Associations Forum National Conference

16-17 July 2018, Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre, Queensland


Keynote Speakers

Troy Williams

Chief Executive Officer, Australian Dental Industry Association (ADIA)

After twenty years as an association executive Troy Williams has developed a skillset that enables him to reposition an association for growth, deliver great member services and achieve lasting legislative reforms.  He’s worked as a leader of professional bodies and industry associations ranging in size from two to sixty staff.  Along the way he’s had some great mentors and real-life experiences that’s helped shaped his character – along with dodging sharks while surfing and turning 4WDs into submarines in his spare time.

Since 2010 Troy has been Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Dental Industry Association (ADIA), the peak industry association representing healthcare product manufactures, which was named ‘2017 Association of the Year’ by Associations Forum.

Hon. Dr Gary Johns

Commissioner, Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission

The Hon Dr Gary Johns is the Commissioner of the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC).

Dr Johns has previously held roles as a Director of the Australian Institute for Progress, and an Adjunct Professor at the Queensland University of Technology Business School.

He has served as a member of the Prime Minister’s Community Business Partnership, and has wide-ranging experience in regulation, public service and policy, serving as an Associate Commissioner of the Productivity Commission and representing the electorate of Petrie in the Federal Government from 1987 to 1996, and as minister in the Keating government. Dr Johns was also a columnist for The Australian, and has authored a number of books on charities and the not-for-profit sector.

Sally Loane

Chief Executive Officer, Financial Services Council

Sally Loane joined the Financial Services Council as Chief Executive Officer in December 2014. Prior to this Sally had a decade in the corporate sector, working at Coca-Cola Amatil as a senior executive. Her first career was in the media, where she spent 25 years as a broadcaster and journalist across radio, television and print. Sally is also a published author.

Sally is a Director of Venues NSW, the Avner Pancreatic Cancer Foundation, Deputy Chair of the Committee for Sydney, Governor of the Cerebral Palsy Research Foundation, Ambassador for Business Events Sydney and a member of Chief Executive Women.

Sally was the first female director of Waratahs Rugby and served on the board for seven years. She also chaired the Salvation Army’s Sydney East Doorknock Appeal from 2008-2011 and was a Director of SCEGGS Darlinghurst for 12 years.

Anna Meares OAM

Anna Meares OAM is considered by many to be the greatest Australian cyclist of all time and made Olympic history in Rio in 2016 by being the first and only Australian athlete to have ever won individual medals at 4 consecutive Olympic Games. During her 15 year career as an elite athlete Anna collected 18 gold medals, 16 silver medals and 10 bronze medals at Olympic, World and Commonwealth Games level.

Anna was named Australia's flag bearer and Team Captain at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Abby Clemence

Managing Director, Infinity Sponsorship

International speaker and one of Australasia's leading corporate partnership advisors to the For-Purpose Sector, Abby has more than 25 years experience in marketing, sales, adult education, communications, event management and corporate and cause-related sponsorship.

Founder of Infinity Sponsorship, Abby dedicates herself to serving and supporting those that identify with being For-Purpose, For-Passion and For-Social Change so they can diversify their income streams and continue their vital work in the community. Her Fundraising Academy, created with a single focus in mind - to help people become better corporate fundraisers by transforming their mindset from a charity in need of handouts, to a powerful marketing partner to the right brand.

Adj. Prof. John Kelly

Chief Executive Officer, National Heart Foundation

Adjunct Professor John G Kelly AM is the National CEO of the Heart Foundation of Australia. He commenced his role at the Heart Foundation in August 2016, returning to the heart health field after starting his career as a cardiac nurse specialist. John has extensive experience on national non profit boards including periods as Chair of the Smith Family, Royal College of Nursing Australia and Uniting Care Aging (NSW & ACT).

In 2009 he was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) as well as receiving the Alumni Award for Excellence from UTS. In 2010 John was appointed by the Federal Government as Commonwealth Aged Care Commissioner.

Adrian Hart

Manager - Client Services, Associations Forum

Adrian seeks to create excellence in organisational management and corporate governance. He wants to make a difference to the industries, market places and communities he serves. Over 30 years of professional management, industry representation and board support have prepared him well for the task of working with and leading stakeholders from varied backgrounds.

He is passionate about effective board governance, industry representation and lobbying and supporting small business development through common interest groups. Adrian's experience includes, Governance & Strategy, Change Management, Marketing & Member Acquisition, Communications & Media Relations, Policy Development & Lobbying, Member Benefit Programs, and Event Management.

Amanda Jamieson

Finance and Administration Officer, Venue Management Association (Asia Pacific) Limited

Amanda is the Finance and Administration Manager at the Venue Management Association, bringing 18 years of finance and operational management experience. She holds a Diploma in Accounting and is working to complete her Bachelor of Business majoring in Accounting. Having started her career in the Food Retail sector, Amanda moved through the ranks quickly acquiring a Project Management role, and rapidly being offered the Finance Manager role for three trading entities.

