Sub Group Updates – Spring 2018


Evolution of ALUCA Medical Group to Medical Forum

As part of ALUCA’s strategic review earlier in the year it was determined that to better support and leverage an important group – ALUCA Medical members – that a Medical Forum, run and supported by ALUCA, would better utilise the expertise of our medical members rather than a traditional Sub Group structure. The rationale for this being that a formal ALUCA subgroup status can be time-intensive with many administrative activities, accounting and budgeting, banking, etc., however these requirements are embedded in ALUCA’s rules and are required to be able to show to ALUCA members and sponsors that ALUCA is being run in a sustainable and accountable manner.

So what does this mean?

Fundamentally, the aims and objectives of the ALUCA Medical Forum remain closely aligned to the aims and objectives of the former subgroup that is to provide a forum where medical practitioners within the Life Insurance industry can come together in a collegiate forum to exchange knowledge and maintain their currency and breadth of medical knowledge specific to the life insurance sphere whilst providing thought leadership in their space.

The ALUCA Medical Forum will include representation from ALUCA’s board and secretariat.

In 2018 two joint Medical and rehab events have already been held and two Medical Forum end of year events are being held in Sydney and Melbourne.

Finally, we would like to place on record our sincere thanks to the former Medical Sub Group led by Chair, Goran Lazic, along with Pramodh Nathaniel, Dielle Felman, Newman Harris and John Cummins.

Register Now for ALUCA’s Medical End of Year events @

Sydney – November 23rd 12.15pm – 2.15pm Park Hyatt, Sydney

Melbourne – November 27th, 6.00 pm – 8.30pm Sofitel Melbourne


The ALUCA Rehabilitation Subgroup’s Annual Professional Development Days were held in Sydney and Melbourne. There was record attendance across both events and feedback received has been overwhelmingly positive. We extend our thanks to all those who attended and supported these events.

Our 2018 theme focused on the application of technological advancements to revolutionize the future of rehabilitation, health science and biomedical technology. The Sydney event was held on Friday 31 August 2018 at AMP’s Circular Quay office. The event was MC’d by Kristina Maguire (AMP). The Melbourne event was held on Wednesday 12 September 2018 at AMP’s Docklands office. The event was MC’d by Trent McCormick (AMP) and Josh Agar (MLC).

Rohan O’Reilly from Smarter Bodies Smarter Minds presented at both events and gave an engaging presentation on the application of virtual reality in rehabilitative therapies. Dr Raghav Murali-Ganesh from Cancer Aid also presented at both events and presented on Australia’s leading Cancer app- CancerAid- which allows patients to access personalised, medically reliable information about cancer; track their symptoms and appointment, nominate friends and family members who will support them; and access a news feed with information and supportive advice. Aamer Fattah from Munich Re presented at the Sydney event and gave an insightful presentation on social robotics and the future potential of artificial intelligence. Marita Cheng from Aubot presented at the Melbourne event. Marita was the 2012 Young Australian of the Year and presented her work on tele-presence robotics and its application in disability management.

The winner of the 2018 Swiss Re ALUCA Excellence and Innovation in Return to Work Award was announced at the Sydney event. We congratulate BT on their winning submission and CommInsure for their highly commended submission. All papers will be published and available on the ALUCA website soon. Congratulations again to Ben Crawley from BT who will be off to the International Forum of Disability Management in Vancouver this October!

As noted throughout the year, the 2018 ALUCA Rehab Working Group have been collaborating across insurers, reinsurers and rehabilitation providers to develop a position statement to help drive best practice occupational rehabilitation in life insurance. Mark Raberger and Mitu Ray from the Working Group updated on the progress of the position statement at the recent Professional Development events. The position statement is in its draft version and will be distributed to ALUCA members for your feedback and comments – we’re looking forward to publishing the final version on the ALUCA website early in the new year!

In 2016, the ALUCA Rehab TPD Working Group developed a guidance note on minimum standards for Employability Assessments for TPD claims. The TPD working group is looking to undertake further work on areas related to Employability Assessments in 2019. Further information regarding this will be distributed to ALUCA members before the end of the year.

