News

  • 25 Apr 2017 9:23 AM | Shayne Morris (Administrator)

    Most will agree that mentoring is among the most versatile and effective employee development processes. Today, like never before, mentoring is being used to shape a different kind of work culture - one that is connected, responsive, and growth-focused. The motives for why organisations are doing more with mentoring are numerous, including these critical reasons:

    Low cost, high impact

    It costs very little to arrange for people to engage in mentoring relationships, and mentoring relationships don’t need to last years to be impactful. They can be short-lived and still provide positive results. Additionally, because of the strong relational bonds that are forged through mentoring, the impacts to organizational culture and feelings of community can be vast and strong.

    Personal and flexible

    The goals and career aspirations of the mentee are at the center of mentoring relationships. This allows for highly personalized and exclusively tailored development opportunities that can be nearly impossible to get elsewhere. People can also participate in several mentoring relationships at once, helping to have multiple development goals addressed concurrently.

    Virtual and on-demand

    In practice, mentoring helps people with more experience share what they know and guide the development of people with less experience. While this typically took place face-to-face, mentorship can easily occur via phone or computer due to technology. This allows people to adapt mentoring relationships so they are no longer bound by time-constrained schedules or physical locations.

    Communal

    Due to the social give-back factor or “paying it forward” nature of mentoring, the practice creates a high sense of community and unity. Those in the middle or the end of their career find renewed purpose in sharing their strength and experience with mentees who are seeking their wisdom. Organizations are also able to create continuity of knowledge among employees and avoid the dreaded brain drain phenomenon.

    Today’s mentoring can be used for a variety of purposes:

    • Career development – Gain insight and understanding into advancement opportunities within the organization or vocation.
    • Role development – Take on a set of connected behaviors, responsibilities, and norms associated with a specialized position or function (e.g., Head Researcher, Operations Director).
    • Skill development – Acquire complex abilities usually involving ideas, things, and/or people (e.g., budgeting, project management).
    • Technical development – Gain the ability to accomplish duties or other specific tasks through the use of technology (e.g., computer-related skills, engineering, mathematics).

    The way that mentoring happens has also changed; it takes place in group settings, as well as private one-on-one relationships. This variety allows people to learn in ways that can best impact them. For example, people who are newly promoted or hired as managers could be assigned to a mentor who is a seasoned manager. At the same time, these new managers and a selected advisor can come together in a mentoring group to learn from one another and support one another as they apply new ideas and principles of management on the job. This can be an effective and efficient way to gain outstanding results with little cost.

    The Way Forward

    Mentoring is more than instructing workers in expected behaviors; it is guiding their growth through nurturing and supportive interactions that focus on personal experiences and real world circumstances. Mentoring involves personal discovery, experimentation, and crucial feedback that achieve goal-oriented results.

    To help you leverage mentoring to create your desired culture, consider these points:

    • Make a plan of action. Do not leave the practice of mentoring to chance. Informal mentoring is a wish for progress; formal mentoring is a plan for progress. Design a mentoring program that inspires the change that you desire.
    • Assess your need. When determining where to start building your mentoring culture, it is always a good idea to consider the biggest problems that you face. Is it attracting, retaining, or growing talent? Do you need more cross-functional knowledge sharing? Is there a critical operational challenge that mentoring can help with? Answer the burning question and use mentoring to address the pressing organizational problem you face.
    • Rally support. Build a coalition of interested stakeholders that will help you recruit the appropriate participants (mentees and mentors). Gathering the support of the right stakeholders will also help you legitimize the effort and ensure your success.
    • Measure the impact. Measuring the impact of mentoring can take shape in many ways. You can document personal stories that demonstrate improvement, you can note improvements in individuals’ performance over time, and you can even measure how much faster people develop needed skills for critical roles and responsibilities (compared to people not participating in mentoring). The measures will depend upon your need and program goals.

