Sub Group Reports – Spring 2017


Dr Monday from Pac Re presented in August 2017 at one of our ALUCA afternoon lunch time talks

No longer does one type of medicine fit all

“Right treatment to the right person at the right time”

The reason for raising this topic is due to the following:

  • It may impact ourselves.
  • It impacts mortality and morbidity and therefore Death, IP and TPD cover.
  • It impacts the diseases covered by critical illness.
  • It particularly impacts TI claim consideration.
  • It impacts underwriting and underwriting manuals.
  • Broader ethical and macro-economic issues.

Targeted Therapy – Lock and Key

Targeted cancer treatment molecules lock and communicate with the cancer cell and either:

  • Block or turn off signals that tell cancer cells to grow and divide
  • Prevent cells from living longer than normal
  • Kill the cancer cells
  • Stop the growth of new blood vessels feeding the cancer


Next Generation of Risk Profiling

  • “In patients with cancer, detection of minimal residual disease by monitoring of peripheral  blood after surgery has become the next frontier”
  • Successful molecular profiling and matching correct  targeted therapy to a cancer and negative liquid biopsies post treatment may be a very useful tool to risk profiling adding to TNM staging and perhaps eventually replacing TNM staging.


Liquid Biopsies Driven by a need

  • Prevalence of cancer increasing
  • Each patient’s cancer is different
  • Patient’s cancer changes over time
  • Effective treatment requires personalised care
  • Reducing healthcare costs ( $2 Billion in unnecessary biopsies in the USA)
  • Major Pharma developing more selective drugs


In Summary

  • We are at the ‘End of the Beginning’ of Immunotherapy and targeted therapy in Cancer treatment and it is moving rapidly into mainstream medicine and impacting survival very positively
  • Liquid Biopsy is in its infancy but has the potential to impact survival significantly not only from disease monitoring and aiding treatment choice but potentially also from detecting cancer at an earlier stage.
  • Combine the two and you have a major impact on cancer survival.

ALUCA NSW and CMG held a specialist dinner on 28th September 2017 at Darling Harbour Dockside. It was a great opportunity to network and catch up with other specialists/leaders within the Life claims/underwriting industry and hear from Australia’s first Winter Olympic gold medallist Steven Bradbury.

This year’s Professional Development Day has been exclusively designed for Life Insurance Industry on 17th October 2017 at Dolton House. You will hear from leading industry experts who will provide insights into many life insurance industry challenges and constant changes that professionals need to keep abreast of, during the constantly changing time.

Please join us to listen to the special keynote speaker Dr Glenn Singleman & his wife, Heather Swan. Dr Singleman is a medical doctor, professional adventurer, acclaimed documentary film maker and the holder of multiple world records who will take us on a journey of empowerment.

End of Year event:

As we approach the end of 2017, what better way to celebrate everyone’s hard work this year than with the ALUCA NSW End of Year Event on Wednesday 6th December 2017 at the Quayside Room, Museum of Contemporary Art overlooking the magical Sydney Harbour at twilight. Our special guest speaker is Scott Moffit – BT Head of Life Operations.

We have also secured superb guitar player and powerful vocalist Matt Jones to entertain us on the night whilst we dine on fine canapés and a variety of beverages….a night not to be missed!



Spring is one of my favourite seasons. Everything starts bursting back into life. It’s a time of renewal and reinvention.  It’s a great time to take stock of the year ahead and think what new things you want to achieve. If you set yourself goals at the start of the year now is a perfect opportunity to evaluate how you are tracking – have you achieved them or is it time to review and reset?

If one of your goals was to improve your professional education or to network more then you should take a look at the up and coming mini ALUCA. To be held on Thursday the 12th of October at the RACV Club, 510 Bourke Street, Melbourne it will be a great opportunity to mingle with fellow insurance professionals, here some great presentations and develop some new connections.

The theme of the event is Insurance – Redefining the Future and the speaker line up is fantastic.

Our speakers will cover topics such as behavioural economics, precision medicine, and innovation mindsets. On top of all that is a lovely lunch and a chance to discuss the day at the networking drinks.

The committee is also starting work on the Christmas event. Make sure you save the date : Wednesday 22 Nov at The Mint in Melbourne. . As you will know,  if you attended the event at Vue De Monde last year,  the Victorian Committee always organise a magnificent end of year event so keep your eyes peeled for updates as it will be sure to be popular.

