Sub Group Updates – Winter 2019


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ALUCA WA hosted our second event of the year in June and while everyone is busy in the lead up to EOFY it was nice to see so many members support our local seminars. Thank you to Katherine Matterson (Committee member) for providing the below update.

Jim Welsh, National Chair ALUCA was in attendance and provided updates from the National ALUCA committee. He encouraged all of us to seek accreditation so that we can all be seen as insurance professionals. ALUCA is committed to making significant investments to ensure ALUCA meets the educational and professional development needs of its members now and in the future.

Dr Paul Davis, CMO with RGA provided the audience with a very insightful presentation on Assessing Coronary Artery Disease Risk. Dr Davis took us on a historical tour of the rise of CVD as a cause of death and the tools used to predict risk of cardio vascular events. He challenged the audience to consider opportunities to classify the actual disease rather than risk of disease using the now readily available Cardiac CT for Calcium Scoring and presented some of his ideas on how this test might bring about improved outcomes for some customers and protect from those at risk clients that are not identified on traditional Exercise ECG testing. Thanks again Dr Davis and RGA for supporting us in the West and we look forward to seeing you again in the future.

Your committee now turns its attention towards our Mini-ALUCA planned for late August and the end of year event.  Please see our save the dates on the website for further details.

See you in August

Stephen Chapman
ALUCA Western Australia Chair


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Winter edition of RiskeBusiness already it seems like this year is flying along.  The ALUCA CMG held our first events across Sydney and Melbourne in early May 2019 with approximately 130 people attending these sessions. Our speakers this year were from Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) and HWL Ebsworth.

Andrew Weinmann from AFCA was interviewed by Dianna Comelli from the CMG committee and he gave the audience an insight into what has happened at AFCA since they replaced FOS/SCT/CIO in November 2018. Andrew spoke about the people that work at AFCA, what we can expect from AFCA and key findings since November.

Anyone interested in regular updates from AFCA can subscribe to AFCA News at under “News and outreach”

Our second session was entitled CMG news your trusted voice in the Laws of Life with Nicholas Matkovich and Diren Fernando from HWL Ebsworth Lawyers. They handed out a newspaper to the audience and presented the ‘Top stories’ impacting the industry.

We are currently planning our next session to be held in August which will see us looking at Financial assessments

Together with ALUCA NSW we are continuing to plan the NSW PD Day to be held in October 2019.

We look forward to seeing you at our future events in 2019.

Myles Kennedy


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For NSW’s first ALUCA event for the year we were joined by Dr Bill Monday from Pacific Life Re Australia with an insightful presentation on Underwriting Chronic Pain including mental health consequences of chronic pain and the present crisis of opiate abuse. There was a record breaking attendance of 100+ people for the event.  The session allowed us all to gain a greater understanding of chronic pain including areas to consider when assessing chronic pain, biopsychosocial aspects of chronic pain and the impacts of opioid use .

Thank you Dr Bill and Pacific Life Re. The presentation is available on the website in members only section. The session also saw our entire new committee working together to deliver this successful session.(photos below) Our next  ALUCA seminar will be in late August, watch the space for details. For those who like to plan ahead, ALUCA CMG and NSW committee are working together to deliver an excellent PD day on 16th October at Dockside, Darling Harbour.

See you all at our next event. In the meantime, enjoy our photos from the first event.

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NSW Committee from L to R- Simon Andrew, Catherine McAdam, Tonja Nachman, Erin Touzell, Gabriela Siefert, Ami Barua, Jacqueline Little, Stephen Connolly, Lisa-Marie McKechnie


Ami Barua
ALUCA NSW Marketing & Comms Lead


In May, the ALUCA Rehabilitation Subgroup held its first professional development seminars for the year across both Sydney and Melbourne. The Sydney event was hosted by Amlan Sharma (AMP) and the guest speaker was Dr Katie Di Marco, Consultant Psychiatrist. Dr Di Marco’s talk focused on optimising rehabilitation involvement in mental health claims – a psychiatrist’s perspective. Melbourne event was hosted by Joanna Else (MLC) and the guest speaker was Dr Richard Chambers, Clinical Psychologist. Dr Chambers presented on the science of mindfulness and its benefits in assisting with recovery from injury/illness. Dr Simon Rosenbaum, Exercise Physiologist & Honorary Fellow presented at both Sydney and Melbourne. Dr Rosenbaum’s talk focused on the latest research and benefits exercise physiology plays when an individual experiences different mental health conditions and how to establish motivation to continue with an exercise program leading to a recovery, wellness or return to work goal. Both events were a huge success thanks to our engaging and expert speakers. Feedback received from attendees was very positive.

