Sector and AuSAE News

  • 08 Oct 2013 2:44 PM | Louise Stokes
    New research by American Express has found that 8 in 10 Australian businesses are acting on customer feedback given through social media and review sites to improve the services they offer.

    American Express surveyed Australian business owners and consumers and found that 81 per cent of business owners have made changes to the way they run their business following feedback from consumers, including changes to improve service (50 per cent), quality control (38 per cent), staff training (30 per cent) and to speed up delivery (28 per cent).

    However, the Amex study uncovered a significant disconnect in terms of feedback provided and received, perception of any action taken, and the effectiveness of different feedback tools. While 63 per cent of Australians have used social media to provide feedback to a business, only 42 per cent of business owners claim to have received feedback in this way. And alarmingly, 60 per cent of consumers don’t believe businesses actually act on their feedback.

  • 08 Oct 2013 8:49 AM | Deleted user

    New Jobs have been added to AuSAE's job board! Click here


    To get your role listed please email the position information to AuSAE Members are able to list their vacancies free of charge on the AuSAE Job Board and via AuSAE's monthly newsletter.

  • 03 Oct 2013 2:05 PM | Louise Stokes
    At the recent Association of Australian Convention Bureaux (AACB) annual general meeting, a new leadership team was elected to drive the strategic direction of the organisation.

    Lyn Lewis-Smith, CEO of Business Events Sydney, was promoted from Vice President to President. Stuart Nettlefold, CEO of Business Events Tasmania, accepted the then vacant position of Vice President, while Karen Bolinger, CEO of the Melbourne Convention Bureau, continues as AACB’s Treasurer.

    “It’s a great honour to be elected President and represent Australia’s 15 convention bureaux on the national and international stages. I come to the presidency at a very exciting time for our industry: we have a new federal government that I am eager to work with to enhance Australia’s proposition within the international business events market and contribute to our own knowledge economy; many Australian cities are welcoming new or enhanced meetings infrastructure; and we are working hard to grow business from the booming Asian market. All of these factors present opportunities and challenges for our sector and I look forward to working alongside Andrew Hiebl and the board to lead the charge,” comments Lyn Lewis-Smith.

    “The convention bureau sector in Australia is engaged, innovative and well-respected globally. Our local minds are firmly set on strategies that will write the future success stories of our industry globally!”

    The Board collectively thanked out-going President Damien Kitto, CEO of the Adelaide Convention Bureau, for his efforts and hard work in leading the Executive team for two consecutive two year terms.

    For further enquiries, please contact:
    Andrew Hiebl
    Executive Director, AACB Inc
    M: +61 408 367 338
  • 03 Oct 2013 10:00 AM | Louise Stokes
    Of workers who feel “overworked”, one in four experience anxiety and 3.3 million “overworked” Australians experience loss of sleep, according to new research from The Australia Institute and depression Not for Profit beyondblue.

    Early findings of the research paper Hard to get a break?, to be released in the lead-up to Go Home on Time Day on November 20, focus on the experiences of the “overworked” (those who would like to work fewer hours) and the “underworked” (for example, those struggling to enter the workforce or those who want to work more hours) and was based on an online survey conducted in July.

    The findings revealed 50 per cent of Australians who are overworked would like to spend more time with their family.

    They also showed almost 25 per cent of employees who work unpredictable hours say this arrangement impacts on their financial security, 1.1 million Australians found involuntary time out of the workforce demoralising and one in five experience anxiety as a consequence of their time out of the workforce.

    beyondblue CEO Kate Carnell said something was very wrong in Australia’s workplaces because people were working longer and longer hours, but productivity is not increasing to reflect this.

    “If you’re ‘under the pump’ consistently, it can lead to sustained job stress which is linked to depression and anxiety,” Carnell said.

    “Depression costs Australian businesses $12.3 billion every year through absenteeism, reduced productivity and staff turnover. So business owners need to wake up to the fact that poor work/life balance takes its toll on both their employees and their businesses.”

    Dr Richard Denniss, Executive Director of The Australia Institute, said Go Home on Time Day was a light-hearted way to start a serious conversation.

    “When so many people say work – either too much or not enough – is making them anxious then it’s clearly a conversation that needs to be had,” he said.

    “Managers see first-hand how productivity is affected when workers feel stressed or anxious. That’s why we’re encouraging businesses to participate.”

    “When people are expected to work increasingly longer hours, their stress levels rise because often they don’t know what time they can expect to leave work and have little job control,” Kate Carnell said.

    “They fear that not working back may put their jobs at risk, but they also face pressure from home when they can’t meet their families’ expectations. In short, their work/life balance suffers and their stress levels skyrocket.”