    The practice of mentoring has moved beyond helping a few carefully chosen high performers advance to higher levels of authority. Mentoring can prove valuable to employees at all phases of their careers, from new hires to middle managers to seasoned professionals. The benefits of mentoring can be felt by anyone who takes part in the practice, and with many organizations engaging 30-40 percent of their workers in mentoring, the positive power of mentoring is poised to take root and grow even further.

    This article was originally sourced from Association Adviser

  • 25 Apr 2017 9:14 AM | Shayne Morris (Administrator)

    A new survey about the workplace shows that employees are spending more time working outside the office. That has an impact on how you manage your staff - and your members too.

    Like a lot of reports about the workplace, Gallup’s new “State of the American Workplace” study is a good-news-bad-news proposition. On one hand, leaders and workers are both becoming more comfortable with flexible work environments, recognizing that an 8-to-5 mindset isn’t always the best fit for productivity - and that many talented workers actively resist it. On the other hand, that flexibility means people will need better and perhaps unconvenational ways to communicate to help them establish goals and feel engaged at work.

    That’s not just an issue for you as somebody who manages employees - it spills over to your thinking about your association’s stakeholders too. What’s your value proposition to a member or customer, particularly a younger one, who may be engaged in your association’s industry during only half the workday, or a fifth of it? Are you understanding what proportion of them are in that situation, and can you tailor products, services, and experiences that meet those particular needs?

    “Managers are falling down on the fundamental aspects of performance development.”

    The right answers to those questions, as ever, will vary from association to association. But a look into some of Gallup’s findings reveals the scope of the issue.

    For one thing, remote working is now much more prevalent. Between 2012 and 2016, Gallup reports, the number of remote employees increased four percentage points, from 39 percent to 43 percent of the American workforce. Those remote workers were spending more time remotely: In 2016, 31 percent of remote workers were doing so 80 percent of the time.

    This is largely a good thing, in Gallup’s estimation. “Engagement climbs when employees spend some time working remotely and some time working in a location with their coworkers,” according to the report. Fully remote workers have the lowest level of on-the-job engagement, as you might guess - only 30 percent of such employees say they feel engaged. But the percentage is exactly the same for those who never work remotely. Feeling stuck in one place often feels like being stuck in one place, it seems, regardless of where that place is.

    That’s a challenge for any CEO. Last year I spoke with Dr. Robert Rich, CAE, the CEO of the Arctic Research Consortium of the United States, which has a largely remote staff, and he explained how it presented challenges for both staffing and management. Employees in that environment need a self-starter mentality and can thrive with a minimal of interaction with coworkers, Rich told me; but the pressure was also on him to communicate regularly with his workers to make sure they weren’t overburdened, and that they understood the organization’s larger strategic goals.

    That balance is important, because for all of its good news about flexibility in the workplace, the Gallup report also suggests that there’s a serious crisis of confidence when it comes to how workers feel about leadership. For instance, only 22 percent of employees “strongly agree the leadership of their organisation has a clear direction”; only 15 percent “strongly agree the leadership of their organization makes them enthusiastic about the future.”

    The mood is even more skeptical among those fully remote workers. Compared to those who split their time, fully remote employees are 16 percent less likely to “strongly agree their manager involves them in setting goals at work,” and 30 percent less likely to “strongly agree they have talked with their manager about steps to take to reach their goals in the last six months.”

    Gallup doesn’t mince words on this issue: “For fully remote employees, managers are falling down on the fundamental aspects of performance development - those that are based on the manager-employee relationship - and perhaps increasing the risk that the employee will leave for a better opportunity to progress with another company.” But the fix isn’t particularly complex - it’s just a matter of building in more of those conversations with remote workers of all stripes. “Managers have to become more deliberate about when and how they communicate with remote employees,” the report’s authors write. “They should make an effort to connect with them consistently, whether through phone calls, email, instant or text messaging, or video conferencing. Ongoing communication can help establish an environment of trust and accountability while still giving remote employees a feeling of independence.”