In her current role, Amanda oversees all areas of finance and administration and also plays the role of the Membership Manager. Amanda finds working at the VMA a rewarding challenge and loves working with a passionate team and Board, who are committed to developing the education and knowledge sharing of its members.

Amelia Hodge

Chief Executive Officer, Australian Property Institute

Amelia is the CEO of the Australian Property Institute and has enjoyed a senior executive career spanning some 25 years, with her depth of experience driving successful outcomes across a range of sectors, projects and industries.

Her previous executive role was as the CEO of Qld Law Society and she has held executive and project roles with Origin Energy, Powerlink Queensland, the Cross River Rail Delivery Authority and Coffey Commercial Advisory, following her legal career in the property sector.

She has held Non Executive Directorships with Transmax, the Gladstone Water Board, 3rd Space and Artisan Qld, has chaired board audit and risk committees and sits on the advisory board of two tech startups, LawAdvisor and Obzervr.   On behalf of the Qld Office for Woman, Amelia also sat on the Great Artesian Basin Advisory Council.

Andrew Hiebl

Chief Executive Officer, Association of Australian Convention Bureaux

After graduating from La Trobe University with a Bachelor of Business in Tourism & Hospitality, Andrew entered the business events arena managing events and operations at the Albury Convention & Performing Arts Centre (now Albury Entertainment Centre).

In 2008, Andrew was lured to the calls of the Great Ocean Road where he established the Convention Bureau, Business Events Geelong, for the award-winning regional tourism organisation, Geelong Otway Tourism (now Tourism Greater Geelong & The Bellarine). 

After securing “Hall of Fame” status for Business Events Geelong at the National Meetings & Events Industry Awards in 2012, Andrew reconfirmed his commitment to the industry by taking on the role of Chief Executive Officer for the Association of Australian Convention Bureaux where he holds a position on the Business Events Council of Australia board.

Andrew Leedham

National President, Australian Institute of Traffic Planning and Management

Andrew is a principal engineer with WSP with over 40 years’ experience in traffic engineering and transport planning for major transport infrastructure projects, in Australia and overseas, for local and state government agencies, private companies and international aid agencies (World Bank, Asian Development Bank and AusAID).

Currently National President (2016–2018) of the Australian Institute of Traffic Planning and Management (AITPM, Andrew was National Vice President (2014–2016), South Australian Branch President (2010–2013), Immediate Past SA Branch President (2013–2015), Branch Vice President (2005–2006 and 2009–2010) and Branch Treasurer (2004–2005). He was also a committee member on Engineers Australia’s Transportation Branch Committee, South Australia, and was secretary in 1991–1992 and chair in 1994.

Anita Hobson-Powell

Chief Executive Officer, Exercise & Sports Science Australia (ESSA)

Anita Hobson-Powell is the current CEO of Exercise & Sports Science Australia (ESSA). She has been in a leadership role within the organisation since 2006. Anita has had many years of experience as a director sitting on Allied Health Professionals Australia Board, National Alliance of Self Regulating Health Professions Board, Gymnastics Australia Board and the Gymnastics Queensland Board. She is also the Company Secretary for ESSA and sits on the Nominations Committee for the Brisbane South PHN.

Anne Buck

Chief Executive Officer, Wounds Australia

Anne Buck was appointed the inaugural CEO of Wounds Australia in 2016, in which role she has lead the organisation through transition to a national structure. She as previously Deputy CEO of Services for Australian Rural and Remote Allied Health and senior manager with the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses. 

Prior to pursuing her associations career, Anne worked for several federal government departments in policy development and program management roles. Anne’s career focus has reflected a strong interest in the areas of health and social policy sectors, and she also pursued this interest by serving on not for profit boards in her local community. 

Annick Ah Lan

Operations & Membership Manager, Australian Institute of Quantity Surveyors

Annick Ah Lan is the Operations & Membership Manager at the Australian Institute of Quantity Surveyors, bringing a solid background of business operations, human resources and corporate governance experience to the Institute since her appointment 3 years ago.  She began her career in the IT and Finance sectors and has worked for a diverse range of corporations before establishing herself within the NFP space. 

Besides her degree in Computer and Mathematical Sciences, she also holds qualifications in Project Management and Corporate Governance.  Her principal role at AIQS is focused around driving membership growth and retention through stakeholder engagement and management, and to raise the profile and standing of the AIQS as a pre-eminent professional body for Quantity Surveyors globally. 

Carina Trinh

Vice President & Councillor, Optometry NSW/ACT

Carina Trinh graduated from UNSW with Class 1 Honours in 2011. She works as an optometrist at Dresden Optics where she fiercely agrees with their ethos, and thoroughly enjoys and finds meaning working with various organisations. Her clinical experience spans from regional work in Dubbo, outreach services across small towns in Western NSW, Aboriginal clinics in the Northern Territory, school screenings in Sydney, outreach work in the Himalayas, myopia and contact lens focused practice in Sydney.

She is currently the Vice President of Optometry NSW/ACT (since 2018, Councillor since 2016), Secretary of Eyes4Everest (since 2014), and the former Young Optometrists Inc. NSW/ACT Chair (2015-2017, Treasurer 2012-2015, Co-founder).


