Join us at Rotorua Energy Events Centre, Rotorua  28 - 30 November 2021

Conference Program
Over 25 educational and insightful sessions
12 hours + of peer to peer networking 

Leadership | Management | Membership Engagement | Business Development | Diversity, Equity & Inclusion | plus more...

Sunday 28 November 2021


Buses leave Millennium Hotel Rotorua for welcome function
Welcome Function 

Monday 29 November


Different transport options to the venue




Hamilton Welcome and Conference opening: David Seymour, MP for Epsom and Leader of the ACT Party.
David Seymour is a New Zealand politician serving as the Member of Parliament for Epsom and Leader of ACT New Zealand since 2014. A graduate of the University of Auckland, Seymour worked in public policy in Canada, before returning to New Zealand and contesting for election to Parliament


Keynote The true power is accepting the truth of who you are. 
Shelly Davies, Keynote Speaker and Rockstar communication Amazing humans, let's talk power. 
Powerful voice. 
Powerful boundaries. 
Powerful love of self.
We can't save the problems of the world in an hour but we can give ourselves a wake up call and a kick in the ass reminder of what it looks like to be powerful in our own world with this session from Rockstar Writing Trainer and General Badass Shelly Davies.
Let's become more powerful together. 

Shelly Davies Shelly's all about personal power - at work through better writing, and in life through loving self - and she has a remarkable story of finding both of those things for herself. Known for her government and corporate trainings in clear writing, Shelly's authentic and vulnerable style of self-leadership and bubbly energy is irresistible. She's a mum, a grandmother, a proud Ngātiwai woman, and her story is one of leaning more and more fully into her truth until she was ready to literally wear it on her face.


Diversity, Equity and Inclusion –  Leadership for sustainable outcomes. 
Maretha Smit, Chief Executive, Diversity Works New Zealand  

Organisations are increasingly reliant on diverse perspectives to effectively connect with customers, communities and stakeholders. As corporate citizens, workplaces are also increasingly viewed as a pathway to improve standards of living and quality of life for the communities in which it seeks a licence to operate. These issues are critical considerations for long-term organisational sustainability. And yet, time and again, organisations fail to mobilise sufficiently to realise the desired outcomes of diversity and inclusion programmes. What are the roadblocks? And how can membership organisations play a role in mainstreaming the conversation about Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) in workplaces? This session will look at the case model for DEI and provide delegates with an overview of the Aotearoa Inclusivity Matrix (AIM), as maturity framework for “what good looks like”. It will provide insight into DEI as a critical leadership competency, with case studies, tools and tips to get leaders mobilised.

Maretha Smit is the Chief Executive of Diversity Works New Zealand.  She has a passion for issues of social justice and sustainability – and has held a number of transformational leadership roles, including executive roles in her native South Africa that required significant transformation as the country moved from apartheid to democracy.  She has a strong appreciation of challenges in diversity and inclusion and believe in the power of connecting widely, and listening deeply, to build bridges across cultural and social differences
[Topic: Leadership]


AM Tea and Networking in the exhibition area 


Targeting the education system to strengthen your sector
Ian Lee, Deputy Chief Executive, Strategy and Design Directorate, Tertiary Education Commission 

As Deputy Chief Executive, Strategy and Design, Ian ensures that TEC has a strategic approach to its role in the tertiary education sector. He leads the development of TEC’s long- and short-term operational strategies, and strategic marketing and communications functions. He also leads the development of products and services that enhance life-long education and career choices that support the Tertiary Education Strategy. Ian joined TEC from Air New Zealand where he was Strategy Manager, Networks & Competitor Analysis. He led a team responsible for developing Air New Zealand's longer-term network strategy and growth plan, driving unprecedented growth and opening new markets to Singapore, Buenos Aires, Houston, Ho Chi Minh, Taipei, and most recently Chicago
[Topic: Leadership]


