Associations Forum National Conference

27 - 28 April 2023 - WINX Stand, Royal Randwick, Sydney



Peter J. O'Neil

Chief Executive Officer, ASIS International

Peter J. O'Neil, FASAE, CAE, is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of ASIS International, the largest global membership organization for security management professionals that crosses industry sectors, embracing every discipline along the security spectrum from operational to cybersecurity. O’Neil, an accomplished association management executive, joined ASIS in January of 2016, bringing a broad scope of strategic leadership experience and business acumen. Peter has over twenty-four years of non-profit experience leading and managing both industry trade association and individual membership organizations. He has held many volunteer leadership roles, including Chairman of the American Society for Association Executives (ASAE) and the ASAE Foundation. Peter became a Certified Association Executive (CAE) in 1998, named a Fellow of ASAE in 2006, and was bestowed the ASAE Key Award from ASAE in 2019. 

Ainslie van Onselen

Chief Executive Officer, Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand

Ainslie has been the Chief Executive Officer of Chartered Accountants Australia and New  Zealand since May 2020 (CAANZ). For more than 20 years Ainslie enjoyed a parallel career as  a law partner and non-executive director, before progressing into senior C-suite executive  roles including Managing Director and CEO of RAMS Home Loans and running Australia’s  second largest bank, Westpac’s $200 billion retail deposits and credit card portfolio.  Ainslie is passionate about social justice, inclusion and diversity. She is the former Global  Director of Women’s Markets, Inclusion and Diversity for Westpac and currently serves as a  Commissioner of Legal Aid New South Wales and Chair of New South Wales number one non-select private school, Kambala Girls School and is a member of Chief Executive Women, Australia.

Steve Knott AM

Chief Executive, Australian Resources and Energy Employer Association

Steve Knott AM has been Chief Executive of Australian Resources and Energy Employer Association (AREEA) since 1997. On behalf of AREEA’s members Steve represents Industry workplace advocacy to government, opposition and other relevant stakeholders at both the state and federal government level. Steve also leads AREEA’s extensive array of employment consulting services. Prior to promotion to the Chief Executive role, he served two years as AREEA’s West Australian Manager and one year as Tasmanian AREEA Manager. Before joining AREEA, Steve served 10 years in senior management positions with the Hydro Electric Commission Tasmania, including the roles of Industrial Relations and Human Resources Manager. In 2017, Steve was appointed a Member in the General Division of the Order of Australia (AM) for “significant service to the resources and energy industries, to the advancement of women, and to industrial relations”.

Sarah McCann-Bartlett

Chief Executive Officer & Managing Director, Australian HR Institute

Sarah is a highly experienced leader of professional and trade bodies, with a passion  to help members achieve their goals by providing world leading insight, support and  advocacy. She is known as a transformational leader who drives change by bringing  organisations, employees and stakeholders together to envision the strategy, agree the  journey, and lead teams to deliver the desired outcomes. Prior to joining AHRI, Sarah held the positions of Director General of the British  Constructional Steelwork Association and before that, Deputy Commissioner of the  Building Commission. She also held a range of senior positions at the Woolmark  Company in Australia, the UK and the USA. Sarah holds a Bachelor of Arts (international politics) a Bachelor of Commerce  (economics), a Post Graduate Diploma in Marketing and an MBA.

David Jenkins

Chief Executive Officer, Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia

Over 16 years Oceania experience in senior leadership roles including being CEO, General Manager and Country Head. David is currently the CEO of IPWEA Australasia a role he has held for nearly three years. He has led a new strategy at IPWEA focused on education creating an internationally recognised pathway for those working in public works / asset management. David is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Directors, has an EMBA from the University of Auckland, postgraduate at the University of Oxford and degree from the University of London. Currently he is on the Board of IFME (International Federation of Municipal Engineering) and has resided on Boards specifically in the tertiary education arena in Australasia and the South Pacific. He began his professional career at McKinsey and Company and PwC in management consulting.

Louise Schaper

Chief Executive Officer, Australasian Institute of Digital Health

Dr Louise Schaper is on a mission to fix healthcare. She is a passionate advocate for the transformation of healthcare, enabled by technology and has dedicated her career to building community and opportunities for the sector to advance. With over 20 years' experience in digital health, Louise has deep domain knowledge and extensive networks across Australia and internationally in the field. As a senior member of Australia's digital health community, Louise has spent 10+ years leading Australia’s peak body for digital health, the Australasian Institute of Digital Health, and is a founding partner of Healthcare Ventures, Australia's digital health venture capital fund. Louise brings together world-class clinicians, researchers, innovators and organisations from across the biomedical, health and technology spectrum who are committed to the improvement of health outcomes enabled through innovative uses of technology and information.

Tony Gleeson

Chief Executive Officer, Australian Institute of Refrigeration Air Conditioning & Heating

Tony is a versatile and energetic senior executive which brings strong commercial acumen and an enterprising style gained via holding key positions within both professional services and not-for-profit organisations, including Deloitte, PricewaterhouseCoopers, CPA Australia, and as Chief Executive of the Australian Institute of Management (AIM) and the Australian Institute of Refrigeration, Air-conditioning and Heating (AIRAH).