Carol James

Member Services Manager, Associations Forum

Carol James has joined Associations Forum after 13 years as a General Manager for professional associations such as the Australasian College of Physical Scientists and Engineers in Medicine, and the Australian Council of Health, Physical Education and Recreation (NSW Branch). Furthermore, she has over 6 years in other not-for-profit (NFP) roles as an Executive Officer at the University of Sydney, and with Girl Guides Australia.

Born and educated in Perth, her initial tertiary qualifications were in Education. After moving to the Eastern States in the early 80s and progressing to senior management roles, she sought out post-graduate qualifications in Business Administration, and Governance Practice.

Chris Whitehead

Chief Executive Officer, Financial Services Institute of Australasia (FINSIA)

Chris was appointed as CEO and Managing Director of FINSIA in October 2016. Whilst FINSIA has strong reserves, it has been making significant losses for a number of years. Chris was appointed to turnaround the performance of the institute and put it on a sustainable footing for the long-term.

Chris joined FINSIA from the financial services sector. He has previously been CEO of CUA (Credit Union Australia) and BankWest Retail Banking Division. He also has significant experience as a Non-Executive Director in banking, payments, insurance, financial advice and funds management and is currently a Director of Directmoney, an ASX-listed marketplace lender . Chris commenced his career in the IT industry and retains a passionate interest in technology and innovation.

Claire Bell

Member Engagement Manager, Associations Forum

As Member Engagement Manager, Claire is working to engage members, build lasting relationships and assist in the delivery of services that are relevant to members.

“The altruistic nature of the not-for-profit sector, the dedication of the people who work in the sector, and the social good that the sector provides in Australia and around the world, are what excite me about working in the sector.” 

Claire has worked in the not-for-profit sector since 2009. She joined Associations Forum in February 2016 as Member Engagement Manager. Prior to that she worked as Member Services Manager at Australian Water Association. Claire also has 20 years tourism industry experience having worked in sales, administration and operations. This included 11 years with Captain Cook Cruises as Sydney Harbour Reservations Manager and Sales & Marketing Executive, and 5 years as Sales & Marketing Manager at Oz Jet Boating.

Colin Fruk

General Manager Membership Engagement, Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland

Colin Fruk brings a high-energy, do-what-works approach to building vibrant membership organisations. Early on, he managed member communications for the Endeavour Foundation and the Abused Child Trust, helping grow the latter’s revenue from $2M to $16M.

After a short but glorious stint in show business, he joined the Queensland Chamber of Commerce as Brisbane’s highest-paid telemarketer, and rose through the ranks to accept accountability for all of the Chamber’s membership and commercial activities nationwide. He has dedicated the past six years of his life to revitalising the Chamber’s brand and membership in Queensland, describing it as working on a startup which just happens to be 150 years old.

Craig Horton

Head of IT, Royal Australian & New Zealand College of Radiologists (RANZCR)

Craig has over 20 years’ experience working for professional services organisations with experience bridging information technology, business strategy, change management, operations and leadership, enterprise and solutions architecture, and application development. He has designed and implemented many complex business system strategies and architectures throughout Australia and New Zealand, UK and Europe.

Over the past 4 years Craig as Head of IT for RANZCR, he is responsible for providing IT leadership and co-ordination for all college IT functions. He supports the CEO in translating and realizing business strategies and objectives into tangible IT initiatives.

Craig was also a shortlisted nominee for the 2016 CIO50 Australia and named in the 2017 CIO100 New Zealand.

Dato’ Dr. Zaliha Omar

President, Malaysian Association of Rehabilitation Physicians & Malaysian Society of Association Executives

Dato’ Dr. Zaliha Omar is the founding President of Malaysian Association of Rehabilitation Physicians, (MARP) 2011 and the Malaysian Society of Association Executives (MSAE), 2018. 

She has served at the University of Malaya for 25 years and pioneered Rehabilitation Medicine, Sports Medicine and Diabetic Foot-care post-basic nurse training programme. Omar's Rehabilitation Medicine career evolved into a leadership role in inclusive community development and in international events e.g. Asian Spinal Cord Network (ASCoN) Conference, 2011 and International Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (ISPRM) World Congress in 2016.

MSAE are closely associated with Union of International Associations (UIA) and will run the Asia Pacific Round table Conference this October.


David Buley

Chief Financial Officer, Association of Independent Schools NSW

David Buley is a CPA, has an MBA and a Masters of Applied Finance and Investment. His career started with Deloitte in the 80's and subsequent experience includes many industry sectors and roles. As well as being a CFO in the independent school sector, he's a Director on an $8billion superannuation fund which serves 100,000 members. He is an active presenter in leadership programs covering a broad range of business-related topics, and has over 30 years of professional consultancy experience assisting company Boards achieve increased returns and enhanced sustainability through strategic and operational improvements. He has undertaken executive education at Wharton, Berkeley, MIT and Columbia as his personal mantra is 'never stop learning'.

