Sector and AuSAE News

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  • 31 May 2023 4:05 PM | Sarah Gamble (Administrator)

    The Australasian Society of Association Executives (AuSAE) has announced the newly elected Board of Directors. The board members were endorsed at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) held on Monday, 29th May, following the election process, and bring a diverse range of expertise and leadership to the organisation.

    Lindsay McGrath, CEO of Swimming Pool & Spa Association (SPASA) Australia and Alan McDonald, Head of Advocacy and Strategy at Employers and Manufacturers Association (EMA) New Zealand, will join the board for the first time. We are also pleased to welcome back continuing and re-elected Director Elise Adams, Chief Executive Officer of the New Zealand School Trustees Association.

    Lyn McMorran, Executive Director of the Financial Services Federation, will retire from the board after six years of dedicated service, including serving the last four years as President. Lyn's contribution to and leadership of the organisation have been invaluable, particularly through the difficult years of the pandemic, and we extend our sincere gratitude for her service during her tenure.

    We also thank outgoing director Peter Saffin who resigned from the board earlier this year after serving for almost three years. Peter has left to take up a role outside of the Association sector.

    Following the AGM, the board convened to elect a new President and Vice President of the organisation. We are pleased to announce John Winter, CEO of ARITA - Australian Restructuring Insolvency and Turnaround Association, has been elected as the new President and Elise Adams as the Vice President of the AuSAE Board.

    Furthermore, the board resolved to co-opt Nick Pilavidis, Chief Executive Officer at the Australian Institute of Credit Management, to join the Board.

    “I’m deeply honoured to take on the presidency of AuSAE. Associations strengthen every industry and every profession every day. We underpin supporting every aspect of business, social, environmental, professional and community life. The role that AuSAE plays in developing the competency and leadership of those who work in Associations has never been more important.” said Winter.

    “We have a strong and diverse board and leadership that will ensure that AuSAE is well-positioned to support associations across New Zealand and Australia into the future.”

    We would like to express our gratitude to all the members who participated in the election process and congratulate the newly elected and re-elected board members.

  • 25 May 2023 2:15 PM | Sarah Gamble (Administrator)

    The Associations Matter Monthly Poll – May 2023 Results

    The May 2023 Associations Matter Poll examined associations’ familiarity with the current artificial intelligence (AI) applications, and the impacts of AI both on their own association, and in the sector more broadly.

    Almost two in five participants have some knowledge of AI, saying they were either very familiar (6%), or somewhat familiar (53%) with current applications of AI. Few have no knowledge at all, and three in 10 rate themselves as not very familiar.

    Positively, over two thirds of respondents are optimistic about the impacts of AI applications on their associations, with the majority believing it provides opportunities to automate routine tasks and improve operational efficiency, thus reducing overheads and increasing productivity. Most also expect generative AI to help increase member engagement through personalisation and will also provide better data analysis capabilities.

    While few participants think there will be negative impacts on the sector or their association, around a quarter are concerned about the risks associated with the use of AI applications on protecting member data and personal information and have concerns about the “lack of regulation” and “privacy and copyright issues”. Some raised concerns that associations lack the “digital knowledge and in many cases the intent required to capitalise on the potential of AI systems”, because they have traditionally been reluctant to invest in the technologies and skillsets required to harness the full possibilities of any new technology or application, saying “the sector does not properly capitalise on automation that has been available for 10+ years”.

    Further analysis of the verbatim comments also shows that many believe applications like ChatGPT are very useful in helping to create content, craft marketing messages, and generate ideas, with comments that “it is already helping us be more creative by challenging our thinking”. Others said associations must adopt AI regardless, because “it's obvious that AI is part of the future… we need to remember, change always happens and the businesses and associations that do not embrace change will be left behind, like it or not”.

    Overall, these results point to a sector that is aware of the rise of AI, and cautiously optimistic about its ability to enhance and improve associations’ capabilities, if it is harnessed and used appropriately.

    “AI will change the nature of our offerings from the provision of routine assistance on compliance and business processes to those that deliver relationship value.” CEO, Industry Body

    About the Associations Matter Monthly Poll

    The Associations Matter Monthly Poll is an initiative by AuSAE and Survey Matters. We think it's important to stay up to date with the latest trends, challenges, and opportunities facing associations. The Associations Matter Monthly Poll aims to provide insights into the thoughts and opinions of association leaders, giving them a better understanding of how others are responding to current situations and developments. The Associations Matter Monthly Poll is conducted by Survey Matters, experts in association and membership research.

