association leaders symposium

11 October 2023 | Western Sydney Conference Centre



Tue 10 October 2023


Social Activities

Attendees can attend our indoor skydiving social activity:


Mixology Class

Attendees can enjoy a mixology class:


Welcome to Western Sydney Conference Centre & Lunch

Association Leadership Dynamics - Unpacking the role of Board and CEOs


Workshop 1

Facilitated by Andrew Gosbell, Associations Advisor, Associations Forum & Kathy Nguyen, Senior Lawyer, Governology

Join our interactive workshop on "Association Leadership Dynamics" as we explore the crucial relationship between Boards and CEOs. Case studies, roundtable discussions, and expert insights will unpack the interplay of roles and responsibilities in leading associations. Techniques to enhance collaboration, improve governance, and optimise decision-making in your association will be discussed.
Whether you're a board member, CEO, or aspiring leader, this workshop will assist you in delivering successful and innovative leadership of your organization. Don't miss this opportunity to elevate your leadership skills and strengthen your association's impact.
Register now to join us for a deep dive into effective and harmonious leadership dynamics.

Leading Membership Strategy - Moving beyond benefits to value


Workshop 2

Facilitated by Joanna Matthew, Incoming Chief Executive Officer, Associations Forum & Finola Carey, Associations Advisor, Associations Forum

Sticky membership – it’s the holy grail of association management. Delivering something that your members value so much that they renew every year without fail. However, it is much easier said than created. Often we find ourselves delivering a laundry list of benefits without really understanding what our members value and what is encouraging them to keep coming back. This workshop pulls you out of the annual cycle of renewals and membership acquisition and takes you step by step through an assessment of your member value proposition.

Together we’ll work through the following questions:
- Who is your member and what is their current world view?
- Do your key benefits meet their current needs?
- Do you know what your value proposition is?
- Does your strategy have your value proposition at its heart?

If you struggle to find the time and space to evaluate your membership strategy then this workshop is for you.


Afternoon Tea Break


Workshops Resume


Workshops Conclude


Networking Drinks and Canapes

Squires Terrace Bar, Panthers Precinct

Wed 11 October 2023


Registration and exhibition open - Arrival Tea and Coffee


Welcome to Association Leaders Symposium

Conference Chair: Joanna Matthew, Incoming Chief Executive Officer, Associations Forum


Welcome from Western Sydney Conference Centre

Glen Erickson, General Manager, Western Sydney Conference Centre

Reserve Bank of Australia: Economic Conditions and the Outlook


James Holloway, Deputy Head, Economic Analysis Department, Reserve Bank of Australia

James Holloway will share his insights on the global and domestic economies based on the Reserve Bank of Australia’s latest statement on Monetary Policy.

Opportunities in Leading a For-Purpose Organisation


Marc Purcell, Chief Executive Officer, Australian Council for International Development

The opportunities for an association to amplify their member's messages to government are many. The change of government and the electoral cycle are two key opportunities, and Marc will explain how the peak body for international development agencies have leveraged these and what lessons might be useful for other peak bodies seeking to advance social causes and their members interests.


Ice Breaker - Get to know your table

Helping you build connections with other attendees


Morning Tea


Sponsor Presentation - Higher Logic 

Winning Culture


Matthew Cameron, Chief Executive Officer, Penrith District Rugby League Football Club

Matthew Cameron has been at the helm of the Panthers Rugby League program during the club’s three grand final appearances (2020, 2021 & 2022), two of which included the 2021 & 2022 NRL premiership triumphs and will discuss what it takes to promote a winning culture. 

Jobs and Skills – Searching for Answers


Geoff Barbaro, Executive Manager, Industry Engagement, Skills Insight

The jobs and skills ecosystem in Australia is changing, driven by global and local factors. How and where to obtain labour, evolving skills needs, changing industrial landscapes and increasing automation are just some of the issues in a very complex environment. This session will provide an update on recent changes in Australia’s jobs and skills systems, from the establishment of Jobs and Skills Australia and access to skills and training, through to the current review of the migration system and the increasing efforts to undertake workforce planning.

Not-For-Profits & Taxable Status: What You Need To Know!


Jennifer Moltisanti, Assistant Commissioner, Not-for-profit, Government and New Measures, Small Business, Australian Taxation Office

In this session, Jennifer Moltisanti will examine recent developments in taxation, including:

  • ATO focus on the NFP sector in driving integrity
  • Application of the Division 50 exemption and proposed changes to self-assessment
  • How NFPs can prepare for the new reporting requirement
  • An update on DGR reforms
  • Recent updates to Public Advice and Guidance



Interactive session: Reframing Techniques for Problem Solving


Joanna Matthew, Incoming Chief Executive Officer, Associations Forum

Do you have an insoluble problem in your organisation? According to Thomas Wedell Wedellsborg, all you need to do to solve your toughest problem is change the problem you solve. This interactive session will take you through the Reframing process, showing you how to re-examine the way you approach your business challenges and jumpstart innovative solutions. You’ll walk away with a reframing toolkit, and maybe even a solution to whatever is keeping you up at night.

Politics, personalities and future prospects


Troy Bramston, Senior Writer and Columnist, The Australian

The 2022 federal election was a watershed, transforming the Australian political landscape in profound ways that are still being understood. It ushered in a new Labor government, led by Anthony Albanese, who has a big agenda and is determined to reshape the country. The Liberal Party turned to Peter Dutton as their new leader to grapple with where it goes next, having lost heartland seats and facing an identity crisis. The Greens are on the march and One Nation remains a seemingly permanent fixture in politics. Troy Bramston, a senior writer with The Australian and prime ministerial biographer, will try to make sense of contemporary politics, offer assessments of the major party leaders and what drives them based on interviews, consider some of the policy changes underway, and look ahead to the constitutional referendum and next election, and the prospects for leaders and their parties.

New Industrial relations measures, a compliance minefield


Brooke Lord, Head of Advocacy & Policy, Recruitment, Consulting and Staffing Association

Proposed industrial relations measures in Australia will make it more challenging than ever for organisations to employ non-permanent workers. New ‘Same Job, Same Pay’ laws, changes to casual employment and changes to ‘employee-like’ forms of work will dramatically increase the complexity involved in engaging workers, while at the same time, new criminal penalties will increase the severity of sanctions for those who get it wrong.
Brooke Lord will discuss the looming compliance minefield for business and how the changes threaten the flexibility that so many Australian workers and employers currently embrace.


Afternoon Tea

Leadership by Association Chairs - Panel Discussion


The panel will focus on board leadership, including discussions on leadership lessons from serving as a chair and the objectives of effective board leadership.

Chair: Claire Hewat, Associations Advisor, Associations Forum

Panellists: Louise Wightman, Chair, Maternal, Child and Family Health Nurses Australia

Mark Lindsay, Chairman, Caravan Industry Association of Australia

Phil Naylor, Chairman, Family Day Care Australia

Fireside Chat - Observations of Association Leadership of the past 20 Years


Megan Motto, Chief Executive Officer, Governance Institute of Australia

Over the last two decades, the landscape of association leadership has evolved remarkably. There has been a shift from conventional top-down approaches to more collaborative and transparent models. Digitalization has spurred innovative engagement with members and stakeholders. Diversity and inclusion are increasingly integral to effective leadership. Ethical considerations and sustainability have gained prominence in decision-making. As associations navigate intricate global challenges, adaptable leaders leveraging technology, fostering diversity, and upholding ethical standards have become paramount. The Governance Institute of Australia's insights underscore a transformative journey, emphasizing the vital role of contemporary leadership in modern associations.


Closing Comments