Sub Group Reports – Winter 2018


“Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning and focussed effort.” – Paul J. Meyer

In April, the ALUCA Rehabilitation Subgroup held its first professional development seminars for the year across both Melbourne and Sydney.

The Melbourne event was hosted by Josh Agar (MLC) [middle] at AMP and the guest speakers were Specialist Pain Physician Professor Newman Harris [right] and Nicola Graham from the MS Society [left]. Talks focused on best practice management of chronic and degenerative conditions.

The Sydney event held at BT was hosted by Ben Crawley (BT) [at podium] with guest speakers Belinda Saunders from MS Society, Neurologist Dr David Rosen and Tracey Peters from Assistive Technology Australia. The theme was neurological conditions and rehabilitation interventions for complex presentations. Both events were a huge success thanks to our engaging and expert speakers. Feedback received from attendees was very positive.

The ALUCA Rehabilitation Subgroup wish to congratulate our industry rehabilitation colleagues recently announced as winners and finalists at the inaugural ALUCA Life Insurance Excellence Awards. Rebecca McMurray from WorkRehab won the Excellence in Rehabilitation Award, with Karen Robertson (AIA) and Alexandra Russo (AMP) announced as a finalists. Amlan Sharma (AMP) was announced as a finalist in the Rising Star category.

In May, Vice Chair of the ALUCA Rehabilitation Subgroup, Lena Kesoglou (MLC), presented at the Australian Society of Rehabilitation Counsellors (ASORC) professional development seminar, supported by our industry colleagues, Linda Winterbottom (RGA) and Alicia Gibbs (OnePath). The topic was “What the Life Insurance Industry needs from Rehabilitation Counsellors” and provided attendees valuable insights into how they can develop their skills and knowledge of vocational rehabilitation to ensure the industry continues to meet the unique needs of life insurance customers.

Several committee members participated in the FSC’s working group in developing a submission for the parliamentary enquiry ‘Options for greater involvement by the private sector life insurers in rehabilitation.’ The ALUCA Rehabilitation Subgroup continues to take a keen interest in the progress and outcome of this enquiry and continue to monitor developments closely.

In May, Chair of the ALUCA Rehabilitation Subgroup, Jen Jackson (CommInsure), attended the Eastern Claims Conference in Boston as part of her prize for winning the 2017 ALUCA TurksLegal Scholarship. The conference provided important insights into current challenges faced by international markets and the innovative solutions currently being trialled and implemented to address these to ensure a long-term, sustainable industry.

The ALUCA Rehabilitation Subgroup is currently preparing for its next quarter events. Lena Kesoglou (MLC) will be facilitating a TPD Webinar and our annual professional development days will be held in both Sydney and Melbourne in August. Further details of these events will be available shortly.

Amlan Sharma
Communications Lead


In April we held our first events for 2018 with our now Annual Legal Insights seminars in Sydney and Melbourne. We had over 100 people attend the event and Sydney at the Westin Hotel on the 13th April and together with ALUCA Victoria we had 55 people attend the event in Melbourne held at the AMP Offices.

Turks legal presented on “TPD – How should you deal with events between the date of assessment and trial” and HWL Ebsworth presented on “TPD Claims – the Next Frontier”. Once again we would like to thank the team from Turks Legal Darryl Pereira and Sofia Papachristos and the team from HWL Ebsworth Nicholas Matkovich and Diren Fernando for providing their time for the legal session and especially for travelling down to Melbourne to present.

Both presentations will be available on the ALUCA website in due course.

We are currently working on the next session around Financials to be held in late August /early September.

On behalf of the committee I would like to thank our outgoing Chairperson Niamh McCormack for the great job she has performed on the committee, who stepped down at the end of May 2018 having served in various roles on the committee since commencing with the committee in January 2013.

Myles Kennedy


In June, we were joined by Professor Nigel Laing AO, FAHMS, FFScRCPA, FHGSA from the Neurogenetic Diseases Group at Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research. Professor Laing explained to us that each of us is carrying 3-5 lethal recessive diseases and that most of us have no idea which recessive diseases we are carrying.

We learned about the ongoing developments that are currently underway to offer preconception carrier screening which would allow couples the possibility of avoiding having children with severe genetic conditions. This included the recent pledge by the government to fund ‘Mackenzie’s mission’ which will increase the access to genetic testing and the first step in making carrier screening available free to all Australians within 10 years.