He has extensive leadership and management expertise that has given me the ability to see the bigger picture and identify opportunities to develop initiatives that allow for organisations vision to become a reality. This work has also given him the ability to read the political environment, understand the differing points of view, and find the common threads that allow for greater understanding and the opportunities to again reach consensus and move forward.

Jon Bisset

Chief Executive Officer, Community Broadcasting Association of Australia

Jon is passionate about the non-profit and charity sector having spent more than 25 years as a Chief Executive and non-executive director. Jon is currently Chief Executive Officer of the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia (CBAA) as well as CEO for RPH Australia, the peak body for the Radio Reading Network, community media empowering Australians with a print disability. The CBAA and RPH Australia's member stations actively broadcast nationwide to an audience of over 5 million people per week. Jon is also a Non-Executive Director of Infoxchange and of Connecting Up Australia, non-profit organisation's using technology to improve the lives of the most vulnerable in our community and increase digital inclusion; a Non-Executive Director of Spots and Space Pty Ltd; and Chair of the Local Independent News Association.

Elayne Grace

Chief Executive Officer, Actuaries Institute

Elayne Grace is the Chief Executive of the Actuaries Institute, the professional body representing actuaries in Australia. Elayne’s drive has resulted in key research into aged care, big data, climate change, governance, longevity risk and retirement, mental health, and intergenerational equity. Elayne has 25 years’ international experience with leading consulting firms and major insurers, including as a leader of some of the earliest collaborations between business, scientists and NGOs on climate change and risk. She has been an adviser on a Commonwealth Treasury expert panel and to the Indigenous Land Corporation Board on the long-term sustainability of its investments. She has been recognised in The Australian Financial Review 100 Women of Influence (2019) awards and Voice Project Best Workplace (2021) awards for exceptional levels of employee engagement and satisfaction.

Greg Harford

Chief Executive, Retail NZ

Greg Harford is the Chief Executive of Retail NZ, the not-for-profit association representing New Zealand’s $112 billion retail sector. With a background in advocacy, communications and marketing, Greg has appeared in the media more than 1,000 times in the past year and is a passionate believer that strong associations and great outcomes are built on effective communications and great teams.  He previously headed up the highly-successful program to transition New Zealand to digital television from 2010-2013, and has worked in the New Zealand Public Service, and at the New Zealand Post Group.

Prof Andrew Conway

Chief Executive Officer, Institute of Public Accountants

Andrew leads the renewal and growth of the Institute of Public Accountants (IPA), and its Group entities, the Institute of Financial Accountants (IFA) and the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT), with stakeholders in over 80 countries.
As CEO, he is responsible for creating and delivering value to 46,000+ IPA members and helping small business navigate social, environmental and economic change.A former Chief of Staff at the Australian Government Treasury, Andrew holds a record for being the youngest CEO of a public entity, appointed at just 28 years of age in 2009.  In 2001, Andrew was awarded the Centenary of Federation Medal recognising his contribution to Australian society and government in representing Australia on the international stage.

Matthew Lunn

Chief Executive Officer, Turf Australia

Matthew has worked in the horticultural industry for over 35 years and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in association management with the past 7 years as CEO of the Nursery & Garden Industry WA and as the Executive Officer for the Landscape Industries Association WA . Earlier this year he was appointed by Turf Australia as their new CEO and is presently leading a review with a particular focus on the culture of the organisation and how it wants to represent itself as a peak national body for the future. Matthew is an experienced motivational speaker with over 35 years of experience working not only as a keynote speaker and MC at leading industry events but also within the Western Australia media.

Jonathan Smithers

Chief Executive Officer, Arthritis Australia

Jonathan Smithers qualified as a lawyer in the UK in 1986 and worked in his own practice for over 30 years. During that time, he served on the Council of the Law Society of England and Wales, culminating in appointment as its president in 2015/16. He then moved to Canberra, having been appointed as CEO of the Law Council of Australia. In 2020, Jonathan moved into the health sector becoming the Chief Executive Officer of Arthritis Australia, the peak body for arthritis consumers.

Lyndal Macpherson

Chief Executive Officer, Australasian Society for Ultrasound in Medicine

Lyndal Macpherson is the Chief Executive Officer of the Australasian Society for Ultrasound in Medicine. Lyndal has over 30 years’ experience in the medical imaging industry with extensive experience in both clinical and corporate healthcare. Lyndal has held multiple management and leadership roles in product and service provision in the healthcare arena, and currently sits on the board of a registered charity. Lyndal has lectured and published within the ultrasound field, supporting education and training both in Australia and within the Asia Pacific region. Lyndal has a passion for the profession of ultrasound with a focus on standards and quality patient outcomes.

Tom Symondson

Chief Executive Officer, Aged & Community Care Providers Association

Tom is the new CEO of ACCPA.  He was previously the CEO of the Victorian Healthcare Association, the peak body for the public health, aged care and community health sector in Victoria, since 2015 after serving for two years as Director of Policy and Strategy. Before moving to Australia in 2011, he had a career in local government, most recently serving as a political advisor in Southwark Council in London, one of the UK’s largest local authorities. Tom sits on the board of Aware Super, one of the largest superannuation funds in the country, with members across the health, aged care, education and public service sectors. He serves on a range of government boards and task forces including the Victorian Ministerial Advisory Committee for Mental Health, The Victorian Quality and Safety Council and the Public Sector Residential Aged Care Expert Advisory Group.