    More organisations are moving to an always-on system of employee feedback instead of the annual-evaluation check-in method, and that’s been a boon for employee engagement. But even if you’re not managing remote workers, leaders ought to be mindful of the broader trend. More people are breaking up their professional lives in more complicated ways. That at once makes the need for communication greater, while also throwing a wrench in the conventional methods of communication, in terms of employees, members, and customers. Engagement is what keeps associations humming. The tricky part now is finding new ways to generate it.

    This article was originally sourced from Associations Now

  • 25 Apr 2017 9:06 AM | Shayne Morris (Administrator)

    Over time, you might find that your users “check out” of your marketing emails - even letting entire accounts go dormant. That’s a problem, obviously, and email deliverability concerns are definitely one aspect of it, but the real issue could be more foundational.

    Ever have an email address so riddled with junk mail that the only way forward was to get rid of the account entirely?

    Platforms like Gmail, Outlook.com, and Yahoo Mail, of course, make it very easy to create an email address and let it fall into disuse over a period of time. And there are other factors - say, a new job or a transition to grad school - that can lead someone to drop an email address.

    However it happens, it makes an organization’s email marketing a whole lot less valuable over time. And that can prove a big problem.

    Recently, a report by the U.K.-based Direct Marketing Association (DMA) - not to be mistaken for the U.S.-based Data & Marketing Association, which changed its name last year - noted how big a problem this really is.

    The 2016 edition of the association’s Consumer Email Tracking Study found that 62 percent of people have either abandoned email addresses or considered doing so because of too many emails - and that this problem was more likely among younger consumers (58 percent of whom have either done or considered this) versus older consumers (27 percent).

    Furthermore, unused “ghost” accounts are fairly prevalent among consumes - 45 percent of those surveyed say they have dormant accounts that remain open but are never checked.

    “Despite 79% of respondents using special accounts for marketing messages, a significant number of additional ghost accounts remain in circulation,” the report notes.

    There are lots of reasons that this state of affairs is frustrating:

    You’re wasting resources on inactive users: As I pointed out a couple of months ago, email costs money. And while you can minimize the costs of those messages by doing your homework, you’re ultimately wasting resources on people for which there will be a slim chance of re-engagement, at best.

    Dormant accounts can eventually become inactive: If an email goes dormant, large webmail providers are likely to eventually shut down the account if it remains unused by the original owner. That can prove a problem over time, as it increases the number of bounces attributed to your domain, lowering the quality of your sends in the eyes of email providers and making it more likely that your messages are treated as spam.

    It exposes weaknesses in content: If a user really cares about you and your value in their inbox, they’ll keep you around. But if that value isn’t apparent - if the content isn’t living up to its promise - then you’re going to struggle to keep your place as part of a person’s daily routine. Bad content equals weak ROI.

    The last point is the one that the DMA report leans on - both for individual senders and the marketing community as a whole.

    “Brands clearly need to work harder to appeal to consumers and persuade them to open and read their emails,” the report states. “If email becomes the channel perceived to be a stream of irrelevant information, then this will be bad for the marketing community.”

    SO WHAT STEPS SHOULD YOU TAKE?

    The good news is that not every email subscriber is a lost cause. Sometimes, dormant subscribers may not actually be “ghosts,” but are taking other approaches when it comes to ignoring you - by aggressively filtering their messages by using keywords, for example.

    A Litmus post from last year makes the case that there are three kinds of inactive subscribers - people that were never active in the first place, those who were once customers but aren’t active currently, and those who are current customers but ignore your emails.

    Litmus Research Director Chad White recommends handling these emails differently, by putting them on different kinds of leashes over time. But, ultimately, you should attempt to ping the user and ask them to re-verify themselves after a period of time.

    In the case of never-actives that haven’t ever opened a message, he says, it’s good to send a re-permission email after the span of four months or 10 emails, whichever comes first. For inactive customers, he suggests re-verifying after either six months or 13 months, depending on your sending frequency. And you can wait even longer in the case of active customers.

