14th Annual


31 January - 1 February 2019 Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre



All current sessions are subject to change. 

Wed 30 January 2019



Thu 31 January 2019


Registration Opens


Welcome to the 2019 CEO & Chair Symposium

Natalia Vukolova, Chief Executive Officer, Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists (Symposium Chair)


Welcome to Melbourne

Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre

Melbourne Convention Bureau


Are Associations Dying?

Grant Galvin will talk about his experience navigating his association through the most critical juncture in its 130+ year history. During this period, he and his leadership team spent considerable time deliberating over what needed to be done to prevent a slow and painful decline of an association which, in its heyday, was the envy of all others. Grant will cover the key question of whether associations are dying and, drawing on his experience, outline how and why associations might cease to exist if they don’t quickly change their focus, culture and expectations.

Grant Galvin, Chief Executive Officer, Master Builders Association Queensland


Supplier relationships and revenue management

Associations of all sizes are beginning to understand the value of diversifying their reliance on membership subscriptions and are embarking on supplier partnerships as a genuine source of value and revenue generation. But the process in engaging suppliers to form a partnership can be a real minefield. Providing insight from the supplier’s point of view, Chris Ristevski from Guild Insurance will walk you through some practical examples of how to deal with your suppliers and work in collaboration to get the best out of your partnership for the betterment of you, your association and your members.

Chris Ristevski, Partner Acquisition Manager, Guild Insurance


A Personal Journey from Politics to Passion

Carmel Tebbutt's career has travelled from political aspirations to working within an industry that she is passionate about, with extensive experience as both political insider and mental health advocate. In this session, Carmel will explore the concept of being a CEO and what she has experienced in the transition from politics to a career in the non-government sector.

Carmel Tebbutt, Chief Executive Officer, NSW Mental Health Coordinating Council


Morning Tea

Stream 1


Why Creating a Social Licence is Essential for Effective Planning and Advocacy

What is social licence and what does it have to do with associations? This session will consider the impact that social licence can have on an organisation, an industry sector, or a whole area of the economy, and what, if anything, associations can do to enhance their sector’s social licence. John Collyns will discuss this in relation to the Retirement Villages Association NZ and the effect social licence is having on their journey.

John Collyns, Executive Director, Retirement Villages Association of New Zealand

Stream 2


Building an Industry Association in Asia

The Singapore Industrial Automation Association represents a niche business sector in a fast growing geographic region. Automation, IoT and robotics are futuristic and are advantaged by the stability and industry direction provided by an association. This session will analyse the landscape of the association, the practical services offered, the challenges and opportunities of running an association in Asia, and the personal journey from being an engineer to running an association.

Sue Yin Lim, Executive Director, Singapore Industrial Automation Association

Stream 1


Bullying in the Workplace: The Legal Sleeping Giant

In this session Mark Werman, Managing Director of Wentworth Advantage, will illustrate the legislative compliance requirements for the workplace; what tools you should implement to assist in preventing bullying and how you should respond to such behaviour with reference to association-specific case studies.

Mark Werman, Managing Director, Wentworth Advantage

Stream 2


Protecting Yourself from Cyber Crime

Whether we like it or not, we hold valuable information; information that is an asset to hackers and your competitors. Each year, 25% of companies suffer a cyber-attack. It is said by some that the other 75% have suffered an attack but just don’t know it. So what can you do to protect yourself from a cyber-attack? In this presentation we will cover what a cyber-attack is, your obligations, how to prevent an attack and what to do if you suffer a cyber-attack.

Nicole Murdoch, Director, Australian Information Security Association & Principal, EAGLEGATE Lawyers

Stream 1


CEO Triumphs and Tribulations

This session will be an open forum for association CEOs to discuss the challenges they have and gives delegates an opportunity to share their experiences and knowledge.

Facilitated by Associations Forum

Stream 2


Chair Triumphs and Tribulations

This session will be an open forum for association Chairs to discuss the challenges they have and gives delegates an opportunity to share their experiences and knowledge.