Kristina Vesk

Chief Executive Officer, Cat Protection Society of NSW

CEO of the Cat Protection Society of NSW since late 2006, Kristina has a BA in Social Science and her professional background is in public affairs and policy in the government and not-for-profit sectors. She served as a layperson on the human research ethics committee of a Sydney teaching hospital for 10 years and in 2016 she was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia for services to animal welfare.

Phil Anderson

Chief Executive Officer, Association of Financial Advisers

Phil Anderson is the CEO of the Association of Financial Advisers (AFA). Phil has spent nearly 10 years at the AFA in two different stints including working for a long time as the General Manager Policy and Professionalism. Phil has been in the financial services industry for over 25 years, having also worked with AMP, MLC, Perpetual, CFS and Netwealth. Phil has been actively involved in financial advice policy and advocacy for over 10 years, including the Quality of Advice Review, implementation of the requirements of the Professional Standards legislation and the Royal Commission Recommendations. Phil has previously been integrally involved in the Future of Financial Advice, Tax Agent Services Act, Education/Professional Standards and Life Insurance Framework reforms. The Association of Financial Advisers is one of the professional associations servicing the financial advice profession, that has gone through a period of intense reform.

Chris Vein

Chief Executive Officer, Australian Computer Society

Chris Vein took the role of Chief Executive Officer of ACS in July 2022 after an extensive global search. He joins ACS with a wealth of experience in innovation policy, technology strategy and digital transformation. A member of ACS since 2018, Chris served as PwC Australia’s Sydney-based Partner for Global Digital Transformation between October 2016 and 2018 after working with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade on innovation in aid programs. Chris has held roles internationally in the public and private sectors, including Deputy United States Chief Technology Officer for Government Innovation at the White House, Chief Innovation Officer for Global ICT Development at the World Bank, and City CIO and Executive Director at the Department of Technology for the City and County of San Francisco.

Troy Williams

Chief Executive, Independent Tertiary Education Council Australia

Recognised across departmental and parliamentary circles as an effective policy advocate, Troy’s expertise is in using industry data and member stories to position an organisation at the forefront of the policy debate and as a recognised media commentator.  His leadership saw ITECA secure a coveted seat at the 2022 Jobs and Skills Summit convened by the Australian Government at Parliament House and he has been appointed by Ministers to reference groups in the tertiary education, migration and industry policy sectors.  His career spans senior executive positions with professional organisations and industry associations in the property, construction and medical products sectors.  He led the Australian Dental Industry Association (ADIA) when it was named Associations Forum ‘Association of the Year” and has been inducted into the Associations Forum ‘Hall of Fame’. 

James Goodwin

Chief Executive Officer, Australian Airports Association

James Goodwin has a background in corporate affairs and public policy with a particular interest in the transport, aviation and infrastructure sectors. He was appointed Chief Executive of the Australian Airports Association in early 2020, at a time when the aviation industry was being heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The AAA represents the interests of more than 330 airports and aerodromes as well as 150 corporate members who make up the aviation value chain. James leads its members in advocating for national policy which ensures we have a thriving aviation system that is safe, secure, competitive, environmentally responsible and with a skilled workforce to benefit all Australians and visitors. Prior to his role at the AAA, Mr Goodwin was the Chief Executive of Australia’s leading vehicle safety advocate, the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) since 2015.

David Millar

Chief Executive Officer, Concrete Institute of Australia

David Millar is the Chief Executive Officer of the Concrete Institute of Australia. As a civil engineering graduate from the University of Sydney, David began his career in the concrete aggregates industry, before expanding into precast concrete, construction chemicals, and concrete materials. With a great appreciation of what industry and professional associations can provide to the concrete industry, David has been, and is still, an active member on a number of Associations and committees as a volunteer. He was also the Executive Director of the Concrete Pipe Association of Australasia from 2005 to 2013 before commencing his current role with the Concrete Institute of Australia in 2014.

Like most industries the concrete construction industry is always evolving requiring the Concrete Institute of Australia to continually look at what technology it requires to continue to provide the membership base with relevant services in a modern format. The challenge is to ensure that all the members are catered for using IT and technology that resonate with them across the board.

Finola Carey

Chief Executive Officer, Optical Distributors & Manufacturers Association of Australia

Finola Carey-Border is the Chief Executive Officer of ODMA and has been a noteworthy leader in the optical industry for 27 years. Finola has a particular interest and expertise in Governance issues including Strategic & Business Planning, Policy formulation and advocacy and Company Secretary responsibilities. Finola has a proven track record in Business development and Revenue diversification and Event Management of exhibitions and conferences. She was one of the architects of the joint venture agreement between ODMA and Optometry Victoria/South Australia out of which O=MEGA (the premier optical event in the Southern hemisphere) was born and can be credited with a major role in securing the World Congress of Optometry for Melbourne in 2023.