    But White warns that it’s important to know your own readership.

    “There’s no ‘one size fits all’ answer to how to manage inactives,” he writes. “Every organization needs to determine their own risk tolerance and then put in place an on-going process for how and when to deal with each of the three kinds of inactive subscribers to maximize success and keep the risks in check.”

    (That said, your approach likely shouldn’t involve a bulk list cleaning, something MailChimp generally recommends against.)

    And it’s worth keeping in mind that deliverability issues may also be at play - say, if you’re seeing a lot of dormant accounts on the same domain. A good tool to test your email marketing’s technical capabilities is Mail Tester, which offers useful diagnostic information, such as whether your domains are getting blocked by spammers, whether you need to make technical changes to your DNS records, and the likelihood that your message will get to its source without any problems. It’s a good way to triage issues before they become more significant.

    But barring all that, it’s worth going back to the point DMA pounded its fist upon. If your email marketing is getting stale or ineffective, the way your readers are going to tell you this is with their clicks and opens. Look historically at your data. Analyze whether a tactic is working, or if it’s simply growing dull. And use the data you glean to make the case for updates.

    The thing with “ghost accounts” or inactive users is that, when it comes down to it, the problem you’re trying to solve is one of relevance. If your association is sending messages irrelevant to a huge chunk of users, you need to ask why that is.

    The more fundamental your questions are, the more fundamental the answers will be.

    This article was originally sourced from Associations Now

  • 25 Apr 2017 8:56 AM | Shayne Morris (Administrator)

    When Velvet Chainsaw Consulting conducted speaker research with 120 associations with research and consulting company Tagoras Inc. in 2013, we found that nearly 77 percent use a call for speakers/sessions process. Associations value member input. One-third of these organizations accept 60 percent or more of the proposals, indicating either a low number of submissions or very forgiving quality filters. About 62 percent close off submissions eight months or longer before the conference. These longer timelines were created when information moved a heck of a lot slower.

    Widely used by associations as a tool for crowdsourcing the meat-and-potatoes education content for annual conferences, the call for speakers and sessions doesn’t need to be an arduous process. We’ve compiled the current best practices to achieve efficiencies, which, more importantly, result in better-quality educational offerings.

    1. Go blind.

    Some organisations do — and more should — institute blind reviews. This puts the reviewers on more equal ground with the paying attendee in terms of how to evaluate which sessions to attend. When volunteers are asked to score a rubric on a submission, ratings can and will be greatly affected by who the submission is from. Mask the speakers name and company. Add a field so that staff can indicate if they’ve spoken before and the session-evaluation scores.

    2. Be fresh.

    In the submission form, ask if this session has been presented at another industry conference. To differentiate, you want your conference to be the first. Also consider leaving 25 percent of your sessions open for slotting emerging topics two to four months prior to your conference.

    3. Get agile.

    If you’re like most, you receive 90 percent or more session submissions in the last week of the submission timeline. Take a page from agile tech developers who now do multiple sprints for complex projects. Break up the process into several major themes and open submissions for two to three weeks max for each. This will deliver improved marketing value, increase relevance, and chunk the process for both staff and volunteers.

    4. Tighten the timeline.

    For most conferences, the call for sessions or speakers should not open earlier than seven months before the event. Any sooner extends the process and, even worse, decreases the chances of relevant, timely session submissions.

    5. Avoid spin.

    Make it clear that the submission must be made by the person or people that will be presenting. Don’t allow submissions proposed by a corporate marketing department or public relations firm.

    6. Embrace micro-peer review.

    No single volunteer should ever need to review and score more than 25 submissions. Keep the ask to a limited number and encourage them to be more thorough in their vetting. Consider having staff do the first cut to decrease the number of submissions that are peer reviewed.

    7. Curate content.

    We find that most submission processes do not attract the most progressive sessions or speakers. Conference committees should be leveraged to identify the pressing problems to solve or opportunities to seize for the conference’s target market. Identify these topics in your call-for-session communications and curate for any remaining gaps.