    Thanks to everyone who contributed to the Associations Matter May 2023 Poll. You can register to receive future polls here. The June 2023 Poll will be launched on June 9 2023.

  • 29 Mar 2023 9:00 AM | Sarah Gamble (Administrator)

    The Australasian Society of Association Executives (AuSAE) is proud to announce the recipients of the Association Influencer Award for 2023. The award recognises individuals who have made a significant contribution to the association sector and have demonstrated exceptional leadership and service to their respective organisations.

    The 2023 AuSAE Association Influencer award recipients are:

    • Anne Cornish – Chief Executive Officer, Records & Information Management Practitioners Alliance - Global
    • Brett O'Riley – Chief Executive, Employers and Manufacturers Association
    • Greg Wallace – Chief Executive Officer, Master Plumbers New Zealand
    • Hannah Raisin – Manager, Jilamara Arts & Crafts Association
    • Lindsay McGrath CAE – Chief Executive Officer, Swimming Pool & Spa Association
    • Noel Dos Santos – General Manager - Growth, Engineers Australia
    • Sandra Kirby – Chief Executive, Physiotherapy New Zealand

    Toni Brearley, CEO at AuSAE, congratulated the award recipients, saying, "We are thrilled to recognise these exceptional individuals who have made a significant contribution within our tribe and are setting the benchmark for future association professionals. Their work inspires us all to reach new heights, to strive for excellence, and to make a positive difference in this world. Their leadership, creativity and innovation have had a positive impact on their organisations and the wider community, and we are privileged to have them as members of our association community." 

    “We look forward to seeing the continued impact of their work, and we are honoured to stand beside them as we shape the future of our industry together.”

    The Association Influencer Award recipients were selected based on their achievements and contributions to their organisations and the sector in Australia and New Zealand. The recipients will be recognised at the AuSAE National Conference in Canberra on 28-29 November 2023.

    For more information about AuSAE and the Association Influencer Award, please visit

  • 08 Mar 2023 12:41 PM | Sarah Gamble (Administrator)

    International Women’s Day (8 March) is a day to recognise how far we’ve come towards gender equality, and also how far we have left to go to creating new social, economic and cultural codes for a gender equal future.

    At AuSAE, we celebrate all women, in all their diversities. We embrace their facets and intersections of faith, race, ethnicity, gender or sexual identity, or disability. We celebrate those who came before us, those who stand beside us now, and those who will come after.

    We asked three association leaders, what is the most important message you want to share for the women thinking about their careers.

    Lyn McMorran, President at AuSAE & Executive Director at the Financial Services Federation, shares, “As someone who has had a very long and satisfying career, I would say don’t sell yourself short. Australia has just announced legislation to require their large companies to report on their gender pay gap – New Zealand needs to follow suit. What really disturbs me is the fact that they have to because a gap still exists. The reasons for that are many but I think women are often so pleased to be given an opportunity that they either don’t consider what they are actually worth or are concerned that if they demand pay equity they might be disadvantaged in terms of further opportunities. As I said, things have changed a lot for the better in the decades I’ve been in my career – women are no longer passed over for senior development because they might leave and have babies, they’re no longer judged if they return to work from parental leave, nor are they (or at least I hope they’re not) judged on their appearance – but the fact that we are still having this conversation means that there is obviously still work to do. My hope for my generation’s daughters and granddaughters is that these conversations become no longer necessary.”

    Lori Modde, CEO at Outdoors NSW & ACT, shares “Everyone should be empowered to create the life they want, they deserve this opportunity and nothing should stop that. Today’s world is removing so many barriers that existed in the past and your time is now, get out there, go make a difference in the world!

    See what you can achieve, and you would have lost nothing by trying …. But I can guess you will surprise yourself as all it takes is that first step!”

    Toni Brearley, CEO at AuSAE, shares, “I remember from a very young age my Dad telling me that I could be anything I wanted to be. In his mind there were no caveats to that and if there wasn’t a clear path then go out and make one. I didn’t realise at the time how fortunate I was to have a champion that dared me to dream and cheered me on matter what. Seek out opportunities where the people around you will cheer you on no matter what. Surround yourself with individuals who inspire you, who will champion you and who are truly inclusive. Where choice, no matter what your gender, background or beliefs is equal for everyone as this is where will have true equality - and if you can’t find that – go and make one!”

