Chatter from the Chair – Summer 2016

We have a seen a year of continued evolution since the last AGM a year ago.   We have added two specialist subgroups – Life Rehabilitation and Medical, and the Claims Management Group (CMG) expanded to a national role from its beginnings in NSW.  These developments have been very successful.

Our subgroups are an intrinsic and essential part of ALUCA, and this year they are on track to host 24 seminars across Australia for approximately 1,600 people, which is a 20% increase on both the numbers of seminars and attendees in 2015.    The start of the year saw the roll out of an initiative to provide all members with access to free sessions, and approximately 40% of the seminars this year will have been provided free of charge to members, and the board has increased the funding to state sub-groups to maintain this initiative.    With the help of our CEO, Amanda McKernan, planning is well underway for 2017 seminars and we hope to have a calendar of seminars out to members in the near future.   I would like to take this opportunity to thank the chairs and committees of the subgroups for their wonderful work and dedication in 2016, and they should all be very proud of their achievements.

For this year’s conference in Adelaide, ALUCA changed the format and logistics in response to member feedback after the last conference, and the price of attending was also substantially reduced.   These changes helped to contribute to what was the largest conference ALUCA has seen, with some 425 delegates attending.     To date, the feedback on the conference has been overwhelmingly positive and constructive, and will serve as our starting point for planning the 2018 conference.     The conference was a testament to the efforts, clear thinking and hard work of Claire Nolan and Howard Williams from the board and the whole conference organising committee.  Our thanks also go to Peta Freeman and Nell Harrison of TAS, who were instrumental in the success of the conference.

I would like to also take this opportunity to thank ALUCA’s sponsors.   Much of the success we have seen ALUCA achieve is underpinned by the support of our sponsors.  Our sponsors contribute not just financially to enable ALUCA to heavily subsidise events or to provide events free of charge, but also through allowing their staff to spend many hours serving ALUCA on Sub Group committees and the Board, and through the provision of a range of renowned speakers for ALUCA events.

By now, many of our members will have met our CEO, Amanda McKernan, who joined ALUCA in July 2016 and has worked tirelessly since joining, and with great success, on a wide range of tactical and strategic initiatives.   I have enjoyed working closely with Amanda over the last 4 months and have been impressed with her energy, commitment and not least of all, results.    I would also like to sincerely thank our Secretariat Officer, Pat Chew, for her contribution to ALUCA.  Pat’s contribution often goes unheralded, but is vital to the success of the association.

This AGM sees the retirement from the board of a number of people with many years of industry experience and service to ALUCA.   Our heartfelt thanks go to Brian Sussman, Trent Tosh, Peter Jones, Claire Nolan, Howard Williams, Fiona Guscott and Vanessa Dobson for their contributions over many years to ALUCA, and I know that they will continue to contribute in the future.  Our thanks also go to former Chair and Acting Executive Officer, John O’Leary.  It was very pleasing to see a record number of people standing for the  2017-2018board, with 19 nominations.    Details of the new board appear in this edition of RiskeBusiness, and I am honoured, and humbled, to continue to serve as the Chair of the Association for the next two years.

This publication, RiskeBusiness, has gone from strength to strength under the editorship and dedication of Michael Reid, including moving to an online version as well as the traditional PDF format.   I look forward to its continued evolution.

The board, in conjunction with subgroup chairs and Amanda, have developed a compelling strategy through to 2020 which was showcased at the conference, and will be presented at each State’s End of Year Event throughout November and December.   This strategy is explained in more depth in the CEO report, but is based on five central strategic pillars that are core to ALUCA – Member Engagement, Stakeholder Value, Thought Leadership and Representation, Professional Development, and finally, Sustainability.  Each of these pillars is underpinned by a host of key activities, some of which are well underway such as an overhaul of the ALUCA website.

Finally, I would like to thank ALUCA’s members for their contribution to the association in 2016.   I feel that we have gained a great deal of momentum in 2016, evidenced by attendance at seminars and the conference, and that ALUCA is well placed to move forward as an association into 2017 and beyond.  I look forward to seeing you all in 2017 and, as always, I am always available for a chat either at an ALUCA event or via

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year,

Jim Welsh
ALUCA Board Chair

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