    This article was originally sourced from Velvet Chainsaw.

  • 25 Apr 2017 8:49 AM | Shayne Morris (Administrator)

    Here are five factors to focus on to get the most out of your membership data. Also: How one news organization tackled its digital bugs and upgrades with a hackathon.

    Most membership-based organisations have a treasure trove of data at their fingertips. But figuring out which data points to analyze to gain the most helpful insights about your members can be tricky.

    According to the MemberSuite blog, analyzing these five trends delivers the most impactful insights: demographic data, renewal trends, recruitment information, event data, and the average length of membership.

    Demographic data can tell you all sorts of information, including the location of your members and which generation they belong to. “This information can help your team determine a variety of things from the best place to host an event to the best way to communicate with your members,” writes Graciella Jason-Daubon.

    You can probably spout your renewal rate off the top of your head. But do you know the similarities among your renewing members, like which channels they renew through or if they’re in similar programs? “If your association is able to pinpoint commonalities between folks that choose to renew, you can continue and improve those practices,” says Jason-Daubon.

    The Dallas Morning News had a problem: Over the years, its website built up a cache of bugs to resolve and upgrades to address. It needed new advertising units, author pages, and navigation, among other fixes.

    Instead of addressing each problem one by one over months, the News attacked all of these problems in one fell swoop by holding a two-week hackathon, according to Poynter. Internal and external developers holed up in meeting rooms around the office to fix each issue in a sustained sprint.

    Does your organisation’s website have a host of issues your team has been meaning to address? A hackathon may be something you should consider.

    This article was originally sourced from Associations Now

  • 25 Apr 2017 8:19 AM | Shayne Morris (Administrator)

    Australia’s two national mortgage broking associations have expressed their concerns around some of the Sedgwick Review’s recommendations to alter broker remuneration.

    The final report of the review, released yesterday (19 April), was financed by the Australian Bankers' Association (ABA) and conducted by Stephen Sedgwick AO, it made 21 recommendations to the banks around remuneration – three of which involved the third party channel.

    While the Mortgage & Finance Association of Australia (MFAA) was pleased that the Sedgwick review found no evidence of systemic harm, the observations and recommendations made around the broker channel did not present realistic solutions, CEO Mike Felton said.

    “This is a review commissioned by the banks that aims to deal with the banks’ reputational problems, but as far as the broker channel is concerned does not create better consumer outcomes.”

    Peter White, director of the Finance Brokers Association of Australia (FBAA), said the extraordinary thing was that despite the review admitting there was nothing systemically wrong, it still made three recommendations to change broker remuneration structures.

    “Why are they trying to pull things apart? You only pull things apart and restructure them if there’s something systemically wrong,” he told Australian Broker.

    In the end, the review was one person’s view of the world paid for by the banks without actually being a regulatory paper, he said.

    A lack of consultation

    Felton expressed frustration that the review claimed to be focused on a customer-centric viewpoint while ignoring that this was a key aspect of how brokers and aggregators functioned.

    “The review’s recommendations on the third-party channel appear to be based mostly on anecdotal evidence from its members. It is unfortunate that the review process did not include meaningful consultation with the broader industry in developing this report,” Felton said.

    White echoed similar sentiments, saying that the FBAA had not been approached by the Sedgwick review either.

    “You’ve got to wonder behind the scenes, what are the real drivers? And I question what those drivers are. Part of our regulatory experience is all about truth through transparency. I think we’ll never see the true transparency that sits behind this report.”

    Unreasonable requests?

    The MFAA was also concerned that recommendations in the ABA review also went beyond those in the Australian Securities & Investment Commission’s (ASIC’s) report into mortgage broker remuneration, Felton said.

    He highlighted the proposal to adjust or remove current broker incentives and potentially introduce a lender fee-for-service approach.