Birds of a feather: Assisting others in association management
Brett Jeffery, General Manager, AuSAE and other Association executives
A collaborative community is a strong community, how can we all as membership bodies ensure that our stakeholder engagement is maximised. Let's get together, have robust conversations around three questions about our joint communities.
[Topic: Collaboration]


Lunch and Networking in the exhibition area 

Learning sessions


Privacy Act 2020 and how is relates to membership organisations  
Mitchell Souness, Solicitor, Mahony Horner Lawyers

How do the recent changes to New Zealand's privacy legislation affect you and your organisation? This session will pay specific attention to identifying and handling notifiable privacy breaches and other key compliance obligations. 

Mitchell is a member of our Commercial and Property teams, and assists in providing regulatory advice.  Mitchell has broad legal experience, having supported the firm as a Law Clerk since 2015 while studying at Victoria University of Wellington.  He completed his LLB and BCom (Finance) in 2019 and was admitted as a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand in 2020.
[Topic: business development]

Someone had to change. Me or them? 
Posy Moody, General Manager, NZ Herefords 

When board decisions were being changed after board meetings by individuals, I realised that either the board would need to move from being operational to governance or I had to find another role.

A graduate of St Andrews University (Scotland) and a farmer’s daughter, Posy attended the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst where her leadership skills were challenged to the next level. She then put them to use, commanding a troop (32 male soldiers) and squadron in UK and overseas. Since being in NZ she has utilised those skills managing agri events and working closely with her board in her current role as NZ Herefords General Manager.
[Topic: Governance] 


Privacy Act 2020 Deep Dive in practical terms for membership organisations  
Mitchell Souness, Solicitor, Mahony Horner Lawyers

Session 2 – Privacy Act 2020 - Practical How-to Are you collecting, storing, and using personal information in accordance with the Privacy Act 2020? This session will involve a general discussion and refresher of the information privacy principles, including a how-to of access and correction requests, and focusing on the key touch-points for membership organisations.

Mitchell is a member of our Commercial and Property teams, and assists in providing regulatory advice.  Mitchell has broad legal experience, having supported the firm as a Law Clerk since 2015 while studying at Victoria University of Wellington.  He completed his LLB and BCom (Finance) in 2019 and was admitted as a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand in 2020.
[Topic: business development]

Method to the Madness: Marcus' Guide to Meaningful Member Engagement
Marcus Duhon, Higher Logic 

Member Engagement is an often-discussed strategic goal of associations. But how is that actually quantified, and then what is then done with that information? This half hour session will focus on tactics for gathering the right engagement data, and how that can be used to increase organic engagement that has meaning to both your current and prospective members.

Marcus Duhon is the Customer Success Manager and Sales Engineer for Higher Logic, APAC. He has spent the past 8 years working directly with associations to help them maximise the impact and benefit of their various technologies for their members and business. Specializing in CRMs, Marketing Automation and Community solutions, as well as general technical and business strategy applications, Marcus has had the opportunity to help some of the largest associations in the region, as well as the honour of being a guest speaker at many of the most prominent association-based conferences in Australia.
[Topic: IT / Membership]


    Afternoon Tea and Networking in the exhibition area 


    Building member engagement through virtual mentoring
    Holly Brailsford, Psychologist and Co-founder of Brancher

    Members are craving career development now more than ever before. AuSAE's research shows that members join associations because they want networking, continuing education, learning best practices and advancing their career. Mentoring is a popular and clear way for members to provide these benefits...  but how do you set up a mentoring program for success? 
    In this session you'll learn some practical tips on how to build, launch, sustain and evaluate a best practice mentoring program. In this session we'll cover how to set a mentoring program up for success, even if you don't have the budget and resources.
    Holly is a registered Psychologist with a background in organisational psychology and organisational development (i.e. all things mentoring, career coaching, leadership, culture change, talent management, engagement!)