Dean Brakell

Chief Executive Officer, Furnishing Industry Association of Australia (FIAA)

Dean Brakell is the Chief Executive Officer of the Furnishing Industry Association of Australia (FIAA).  The FIAA is an industry association representing the kitchen, furnishing and joinery sector across all the States and Territories.

FIAA, through the behest of its regional members, became a Registered Training Organisation around 20 years ago.

Today, FIAA delivers National Recognised trade training to the industry to over 550 students throughout NSW, the ACT and South Australia.

After a successful career as the National Production Manager for a International Franchise group, Dean joined the FIAA in December 2010, becoming CEO in July 2013. Dean represents the FIAA on numerous committees including Australian Standards, Industry Reference Committee (Furnishing Training Package review) and is a Director of Manufacturing Skills Australia.

Denys Correll

Manager - Client Services, Associations Forum

Denys joined Associations Forum in October 2012 after a career in not-for-profit governance, management and lobbying in Australia and overseas. Since joining Associations Forum Denys has consulted with associations on governance, mergers, constitutional reviews, board processes and strategic planning.

Denys' career has included 28 years as a CEO of national and international associations. He has been a director of a commercial specialist insurance company and a volunteer director of national and international not-for-profit associations including the Australian and Victorian MS Societies.

Dr. Peter Parnell

Chief Executive Officer, Angus Australia

Dr Peter Parnell is the Chief Executive Officer of Angus Australia, based in Armidale, NSW, a role he has performed since 2009. Angus Australia is the leading beef cattle breed association in Australia and a high performing member-based organisation.  Dr Parnell has over 40 years’ experience in management, research, education and application of genetic technology in the beef cattle industry.

He has a reputation as an excellent communicator on the application genetic principles for enhancing beef business profitability.  Dr Parnell has served on numerous industry committees and has held leadership roles in beef research and extension with the NSW government.

Elly Phelan

Vice President, Queensland Young Lawyers

Elly Phelan is the Vice President of Queensland Young Lawyers, an organisation aimed at encouraging and supporting the development of young lawyers, barristers and law students in Queensland.  Elly has been involved with Queensland Young Lawyers for three years, and previously managed a number of not-for-profit associations at university.  Elly has always been passionate about the not-for-profit sector and has been involved with a number of community and sporting associations.

Elly practices as a solicitor in the insolvency and commercial litigation team at Rostron Carlyle Lawyers.  Prior to this, Elly gained experience assisting associations with their corporate governance requirements and participating in pro-bono initiatives.

Emeritus Prof. Dorothy Bruck

Chair, Sleep Health Foundation

Professor Dorothy Bruck is a Professor of Psychology at Victoria University (Melbourne) and has been researching sleep and its disorders for over three decades. She has been involved in research on different aspects of sleep with colleagues in Germany, Britain and Canada and has over 100 referred publications covering issues such as narcolepsy, insomnia, sleep inertia, sleep in older adults and arousal thresholds to emergency signals.

Professor Bruck is also a clinician, practicing part-time as a sleep psychologist with a special interest in insomnia and disorders of excessive daytime sleepiness. She founded the Australasian narcolepsy self-help group, NODSS, in the mid 1980s and is current Chair and a founding Board member of the Sleep Health Foundation.

Evelyn Balmeo Salire

Secretary General, Phillippine Retailers Association

Ms. Evelyn B. Salire has over 30 years experience in association management work.  She started as Publications Assistant in the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) in 1986. She was among the very first, and few, staff promoted to Manager in a span of 2 years since her appointment. She was promoted to handle Publications and Business Assistance and  Information Services. 

In 1994, she joined the Philippine Retailers Association (PRA) as Project Manager to handle the 1st Philippine Franchise Expo.  It was a big success and paved the way for the annual Philippine Franchise Conference and Expo (PFCE). Evelyn is the  Philippine Council of Association and Associations Executive (PCAAE) 1st Association Executive of the Year Awardee for 2015.  She was also named recently as Association Executive of the Year during the 1st ever APAC Association Awards.

George Wilson

Business Development Manager, Australian Podiatry Association

George Wilson has had exposure to the research community as publisher of REASON (research journal for The Royal Australian College of General Practice), publisher of The Australian Family Physician (a journal of clinical review), and as Business Development Manager with the Journal of Foot and Ankle Research (an online open access research journal - published as a co-venture with the Society of Chiropodists and  Podiatry (UK).

In his role as Business Development Manager at the Australian Podiatry Association he has worked closely with the Board of Trustees of the Australian Podiatry Education and Research Foundation (APERF) to help enhance financial outcomes for the Foundation. That role has involved awareness of the processes and governance issues around the recruitment of funds for research and their allocation.  

Gillian Stapleton

Executive Director, Direct Selling Association of Australia

Gillian Stapleton was appointed Executive Director of Direct Selling Australia in July 2016. Gill is the first female appointed to this position in the Association’s 50- year history. Gill, started her career as a teacher in the UK but joined a home based direct selling business, so that she could be a full- time mum to her two children. Rising to the top of that business, Gill was offered a corporate role in Australia with that same organisation.