    Find out how you can take action at

  • 01 Feb 2023 12:17 PM | Sarah Gamble (Administrator)

    We are thrilled to announce that AuSAE (Australasian Society of Association Executives) has formally partnered with Survey Matters, a leading provider of research and data analytics for the association sector. This partnership brings together two organisations committed to providing valuable resources and support to the association sector in Australia and New Zealand.

    As an association professional, you understand the importance of gathering reliable and accurate data to inform your marketing and organisational strategies. Through this partnership and collaboration, association executives will gain valuable insights into members’ needs, preferences, and satisfaction levels. These insights can be used to enhance membership engagement and retention and deliver change that matters.

    As an Alliance Partner, Survey Matters will work closely with AuSAE to provide resources and support to help associations better understand and engage their members. In addition, Survey Matters will conduct a monthly poll, “Associations Matter”, and provide valuable insights into the thoughts and opinions of association leaders, giving us a better understanding of the sector and its needs.

    Toni Brearley, CEO at AuSAE, says, "We are excited to partner with Survey Matters to provide our members with access to a wealth of data that can be used to compare their associations performance to others in the sector. This new partnership will enable AuSAE members to benefit from Survey Matters' research expertise and vast experience in the sector.”

    “We are excited to see the positive impact this partnership will have on the association sector.”

    Brenda Mainland, Managing Director at Survey Matters, "We are thrilled to partner with AuSAE and support their mission of empowering association executives with resources needed to succeed. We look forward to working with AuSAE to provide high-quality research and support to their members."

    We believe that this partnership will create significant value for our members, and it will also strengthen our mission of supporting association executives in achieving their organisational goals. We look forward to working closely with Survey Matters to support our members in achieving their goals.

    About the Associations Matter Monthly Poll

    An integral part of the Partnership will be the Associations Matter Monthly Poll. To be launched in the Friday, 12 May 2023, the Poll will be a short, three question survey that aims to provide valuable insights into the thoughts and opinions of association leaders, giving us a better understanding of the sector and its needs. 

    By participating, you can contribute to the ongoing dialogue around the challenges and opportunities facing the Australasian association sector. You will also gain an understanding of what other associations are experiencing and help shape the future of the industry.

    We want to know the topics that interest you most. Tell us by completing the Introductory Poll here!

    To learn more about AuSAE, visit or email

  • 23 Jan 2023 8:11 AM | Sarah Gamble (Administrator)

    AuSAE is pleased to announce that eight association executives have recently earned their Certified Association Executive (CAE) credential from the CAE Commission of ASAE. They join the growing cohort of CAEs in Australia and New Zealand, with more than 4,700 industry leaders worldwide who hold the CAE credential.

    Here are our new eight Certified Associations Executives:


    • Thomas Dunsmore, CAE – Director at the Residential Community and Certification at Torres Strait Kaziw Meta
    • Nikki Kelso, CAE - Director of Corporate Engagement at the Australian Dental Industry Association
    • Lyndal McPherson, CAE - Chief Executive Officer at the Australasian Society for Ultrasound in Medicine
    • Kathy Nguyen – Manager Client Services at Associations Forum
    • Michelle Rose, CAE – Chief Executive Officer at the Association of Rotational Moulders Australasia
    • Ariel Tate, CAE – Marketing & Communications Manager at the Australian Dental Association


    • Rowan Dixon, CAE – Chief Operating Officer at the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ)
    • Lynne Umbers, CAE - Relationships and Events Manager, Philanthropy New Zealand

    AuSAE's Chief Executive Officer, Toni Brearley CAE, said, “We are proud to have this new cohort of CAEs join the CAE community.” The CAE designation demonstrates the individual's dedication to the profession and ongoing professional development.

    The first localised CAE program in Australia and New Zealand was launched by AuSAE, in partnership with ASAE in 2021. We are committed to championing this important credential for the sector and advancing the association management profession.

    The Certified Association Executive (CAE) credential signifies an association professional who has demonstrated a comprehensive range of knowledge essential to managing an association in today's challenging environment.

    Visit the AuSAE website –  - to learn more about the CAE credential or to register for the February 10-Week CAE study program.