Your committee are currently finalising details for the final 2 Seminar Events of the year and a save the date will be issued shortly. On behalf of your local committee I would like to thank you for your attendance and support and would also like to ask that if anyone locally would like to consider volunteering to work with myself and the committee to contact me to express your interest.

Thank you and see you at our next event in either late August/early September.

Stephen Chapman
WA Chair


Can’t believe we are half way through the year already, with the National Conference literarily around the corner.  For those of you lucky enough to be attending, the preliminary program has been distributed and promises some fantastic and thought provoking sessions.  For everyone else, there are plenty more events being planned by the ALUCA sub groups during the remainder of the year.

ALUCA Vic kicked off the year with a joint Legal Session with ALUCA CMG on 19th April.  TPD assessments were very much at the forefront of the presentations with our very own Sofia Papachristos presenting with Darryl Pereira from Turkslegal to discuss how to deal with events between the date of assessment and trial.  Nicholas Matkovich and Diren Fernando from HWL Ebsworth returned to the ALUCA forum to share their thoughts around the main unresolved issues they encounter within TPD that have not yet been fully addressed by case law.  It was an interesting session with lots of questions and discussion.

ALUCA Vic welcomed two new members to the Committee in May – Stephanie Catalucci (Claims, Senior Subject Matter Expert at MLC) and Gus Carfi (Operations Manager of AustralianSuper assessments at Link Group).  They both bring with them a wealth of industry knowledge and are brimming with ideas for future events.  We are delighted to have them both on board and would like to express our thanks to everyone who applied.

Talking of future events we hope you will join us for our lunch and learn with Dr Bill Monday, CMO for Pacific Life Re on Thursday 5th July 2018.  This will be a 2 course sit down meal at Eureka 89.  Not only will you be treated to an interesting presentation from Dr Bill Monday on transplantation and the concepts of stem cell transplants and 3-D organ printing, it will provide a great opportunity to catch up with friends and colleagues from around the industry.  Look forward to seeing you all then.


April 18 saw the return of Dr Pramodh Nathaniel to our sunny city (I think it rained on the day). Pramodh presented a few years back and Queenslanders will recall he shared his experiences in aeromedical evacuations, which was both informative and highly entertaining.

April’s session focused on challenges in cardiac insurance cases, and this traversed the disciplines of Underwriting, Claims and Product. Pramodh used a case study that spanned over ten years from pre-assessment through to claim to demonstrate:

  • the various causes that can be attributed to symptoms,
  • underwriting considerations,
  • the challenge of aligning a clinical diagnosis with current trauma definitions

Those who have seen Pramodh present will be familiar with his engaging style, and he didn’t disappoint in this latest seminar. Always willing to court controversial opinions and discussion, it proved to be a lively, educational session.

The QLD committee is toiling hard to provide a bumper Triple Treat seminar scheduled for Wednesday Aug 1 – keep an eye out for the invite which will be released soon.

Jody O’Sullivan


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With half the year already gone the SA ALUCA Team had Rob Aurbach present about Personal Resilience with 20 people in attendance and is was great to see a couple of new faces.

The big take out was individual resilience training should be a natural fit systems to help people cope with change or recover from injury, but this has not really lived up to the promise. Rob delved into the reasons why and gave us some useful tools to identify our own personal resilience styles  and what we can do to not only to boost our own personal resilience but also assist in understanding the resilience of those on claim or undergoing rehab.

Our final event for the year will be on the 6th December 23rd  with Michael Renny to give us his thoughts for the year gone by and what may lay ahead..

Ashley Hicks


Emerging Leader’s breakfast 12 June 2018

The emerging leader’s breakfast, held at the Westin, was an early sell-out with guest speaker, Yaron Finkelstein, the global head of campaigns for Crosby Textor captivating the audience with deep insights from the Australian political landscape.

The ongoing Royal Commission into the financial services industry was the contextual back-drop for understanding what is going on in the minds of Australians and in particular how they prioritise the issues they consider important.

Participants asked may pertinent questions on what is likely to be an evolving conversation for the industry.

Stay tuned for ALUCA NSW’s Regulators’ update to be held later in the year  with speakers from 3 of our Regulators.

Lisa-Marie McKechnie