Since then, she has been the CEO of both an International network marketing organisation and a party-plan business and CEO of Special Olympics Australia, a national Charity. Gill has also previously served as a member of the DSA Board.

Glenn Kolomeitz

Principal Solicitor, Glenn Kolomeitz Lawyers

Glenn Kolomeitz is a lawyer, former NSW Police Sergeant and former Army officer. Glenn joined the military in 1986 as an aircraft technician. He joined NSW Police specialising in prosecutions, coronial investigations and counter-terrorism, studied law and was admitted as a solicitor. In 2005, Glenn worked as the Defence adviser to the Shadow Minister for Defence. In 2007, he returned to the Regular Army as a legal officer and served in East Timor and Afghanistan with Special Operations before performing duties as a military prosecutor.

From 2015 to 2017, Glenn was the CEO and State Secretary of RSL NSW and is presently the principal solicitor in his own firm, specialising in pro bono PTSD-related criminal cases and lobbying for veterans.

He sits on a number of NFP boards and is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and the Australian Institute of Professional Intelligence Officers.

Greg Hallam

Chief Executive Officer, Local Government Association of Queensland

Greg Hallam has held the role of Chief Executive Officer of the Local Government Association of Queensland since 1992.  He is partnered with four adult children and one grandchild.  He has tertiary qualifications in commerce, economics and business administration.

Greg was awarded the Member (AM) of the General Division of the Order of Australia in 2018 for his contribution to Local Government, the Public Service Medal in 2000 and the Centenary Medal in 2001.  He also received the Olympic Council’s Committees Merit Award in 2005 which was personally presented by the IOC President, Jacques Rogge in Brisbane as well as Roads Australia’s John Shaw Medal, the only Local Government employee to receive that honour in its 40 year history.  Finally he was awarded the National Emergency Medal in 2012 for his work in Queensland’s 2011 Natural Disasters.

Jeremy Irvine MAICD

Chief Executive Officer, Australian Dental Prosthetists Association

Jeremy Irvine is Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Dental Prosthetists Association, which he has led since March 2016, including through the unification of its state/territory and national component associations in July 2016. He’s a passionate believer in the roles of associations and the value they can – and do – bring to members.

Jeremy has headed or held senior roles in industry associations for over a dozen years and previously worked as a political adviser and ministerial speechwriter in Canberra and New Zealand. He has been featured as a guest columnist in Fairfax, and as a panellist at a ‘spin doctor’ conference televised on ABC News.

John Peacock

Chief Executive Officer, Associations Forum

John is the Chief Executive Officer of Associations Forum, is one of Australia’s most experienced advisors to associations and charities and is a thought leader for the not-for-profit sector. With a BCom (University of NSW), he has held senior management and Directorship roles with various not-for-profit organisations. Since 2000, John has trained and consulted to hundreds of associations and charities, large and small, on strategic planning, governance, board effectiveness, operations, restructuring and financial issues.

As well as engagement on specific projects, John’s consulting business undertakes whole-of-organisation reviews of associations and charities. John’s operational specialisation is developing plans that can be translated into actions, budgets and job descriptions. His change specialisation is in the field of mergers of associations.

Julia Mant

President, Australian Society of Archivists

Julia Mant is the current President of the Australian Society of Archivists, elected in October 2016 and has served on the ASA Council since October 2013 as a Councillor and the Secretary. She is employed as the Archives and Records Manager at the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) and is the Company Secretary for NIDA and the NIDA Foundation Trust.

She has been working in educational archives since 1999, first at Tranby Aboriginal College, then from 2004 to 2012 at the University of Sydney Archives. Julia has a BA (Hons I) from the UNSW (majoring in History and Theatre) and has a Graduate Diploma in Science (Information Services) from Edith Cowan University and Graduate Diploma in Applied Intellectual Property from the UNSW.  She holds a Certificate in Governance for Not-for-Profits (Governance Institute). 

Kathy Nguyen

Manager - Client Services, Associations Forum

Kathy is passionate about associations, having spent most of her career in the sector and seeing the good and often unrecognised work done by associations for the benefit of society.

Kathy commenced working at Associations Forum in 2004, leaving in 2010 to work at Governance Institute of Australia until 2013. She has also done stints at the Trade Association Forum in London and the Royal Australasian College of Physicians. Since returning to Associations Forum in 2013, she has worked on over 30 consulting projects helping association clients improve their structure, operations and governance.

Kathy started her career at Ernst & Young in legal and compliance after graduating with a Bachelors of Law & Business degree from UTS.

Katie Bell

Social Media Manager, Chartered Accountants Australia & New Zealand

Katie Bell has a wide and varied career – everything from delivering street events for 50,000 people, to launching a luxury brand in Europe and UK, to membership management for a NSW advocacy organisation. Throughout her career, Katie has always had a passion for brand, communications and especially social media.

In late 2017, Katie took on the Social Media Manager role at Chartered Accountants ANZ where she has landed in a crucial transformation period which will see member engagement and communication change significantly. Her time is spent developing social strategy, training and educating staff on campaign activation, and building processes to ensure social media use is optimised and engages amplification strategies across the organisation.