    “The ASIC Report does not recommend removing the link between loan size and commission, nor a fee-for-service model nor removal of trail commission – with good reason. A single, lender-funded, fee for service is likely to lead to a degree of standardisation of all fees, which ASIC is not calling for. It may also be considered anti-competitive by the ACCC, and therefore would not be able to be implemented.”

    As for the suggestion to align broker payment structures with those of bank staff, this was not going to happen unless the banks started paying the brokers a very strong, competitive salary and remove clawbacks, White said.

    These review’s recommendations were “very misguided” since broker commission structures on a global scale create excellent outcomes if structured in the right manner, such as in Australia, he continued.

    Furthermore, claims that linked the difficulty in writing a loan to the characteristics of the borrower instead of the loan size were simply incorrect, he said.

    “Anyone who’s actually written credit in their lives knows that this is actually not the case. This shows that this person hasn’t done any lending or if they have they really don’t understand what they’ve been doing.”

    This article was originally sourced from Australian Broker

  • 25 Apr 2017 7:52 AM | Shayne Morris (Administrator)

    The first Australian-built satellites to be launched in 15 years recently took off from Cape Canaveral in Florida. The Conversation

    Unlike the enormous satellites Australia uses for telecommunications, each of these new satellites is the size of a loaf of bread. But although small, they may provide a key step in enabling Australia’s entry into the global satellite market.

    Three types of cubesats are the Australian contribution to the international QB50 mission, in which 36 satellites from different institutions around the world will carry instruments provided by the Von Karman Institute (VKI) to examine the lower thermosphere. This is a very interesting part of the atmosphere for several reasons, such as the way it disturbs GPS measurements.

    The cubesats will be first delivered to the International Space Station, and then released into their orbits.

    The three teams that developed the Australian cubesats are: one from UNSW, one collaboration between the University of Sydney, the Australian National University and UNSW, and one collaboration between the universities of Adelaide and South Australia.

    Once the VKI instrument and support systems (power, communications, and so on) are installed, there is still room for the teams to install payloads of their own.

    The UNSW cubesat, known as UNSW-EC0, is running four experiments including a GPS receiver, and two boards testing radiation-robust software and self-healing electronics. The fourth experiment is to test the satellite’s chassis, built using a 3D-printed material never before flown in space.

    The launch is significant, not just because it is so long since Australia built satellites, but because it could be the start of something much bigger.

    Small is good

    Globally, the space industry had an estimated US$335 billion ($440 billion) turnover in 2015. It’s expected to reach US$1 trillion ($1.3 trillion) by 2030.

    This is an innovation sector Australia cannot ignore, and small satellites — especially nano-satellites or cubesats — offer Australia a way in.

    According to a report last month by Allied Market Research, the small satellite market is expected to be worth US$7 billion ($9.2 billion) by 2020, with a compound annual growth rate of about 20%.

    Analyst Spaceworks said in February that by 2023, the requirement for launches in the 1kg to 50kg class will be 320 to 460 satellites per year, more than 70% of them for commercial purposes.

    Another analyst Euroconsult last year said there would be more than 3,500 small satellite launches in the next decade, worth US$22 billion ($29 billion) with launch earnings of US$5.3 billion ($7 billion). That’s a 76% increase over the previous decade.

    Australia in space

    This disruption has the potential to be more important for Australia than for any other developed nation.

    Australia is the largest economy in the world not to have a space agency, which I have highlighted before, and suggested ways forward. As a result, Australia has not developed a traditional space industry.

    Exploiting cubesats offers an opportunity for Australia to participate in this industry, despite the absence of an agency.

    In the same way that the success of Rocket Lab forced New Zealand to establish a space agency, Australia’s success with cubesats could finally see the establishment of an agency here.

    A gathering of space minds

    The launch of the QB50 cubesats has been delayed several times and was slated for 1am (AEST) on Wednesday April 19.

    So by sheer coincidence it will coincide with a gathering in Sydney of the Australian cubesat community — CUBESAT 2017: Launching Cubesats for and from Australia — that will showcase some of the remarkable progress Australia has made in recent years.