Finola is an admitted solicitor of the Supreme Court of NSW and a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Amber Williams

Chief Executive Officer, Resolution Institute

Amber works with the board in setting and delivering the strategic direction of Resolution Institute to ensure the future success of the organisation, and to work in the interests of members to grow services and expand the profile of Resolution Institute and dispute resolution within the community. A strategic leader with a diverse background in both the private and public sectors, Amber was the CEO of the New South Wales Law Enforcement Conduct Commission and Chief Human Resources Officer for the New South Wales Department of Justice prior to her appointment as CEO of Resolution Institute in November 2019.

In addition to her qualifications in human resource management, industrial relations and psychology, Amber is a certified member of the Australian Human Resources Institute and a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Amber’s interests outside work include spending time with her family, playing and watching soccer.

John Maroney

Former Chief Executive Officer, Self Managed Super Fund Association

John is a veteran CEO with over three decades of board-level experience, with particular expertise in the financial services, superannuation and insurance industries. He has successfully led, developed and implemented strategies for businesses across the superannuation and insurance sectors, along with managing professional and industry associations. He has been employed by large and small employers and consultants, within the private and public sectors, within Australia and internationally and he also was self-employed for several years while he developed a successful consulting firm. Key roles include CEO of the Actuaries Institute, Australian Government Actuary and Head of Capital and Solvency at the International Association of Insurance Supervisors, which is hosted by the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland. John holds a Bachelor of Arts (Actuarial Studies), Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries of Australia, Fellow of the Financial Services Institute of Australasia (FINISIA) and Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. 

Hon. Joel Fitzgibbon

Chief Executive Officer and Non-Executive Director, Australian Forest Products Association

Joel Fitzgibbon is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Non-executive director of the Australian Forest Products Association, the peak national industry body representing the resources, processing and pulp, paper and bio-products industries covering the forest products value chain. He has extensive government experience having served in the House of Representatives from 1996 to 2022, representing the New South Wales seat of Hunter. He served as Minister for Defence in 2009-2009, Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry in 2013 and was Chief Government Whip from 2010 to 2013.

Joel Fitzgibbon has considerable expertise in public policy, social and environmental issues.He is a Non-executive Director of the Brickworks Board and is retained as Special Counsel by CMAX Advisory. He is also a Director on the Board of the Crawford Fund.

Jennifer Moltisanti

Assistant Commissioner - Not For Profit Centre, Australian Tax Office

Jennifer Moltisanti is an Assistant Commissioner and leads the ATO’s NFP, Government and New Measures team. Jennifer joined the ATO in 2003 when she was promoted from the then Australian Customs Service. Jennifer has a broad experience in public sector administration and has held a diplomatic role with Australia’s permanent delegation to the OECD as Australia’s first Minister- Counsellor Taxation. Jennifer has a Master of Business Administration from the Melbourne Business School and a Bachelor of Arts from La Trobe University. Jennifer is fluent in several languages including Italian and French.

Elmarie Snyman

General Manager - Conference & Events, Early Childhood Australia

Elmarie is the General Manager – Conference & Events at Early Childhood Australia (ECA). As the national peak body for early childhood, ECA is a regular and trusted contributor to the public policy debate on all matters affecting young children (birth to eight years) and their families. Elmarie has over 20 years of international hospitality and events management experience gained whilst living in Australia, the United Arab Emirates, South Africa and the United Kingdom, with proven success in leading teams to deliver exemplary event experiences for conference over 2,000 delegates. Elmarie believes that keeping up to date with the latest sector trends is pivotal to making events more relevant, innovative and profitable.

Sue-Ann Fresneda

Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Master Builders Queensland

Sue-Ann was first appointed Director of Business Development & Membership in 2013, followed by Deputy CEO  in July 2022, bringing to the role strong commercial acumen in business development, marketing, innovation and product development.She joined Master Builders after almost 20 years at News Limited (now NewsCorp), where she worked her way up from Advertising Sales Executive to various management roles, including Sales Director and General Manager – Operations for Queensland. In the latter recent position, Sue-Ann was responsible for managing operations across Queensland locations, including Cairns, Townsville, the wider Brisbane area and the Gold Coast.

Anna Longley

Assistant Commissioner, General Counsel, Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission

Anna Longley is the Assistant Commissioner, General Counsel at the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission. Anna is the senior legal advisor to the Commissioner and the Advisory Board and contributes to corporate and strategic leadership as a member of the Executive team. Prior to this, Anna was an Assistant Commissioner at the Australian Taxation Office and led audit and assurance teams on work involving high wealth individuals, private groups and not-for-profit entities. She also sat on the ATO’s General Anti-Avoidance Rules Panel. Through previous roles, Anna has gained significant experience with administrative law, dispute resolution and litigation.

Anna holds a Bachelor of Laws with Honours, a Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice and a Master of Taxation. She was admitted to practice as a lawyer in 2005. In the charity sector, Anna has spent several years volunteering for and on the board of community legal centres.

David Buley

Chief Financial Officer, Association of Independent Schools of NSW

David Buley is the CFO of the Association of Independent Schools of NSW and during his 30 years there has seen the independent education sector grow nearly 400% to represent 1 in 5 enrolments in NSW. The association has grown tenfold to absorb this growth, and constantly adapts its offerings to suit the ever-evolving environment characterised by technology shifts & pedagogical innovation. His presentations cover a broad range of governance, strategy, finance, technology and other business-related topics, informed by years of professional consultancy experience assisting schools achieve increased returns and enhanced sustainability through operational improvements. He was a Director & Investment Committee member of NGS Super, for over 15 years, during which time the fund has grown to have over $16 billion under management and over 110,000 members.