Kerry Davies AE

Chair and Councillor, Council of the Institute of Professional Editors

Kerry Davies AE has forty years’ experience in the publishing and communications industries in private, educational and government sectors. She runs a freelance business, Kerry Davies Publishing Services, established in Sydney in 1997 and based in Brisbane since 2004, and is an accredited editor (AE) under the national accreditation scheme of the Institute of Professional Editors Ltd (IPEd).

She was President of the Society of Editors (Queensland), now Editors Queensland, a branch of IPEd, from 2010 to 2016. In 2011 Kerry was appointed by IPEd to facilitate the review of Australian Standards for Editing Practice, the second edition of which was published in 2013. She became Queensland Councillor for IPEd in 2013 and Chair in 2015.

Kylie Clarke

Conferences & Events Manager, Royal Australian & New Zealand College of Radiologists

Since 2015, Kylie Clarke has been the Manager of Conferences and Events at The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists.

Through strong leadership of her internal team and PCO, Kylie oversees the organisation of the national Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM), New Zealand Branch Annual Scientific Meeting, special interest group meetings, training workshops within the training curriculum, and most recently hands on educational courses in collaboration with RANZCR’s international counterpart The American College of Radiologists.

Kylie holds a Diploma of Event Management and a Certificate III in Business Administration. She has a strong background in communication and event management experience across not-for-profit organisations. She has proven ability to lead and deliver complex projects with collaboration, innovation, integrity and a sense of fun. In her spare time Kylie runs her own small business as a certified health and wellness coach.

Leah Boucher

Web & IT Manager, Association for Tertiary Education Management

Leah has over 20 years’ experience working in applied IT, employment relations, policy, education, associations and NFPs. Drawing on this as Web & IT Manager for Association for Tertiary Education Management, she facilitates their diverse remote team across Australia, New Zealand and PNG, at both strategic and practical levels.

 Leah has managed an international research network and was involved in policy research and development, data analysis, and reporting at Macquarie University and other organisations. Lea is also passionate about mentoring, she leads a distributed, agile team, providing career continuity and development to those marginalised from traditional work options.

Leanne Stevens

National Vice President & Queensland Branch President, Migration Institute of Australia

Leanne Stevens is the National Vice President, and Queensland Branch President, of the Migration Institute of Australia, the peak professional association for migration agents.  She’s a Registered Migration Agent and the CEO of Emergico Migration, specializing in Business and Employer Sponsored visas.  Leanne is the past President of YWCA Queensland, a vibrant, proactive not-for-profit womens leadership organization.

An experienced Executive Manager with a background in Health and Emergency Services, Leanne spent 25 years in the ambulance industry as a Helicopter Paramedic; Area Director, Director of Education, and Assistant Commissioner.  In 2006, Leanne was awarded the Ambulance Service Medal (ASM) in the Australia Day Honours List.  Later, she conducted a highly successful International Recruitment Program, in which 200 Paramedics from the UK relocated to Queensland, and it was this project that sparked her career change from ambulance to migration. 

Lesley Clarke

Chief Executive Officer, The New Zealand Medical Association

With 20 years’ experience in Association management, Lesley Clarke is the CEO of The New Zealand Medical Association (NZMA), New Zealand’s largest medical organisation. NZMA has more than 5,000 members who come from all areas of medicine including trainee doctors, general practitioners, and specialists.

Lesley has a Master’s Degree in Public Policy and her previous roles have included CEO of the Researched Medicines Industry Association, Executive Director of the New Zealand Private Hospitals Association and Executive General Manager of Medibank Health Solutions New Zealand Limited.

She has a very strong track record in advocacy and government relations, stakeholder management and strategic, financial and operational management. Lesley is well respected in the health sector and political arena and is an effective CEO and leader.

Mark Fraser

Chief Executive Officer, Pet Industry Association of Australia

Mark Fraser is the Chief Executive Officer for the Pet Industry Association of Australia. Mark has been in the role for three years and helped to implement many significant changes in an ever evolving industry landscape. He is strongly involved in PIAA advocacy efforts and has introduced a robust education arm that rewards learning and aims to see the industry grow in both the sector and public eye.

Prior to PIAA, Mark was Executive Officer with the Australian Veterinary Association, responsible for their NSW Division and a number of national special interest groups. His experience and focus on membership growth, along with member and stakeholder engagement, sustainability and financial success all serve him well with the challenges at hand with the Pet Industry Association.

Mark's previous roles include CEO/ General Manager at Red Apple Education and proprietor and founder of Redback Surf & Snow Australia. Mark also has an extensive background in journalism, multimedia and retail.   

Megan Motto

Chief Executive Officer, Consult Australia

Megan Motto is the Chief Executive Officer of Consult Australia; the association for professional services firms within the built and natural environment. Megan is also currently a Director of Standards Australia, Director and Chair of the NSW State Advisory Council for the Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA), Councillor of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and a Councillor of the Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council.