    This includes three cubesat missions that have constructed satellites — QB50 mentioned above, and a further two from the Defence Science and Technology Group: Biarri (two launches of one cubesat and three cubesats) and Buccaneer (one cubesat).

    A large number of Australian startups are looking to operate in the global small satellite market.

    Several companies are developing launch capability, including Gilmour Space Technologies in Queensland. Other companies are developing ground segment capability to help manage operational satellites including Saber Astronautics in Sydney. Some are developing cubesat components such as Obelisk Systems in Maitland, New South Wales.

    Ambitiously, there are also companies looking to develop cubesat constellations, which are large numbers of satellites with orbits optimised for global coverage for a range of different applications. The Australian leader at present is Fleet from Adelaide.

    Government interest

    CUBESAT 2017 is the second workshop of its kind. When the first was run, two years ago, there was no way then to anticipate the huge leaps Australia has made in this niche area of space.

    Recently, the Space Industry Association of Australia released a white paper calling for a space agency.

    There was some encouragement for the community in the response from the federal Science Minister, Senator Arthur Sinodinos, to that call when he said:

    I’m quite excited at the idea of us doing more in space.

    So there is hope we may see some developments.

    In terms of cubesats, it is with great excitement we look forward to where we’ll be in the next two years, when perhaps we can say, with Australian-made assets in space, that the Australian space industry has finally been established.

    Andrew Dempster is director of the Australian Centre for Space Engineering Research, and a professor in the School of Electrical Engineering and Telecommunications at UNSW.

    This article was originally sourced from Smart Company

  • 25 Apr 2017 7:44 AM | Shayne Morris (Administrator)

    Australians can expect to see mangoes from India popping up in the markets soon, with a number of Indian businesses working hard to export fruit this season.

    Revised protocols have opened the door for Indian imports, with fruit allowed into Australia as long as it has been irradiated prior to export.

    It will not be the first time Australia has imported mangoes, with Mexico, the Philippines and Pakistan exporting small numbers of fruit over the years.

    Robert Gray from the Australian Mango Industry Association, said the Indian mangoes would be for sale outside of the Australian mango season.

    He said if the fruit met biosecurity standards then the trade should be fine.

    "Our position is that, as part of the global trade, if we want access to other countries around the world [to export Australian mangoes], then providing the protocol is safe and not bringing in any pests or diseases, then we're supportive of other countries having access into our market," he said.

    Mr Gray said India had started exporting mangoes to the United States as well, but it was hard to know what type of volumes would be sent to Australia.

    "While India is a huge mango-growing country, their export business is a bit like ours," he said.

    "[India will be] targeting affluent markets, markets where they can place small quantities of very high-value product.

    "So India is currently trying to ship 200 to 300 tonne of mangoes to the US a year, and it would be those sorts of volumes at a maximum [to Australia] I would expect."

    Australians to get a taste of different mango varieties

    One of the Indian companies looking to send mangoes to Australia is Kay Bee Exports.

    Speaking to Fresh Fruit Portal, Kay Bee Exports chief executive Kaushal Khakhar, said all shipments to Australia would be by air, and the company would initially focus on exporting the Alphonso and Kesar varieties.

    "Alphonso is slightly tricky but handled well it is one of the best varieties in India," he said.

    "Kesar is the best commercial variety because it has a good price, good flavour, and it handles very well."

    He said the opportunity to export mangoes to Australia first opened up several years ago, but the revised protocol has made it a more viable option.

    The Indian mango season runs from March until the end of July.

    This article was originally sourced from ABC News

  • 25 Apr 2017 7:31 AM | Shayne Morris (Administrator)

    The Australian branch of the Investment Management Consultants Association (IMCA) has announced it is searching for an operations manager. The newly created role will have an emphasis on administration and event management.

    Mark Thomas, IMCA’s local general manager and company secretary, will conclude his contract at the end of June, after having helped guide the organisation through a period of major change in its operating model.