ALUCA VIC COMMITTEE Selfie – March 2017

Gail Jones
Acting Vic Chair



So, where has the year gone!

Although a few months have passed already, we are still on a high post Qld’s first ‘Triple Treat’ seminar (aka mini-ALUCA) which took place at the Hilton Hotel in Brisbane on July 19.  We were thrilled to have a record attendance including plenty of new faces for the July event and we were treated to three excellent presentations from Dr Simon Journeaux (Orthopaedic Surgeon), Michael Renny (Chief UW – Swiss Re) and Steven Bradbury (Australia’s First Winter Olympics  Gold Medallist / Motivational Speaker / Author).

No surprises ‘Australia’s last man standing’ closed the afternoon off with a captivating presentation.  A truly amazing story from an Australian sporting legend, which also left some our audience with weary legs after some unexpected participation on stage!  It was also pleasure to have Amanda McKernan and Jim Welsh in town for the event – thank you both for making the effort to attend.  We’ve included a few photos from the day!

No time for rest though for our run into the end of the year……….details below for out last two events of 2017!!

October Seminar 

Date: Monday October 9
Time: 11.30am registration for 12.15pm start. Seminar concludes at 1.15pm
Venue: UQ Business School Executive Education, Level 19 Central Plaza One, Cnr Queen and Creek St, Brisbane
Speaker/Topic: Dr Phil Harding (Consultant CMO with BT & One Path) who will be exploring insurance versus clinical medicine from a CMO’s perspective.

Xmas Event 

Date/Time: Thurs Nov 30 from 5pm
Venue: The iconic Breakfast Creek Hotel

Look forward to seeing you out and about at a QLD ALUCA event in the coming months!

Matthew Swanson
ALUCA Qld Secretary



With half the year already gone (the bigger question is where has it gone) the SA ALUCA Team had there biannual MiniLUCA with a near capacity in attendance.

On what would be described as a very cold day, we were kept very warm with a great meal and were entertained by 3 excellent presenters Dr Bill Monday from Pacific Re, Lyn Crossley from Arthritis SA and Nick Linke from Fisher Jeffries.  Thank you to  Pacific Re for the goodie bag as some were happier with that than than winning the Fit Bit that was given away for the lucky door prize as that was seen by some as being way too healthy.

The committee would also like to thank Amanda McKernan who was able to take some time out of her busy schedule to be with us for the afternoon as well.  Our final event for the year on the 23rd November we managed to get Michael Renny off the bench to present along with Jim Welsh who will be attending which could see a battle of the goal keepers emerge.

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Ashley Hicks
SA Chair



ALUCA WA hosted another rip-roaring Triple session in September.  Our community attendees were swelled by ALUCA Board regular Jim Welsh and both Lifescreen and MLCOA medical providers attendance making our latest session one of the best attended ever.  One of the things our community consistently asks for is Claims intel and we absolutely delivered with the Head of Claims at BT – Neil Borthwick.  Neil brought us up to date with all the industry challenges claims are facing and the fallout from the 4 Corners TV show.  He also gave us insight into how the future must include claims, Underwriters and Product working together to develop the best offerings for our customers.

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Meanwhile some of our brave WA community had health check-ups with Lifescreen nurses.  This was done as a way of allowing us to take a walk in our customers’ shoes and to really put ourselves in their position and see what it feels like to be told that you are not as healthy as you may have thought you were.  This certainly ticked the box as there was more than a few Underwriters with high blood pressure.  Next year might have to include a relaxation and yoga session!  While our people were in and out of the health screens there was an ALUCA, industry and medical themed quiz. Some of us realise we may need to do more studying.

We finished up with the ground-breaking presentation from Dr Bill Monday of Pacific Life Re.  He brought his presentation on personalised medicine to WA.  He has been on a road trip this year showcasing this information and it was great to see something that feels so futuristic brought very much to the fore.  There was other moments of pure comedy when Dr Monday likened Underwriting to an Avocado (see photo).

In WA Committee developments, this month saw the current Chairperson Samantha Rae complete her two year tenure.  Her business succession plan has been working with the committee for four months now so a smooth handover is guaranteed.  We welcomed Suncorp’s Stephen Chapman into the role of Chairperson.  We also welcomed Elise Vagg from MLC to the committee and she’s already proving to be an invaluable part of the committee.  With Stephen at the helm and Elise on board, the existing members (Steven Colliver, Katherine Matterson, Gary Pellant, David Oliver, Mark Birbeck) will be ready willing and able to continue on the fabulous work keeping our industry in WA close and keep the lines of communication open.