  • 10 Nov 2022 10:27 AM | Sarah Gamble (Administrator)

    The Australasian Society of Association Executives (AuSAE) and Adelaide Convention Centre is pleased to announce the 2022 Future Leaders Scholarship program recipients.

    The 2022 Future Leaders program cultivates leadership qualities across the association sector. It supports emerging leaders and creates a network of committed individuals ready to take their organisation and the sector to the next level and contribute to the future success of the Association sector.

    The program brings together a group of diverse professionals working within a not-for-profit organisation or association to engage with current and relevant themes affecting the industry's future at the 2022 ACE Conference & Exhibition in Melbourne.

    Five dynamic and skilled members of the association community have joined the sector's professional and personal development program, Future Leaders. The 2022 Future Leaders Scholarship program recipients are:

    Meet our 2022 Future Leaders

    • Cassandra De Conno - Operations Manager, SMSF Association (SA)
    • Samuel French - National Membership Development Officer, Australian Institute of Architects (VIC)
    • Jessica Landers - Deputy CEO/Accreditation and Certification Manager, Australian Orthotic Prosthetic Association (VIC)
    • Louise Reid - Communications & Marketing Manager, Cooperative Research Australia (ACT)
    • Tracey Rudd - General Manager, Australian Rheumatology Association (NSW)

    AuSAE would like to acknowledge all the nominees for their submissions and dedication to the sector and congratulate the 2022 Future Leaders.

    AuSAE’s Chief Executive Officer, Toni Brearley said, "We have been pleased with the high calibre of applicants for the 2022 Future Leaders program; the applications this year were outstanding. We look forward to working with our Future Leaders and can't wait to see our rising stars' future progress."

    "The successful applicants represent a group of diverse professionals from the association community with several states represented and comprising individuals from across the breadth of the sector," Toni said.

    “Adelaide Convention Centre was delighted to partner with AuSAE on this important initiative designed to support the development of future leaders in the association sector. Association conferences and exhibitions are a critical platform to imagine the future, bringing together the best minds to collaborate, network and share knowledge to ultimately elevate industries. The successful candidates came from a highly competitive field and we warmly congratulate each of them, along with all participants in the 2022 Future Leader Program” said Melissa Reilly, Head of Sales at Adelaide Convention Centre.

    "By supporting the next generation of association leaders today, we hope to inspire a bright future for the association sector," Toni adds.

    To learn more about the 2022 Future Leaders Scholarship Program recipients, visit

  • 15 Sep 2022 9:51 AM | Sarah Gamble (Administrator)

    The Australasian Society of Association Executives (AuSAE) today announced its partnership renewal with Advanced Solutions International (ASI) that will support and strengthen the association sector in Australia and New Zealand.

    ASI is a leading global provider of cloud software and services exclusively for associations and non-profits — and the developers of the iMIS Engagement Management System.  iMIS is the #1 association software platform and world’s only Engagement Management System (EMS). 

    AuSAE and ASI has held a continuous premium alliance partnership since 2017. The new two-year partnership will support AuSAE's professional education and event initiatives, which aim to build the capacity and capabilities of association leaders. ASI's sponsorship will also contribute to important industry advocacy efforts on behalf of members fostering a robust association sector.

    ASI will have a strong presence at AuSAE's upcoming 2022 Leadership, Insights & Networking Conference (LINC) in Blenheim in September and the 2022 ACE Conference & Exhibition in Melbourne in December. The company will also participate in several AuSAE webcasts, events, and roundtables in the coming months.

    Toni Brearley, AuSAE's Chief Executive Officer, said, "We are delighted to renew our partnership and work with our partner ASI – at the global, national and local levels – built upon shared vision and goals of placing our members at the centre of everything we do. The collaboration with ASI will help our members and community achieve great things for their associations. Their continued support allows us to expand the scope of our programs and ensure our members get the highest quality professional education, support, and advocacy possible. We have an exciting year ahead of us, and we appreciate ASI's investment in AuSAE's mission."

    Paul Ramsbottom, Managing Director of ASI Asia-Pacific, said, "We are thrilled and honoured to continue our strong partnership with AuSAE. They are making a positive difference in the sector and advancing the association management profession in Australia and New Zealand, as well as internationally. It’s important to us to support AuSAE as the only non-profit association that supports and represents association professionals

    “We believe the work of associations and non-profits is of vital importance to the world, and our continued partnership with AuSAE allows our clients to focus on their mission, not their technology,” added Paul.