    To register to Go Home on Time Day, visit
  • 27 Aug 2013 11:14 AM | Deleted user

    AuSAE invite you to take part in the 2013-2014 BDO Not-For-Profit Fraud Survey.
    For ten years, this survey has acted as a valuable benchmark for not-for-profit organisations, with the results providing important insight into the perception and level of fraud in the sector.


    Fraud is an issue that could affect any organisation. By examining specific incidences of fraud and how organisations seek to manage it, this Survey allows the sector to carefully plan for future fraud prevention.


    The survey will take you approximately 25 minutes to complete and will close on 31 October 2013. Even if your organisation has never experienced a fraud, your approach to managing the risk could provide valuable insight to others in the sector.


    Please click here to complete the survey.


    A report of survey results will be released in February 2014. These results will provide a snapshot of what type of fraud is occurring, its prevalence and, most importantly, the key methods that have worked in discovering and preventing it. We would be pleased to notify you when the report is released. Simply provide your details upon completion of the survey.


    BDO and AuSAE thank you in advance for your support of this valuable research project.

  • 14 Aug 2013 5:40 PM | Deleted user

    The Not-for-Profit sector is a vital component of Australia’s economy.  It consists of over 60,000 organisations, is worth around $43 billion and accounts for approximately 8% of national employment.


    A Changing Paradigm

    Since its early religion-based beginnings of the 1800s to the welfare-based paradigm of the 1970s, the Not-for-Profit landscape has undergone continual evolution but arguably never more so than in recent years.  The sector has now fragmented into a complex marketplace of private and community businesses in an environment more commercial than ever before. Leaders of third sector organisations are now faced with the realisation that having a worthy cause may no longer be enough to ensure survival.


    Good Governance


    The aim of Governance is essentially to ensure that organisations act in the best interests of society. This is reflected in Management programs developed for leaders in the sector – for example, one-quarter of ACU’s Graduate Certificate in Management of NFP Organisations course content deals with governance, a topic the university also run frequent in-house workshops on. 


    ACU Honorary Professor Geoff Kiel identifies the 10 steps to good governance as…


    1. Recognise that good governance is not just about compliance
    Boards need to balance conformance (i.e. compliance with legislation, regulation and codes of practice) with performance and strategy

    2.      Clarify the board’s role in strategy
    The board has a significant role to play in the formulation and adoption of the organisation’s strategic direction. This must be clearly agreed with management.

    3.      Monitor organisational performance
    Ensure that corporate decision-making is consistent with strategy and owner expectations. Do this by identifying key performance drivers and establishing appropriate measures for determining success

    4.      Understand that the board employs the CEO
    The board/CEO relationship is the crucial link between the board’s role in determining the organisation’s strategic direction and management’s role in achieving corporate objectives.

    5.      Recognise that the governance of risk is a board responsibility
    Effective risk management supports better decision making because it develops a deeper insight into the risk-reward trade-offs that all organisations face.

    6.      Ensure the directors have the information they need
    Better information means better decisions. Regular board papers will provide directors with information that the CEO or management team has decided they need.

    7.      Build and maintain an effective governance infrastructure
    To ensure that the line of responsibility between board and management is clearly delineated, it is particularly important for the board to develop policies in relation to delegations.

    8.      Appoint a competent chairperson
    As the “leader” of the board, the chairperson should demonstrate strong and acknowledged leadership ability, a sound relationship with the CEO, and the capacity to conduct meetings and lead group decision-making processes.

    9.      Build a skills-based board
    A board should seek to ensure its members represent an appropriate balance between directors with experience and knowledge of the organisation and directors with specialist expertise or fresh perspective.

    10.     Evaluate board and director performance and pursue opportunities for improvement
    Board effectiveness can only be gauged if the board regularly assesses its own performance and that of individual directors. It’s critical that any agreed actions from an evaluation are implemented and monitored.



    By Lauren Hamilton-Thompson, ACU Executive Education
    ‘10 Steps to Good Governance’ courtesy of ACU Honorary Professor Geoff Kiel.

  • 14 Aug 2013 9:30 AM | Deleted user

    I’ve just arrived back from the American Society of Association Executives annual conference in Atlanta. With over 5,000 delegates this event provides association executives with access to an amazing range of professional development and networking opportunities. Our own Executive Officer, Belinda Moore, spoke at the event as well delivering her talk on membership which was exceeding well received. 


    As someone who has worked as an association executive for 23 years, I still find these events critically important. The ideas, inspiration and motivation they provide are invaluable in assisting me to achieve the objectives of my organisation – as well as my personal career objectives.


    I hope you will take the opportunity to join me at the New Zealand Leadership Symposium (Wellington, September 27) or the Australian Leadership Symposium (Melbourne, October 24-25).