Megan is a regular contributor to public policy in a wide array of issues, including sustainability, procurement, workplace diversity and infrastructure planning, governance and financing.

In addition to her double teaching degree (BABEd) and Masters in Communication Management, Megan is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a Justice of the Peace. She lives in Marrickville with her husband Ringo, and children Kaden and Jada.

Michael Berdon

Event Sponsorship Manager, Financial Planning Association of Australia

Michael manages all aspects of event related sponsorship at the Financial Planning Association (FPA) which has over 13,000 members and affiliates of whom 10,000 are practising financial planners and 5,700 CFP professionals. His clients include the who’s who of the Australian banking, funds management and financial planning industry.

His remit includes sourcing and managing sponsors and exhibitors for the FPA Professionals Congress (the largest annual gathering of financial planners in Australia), the FPA National Roadshow, the FPA Women In Wealth and Young Planner event series, FPA Chapters, and all Future2 Foundation events including the annual Wheel Classic cycling week. Michael’s commercial, event and venue background includes working on eight Olympic Games, multiple FIFA World Cups, European and Asian football, Rugby and Cricket World Cups, Wimbledon, NRL and NBL, and the recent Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Michelle Rabsch

Barrister, 12 Wentworth Selborne Chambers

Michelle is a barrister in 12 Wentworth Selborne Chambers. Following work as a High Court Associate and as a  Senior Associate with Minter Ellison Lawyers, Michelle came to the Bar in 2008 as Counsel Assisting the Solicitor General and Crown Advocate of NSW.

She moved to the private bar in 2016 and her practice includes commercial, defamation, administrative and criminal law as well as Inquests and Commissions (including the Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory and the current Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Finance Services Industry. From August - December 2017, Michelle was one of three Counsel Assisting the Honourable Patricia Bergin SC in the NSW Commission of Inquiry under the Charitable Fundraising Act 1991 looking into the NSW RSL and related entities.


Natalia Vukolova

Chief Executive Officer, Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists

Natalia is Chief Executive Officer of RANZCR (Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists), and holds over a decade of leadership experience in the not-for-profit and public sector. Recognised for bringing a results-driven and transformative approach to member engagement and organisational leadership, Natalia’s 8-year tenure with RANZCR has provided the peak body with a strong voice around the leadership table, realising positive policy change impacting both the member and patient community.


Paige McNeil 

Managing Director, Western Australian Primary Principals’ Association (WAPPA)

Paige McNeil is currently the Managing Director of the Western Australian Primary Principals’ Association (WAPPA). She brings a wealth of knowledge from a background in corporate governance and a passion for education. Paige started her career as a primary school teacher and holds a Bachelor of Education from the University of Notre Dame. She then completed a Graduate Diploma in Training and Development at Edith Cowan University and provided adult training services in information technology.

In 2014, Paige was awarded a scholarship to undertake a 12 month Advanced Leadership Program. Backed by a consortium of educational bodies and industry experts, the program was part of a national initiative to increase Australia’s pool of executive level female leaders. Paige is an advocate for women in leadership in both the Education and Governance sectors. She is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management and an accredited gci coach.


Philippa Shelley Jones

Editor, Associations Forum

Philippa joined Associations Forum in April 2015 to edit the flagship publication ASSOCIATIONS

ASSOCIATIONS Magazine is produced three times per year to inform associations and charities in Australia, New Zealand and Asia. It contains news and updates from the industry as well as practical advice on association management issues as well as interviews with leaders in the industry. 

Philippa holds Bachelors of Arts/Laws from UNSW and worked for 13 years in the Sydney office of Clayton Utz, mainly practicing in the area of insolvency litigation. She has also worked as a contract editor for Lexis Nexis, as a Practice Administrator for a medical practice and, from 2011 to 2015, developed a children’s activity App called Kid Tracks.

Rachelle Gibson

Director of Marketing & Industry Partnerships, Ausfilm

Rachelle leads Ausfilm’s Marketing and Membership team and is responsible for developing communication and marketing strategies to promote all that Australia offers for international filmmakers. This includes developing global events and seminars, digital marketing content campaigns to motivate filmmakers to produce, partner with or post produce their project in Australia.

Rachelle’s Industry Partnerships role includes devising membership retention and recruitment strategies and campaigns to ensure the organisation is delivering positive business outcomes for its membership.  Ausfilm’s membership comprises of leading studios, film and television services, and post-production and visual effects companies. She is also responsible for identifying and attracting appropriate new businesses or business programs into the Ausfilm membership.

Prior to working at Ausfilm, Rachelle worked in marketing and communication roles at the Australian Association for National Advertisers, the Screen Producers Australia association, Screen Australia, Omnilab Media, Digital Pictures and Iloura VFX, Opera Australia and The Bell Shakespeare Company.

Rebecca Shaw

General Manager of Marketing, Events & Communications, Netball NSW

Rebecca has a strong background in communications, marketing and events, primarily within the AFL over the past 14 years. Her tenure in sport has seen her continually expand her skills and experience as her roles have evolved.