    [Topic: Membership Engagement]

    On solid ground - how lessons from the Christchurch Earthquakes prepared AMINZ for Covid-19
    Sue Wells, Executive Director,  Arbitrators' and Mediator's Institute of NZ (AMINZ)

    In 2011, Sue Wells was the Chair of the Christchurch City Council's Planning Committee. The lessons she learned about governing a city in a disrupted environment were implemented immediately upon her appointment as the Executive Director of AMINZ.
    [Topic: Leadership]


    Closing address + LEAD WITH STORIES.
    Jehan Casinader, keynote speaker
    You can chair a meeting and give a speech – but can you tell a good story?
    In a world that is overflowing with information, it’s vital that leaders can cut through the noise and connect with people in a meaningful way.
    Award-winning journalist Jehan Casinader has spent more than a decade telling stories about New Zealanders from all walks of life.
    In this presentation, he will teach us how to engage hearts and minds – and how to change perspectives using the power of storytelling.

    Jehan Casinader is a journalist, author and mental health advocate. He was named “Broadcast Reporter of the Year” at the Voyager Media Awards in 2020, and “Reporter of the Year” at the New Zealand Television Awards in 2018. In the aftermath of natural disasters, terror attacks, sporting triumphs and everything in between, Jehan has helped hundreds of Kiwis to share their vulnerable and deeply personal stories with the rest of the country.
    He is the author of This Is Not How It Ends: How rewriting your story can save your life (HarperCollins).


    Close of day one Buses to hotels


    Buses depart hotel to the  Conference dinner
    Conference dinner til late 

    Tuesday 30 November 2021


    AuSAE town Hall: Join our AuSAE Board, GM NZ Brett Jeffery as they review the accomplishments of 2021. What lies ahead in 2022. We’ll have an open, candid discussion, bring your questions. 


    Day two keynote address - Literacy in Life
    Hilary Beaton, CAE,  Executive Director, Public Libraries Association of NZ

    Literacy in Life is a national campaign changing the well-worn narrative of libraries as places of books and reading, to an engagement, online or in person, with literacy and life-long learning. Public Libraries today offer a critical service that ensures the wellbeing of our communities and answers the needs of society. Whether those needs be economic, social,  technological, environmental, or emotional; public libraries are leading the way.

    Hilary has over 25 years’ experience in executive management across all functions of non-profit organisation. Her strengths in strategic planning and operational management, revenue generation and funding diversification, client/member growth initiatives and donor programmes are well recognised.  She has demonstrated skills in sales and marketing that result in increased profit, reduced expenditure and positive media exposure. 

    Public Libraries of New Zealand is the professional association for public library managers. Its primary role is to foster a strong and influential network of public library leaders. We do this by offering our members support services, resources and shared learning opportunities.  Our key initiatives include: the Public Libraries Strategic Framework, National Data Collection, and Annual Forum, and National Awareness building, as well as providing all-year-round advocacy on behalf of our members. Literacy in Life is our current campaign aimed at changing perceptions.


    AM Tea and Networking in the exhibition area

    Learning sessions


    Why is cybersecurity important for businesses now more than ever? [Cyber Panel]

    This session is based around general happenings and environment in the cybersecurity world and issues faced by small businesses and associations in being secure and safe. 

    Ankita DhakarManaging Director, Security Lit & 
    Victoria Huang is a Research Fellow in Cyber Security Lab,  University of Waikato.

    Ankita Dhakar Due to the impact of COVID-19 and people moving to remote working and more businesses choosing digital solutions brought a cyber-pandemic to New Zealand. Once Ankita learnt about cyber security incidents and the very real threats companies and individuals face in the digital era, She knew she had to help.

    With this vision she founded SecurityLit, A business providing penetration testing and security consultancy services to SMEs. Ankita made it her mission to make cybersecurity solutions easy and affordable for businesses so they can operate confidently and securely in the cyberspace.