    About AuSAE
    The Australasian Society of Association Executives (AuSAE) is the only not-for-profit professional society representing more than 10,000 individual leaders working in organisations throughout Australia and New Zealand. With offices in Australia and New Zealand, AuSAE's purpose is to provide the tools, information, and networks not-for-profit professionals need to achieve the visions of their organisations. Learn more about AuSAE at

    About ASI
    Advanced Solutions International (ASI) is a leading global provider of cloud software and services for associations and non-profits. ASI helps clients digitally transform, streamline operations, and grow revenue through industry expertise, best-practice advice, and high-quality solutions. Our portfolio of solutions includes iMIS for association and non-profit management, TopClass LMS for learning management, and OpenWater for application and review management.   ASI is a proud AuSAE Premium Alliance Partner. Learn more at

  • 29 Aug 2022 1:28 PM | Sarah Gamble (Administrator)

    The first dedicated digital transformation conference for innovative associations proudly presented by Causeis. Causeis are the leaders in association digital transformation and growth strategies.

    In conjunction with our technology partners, Causeis has proudly designed a face-to-face conference The Digital Academy Summit 2022. Set over two-days, 12th and 13th October at the convenient Citadines on Bourke Melbourne.

    It's time to focus on your association’s growth. Everything you need is here. Experts. Peers. Inspiration. We hope you and your team will join us, be sure to register early as numbers are strictly limited.

    The 2022 Summit has been designed to provide you with the skills, tools and strategies to prepare your association for accelerated digital transformation. Sessions will include masterclasses, presentations, training, and industry knowledge bursts.

    This event will provide you with more networking opportunities beyond what a virtual event can do. You will have access to networking among your association peers, industry experts and global leaders in association digital transformation.

    If your association is focused on data, technology, continuous improvement, digital transformation, growth and improving your customer's experience then this event is for you. With over 10 industry thought leaders presenting across two streams: technology and strategy.

    Learn directly from IKEA, AuSAE, Higher Logic, Association Analytics and iMIS. With topics ranging across Customer Experience, Data Analytics, Data Security in the Cloud, Automation, Membership onboarding Strategies, Integration and iMIS workshops. 

    Every association can benefit from attending the 2022 Summit. Register now as tickets are strictly limited.  Discover the 2022 Summit at

  • 09 Aug 2022 12:01 PM | Sarah Gamble (Administrator)

    Bookings are flowing in for Wellington’s new purpose-built convention and exhibition centre, Tākina (, as opening approaches.

    Construction is on track to open June 2023 and conference organisers are locking in dates, with more than 80 conferences already penciled in at the central city venue.

    Among the lineup of events confirmed for Tākina is the 22nd International Sedimentological Congress (ISC) in 2026, expected to attract up to 1,000 participants to Tākina and deliver an estimated $3.4m to the economy.

    Lead organiser and Senior Geologist at GNS Science, Dr Mark Lawrence, says: “This congress will be an excellent opportunity to showcase New Zealand.

    Sitting across two levels and ideal for conferences up to 1,600 delegates, Tākina sits at the heart of New Zealand’s compact, walkable capital.

    The centre will be operated by Tākina Events alongside conference venue and national museum of New Zealand, Te Papa Tongarewa, enabling business events planners to access and book the spaces and services of two of Wellington’s premium conference venues together. Situated just across the road from each other in the heart of the vibrant, walkable capital, it’s also ideal for delegates.

    Tākina Commercial Development General Manager David Perks says he is excited that in less than a year Tākina will be open and the floors alive with conferences of a size unseen before in New Zealand’s capital city.

    “Tākina is already on course to be a key strategic asset for Wellington, driving the city economy and bringing a buzz to the city as conference delegates visit all year round. Combining the events service at Tākina with Te Papa provides conference organisers with a diverse set of venues to choose from, on a scale not previously available in Wellington.”

    To enquire about booking a conference or event in Wellington, contact Business Events Wellington BDM in Australia, Tania Barnes: or phone +61 459 031 091

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The Australasian Society of Association Executives (AuSAE)

Australian Office:
Address: Unit 6, 26 Navigator Place, Hendra QLD 4011 Australia
Free Call: +61 1300 764 576
Phone: +61 7 3268 7955

New Zealand Office:
Address: 159 Otonga Rd, Rotorua 3015 New Zealand
Phone: +64 27 249 8677

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