Planning for 2019 is currently underway. There will be a number of opportunities to join the committee and our associated working groups next year. We will be calling for expressions of interest in November and more details will be available then.

Marita Cheng

Dr Raghav Murali-Ganesh        

Rohan O’Reilly



Jennifer Jackson


The ALUCA CMG held their most recent events in late September. Across Sydney and Melbourne we had approximately 100 delegates attend the event ‘Claims Financial Workshop’ with Forensic Accountant, Peter Jones from Cogent Management. In this workshop Peter covered financial policy definition, Case studies: Pre Application Financials, Pre Claim Financials and what are Business Earnings.  In addition Peter covered how an assessor asks for specific financial information rather than the ‘standard cover all’ approach to requesting information.

We would like to thank Peter for taking time out of his busy schedule to conduct these presentations in Sydney and Melbourne.

The CMG has also recently welcomed two new members to our Victorian committee, Lana Collaris from Norton Rose Fulbright and Dianna Comelli from Life Risk.

As we head into the final few months of 2018 we are looking forward to the ALUCA conference and the End of Year functions.

Myles Kennedy


Mid-Year Event – Transplantation – To Infinity and Beyond!

The ALUCA Victoria mid-year event was held on the 89th floor of the Eureka Tower on Thursday 5th July 2018.  The venue provided a beautiful 2 course lunch and with the weather being kind on the day, we were treated to amazing views.  Our keynote speaker, Dr Bill Monday of Pacific Life Re, provided a very informative presentation discussing organ transplantation, stem cell transplantation and bio-printing of organs.

Although medical technology is progressing rapidly we are a number of years away from creating readily available replacement organs.  It was a valuable reminder of the importance of organ donation and if you wish to learn more, please visit

September Event – Data, Analytics and Predictability

At the Rialto Tower in Melbourne Peter Tilocca shared his journey, pitfalls and successes as he has had as he piloted OnePath’s underwriting transformation into the 4th industrial revolution.

Using the analogy of the movie Moneyball (if you haven’t seen it it’s a great movie. If you don’t love data it does have Brad Pitt in it…) Peter looked at the power of data to cut through the biases we hold as humans and to create a winning formula.

By harnessing the data we do have, and stop worrying about the data we don’t, Peter showed us how data scientists can create amazing insights. Visualised as a high tech light show with beams of varying colours and sizes indicating the connectivity between the Personal Statement and claim, new insights can literally be seen in a very powerful visualisation.


What does this mean for underwriting? We can move from reactive to proactive. From general to personal. Data analytics can create personalised insurance solutions rather than one size fits all.

The presentation was welcomed by all the attendees with lots of questions at the end – obviously a topic which a lot of people are thinking about and a fabulous and timely presentation from Peter Tilocca. Thank you Peter!

End of year event

The VIC end of year event is locked and loaded.

Pop a placeholder in your diary now to join us at the Duke of Wellington in Melbourne CBD on the 29th of November for lunch (12 to 2pm). Take the opportunity to discover more about finding purpose, pushing boundaries and instilling resilience from an entrepreneur, marathon runner and Ironman (or should that be Ironwoman?).

Get a sneak peak of our fabulous guest speaker, Alexandre Andre, by heading to this link Alexandre Andre Sizzle Reel

Gail Jones


Thank you to all of our members who have continued to support us during the first half of the year.

As I reflect on the year so far we have been both entertained and educated by a Professor in Genetics and a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon. These sessions continue to provide an interactive session and I thank you all for joining in the conversations and in the discussions that are created at these events.

Our next seminar event follows on from ALUCAInnov18 in Hobart. We have secured the services of Dr Jon Spear, Consultant Psychiatrist to speak with our community on Thursday 18th October. Dr Spear will reflect on Psychiatric Disorders from his perspective including the process from when a patient first seeks medical advice including the role of the Mental Health Care Plan. Further details can be located on the ALUCA website.