    Ankita was recently recognised as the IFSEC global top influencer 2021 under the ‘One to Watch’ category and was also the winner of Women in security awards Aotearoa ‘Rising Star’ by New Zealand Security Magazine. 

    Victoria Huang is a Research Fellow in Cyber Security Lab (CROW) with the School of Computing and Mathematical Sciences at the University of Waikato, New Zealand. Her research interests include artificial intelligence and its application to cybersecurity and resource management in networked systems.

    [Topic: business development]

    Winning with Virtual Engagement
    Peter Swanson, Chairperson, Orienteering NZ 

    Covid 19 forced Orienteering New Zealand to adopt virtual engagement methods through 2020 - which was a long way from our traditional face to face member engagement practices done previously. We held two virtual sessions in 2020; an AGM, with prizegiving, and a club forum. We were stunned and shocked at the results - the AGM had over 70 attendees (the highest number for over 15 years), and not only that, the discussion was rich with high levels of engagement. The club forum was even more successful - again very high numbers, but we had some superb discussions engaging people around two very complex topics (big challenges affecting the sport), and through the functionality of ZOOM, was able to encourage better mixing of people into subgroups, enabling diverse perspectives to come together, than what we have ever been able to do in conventional forum settings.
    What we had predicted to be a challenging year for engagement turned out to be the opposite, and because of this we have continued to use the virtual approaches going forward  

    Peter Swanson has a background as a change strategist, and has worked with leaders and organisations across multiple industries, and in different countries including UK/Europe, Japan/Asia, Australia and New Zealand.
    His focus has been on helping organisations adapt to the strategic challenges and changes impacting them, evolving organisational operating models and ways of working that allows them to perform and thrive – often in response to external forces and disruptions impacting them. Peter is currently Chairman of Orienteering New Zealand, and looks forward to sharing the learning gained from the work he and his colleagues undertook to adapt how they approached engagement with members during the pandemic.
     [Topic: Membership Engagement]


    Volunteerism getting it right
    Heidi Quinn, Volunteer Management Lead  

    Learn about the volunteering trends in New Zealand; and how you can position your organisation to capitalise on them. Also, learn about the benefits of creating a successful employment volunteering program in your association.

    With 15 years experience in the voluntary sector, Heidi brings a fresh and enthusiastic approach to her presentations
    [Topic: Membership Engagement]

    Transforming your association for the future 
    Roz Henry, CEO, Cooperative Business NZ

    How to transition your association from becoming irrelevant with apathetic members, to having highly engaged, proactive members who see true value. - This session will consider the business transformation of Cooperative Business NZ. It will consider; Governance, KPI's, systems, training, outsourcing, events, social media, partnering, headquarters.

    Roz has strong leadership and commercial experience working across multiple sectors and industries, both domestically and internationally. She will share her insights following having taken up the role of Cooperative Business NZ CEO in August 2019, on how the business has made transformational change to improve their performance, even following the impacts of Covid.[Topic: Project Management]


    Managing staff remotely is not the same as managing staff in a collocated office.
    Sharyn Hight, General Manager, Project Management New Zealand 

    To successfully manage staff remotely you need to focus on individual needs - there is no one size fits all. Trust, flexibility, communication and discussion/ agreement on team culture is critical. It is also important to decide how to measure productivity. Just being in available doesn't equal productivity. Decide what is important to get done, how it should be done and let your staff get on with it. Working remotely is very different but hugely beneficial if done right. Cost savings, higher productivity, happier staff, and more flexible conditions for employees are just some of the benefits [Topic: business development]

    Reliance and Business Risk
    Adam Lynch, Principal Consultant, Reliance Risk 

    2020 exposed organisations to the most extreme of business disruption and tested their levels of resilience to the limits. As we head towards a post-COVID world, disruptive events will continue to come in all sizes and shapes.  In this session we will share key insights and approaches to develop your organisations resilience and to successfully navigate through these variety of disruptions as they occur.  