The TPD working group also presented across Sydney and Melbourne on “extending the scope to include information pertinent to all stakeholders involved in Employability Assessments.” Thank you to Lena Kesoglou (KMPG) and Alicia Gibbs (Onepath), Eleni Katsoulis (MLC) and Michael Deville (AIA) for your insights for stakeholders involved in TPD employability assessments.

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. Melissa Colonna from Metlife won the Excellence in Rehabilitation Award, with Vicki Ruskin (Thrive Re), Curtis Guglielmana (Konekt Workcare) and Erin Beilby (AMP) announced as a finalists. Christopher Thompson (AMP) was announced as a finalist in the Rising Star category. Well done to all.

The ALUCA Board engaged Tony O’Leary to do a review of the ALUCA Competency Framework that was developed in 2017 to ensure it is consistent with changes in the industry. The Board were keen for the ALUCA Rehabilitation Subgroup members to review the revisions and in particular the competencies and frameworks for rehabilitation professionals within the industry. Both constructive and positive feedback were provided.

The ALUCA Rehabilitation Subgroup is currently preparing for its annual professional development days which will be held in both Sydney and Melbourne in September. Further details of these events will be available shortly.

Amlan Sharma
ALUCA Rehabilitation Group
Communications Lead


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ALUCA VIC were delighted to welcome Jessica Cucchiaro from assessability to the TurksLegal offices at the Rialto building to deliver her insights  on maximising the value of employability assessments at our Lunch & Learn on Thursday 6th June 2019.

It was a packed room with a variety of attendees from across the insurance industry including Rehab Specialists, claims and Legal professionals. Our National Chair Jim Welsh warmed up the crowd with a quick update before Jessica jumped right in to her very comprehensive presentation to assist insurance professionals with understanding the importance of an employability assessments (EA), the role it places within a claims decision, when an EA should be requested, what information should be provided to maximise the quality of the report, key factors to consider and alternative options to an EA.  Jessica touched on her experiences at Court defending EA’s which demonstrated how valuable an EA can be when used correctly but also how damaging they can be if poorly instructed or utilised incorrectly.

If you were unable to make this session, please refer to the ALUCA website to obtain a copy of Jessica’s very informative slides.

With event number two now under our belts we are focusing on miniALUCA.  This will take place on Thursday 17th October at RACV.  We will issue further details nearer the time although we can share that we have already locked in some amazing speakers.  We look forward to seeing you then but in the meantime stay warm!!


Suzanne Whyte


Greetings from the warm winter shores of ALUCA QLD.

We’re currently gearing up for our next seminar, to be held as a breakfast session, on July 24th.

We’re very fortunate to have SCOR’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr Zeshan Shaikh, presenting an update in relation to drug use. This session will specifically cover recreational and illicit drug use, medicinal marijuana and the challenge it brings to our industry.

Dr Shaikh has 12 years of clinical experience with a special interest in occupational medicine. He has worked in the insurance industry, across both General and Life insurance for the past seven years, and is equipped with an abundance of knowledge of both clinical and insurance medicine.  Zeshan joined SCOR in November 2016.

Please also mark your diaries for September 12th, when we will hold our Triple Treat seminar. More details to follow.

Jody O’Sullivan


Our first seminar we had of the year Dr John Cummins from SCOR presented to a small group by comparison to other states but a good turnout for us on the Transformation of Medicine where it’s been and where is going. Our big event for the year and one not to be missed is our MinALUCA to be held on the 6th September with 3 fantastic speakers Paul Pers who will talk about Blame, Shame & complain, Nic Linke to discuss some of the legal challenges we face today and Quentin Malone to talk about all things Neurology.

Ashley Hicks
ALUCA South Australia – Chair