Mike Cullen

Chief Compliance Officer, Australian Computer Society

Mike Cullen is the Chief Compliance Officer and CFO at ACS, leading the Society’s operations across Finance, People & Culture, Governance, Legal & Risk (GLR), and Policy, Advocacy & Communications (PAC). Prior to ACS, Mike was the European Finance Director at TMSW, a €280m turnover Creative Agency and Consumer Product Manufacturer, after which he spent 10 years as CFO and Partner at Momentum Worldwide, a Marketing Consultancy he helped grow to 75 people and over $20m turnover. Mike is a former Treasurer of the Melbourne Press Club, and his qualifications include a Degree in Economics, CPA, P.Dip in Marketing and an MBA(Hons). Mike’s focus at ACS is on developing strong financial stewardship to build trust between Members, Boards and Management.

Simon Grant

Group Executive - Advocacy + International Development, Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand

Simon has nearly 40 years’ experience in finance and accounting, banking and professional membership, beginning his career in audit working for a Deloitte acquired firm while qualifying as a Chartered Accountant. He then joined a Japanese Bank and went on overseas work experience in the United Kingdom and United States, prior to joining a Middle Eastern Bank where he ultimately became the Australian Head of Credit. His next roles were with Deloitte in Assurance, Advisory and Corporate Finance. Simon joined CA ANZ in 2002 as State Manager Queensland and was appointed Head of Members for Australia and New Zealand during the merger in 2013. Simon’s grounding as an auditor and his business career assists in enhancing CA ANZ’s influence in the members’ interest and for the good of the general public.

Michelle Funder

Chair & President, Osteopathy Australia

Dr Michelle Funder has been on the Board of Osteopathy Australia since 2018 and was elected as President in 2020. Michelle founded the Osteopathic industry think tank stakeholder group in 2020 and has been chairing that since its inception. She is a Founding Director of Beyond which is a multi-disciplinary Allied Health group that’s core purpose is to help the community and empower their team to “Move Through Life”. Michelle represented Osteopathy on the Medicare Allied Health Taskforce in 2018 and 2019 and has a Bachelor of Clinical Science and Masters in Osteopathy where she undertook research into the study of School Girl Rowing Injuries. Michelle has completed the Advanced Leadership course by Women and Leadership Australia and also the Leadership Victoria Leadership course for Allied Health Program.

Colin Walker

Chair of the Board of Directors, Institute of Certified Bookkeepers

Colin has spent some 47 years working in numerous tax and customs policy and administration roles the majority at executive and senior executive levels both in Australia and overseas. During this time he spent 8 years with the International Monetary Fund working full time in over 16 countries providing technical support and advice and leading major policy and administration enhancement initiatives.

He has extensive experience in public administration, policy development, administrative design, tax law interpretation, senior management, capability development, building relationships and major project management.

On retiring from the public service in 2020, Colin was invited to join the Board of Directors of the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers and is now in his second year as Chairman of the Board of the Institute. He also continues to provide advice on tax matters to overseas jurisdictions.

Graeme Kruger

Executive Director, Ricegrowers’ Association of Australia

Graeme is the Executive Director of the Ricegrowers’ Association of Australia (RGA), taking up the role in September 2016. He has a post graduate qualification in conservation management and has extensive General Management and Governance experience ranging across, operations management, marketing & sales management, project management and people management. His work history has spanned Natural Resource Management, Marketing Consulting, Property and the Development sectors. He is well versed with working in competitive commercial environments through to membership and volunteer-based organisations in South Africa, New Zealand and Australia. He holds a number of Governance roles, ranging from Chairman of two large body corporates in New Zealand with a commercial focus. Graeme is also a Director on the Board of Rice Breeding Australia a newly established entity in the Australian rice industry.

Kate Miranda

Director, New South Wales, Australian Red Cross

Kate Miranda is the Director, NSW at Australian Red Cross. She is responsible for leading Red Cross people, programs and operations in New South Wales, focusing on strategic growth, capitalising on emerging opportunities, stakeholder collaborations and building organisational capability. Kate works with a highly experienced NSW Leadership team responsible for Red Cross’ humanitarian response to natural disasters, refugee settlement, migration support and community resilience programs.
Kate was appointed Director, New South Wales in August 2022 and prior to that was Head of Public Affairs and Advocacy. Kate has held senior leadership roles in the not-for-profit sector, federal government and foreign affairs primarily in the areas of health, education and international diplomacy. Kate is an advocate for social change and community-led solutions and as a senior adviser to a former Federal Health Minister, she contributed to national healthcare reforms.