Facilitated by Associations Forum




Stream 1


Digital Enablement of Member Engagement

The Pharmacy Guild of Australia represents over 4000 Community Pharmacies and, like all member based organisations, needs to ensure it delivers ‘compelling member value’. The Guild has developed a digital approach to understanding the needs of the member and factoring this into the priorities of the organisation. Ongoing investment in technology will ensure this approach delivers value and enables engagement with members. This session will provide a strategic overview of the initial steps taken and the current technology utilised, as well as the Guild’s aspirations for the future.

Colm Maguire, Group Executive for Pharmacy Transformation, Pharmacy Guild of Australia

Stream 2


Workplace Mental Health

A healthy work environment is a key factor in maintaining good mental health and supporting recovery. Awareness of the benefits of workplace mental health, both from a social and economic perspective, has increased significantly over recent years. Patrice O’Brien from Beyond Blue will talk about the shift in thinking about the value of mentally healthy workplaces, emerging trends and future considerations in creating a sustainable, productive and mentally healthy workforce, and the leadership role that industry associations can take to maintain the momentum in their member organisations.

Patrice O’Brien, General Manager Workplace, Partnerships & Engagement, Beyond Blue

Stream 1


International Expansion and Opportunities

This session will demonstrate how different associations have expanded their membership internationally and how they took advantage of the opportunities presented to them. Each association will give practical tips on how to successfully expand internationally and how to recognise opportunities as they are presented.

Colin Bransgrove, Executive Officer, Marina Industries Association

Grant Warner, Chief Executive Officer, Australian Institute of Quantity Surveyors

Stream 2


How to be Risk Averse – Lessons Learned by a Small Association

Records and Information Management Professionals Australasia has the equivalent of three full-time staff and has recently transformed the management of the association. Many lessons were learned from members, staff and the Board. Anne Cornish, Acting General Manager, will share some of the key tips from her experience with the recent transformation, focussing on areas that are not always considered vital but prove to be a major issue when the association undergoes a major change.

Anne Cornish, Acting General Manager, Records and Information Management Professionals Australasia

Stream 1


CEO Brainstorm

This session will be a facilitated discussion based on key challenges identified by delegates during registration.

Facilitated by Associations Forum

Stream 2


Chair Brainstorm

This session will be a facilitated discussion based on key challenges identifies by delegates during registration.

Facilitated by Associations Forum


Afternoon Tea


Creating the Ultimate Member Experience

Robert Barnes, Country Manager - APAC, Higher Logic 


How to Maintain a Balanced Relationship Between CEO & Chair

This interview style session will examine three scenarios that association CEOs and Chairs face during their term. Each panellist will provide their own insights on how they would deal with such scenarios, and the effect the wrong actions can have on the organisation as a whole.

Richard Reilly, Chief Executive Officer, Australasian Corrosion Association

Paul Naylor, Chief Executive Officer, Master Plumbers Association of NSW

Dr Kylie Sandy-Hodgetts, Immediate Past Chair, Wounds Australia


Tax risks and opportunities in the Not-for-profit sector

This presentation will explain the benefits of a tax health check and why you should regularly review access to tax concessions. It will also go over why you should have your income tax status reviewed annually, what to do if your organisation is picked for an ATO review, and whether your organisation is applying the mutuality principle correctly. 

Winson Liew, Tax Manager, Hill Rogers


Running an International Association

In this session, Magdalena Mook, CEO of the International Coach Federation, will discuss the history of the association and the reasons behind why it expanded from being a USA domestic membership to an international membership model. Magdalena will also demonstrate the challenges and rewards for an international association and the personal skills and attributes needed to lead an association across borders.

Magdalena Mook, Executive Director & Chief Executive Officer, International Coach Federation


Association Salary Survey Findings

The results of the 2019 Associations Salary Survey will be released, with key trends highlighted for the interest of CEOs and Chairs.