Onwards and upwards! 

Samantha Rae
WA Chair



We ran two Financial workshops which were a new offering from the CMG this year.  The Melbourne session was held on 12 July 2017 at ANZ with approximately 66 people in attendance. This session was ran in partnership with ALUCA VIC. The Sydney session was held at Onepath on 19th July 2017 and had approximately 70 people in attendance.  The workshops were complimentary for ALUCA members.  The workshops were ran by Jo Hetherington, Head of Health Claims and Underwriting Financial Risk at TAL who presented on “Getting the maths Right” and “Income splitting”.

The first session focused on the differences in approaches taken in calculation methods especially with regard to add backs that were investigated and debated with regard to merit.  Some of the potential pitfalls in not getting the maths right were looked at with the aim being to determine if we can better align financial assessments

The second session was designed to help identify the true income generators in the business to ensure you calculate the appropriate sums insured or pre and post disability income amounts. The more complicated scenarios were covered using case studies to help become an expert.

We received very positive feedback from those in attendance and we will consider running something similar next year.  The presentations are available on the ALUCA website.  My thanks go to Jo for volunteering her services to research and present.

Our next event is the Life Insurance Specialist Dinner, to be held on 28th September 2017 at Dockside in Sydney and will be run in partnership with ALUCA NSW. This is an ‘invitation only’ event and another much anticipated function in our calendar.  Our guest speaker this year is Steven Bradbury, Olympic Champion.  Steven is Australia’s first Winter Olympic gold medallist and we are looking forward to an interactive and motivational evening.

If you have any suggests for topics you would like us to explore further please do not hesitate to reach out to myself or any of the other committee members.



Niamh McCormack



The recent Rehab Professional Development days held in both Melbourne and Sydney drew record attendance.  Both of these were complimentary events to ALUCA members.

In Melbourne the speakers included Nathan Butler, Exercise physiologist and Director of Active Health Clinic, Dr Simone Ryan, Occupational physician and CEO of OneLife, Fiona Green, Clinical psychologist and Director of Occupational Mental health specialists, Associate Professor Alex Holmes,  Associate Professor in the University of Melbourne’s Dept of Psychiatry & Head of Consultation – Liaison Psychiatry at the Royal Melbourne Hospital.

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The Sydney event which was at capacity with 100 people attending. The speakers for the day included  – Angelo Ratnachandra,  a Melbourne Physiotherapist  and author of the book “Beyond Pain” who specialises in pain management. He provided some great  insights and shared  some practical frameworks.

This was followed with  by a session with Neuropsychologist, Dr Nicola Gates – author of A Brain for Life. Dr Gates shared some highly relevant material with her work with many life insurers.

Members then heard from Karen Robertson from ALUCA’s Rehabilitation Code of Practice. She shared the relevant sections of the code – highlighting specific clauses. This special working party have been looking at what best practice rehabilitation in Life Insurance looks like as well as working through some of the key guiding principles of how Rehab is delivered in Life Insurance amongst many other pertinent and important issues from the code of practice.

The final speaker was ex pro-surfer turned high performance coach Matt Griggs who works with the likes of World pro-surfer Mick Fanning and other sporting elite as well as the Australian CEO of Facebook. His session provided much food for thought with lessons for us all both personally and professionally.

To access presentations from these sessions and papers from the working group – please login to the Member centre using your email and password. You will then see the following options. Click on the second last option: ALUCA event/seminar papers – and access the papers in the rehabilitation section.



One of the Medical Subgroup’s objectives is to establish and nurture contacts with similar associations/subgroups/societies globally (AAIM, ICLAM…). We have recently reconnected with Dr Detloff Rump and ICLAM, the International Committee for Insurance Medicine.

ICLAM was founded in Amsterdam in 1901 at the second World Conference of Insurance Medicine. ICLAM’s aims are to provide an international forum for the latest statistics on prognosis of medical and surgical treatment in the field of life, disability and health insurance. ICLAM arranges World Insurance Medicine Conference every three years and gives support to new insurance medicine organisations on all continents.

Dr Detloff Rump’s plan is to interact with our group (in the near future), in his capacity as President of ICLAM.

Dr Goran Lazic


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