Sureka Goringe

Board Member, Australian Council for International Development and Chief Executive Officer, UnitingWorld

Sureka has been National Director of UnitingWorld since July 2017 and brings senior executive and board-level leadership experience from fifteen years in the technology sector. She currently serves on the Board of the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID) and as the Chair of Church Agencies Network Disaster Operations (CAN DO). A scientist by training with a PhD in Materials Science, prior to working in the aid sector, her experience includes capital raising, research and development, and intellectual property commercialisation in venture funded start-ups and large public-sector organisations.  An Australian since the nineties, Sureka comes via university in England, and a childhood in Botswana, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

Branko Ninkovic

Board Director, Australian Information Security Association

Branko has been an Australian Information Security Association (AISA) member since 2008, he has held prior roles on the ASIA National Board as an advisor between 2009 and 2011, volunteered his time in several capacities to help build and advance the industry through AISA. Prior to joining the board, Branko was the Sydney Branch Chair and was honoured to receive the AISA Branch Chair of the Year in 2019 in response and recognition to his leadership. Outside of his work in AISA and Dragonfly, Branko also served as a volunteer and founding committee member for the inaugural Sydney FAIR Institute Chapter founded in 2018. Branko is the founder and VP of Cyber Security at Dragonfly Technologies. Prior to Dragonfly’s inception, Branko held several Technology Leadership roles in Macquarie Bank and Brambles Australia.

Stephanie Elliott

Director - Corporate Affairs, Customer Owned Banking Association

Stephanie Elliott is Director – Corporate Affairs for COBA, leading COBA’s strategic engagement and reputational initiatives. Her team includes government relations, media, marketing and communications, stakeholder relations, events and campaign functions. Prior to joining COBA, Stephanie served as a lawyer, a federal and state public servant, a ministerial adviser and a senior manager of government relations within the financial sector. She has advised both domestic and offshore governments. As an experienced corporate affairs professional she specialises in managing organisational and reputational risks. Outside of work, Stephanie is a board member and company secretary of, and provides consulting advice to, non-profit organisations. Stephanie holds a Bachelor of Laws, a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Laws from the Australian National University. 

Alex Waldren

National Director Industry Policy, Master Builders Australia

Alex leads industry, skills and housing policy work, as National Director Industry Policy for Master Builders Australia (MBA). Key areas of focus for Master Builders include building quality, education and training initiatives, housing and energy policy. Alex represents Master Builders on the board of Livable Housing Australia (LHA) and is a director on the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) Board. Alex prior to joining MBA has extensive experience in government as chief of staff and senior adviser to Commonwealth Government ministers and the Prime Minister.

Nicola Grayson

Head of Public Affairs, Australia Council for the Arts

Nicola Grayson is the Head of Public Affairs at the Australia Council for the Arts, with responsibility for government and public relations. Prior, Nicola was Chief Executive of Consult Australia, the industry association for businesses in design, advisory, and engineering. A government relations specialist, Nicola has represented industry associations in the United Kingdom, the European Union, and Australia. She has worked across a range of sectors including general insurance, consumer finance, alcohol, and education. Nicola has an Honours Degree in Law from the United Kingdom and is a member of the Australia Institute of Company Directors.

Nadine Giatras

Conference & Events Director, Australasian Society for HIV, Viral Hepatitis and Sexual Health Medicine

Nadine is the Conference Division Director at the Australasian Society for HIV, Viral Hepatitis and HIV Medicine and established the ASHM Conference & Events Division 17 years ago. She has had over 20 years’ experience in organising and managing conferences and major events including four years as an Event Manager with a leading Australian PCO. Nadine has worked on over 100 major conferences and events with many different industries and organisations, managing a diverse range of events. Nadine sits on the senior management team at ASHM and has in-depth understanding of not-for-profit, member-based organisations.

James Coward

Director Policy & Communications, Retail Drinks Australia

James Coward has over a decade of experience in policy and public affairs roles with some of Australia’s largest and most recognised government relations companies, peak bodies and industry associations. In his current role as Retail Drinks Australia’ Director of Policy & Communications, James directly advocates on behalf of liquor retailers at a local, state and federal government level, influencing a range of policy issues affecting how individual liquor retailers can operate. He was pivotal in creating the first ever industry Code of Conduct governing online alcohol sales and deliveries in Australia which was recognised globally by the International Alliance for Responsible Drinking (IARD) in May 2021. Prior to joining Retail Drinks Australia, James held positions at Restaurant & Catering Australia (R&CA), Barton Deakin and the European Australian Business Council (EABC).

Ilan Werbeloff

General Manager - Marketing & Innovation, Australian Property Institute Ltd

Ilan Werbeloff is a senior Marketing leader, currently overseeing the team responsible for marketing and product development at the Australian Property Institute (API).
In his role as GM of Marketing and Innovation he continues to successfully unlock the potential of the brand and deliver and enhance the member experience by leveraging data insights for the greater benefit of the API community. With a passion for data and digital transformation, and with 14 years experience working in not for profit member organisations, Ilan is passionate about growing people and ensuring innovation leads to purposeful outcomes.

Emma Lowes

General Manager, People and Performance, Standards Australia

Emma leads the strategic growth of our people, performance and processes, ensuring we deliver high quality, responsive services to our contributors and customers. She champions our employer brand; working to attract, retain and develop a skilled and committed workforce and volunteer base, which will drive and deliver success against our strategic plan.
Emma joined Standards Australia in 2018 and has previously held numerous HR leadership roles in various sized organisations and industries.