Mark Werman, Managing Director, Wentworth Advantage


Close of Day 1


Symposium Dinner

You’re invited to a dinner that will inspire, provoke and question. Tourism New Zealand has a dinner designed for you to explore identity, community and Aotearoa – New Zealand through a  different lens.

A perfect opportunity to network amongst your peers, discuss challenges and vocalise wins whilst enjoying our New Zealand inspired sharing of ‘kai’ food and wine over many ‘korero’ conversations.

Come and discover Our Place and Tūrangawaewae


Proudly sponsored by Tourism New Zealand 

Fri 1 February 2019


Registration Opens


Frequent Flyer Points & Associations

Steve will cover the core concepts of how associations and companies can professionally leverage the value of credit card and frequent flyer points to save money on travel, and the key things to include in any policy so the usage of points meets corporate governance.

Steve Hui, Founder and Chief Executive, I Fly Flat


State of the Associations Sector

The associations sector operates below the radar as it is largely self-supporting and not reliant on government funds. This session will share available statistics and mention some trends, highlights and disappointments in the world of associations over the past few years.

John Peacock, Chief Executive Officer, Associations Forum


How to Prepare for an Election Year

In an election year with an increasingly challenging economic environment, especially around trade, access to finance, rising energy costs and changing skills demands, doing business in Australia is becoming increasingly complex. Meeting those challenges, along with changing public perceptions, is changing the way companies operate and how they are represented. This session will look at the key challenges for the year ahead and how businesses should prepare for them.

Innes Willox, Chief Executive Officer, Australian Industry Group


An Update on New Zealand

Business events are a significant market for New Zealand, with more than 74,000 international visitors travelling here for business events in FY17-18. Of these visitors, 42,192 (57%) were Australian. Hear from Tourism New Zealand about the latest infrastructure coming online and why Australian associations are looking to take their conference across the Tasman. (Stats NZ (2018). International Visitor Arrivals to New Zealand: June 2018) 

Samantha Kent, Business Events Bid Manager - Australia, Tourism New Zealand


AusIMM Future Directions

This session will centre around a case study of the successful transformation of a 125 year old professional association to be more contemporary, financially sustainable, and with a stronger external brand.

Stephen Durkin, Chief Executive Officer, Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy


Morning Tea


Key Challenges – Industry Association & Member Management

Efficient achievement of organisational outcomes depends on the capacity of an organisation to build effective, enduring and meaningful stakeholder relationships. We must be prepared to build, sustain, and evaluate each relationship and use effective communication as a key tool to build shared values and goals. This session will look at how to use diverse networks of relationships to create cross-organisation value for members and partners.

Tony Mahar, Chief Executive Officer, National Farmers’ Federation


The Australian Press Council: Why Associations Should Know About It

The Australian Press Council is the self-regulatory body for standard-setting and complaint-handling regarding print and digital publications. During this session, John Pender will discuss who makes up the Press Council, the processes that are in place for standard-setting and complaint-handling with reference to specific case studies, and how associations can deal with journalist enquiries and media coverage.

John Pender, Executive Director, Australian Press Council


The Key to Successful Lobbying

There is no standard procedure to follow when lobbying government. It is about knowing what you want to achieve and ensuring you are heard. This session will provide examples of practical strategies on how best to lobby government, with examples of those used by the National Employment Services Association.

Sally Sinclair, Chief Executive Officer, National Employment Services Association




Round Table Discussion: Lessons Learned

This session is an opportunity for all attendees to come together and discuss what they have learned throughout the Symposium and to share any final challenges and tips.

Facilitated by Associations Forum


The Political Landscape 2019

Coming into an election year, associations are anticipating which party they will be working with over the next three years and how the relevant ministers will respond to their respective policies and initiatives. This panel will address political issues in the months ahead and provide general discussion on advocacy and lobbying.

Troy Bramston, Senior Writer and Columnist, The Australian


Closing Comments


Close of Symposium