    “The board of IMCA australia wish to formally thank Mark for the energy and enthusiasm he has brought to the general manager role over the past year,” a statement read. “Prior to taking on the general manager role, Mark was [already] a strong contributor to IMCA australia, [as chair of] the seminar committee, and also as a member of the conference committee.”

    IMCA chairman Brett Elvish said, “The last two years have been a period of significant change, including the harmonisation of the Certified Investment Management Analyst (CIMA) program globally, establishing a strategic partnership with PortfolioConstruction Forum for the management and delivery of CIMA Certification and member continuing education services, and a new four-year Affiliate Agreement with IMCA International.

    Commenting on the new role, Elvish said, “This is a challenging operational role, for someone who thrives on managing multiple activities under the strategic direction of the board and its various committees. The ideal candidate is likely to have experience in the investment and wealth industry, and particularly enjoy event management. They will relish the flexibility and autonomy of establishing new processes and the hands-on operational implementation of an agreed strategy.”

    IMCA australia is a chapter of the Investment Management Consultants Association in the US (IMCA International). The association was established in Australia in 2000. Its objective is to promote and maintain a high standard of knowledge and practice among investment and wealth professionals, with the CIMA program and ongoing certification as the core strategy.

    This article was originally sourced from Investment Magazine

  • 25 Apr 2017 7:06 AM | Shayne Morris (Administrator)

    Harrison left his position as Pandora’s VP of Business Affairs and Assistant Counsel in 2015, where he was at the sharp end of the streaming service’s attempts to drive down the revenue share paid to record labels, artists, music publishers and songwriters.

    Harrison then joined Sirius XM as VP of Music Business Affairs.

    News of Harrison’s hire comes from Washington, where the National Music Publisher’s Association and the Nashville Songwriters Association International are battling for better mechanical royalty rates for interactive streaming.

    Nearly 10,000 songwriters have signed a petition supporting their efforts.

    Harrison has joined DiMA to oversee the organization’s public policy initiatives and strategic direction, serving as a “central figure in the continued growth of the digital media economy”.

    DiMA represents the legal and policy interests of online distributors of digital music, movies and books, and its members also include Microsoft and Napster.

    The organisation aims to help its members develop “new and innovative ways to provide consumers with increased access to legitimate online content” by “representing the industry in a wide variety of legal, political and regulatory matters”.

    Harrison said: “I’m honored to have been chosen to lead DiMA into the future and am thrilled to work with such an impressive membership.

    “THE INNOVATIVE MEMBER COMPANIES THAT COMPRISE DIMA AND ENABLE ACCESS TO THE GREATEST DIVERSITY OF CONTENT ARE A CRITICAL PART OF THE CREATIVE INDUSTRY’S VALUE CHAIN, PAYING BILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN ROYALTIES AND LICENSE FEES TO CONTENT CREATORS EACH YEAR.” CHRIS HARRISON

    “The innovative member companies that comprise DiMA and enable access to the greatest diversity of content are a critical part of the creative industry’s value chain, paying billions of dollars in royalties and license fees to content creators each year.

    “As the pace of innovation continues to increase, it’s more important than ever that all stakeholders work together, and I look forward to leading that effort and ensuring consumers continue to enjoy and engage meaningfully with creative content.”

    The DiMA Board of Directors said: “DiMA is excited to work with Chris Harrison to further its mission of advocating for business and regulatory environments that support the growth and success of digital media.

    “WE LOOK FORWARD TO HARRISON’S LEADERSHIP TO HELP FURTHER TECHNOLOGICAL INNOVATIONS AND THE FAIR, EQUITABLE CONSUMPTION OF DIGITAL CONTENT.” DIMA BOARD

    “At a time of unprecedented growth in the digital media industries and huge customer demand for an ever-increasing selection of creative content, we look forward to Harrison’s leadership to help further technological innovations and the fair, equitable consumption of digital content.”

    This article was originally sourced from Music Business World

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