Tania Rizoski

General Manager Member Services & Operations, Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia

Tania Rizoski is General Manager Member Services & Operations, having joined ASFA in September 2015. Tania is part of the senior leadership team and manages the membership services and business operations at ASFA. This includes oversight of the Board National Member Engagement Committee, Discussion Groups, Membership renewal, membership enquiries and onboarding of new members, and process improvement which Tania has a particular interest in.
Tania has 20+ years’ experience across financial services, design engineering, commercial real estate and not-for-profit within national and global organisations. Tania holds a Masters in Business Administration, has successfully completed the Women in Leadership Australia, Accelerated Leadership Performance Program and is a Fellow of the Institute of Managers and Leaders.

Anne Palmer

General Manager, Education & Professionalism, Financial Advice Association Of Australia

Anne Palmer is the General Manager of Education and Professionalism. She works closely with the Board and Board subcommittees to drive growth in the education sector and to maintain high standards for the profession. Anne joined the Financial Planning Association in 2018 and, together with the senior leadership team, has navigated the organisation through foundational changes including revenue and service delivery restructuring due to legislative updates, constitutional membership reform, the integration of remote and relocated workplace environments, significant digital transformation, and staffing changes. The financial advice sector has also navigated many years of intense change and regulatory reform.

In April 2023, the Financial Planning Association merged with the Association of Financial Advisers to create a stronger voice for the profession: the Finance Advice Association of Australia. Anne is currently working with the new team and new brand identity to grow the profession and the Association. Prior to working in the financial advice sector Anne held senior management roles in the university sector, managing marketing teams, commercial services, and philanthropic scholarship programs.

Loretta York

Professional Development Manager. Gastroenterological Society of Australia

Loretta is a highly skilled professional with extensive experience in event management, sponsorship, and partnerships. She currently manages the Annual Scientific meeting and other education and member networking events at The Gastroenterological Society of Australia (GESA). Loretta has been an integral part of GESA for four years, during which time she has made significant contributions to the organisation. She has successfully doubled the sponsorship income, and her expertise in securing partnerships has helped GESA to expand its reach and impact.

Prior to joining GESA, Loretta worked for several large corporate organizations, including the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) and The Age Company, part of the Fairfax Group. Her experience in the corporate world provided her with a strong foundation in business strategy, communication, and relationship management. Loretta's transition to the association and not-for-profit sector allowed her to apply her skills and experience to a different set of challenges. Her passion for event management and commitment to fostering meaningful connections between members have made her a valuable asset to GESA.

Kassandra Koudelka

General Manager Events & Partnerships, Australasian Railway Association

Kassandra Koudelka is a highly experienced event professional with over 25 years of experience in the industry. She has successfully delivered a wide range of events, from small corporate functions to large-scale conferences and exhibitions across Australia, Europe, South Africa and the USA.   In her current role as General Manager of Events and Partnerships at the Australasian Railway Association, Kassandra leads a team of talented event professionals and is responsible for planning, delivering and evaluating a high-quality program of events that promote ARA’s profile, as well as overseeing ARA’s major sponsorship and partnership program. In her free time, Kassandra enjoys relaxing with her family and friends.

Alison Fallon

Conference and Events Executive Manager, Australian Orthopaedic Association Limited

Conference and Events Executive Manager for the past 12 years at the Australian orthopaedic Association has created an inhouse event department for orthopaedic events delivered in Australia and international.  Department has grown from 2 events to over 70 events in the past 12 years. Experience delivering events in Phara Medical, FMCG, Finance, Fashion and agriculture. Loves to travel, hiking, mountain bike riding and meeting people

Kelly Chan

Marketing and Communications Manager, Australian Society of Anaesthetists

Kelly is a passionate association professional with over 10 years’ experience working with associations large and small to manage events, develop membership retention and recruitment strategies and refine marketing and communications systems and processes.
Kelly holds a Bachelor of Socio-Legal Studies with a major in French Literature from the University of Sydney, a Bachelor of Music from the Australian Institute of Music, a Diploma of French Literature from the Sorbonne Université, France and is a current MBA and Master of Laws candidate at the University of New South Wales.

Sandra Blair

Membership Engagement Manager, Australian Information Security Association

Sandra Blair has worked with membership associations since 2004. She is the Membership Engagement Manager at the Australian Information Security Association (AISA) and is dedicated to facilitating the success of the organization by significantly growing its membership base. She is an 'ideas person' and passionate about educating AISA members about the risks and dangers of cyber-attacks and data theft. Sandra values diversity in the industry and believes in building confidence in members while being patient and empathetic to their needs.

Tom Bicknell

Digital Marketing and Communications Professional

Tom Bicknell is an award-winning communicator, content marketer and market analyst with a background in communicating technical subject matter to industry and business audiences. He has worked with a range of industry associations, both internally and as a consultant on communications projects.