Mental illness in Australia is very common. It is reported that one in five Australians aged 16-85 experience a mental illness in any year. One in seven Australians will experience depression in their lifetime. The most common mental illnesses are depressive, anxiety and substance use. Depression is reported as the number one cause of non-fatal disability in Australia (23%).*

*Source :

Our final event of the year is scheduled for Thursday 29th November, we will be joined by Amanda Mckernan – ALUCA CEO. This will be Amanda’s first trip over to WA since stepping into the CEO role and provides a great opportunity for our members to hear from Amanda as she reflects on the past 12 months and provides a glimpse into what ALUCA has planned for the year ahead.

We will shortly begin planning for the year ahead and if you have any recommendations for future topics and Speaker recommendations please contact myself or one of the committee. We would love to hear from you.

On behalf of your local committee I would like to thank you for your attendance and support throughout the year and would also 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 I look forward to seeing you at our final two events of the year.

Stephen Chapman
WA Chair


The 3rd event 2018 event for ALUCA NSW covered a very exciting topic “Building ethical algorithms and keeping human in the loop” presented by Rick Shaw and Kranthi Ram Nekkalapu from Deloitte.

Rick leads Deloitte’s Business Algorithms practice. He is a mathematician and actuary recognised internationally for his thought leadership on risk and capital modelling. Kranthi is a manager and an experienced data scientist within the analytics practice at Deloitte with more than 7 years of experience.

The session was attended by senior leaders in underwriting, claims and product and was a very interactive session.  Topics covered include the evolution of algorithms, limitations of artificial intelligence, Human in the loop and 5 principals to build algorithms. The recent Royal Commission was a hot topic which led to some interesting conversations on how do you define “Fair”.

The other key take outs were how to avoid bias when building algorithms, accountability and governance by involving human in the loop and leveraging behavioural science to better understand the interactions.  The session was followed by networking drinks.  Both Rick and Kranthi’s presentations were filled with interesting facts and good humour and very well received by the attendees.

Please note the NSW End Of Year event is being held once again at the  stunning MCA venue on Tuesday 11th December. We hope you can join us for what promises to be a very special night. ALUCA NSW, CMG and Rehabilitation committees all look forward to seeing you there. 

Register now:

Lisa-Marie McKechnie / Mills Oakley


The river city was blessed this winter, not only with spectacular, mild weather, but three top shelf speakers at our Triple Shot seminar on August 1. It proved to be our most popular seminar yet, with over 80 attendees.

Professor Tony Rahman (Director of Gastroenterology and Hepatology – The Prince Charles Hospital) delivered a wide-reaching presentation which covered:

  • Treatment, prevention and management of hepatocellular carcinoma
  • Risk assessment of abnormal LFTS and possible cirrhotic changes
  • Innovations, including the increasing use of Fibroscan

Shane Burdack – Swiss Re followed with two topics, both under scrutiny within risk management circles. He explored the increasing use of PrEP to prevent the transmission of HIV infection, and the success and risks of its use in the community.

An industry expert in the field, Shane then discussed the current governmental machinations surround insurance and genetic testing, and posed the question ‘Is the right to underwrite ……………under threat?’

The afternoon was capped off with legend of the pool, Hayley Lewis. She regaled us with stories of teamwork, perseverance, success, failure, and her quest to meet the Queen, all peppered with her down to earth, dry humour.


Our final ALUCA function of the year will be November 30th at Southbank Social (some pics below of the venue). We’re delighted to have Matt Griggs joining us to close out the 2018 year.  Matt is now a seasoned inspirational speaker and high performance coach, drawing from his ex-professional surfing career, to coaching World Champions and high-level executives, his depth of knowledge will have you engaged and excited about making those changes to succeed in life without compromising yourself in the process.

This is a great opportunity to hear from a high performance speaker whilst catching up with industry colleagues whilst enjoying some canapés and beverages.  We would also love to hear your ideas as to what you would like to see in QLD in 2019!

Hope to see you there!

Jody O’Sullivan


Don’t miss the SA end of Year event  – Register now

Date: Thursday 6th December 2018
Time: 4.00 pm to 8.00 pm
Venue: Publisher Hotel, 110 Franklin Street, Adelaide
Speaker: Michael Renny, Swiss Re
Cost: Non-member: $30.00 + GST, Member: Complimentary
RSVP: November, 30th

Ashley Hicks