Her career journey through AFL has seen her move into a number of senior management roles at the Brisbane Lions, AFL and then the GWS GIANTS, where she worked across the consumer business, events and marketing areas.

She is one of the original GIANTS’ staff members and has experienced the challenges of establishing a new sporting franchise, before commencing in her current role as General Manager – Marketing, Communication and Events at Netball NSW. This position see her responsible for these streams of the business across the brands of netball NSW, the NSW Swifts and GIANTS Netball.

Richard Woodward

Business Development Strategist, Richard Woodward & Associates

Richard facilitates strategy sessions and planning days and trains business development teams, helping organisations to generate the revenue required to achieve their goals.  His clients include leading players in the arts, culture, charity, environment, association and government sectors.

Richard has held senior marketing, business development and sponsorship roles in Australia and the UK for Commonwealth Bank, KPMG, RAC, Stadium Australia and the Sydney Opera House and has worked on both sides of sponsorship including National Sponsorship Manager for CBA.

Richard is the author of Business Development That Works and How to Attract and Retain Sponsors and Partners and his workshops of the same names have been attended by hundreds of organisations. Richard is a frequent speaker at events, speaking in 2017 at the Louvre in Paris.

Ron Switzer

Consultant, Associations Forum

Ron Switzer is a Chartered Accountant, whose professional experience encompasses accounting, finance, strategic planning, governance, operational reviews, audit & risk management, general business consulting and facilitation; and training. 

Ron currently consults to the not-for-profit sector, principally in areas suc  h as strategic planning, governance, benchmarking and operational reviews.

Ron is also the Chair of the Audit Committee for North Sydney Council; Director (Management Committee) and Treasurer of the Indigo Foundation; Director of Diabetes Counselling Online and President; Treasurer of Primrose Park Arts & Crafts Centre Inc and Member of Community Consultative Committee Gunlake Quarry Marulan (State Government appointed).

Sara-Jane Evans

Head of Membership & Commercial Services, Property Council of New Zealand

Sara-Jane has been an integral part of the Property Council New Zealand team since 2011, progressing through the ranks from an exceptional executive assistant to the CEO, to Head of Membership and Commercial Services as a focused and passionate manager as who thrives when leading a team and building enduring member and stakeholder relationships.

Currently studying towards a Bachelor of Business, Sara-Jane started her career in the public sector, before gaining expertise as a Project Manager at URS Engineering in Auckland and KPMG in Sydney. She has dedicated the past seven years of her life to revitalising Property Council’s commercial services and increasing the organisation’s membership by over 80%. Her unrivalled understanding of their membership is a significant asset and she is a valued member of the leadership team.

Susanne Behrendt

General Manager Finance & Operations and Company Secretary, Institute of Managers and Leaders

Susanne Behrendt, FIML CPA FCCA GIA, holds a dual UK-German BA (Hons) in European Business and a M.S. in Finance from the University of Baltimore in the USA. She started her career in M&A Advisory with the global accounting firm KPMG before accepting the role as CFO of QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute in Brisbane in 2012.

With her passion for the not-for-profit sector and a strong interest in governance, Susanne has been the GM Finance & Operations and Company Secretary for the Institute of Managers and Leaders since October 2016. She firmly believes that great managers and leaders make decisions that impact people’s lives and that this impact is felt well beyond the workplace.

Tom Symondson

Chief Executive Officer, Victorian Healthcare Association Limited

Tom Symondson has been CEO of the Victorian Healthcare Association, the peak body for Victoria’s public health services, since 2015.Tom has almost 15 years’ experience in public policy development and advocacy. Previously, he held senior roles at the VHA, the Property Council of Australia and was principal advisor in Southwark Council, for one of the UK’s largest local authorities.  

He sits on the Victorian health sector taskforce for family violence, a board member of the Deeble institute for Health Policy and Research and chair of the International Federation of Community Health Centres. He is also CEO of the Australian Centre for Healthcare Governance, an arm of the VHA, which supports the health and community sector to improve their clinical and corporate governance.

Vicki Mayo

Executive Manager, Local Government Professionals Australia NSW

A Certified Meeting Manager, I am an event management expert with over two decades of experience in the field. I have worked on all sides of events from venue and catering management, to professional conference organising and also running my own event management firm.

In 2008 I joined Local Government Professionals Australia, NSW as their Events Producer and over the years have moved into leadership roles, working on strategy and business development and am currently the Executive Manager. I thoroughly enjoy being able to offer excellence quality services to our members, as well as new and innovative ways to for them to engage with us and with each other. 

Vishal Modi

Director - Audit and Assurance, Hill Rogers

Vishal heads up the Not-for-Profit team at Hill Rogers. His expertise is in providing Not-for-Profit organisations and commercial entities with expert advice and guidance with their audit and assurance requirements.  His focus is on building strong partnerships with his clients by conveying his passion for advising and implementing efficient risk management controls and effecting long term sustainable improvements in organisational outcomes.

Vishal joined Hill Rogers in 2005 and was appointed Director in 2012.  He holds a Bachelor of Commerce and is a member of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India. Vishal is also a Registered Company Auditor.



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