    Adam is passionate about developing resilience in New Zealand organisations. As the Principal Consultant for Reliance Risk in New Zealand, he works with clients to develop their capabilities in risk management, business disruption and continuity, emergency planning, health & safety, emotional culture, team resilience, verification, assurance, and training. Adam has spent his career in venue, event, and tourism management in both New Zealand and the UK, specialising in operations and logistics. He channels this extensive hands-on experience to focus his project outcomes on modern, practical resources and advice for his clients. Adam holds a LLB (Laws) from the UK and is currently working towards a Masters in Emergency Management.  He is a member of both the Business Continuity Institute and Institute of Directors, holds a security consultant licence for New Zealand and sits on a number of governance boards.  
    [Topic: Business Management]


    The Power of Play in Virtual Meetings
    Meeting on Zoom is not the same as meeting in person. You can’t ask people to put their screens away and give you their full attention – it is through these screens that your virtual meeting participates! Zoom fatigue makes our attendees tune out, and highly addictive social media is only a click away. By using the Power of Play, and inviting interaction from your attendees, your next virtual meeting will be engaging, exciting, and full of smiles.

    Caelan Huntress is the Creative Director of Stellar Platforms, a digital marketing agency that helps entrepreneurs set up smart marketing systems. He is an American digital nomad living in New Zealand, and has spent ten years running an online business while traveling the world with his young family. Caelan is a dynamic speaker, trainer, and business coach, who combines his skills as a theatrical performer and technical geek to make compelling virtual experiences.


    Lunch and Networking in the exhibition area


    In Keynote Strengthening your association through International contacts (let us get you ready)
    Leonie Ashford, International Bids Manager at Tourism New Zealand

    My role as part of the Tourism New Zealand's Business Events International Bid Team, gives me the opportunity to work with people who are passionate about what they do and proud of New Zealand. Our experience is all about bidding to host international conferences and events in New Zealand. Partnering with individuals from a wide range of organizations, associations, universities and health boards, allows us take their passion and pride, then combine this with everything that is great about conferencing in New Zealand.
    [Topic: Collaboration]


    Keynote Address Building a younger and diverse membership
    Jim McElwain, Institute of Finance Professionals NZ[Topic: Membership Engagement]

    A famous book on associations is entitled the “Race for relevance”. Associations can only maintain and grow their membership where they are relevant to younger people, women and to ethnic minorities. Learn how one association has grown both its younger demographic and female membership sixfold over the last ten years.

    Jim McElwain is the Executive Director of INFINZ (the Institute of Finance Professionals in NZ Inc), the voluntary individual membership organisation for professionals in finance roles and in the financial services eco-system. Four staff provide services to almost 2000 members nation-wide. Jim has been ED of INFINZ for almost ten years and the organisation has grown from ca 700 to 2000 members in that time. Jim’s professional background is as a corporate finance advisor on mid-market mergers and acquisitions after starting his career as a policy analyst with The NZ Treasury. He is also on the Board of the CFA Society NZ. He has an Honours degree in Economics from Victoria University in Wellington.


    Closing +  keynote address  If Your Why Is Strong Enough, You Can Overcome Anything. 
    Dave Letele, Former professional boxer, Dave Letele (AKA Brown Buttabean), is a South Auckland community leader who uses his platform to advocate for families in need. Having grown up with a father who was the president of the Mongrel Mob and in and out of prison throughout his childhood, Dave understands what it means to struggle. Nothing quite beats a real story straight from the heart, Dave will take you on a roller coaster ride of emotions where you will come out the other side understanding the power of determination, perseverance, hard work, taking that first step and hope! Let Dave inspire your audience.

    Supported by Celebrity Speakers 


    Farewell function


    Hobbiton movie set stay over dinner, for those staying over on the Tuesday night you're welcome to join us for this fantastic experience in the green dragon. Charges additional

    Major Conference Partner 


    Conference Partners 

    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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