Sub Group Reports – Summer 2017

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We have a really big year for 2017.  This time of year is to reflect on a personal level what went well not so well or plainly horrible or brilliantly- what did I learn what do I really want- get nostalgic and focus on what is important-family, take a break and enjoy simple things. Life is frenetic and fast good to stop and know how to slow things down. From an Industry perspective 2017 was a big year on many fronts from a regulatory, political, moving saleable market with enterprising reinsurance capital partnerships.

Rapid change is a certainty and is uncomfortable requiring adaptable skill sets and diverse thinking. This year we achieved many of the goals we set out on behalf of the sub groups in particular our signature collaboration of the professional development day “Empowerment” theme. To me this was a key thought leadership piece that went beyond technical education to deliver next generation leadership and thinking for risk professionals in our market.

We kicked of the year with Dr Ranjana Srivastava on Cancer the patient perspective our signature- medical/patient perspective.

We later in the year had Dr Bill Monday talk on personalised medicine and give us a window into how genetics and technology will change the way we look at health assessment, preventative medicine and diagnostic/prognostic measures.

Our team is wonderful, diverse and adaptable to always looking to new ways to deliver fresh and interesting perspectives and curious thinking to our members.  They do this in their own time and with the support of their employers which I am grateful for. I would like to make particular mention of the following achievements:

  • Dom Autard for his leadership on the PDD and his commitment to the team- he is a true thought leader and always rolls up his sleeve turns up is humble and kind- Thank you
  • Rhiannon Wilson, Nilava Sengupta and Lana Collaris for your extra work on the PDD your signatures were all over it as well as little things you did to save money and were very heartfelt- like the floral centrepieces- your involvement on the day and teamwork were not lost
  • Lisa Marie Mckechnie for doing both Treasurer/Secretary roles as well as keeping everything on track with the budget
  • Anusha Jayatilake for all her efforts on the EOY event and bringing to life the vision we had for this event

Our EOY event was wonderful at the Museum of Contemporary art, with a club Tropicana feel and great guitarist.  Thank you to our keynote speaker Scott Moffitt and Jen Jackson for talking on her paper on Genetics, winner of the Turkslegal award.

My big call out to action is siloed structures and skill sets will change and evolve in the digital and re- imagined value proposition our customer demands. Every part of the value chain should be important to everyone. If you don’t like something do something about it- if it is important enough to climb that hill and put a flag in it- do it with professionalism in bringing people along the journey with you. In leaders I look for authentic, inspiring and those that lead by doing, activating change and empowering others to propel forward. I leave with this thought someone once told me don’t bite off more than you can chew- I said I’d rather choke on trying to achieve greatness than nibble at mediocrity.

We really want to also thank Jim Welsh and Amanda McKernan for their ongoing support and GenRed’s support for the time and commitment it takes to do what we do. Please be engaged and talk to us, mail us tell us what you like and what you didn’t like and what you want more of.

We are recruiting so please consider applying.

Have a wonderful Christmas be safe and enjoy the simple things like having a cuppa and the transitions, reflections and growth that this time of year brings.

Viviane Murphy


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Summer has arrived and we are counting down the days until Christmas, quickly followed by New Year and the introduction of 2018.

ALUCA Vic had a busy end to the year.  In October we had a packed out room at the RACV club on Bourke Street for the 2017 mini-ALUCA.  It was a fabulous venue with a beautiful bright room and a great line up of speakers.

First up was Peter Riddell and Peter Murray (Turkslegal) who discussed the key aspects of the Code of Practice and developments in TPD concepts as a result of the recent interesting legal case of Hannover Life Re v Jones [2017] NSWCA 233.

They were quickly followed by Craig Saville (Finanalyze) who provided an overview of customer experience from an adviser perspective and how this has changed (or not!) since the 1800’s.

Viviane Murphy (Gen Re) walked us through the exciting and innovate work that Gen Re has been doing in the field of Behavioural Economics and Bill Monday (Pacific Life Re) then did a brilliant job of explaining the fairly complex topic of personalised medicines and its impacts on cancer in plain English so everyone could keep up.

After lunch, Jeremy Houghton (Head of Strategy and Corporate Affairs at AIA) gave an update on the work AIA has been doing to promote life insurance at a community and government level.  He provided a message of change, innovation and customer centric development that had been central to the day’s theme.

Jason Clark (Minds at Work) provided an energy filled end to the day, getting everybody talking, thinking and reflecting on what is and what could be if we set aside long held mindsets and embraced new ways of thinking.  There was quite the buzz in the room and lots of robust discussion as he led us through these ideation sessions.