Susan Greenbank

Head of Online Courses & Strategic Programs, Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy

Susan is Head of Online Courses & Strategic Programs at AusIMM, the peak body for people working in the resources sector. Her role encompasses leading the organisation’s online learning, digital and international growth strategies that provide professional development to build and accelerate the careers of resources professionals globally. Susan started her career as a journalist in New Zealand before studying marketing in Australia and moving into several years of commercial marketing and business development roles for a multinational company. Seeking more meaning in her career, for the past 17 years she has worked for professional associations, leading teams and growth programs across marketing, membership, CPD, events and partnerships. She’s passionate about associations taking a ‘digital first’ approach for quality, flexible & accessible CPD.

Margaret Heppell

Finance Manager, Girl Guides Australia NSW, ACT & NT

Currently the Finance Manager at Girl Guides NSW, ACT & NT, Margaret has been a Finance Manager in Membership and Not For Profit organisations for almost 20 years. Her background in banking and insurance and running a family business have been invaluable when communicating with members and volunteers about the importance of financial sustainability for the organisations with which she has worked.

Margaret’s dream is to have the members of the organisations she works for as excited by the numbers as she is.

Kathy Nguyen

Senior Lawyer, Governology

Kathy has extensive experience working with associations both nationally and in the Asia-Pacific, on association structure, operations and governance. She has reviewed hundreds of constitutions, and regularly presents to organisations on membership, governance and events.

Kathy has worked for Associations Forum, the Governance Institute of Australia, Ernst & Young, the Trade Association Forum in London and for the Royal Australasian College of Physicians. Kathy holds Bachelors of Laws & Business.

Dominic Cudmore

Principal Lawyer, Governology

Dominic Cudmore is a practising lawyer based in Sydney, having worked in the associations/charity, Government and private sectors. 

He possesses extensive experience in the legal issues faced by associations, charities and other not-for-profit entities including constitution writing, incorporation, charity registration, DGR and PBI endorsement, governance, disputes, mergers, transfers of incorporation status and winding-up. 

Dominic is keen to help strengthen the governance effectiveness, compliance and skills base of the associations and charities sectors to ensure that they are well-prepared to meet future challenges.

Jana Pittman

Dual Sport Olympian, World Champion, Author, Doctor, Mum

Two times World Champion, Four times Commonwealth Champion, in the sport of athletics, Jana Pittman personifies resilience and determination. Jana joined the Australian Women’s bobsleigh team, to become the first women to represent Australia in both a Summer (2000,2004) and Winter Olympic Games (2014). Off the track Jana has completed a Bachelor of Medicine & Surgery at the University of Western Sydney in 2019 (graduating with 1st class honours and the university medal) and is now a junior doctor at a hospital in Western Sydney. In 2010 she completed a Masters of Reproduction Medicine at University of NSW and has initiated her PhD in Obstetrics (focusing on aspects of uterus transplantation).

John Peacock AM

Chief Executive Officer, Associations Forum

John is one of Australia’s most experienced advisors to associations and charities and is a thought leader for the associations sector. He is a regular presenter, both nationally and internationally, on matters essential to the governance and operations of associations, charities and other mutual bodies.
Since 2000, John has trained and consulted to hundreds of associations and charities, large and small, on strategic planning, governance, Board effectiveness, operations, restructuring, financial issues and external reviews.
John’s work with associations was recognised in the 2021 Australia Day Honours List with his appointment as a Member (AM) of the Order of Australia (General Division) for significant service to the associations and not-for-profit sectors through a range of initiatives.

Michael Bell

Senior Associations Advisor, Associations Forum

Michael is a Chartered Accountant, Fellow of the Governance Institute and Graduate of the Institute of Company Directors. He has worked in chartered accounting practices and the banking and finance industry holding General Manager roles in Finance, Strategy and Operations. More recently he has consulted in governance, financial control and risk management to a range of organisations.
He has been an active Committee Member in several Not for Profits and joined the board of Coeliac NSW&ACT before becoming President of Coeliac Australia in 2016. During his time as President he successfully transformed the organisation from a federated to a national company limited by guarantee. Michael brings a broad governance, finance, project management and risk perspective to his roles ensuring this works in a positive way to achieving strategic goals.

Andrew Gosbell

Associations Advisor, Associations Forum

Andrew Gosbell (PhD, GAICD, BAppSc) is based in Melbourne and provides a range of advisory services for Associations Forum based on his broad experience in governance, change management, leadership development, government relations and policy development, risk management, strategic planning, negotiation and partnership development.
Andrew has over 15 years senior executive experience working in medical colleges and associations, including successful tenures as CEO of General Practice Registrars Australia and Deputy CEO at the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine. He has a track record of working collaboratively with volunteers, association members and office bearers, and professional staff to successfully deliver a range of strategic initiatives at both national and state levels. He has well-developed networks in the health and associations sectors. Andrew also has governance experience as a non-executive director and currently holds a number of Board and Committee positions in the NFP and tertiary-education sectors.

Claire Hewat

Associations Advisor, Associations Forum

Claire has over 20 years’ experience in senior executive positions including two successful roles as a CEO at Dietitians Australia and Allied Health Professions Australia. Claire has also had substantial non-executive governance experience on four national and one international board. She has extensive experience in professional self-regulation and is currently chair of the Ethics Review Committee for an Australian allied health profession.
Claire has used her experience to provide support and mentoring to other NFP CEOs and boards in areas of governance, strategic planning, complaints and disciplinary processes, change management and more.

More speakers to be announced!