel Retail Services, Renewable Energy, Inspection Services, eCommerce and Women in Leadership. The business related committees focused on developing and researching new markets for the company.  Parveen was also Managing Director for TUV Rheinland Australia, after 13 years in Japan. Her biggest success was relocating the explosion testing lab from Adelaide to Newcastle and building up a team of local experts as opposed to depending on subcontractors, thus enabling the facility to become the No.1 service provider to Australian companies predominantly in the mining sector and  moving the major electrical safety testing facility to Melbourne Victoria in a record 3 months, with minimal impact to clients and on-going projects.