    Relationships with ASAE have developed further and we are investigating any opportunities where we can work together for the benefit of members in Australia, New Zealand and the United States.


    I must say the appreciation the Americans have for the importance of the not for profit sector is fantastic and after my social visit to Washington in the days following the conference I came to an understanding of their first amendment to their constitution which highlights and cements the value the USA put on their right to freedom to associate. It’s a message we need to get to the community in both our countries.


    The First amendment: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.



    Tony Steven

    AuSAE President and CEO of Australian Medical Association (Tasmania)


    Pictured: AuSAE President Mr Tony Steven, Newly Elected Chair of ASAE Ms Arlene Pietranton, and Past Chairman ASAE Mr Peter O’Neill

  • 13 Aug 2013 7:59 PM | Deleted user

    AuSAE are pleased to welcome new annual partner, Rusher Rogers Recruiting, to the AuSAE community. Any AuSAE member that engages Rusher Rogers Recruiting on an exclusive basis to recruit any permanent staff roles will be offered a flat fee of 15% based on the total annualised remuneration package, regardless of the seniority of the role with a 90 day guarantee period. For exclusive temporary staff recruitment a 2% margin reduction off Rusher Rogers Recruiting's standard hourly fee will applyPlease click here for more information on this offer.

  • 12 Aug 2013 5:16 PM | Deleted user

    An Australasian-wide study conducted by Survey Matters into membership of professional associations has found that a stable or increasing demand for professional associations is predicted by an overwhelming majority of members.  This is very good news for the sector.  And in even better news – the increase in demand is more likely to be forecast by young members – despite industry concerns around difficulties recruiting and retaining members in the younger age brackets.

    But, there are signs that the traditional model of professional associations is reaching its “use by date”.  Whilst members still join for networking opportunities and the credibility that membership affords them, the study found that their main reason for joining is for access to relevant information - they are looking to their association to be the leading, authoritative source of news about their profession.  Additionally, the study found that members also want their association to promote their profession to the general public and advocate for qualified, accredited professionals.

    The findings also show a definite need for clear segmentation in the way that professional associations deliver their messages to members.  Age, but more importantly career stage, plays a big part in how members want to receive information and interact with other members.  “One size does not fit all” was a dominant message that came out of the results.

    No longer just providers of member services and discounts, professional associations need to look to the practices of other leading service providers and adapt their strategies to suit.  Members want access to recent, relevant and credible information about their profession, they want quality professional development and accreditation programs that enhance their career prospects and standing within their profession.  The professional association of the future needs to be a journalist, an editor, a digital content manager, a researcher, a trainer and a curator – gathering, synthesising and disseminating quality information and learning resources in a timely and appropriate manner.


    About the Study

    Survey Matters conducted this research independently to meet the need for sector wide research.  Respondents in the Associations Matter: 2013 State of the Sector Study for Professional Associations were drawn from the members of 23 participating professional associations, across a diverse range of industries.   The study was conducted using a quantitative on-line instrument, and was distributed by email only between April 1 and 31 May, 2013 The findings contain analysis based on 7,749 responses, received from a distribution of 48,129 surveys.


    Click here to download a copy of the Research Report.


    If you have trouble downloading the report, please email and we can email you a copy.

    About Survey Matters

    Survey Matters was formed in 2010, and provides a fresh approach to gathering feedback. We believe that the people who contribute to your organisation matter. That their feedback matters. And that their input into your organisation - its direction, strategy and performance - is an integral part of your success. 

    Stakeholder surveys provide the most effective way to gather this feedback. When done correctly, the information and ideas generated enable you to develop strategies that increase engagement and retention, improve products and services, create loyalty and build community. 

    Survey Matters are the experts in member-based research.  Our Member Surveys are tailored to suit your strategy and objectives and created with the outcomes in mind to ensure we deliver information you can act on.  For help with your stakeholder survey visit us at or call us on +61 3 9452 0101.

  • 12 Aug 2013 2:00 PM | Deleted user

    A number of powerful generation, cultural and economic forces are colliding to create a perfect storm that will make the next 5-20 years some of the toughest ever faced by associations. Associations who don't adapt face a slow decline into obscurity as they are replaced by newer, more innovative, less bureaucratically challenged, less change resistant competitors. While the idea of membership will continue, the antiquated models of recruiting, retaining and engaging members cannot survive in an increasingly challenging and ever-changing operating environment. Our webinar presenter, Belinda Moore, has assisted thousands of not-for-profit organisations with their membership challenges. She specialises in training, motivating and up-skilling boards, staff and volunteers to improve membership performance. This webinar will look at the major trends affecting associations and the actions associations need to take in order to adapt. Join us on Tuesday August 27, at 11am for this special webinar.

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

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

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