The speakers wrapped up with a few words from Amanda McKernan (CEO ALUCA) before everyone headed out for networking drinks.  A perfect end to a busy day.

Six weeks later – 22 November 2017 –we had our final event which we held in conjunction with the ALUCA Rehab sub group, the end of year lunch at Papa Goose.  The food was excellent and in between courses we were very fortunate to receive insights from Devorah Reisenberg (ALUCA MLC Monash Award Winner) and Jen Jackson (ALUCA TurksLegal Scholarship Winner) who both warmed up the crowd in readiness for our keynote speaker, Anjelo Ratnachandra.  Anjelo, who provides chronic pain/fatigue physiotherapy services in Australia and author of Beyond Pain shared his own personal story of living with chronic pain.  It was an amazing story and despite the challenges he has faced he provided a very positive message.  It was a great end to what has been a very busy year and we look forward to doing it all again in 2018

Suzanne Whyte
Acting ALUCA VIC Chair




What a great final event for the year with a near full capacity of members at the Publishers (which is really not that hard).

Thank you to Michael Renny from SwissRe who was able to fly in and give us an update on the National & International trends affecting insurance and National Chair Jim Welsh for updating us from a National perspective.

It has been a busy year, thank you to the committee and sponsors for their help in organising and supporting the events during the year especially the mid-year MiniLUCA event.

Ashley Hicks



We’ve had a great 2017 in WA with record attendances throughout the year. We have welcomed in 2 new members of the committee and said a farewell to Samantha Rae as outgoing Chair.

For our final event of the year we were joined by Professor Gerry MacQuillan, who works as a Consultant Gastroenterologist at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital along with his involvement in the Liver Transplant Programme in WA. Committee Member Mark Birbeck invited Professor MacQuillan into conversation and what followed was a wonderfully engaging discussion with the local members as we learnt about the regenerative powers of the liver, current testing for alcohol consumption and some of the challenges of the Liver Transplant programme. Professor MacQuillan also shared his vision of an Australian cure for Hepatitis C in the next couple of years and how Australia is leading the world with the treatment of this condition.

The committee would also like to say a huge thank you to all our local members who support our events in WA which pays such a large part in the success of our local organisation and events. We look forward to your continued support in 2018.

Finally, a BIG THANK YOU to the entire committee, who work tirelessly on everyone’s behalf to make these events run so smoothly – Gary Pellant, Steve Colliver, Mark Birbeck, David Oliver, Katharine Matterson & Elise Vagg.

Stephen Chapman
WA Chair



The Life Insurance Specialist Dinner was held on 28th September 2017 at Dockside in Sydney run in partnership with ALUCA NSW. This was an ‘invitation only’ event and another much anticipated function in our calendar.  Our guest speaker this year was Steven Bradbury, Steven is Australia’s first Winter Olympic gold medalist and he spoke to us about the commitment and dedication involved over many years that led to him winning the Gold medal. A great night was had by all.

At the end of 2017 Holly Rushton will be leaving the ALUCA CMG committee. Holly was one of our first committee members from Melbourne and we would like to thank her for her time on the committee.

We are currently planning for 2018 and are anticipating the following events:

  • February/March – Legal Sessions to be held in NSW, VIC and potentially QLD
  • May – ALUCA Awards night
  • July – Event in NSW and VIC
  • October – ALUCA National Conference
  • November/December – Lunch event

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.

Myles Kennedy
ALUCA CMG Deputy Chair



On 30th November the ALUCA Medical Subgroup held its second Melbourne event/dinner at Juno & May, 662 Burke Road, Camberwell. It was a very interactive collegial discussion on some challenges facing insurance medicine.

I would like to single out a few challenges among many discussed during the dinner:

  • Liquid biopsy and the potential impact on “steadily” deteriorated claims experience, reserving and pricing. Liquid biopsy will slowly replace tissue sampling by histopathology and cancers will be detected more often and at a much earlier stage than today.
  • The value of chest expansion measurements, which is still a part of many Medical Examination Form (MEF). The value of these measurements is not usually apparent to clinicians and they are never carried out as a routine in that setting. However, it appears that some underwriters still believe that they are of considerable value in certain circumstances. There are many limitations of chest expansion. Is chest expansion measured always by a uniform method? There are some companies in Australia who have removed this requirement from their MEF.
  • The value of lab-initiated urinalysis reflex testing of positive dipstick urinalysis. Microscopic analysis should be done upon clinicians’ request, which could reduce the number of retesting and save a considerable money.

We as ALUCA Medical Subgroup have put ourselves on the map. So our challenge now is to address subgroup’s objectives and to assist life insurance companies restore consumer trust and confidence.

Dr Goran Lazic
ALUCA Medical Group Chair


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