Chatter From The Chair

Educate – Develop – Connect: three words that go the very heart of what ALUCA stands for.

Earlier in the year the Board and subgroup chairs reviewed ALUCA’s purpose, and it was heartening to see that, in an ever-changing industry, ALUCA’s purpose remains fundamentally unchanged since it founded 30 years ago: “ALUCA is a professional association established to advance the knowledge and professionalism of its members in underwriting and claims issues relating to life and disability insurance products”.

Like many, I am finding it hard to believe that it’s already August and that over half of the year has gone by. It also means that the conference is drawing ever closer. We have had strong interest in this year’s conference, with many taking advantage of the subsidised early-bird rate that was available for members only. The program is all but complete, and can be viewed at www.alucaconference.com.au, along with other information regarding the conference. I am thoroughly looking forward to the conference and to meeting many of you in Adelaide.

It’s been a busy first half of the year, with numerous sessions being held across the country. This has included the first sessions from our new specialist subgroups, ALUCA Medical and ALUCA Rehab, as well as ALUCA CMG’s first event outside of NSW, holding their ever popular “Legal Insights” session in Melbourne. Personally, I’ve been fortunate enough to attend a number of sessions in NSW, QLD and VIC. I have been consistently impressed with the presenters, the topics being presented, the dedication and professionalism of ALUCA committees and members, and that
all sessions delivered against our purpose of  Educate – Develop – Connect.

We are continuing to see the many advantages of running free sessions for members, with healthy attendances levels and a good cross-section of members in attendance, including a number of members we have not seen for a few years. The Board has therefore decided to increase its support for the subgroups to run more events for members that are either free or heavily subsidised. I should take this opportunity to clear up one misconception that I have heard on my travels: free events do not mean a lower standard of speaker! As an association we are committed to bringing members the best speakers on relevant topics, and delivering accessible and tangible benefits to our members. Our ability to run free and subsidised events, including the subsidised member rate for the conference, would not be possible without the assistance of our sponsors, and the Board thanks each of them sincerely for their ongoing and generous support.

I trust you will have seen that, following a comprehensive recruitment process, ALUCA has hired a new Chief Executive Officer, Amanda McKernan. Amanda’s background includes management roles, primarily relating to marketing and communications strategy, and she has extensive experience in membership organisations. Her first day in the role was 11th July. I will also take this opportunity to thank John O’Leary for his efforts and successes in his time as the Acting Executive Officer of ALUCA over the first six months of the year. The Board thanks John for his efforts and successes in his time in the role, and for his ongoing and profound contribution to ALUCA in a number of roles, not least Chair, over the years. A formal vote of thanks to John was recorded at the last Board meeting and I have extended my personal thanks to him.

I recently attended the launch evening of the MLC ALUCA Monash Scholarship and was very impressed with the participating student’s thirst for knowledge and the high calibre and skill set of their accomplished mentors. I look forward to seeing the completed papers in October. July saw the launch of the ALUCA Turks Legal Scholarship now in its 10th year. To mark this occasion this year you can win $10,000 or an overseas conference package . Further details are available on page 4.

I’ve enjoyed many conversations about our association at the events I have attended across the year. If there’s anything you’d like to have a chat about, please feel free to contact me at chairperson@aluca.com

Finally, I’d like to thank all those across ALUCA who volunteer countless hours each year to make the association a success; and to thank our sponsors again for their generous support.

Jim Welsh
ALUCA Board Chair

Jim_Welsh@amp.com.au
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