Sector and AuSAE News

  • 05 May 2023 9:36 AM | Sarah Gamble (Administrator)

    In the ever-evolving association sector, nurturing future leaders is paramount. The Association of Australian Association Executives (AuSAE) and Adelaide Convention Centre supports the 2022 Future Leader Scholarship program which recognises emerging leaders in the association sector. Among its standout recipients is Louise Reid, currently serving as the Communications and Marketing Manager at Cooperative Research Australia (ACT).

    The 2022 Future Leaders Program

    The 2022 Future Leaders program is all about fostering leadership excellence in the association sector. Its aim is to equip emerging leaders with the skills and connections needed to propel both their organisations and the association sector to new heights. By investing in emerging leaders, this initiative supports the future success of the association sector.

    Louise Reid: Shaping the Future of Association Leadership 

    Louise Reid's diverse background sets her apart as a standout recipient of the 2022 Future Leader Scholarship program. Her career spans various sectors, including shipping and logistics, pharmaceuticals, healthcare, and even successful entrepreneurship. Today, she brings her extensive expertise to the field of research and innovation as the Communications and Marketing Manager at Cooperative Research Australia.

    What defines Louise is her unwavering interest in business strategy and growth. She collaborates with authentic leaders who inspire their teams to achieve collective goals. Her dedication to fostering teamwork aligns perfectly with the program's goals.

    As a recipient of the 2022 Future Leader Scholarship, Louise Reid embodies the qualities of a future association leader: innovative thinking, a strong sense of purpose, and a passion for continuous learning and growth. Her journey from diverse professional experiences to her current role reflects her adaptability and resilience—an important trait for any leader.

    Louise Reid is poised to make a significant impact on the association sector. Her commitment to excellence, ability to inspire, and dedication to innovation will shape the future of association leadership.

    We look forward to seeing Louise's contributions to her organisation and the broader community as she continues to grow as a future leader. 

    For more information about the Future Leaders program, visit

  • 06 Apr 2023 9:29 AM | Sarah Gamble (Administrator)

    In the dynamic world of professional associations, emerging leaders like Jessica Landers are making their mark. In 2022, Jessica was honored with the Future Leader Scholarship powered by AuSAE and the Adelaide Convention Centre—a program dedicated to fostering leadership within the association sector.

    Nurturing Tomorrow's Leaders

    The 2022 Future Leaders program is dedicated to identifying and supporting the rising stars of the association sector. It provides mentorship, growth opportunities, and a network for talented individuals like Jessica, who are committed to driving positive change within their organisations and the industry.

    Jessica's Association Management Journey 

    Jessica's journey in the association sector began in 2019 when she joined the Australian Orthotic Prosthetic Association (AOPA) as a Member Services Coordinator. Her passion and drive quickly propelled her into positions of leadership.

    Today, Jessica serves as the Deputy CEO and Manager of Accreditation and Certification at AOPA, where she oversees crucial aspects of the organisation's operations.

    A Leader in the Making

    Jessica's rapid rise is a testament to her dedication and leadership potential. She exemplifies the transformative power of passion and commitment in the association sector. Her ability to strategise, adapt, and inspire sets her on a trajectory to shape the future of associations in Australia.

    A Bright Future Ahead

    As we look to the future of associations in Australia, Jessica Landers stands as a beacon of hope. With her vision and determination, she is poised to leave a lasting impact not only on her organisation but on the entire association sector. Her story is a reminder that the future of associations is in capable hands, and with leaders like Jessica at the helm.

    For more information about the Future Leaders program, visit

  • 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 Mar 2023 9:24 AM | Sarah Gamble (Administrator)

    Meet Samuel French, the promising recipient of the 2022 Future Leader Scholarship program supported by AuSAE and the Adelaide Convention Centre. Samuel currently serves as the National Membership Development Officer at the Australian Institute of Architects in Victoria.

    Meet Samuel French

    Samuel French's journey in the world of associations has been nothing short of impressive. With nearly three years of experience spanning diverse industries, including Health, Architecture, and Aviation, Samuel has dedicated himself to fostering membership growth and enhancing the membership experience. His unwavering commitment to innovation in the association sector has led him to collaborate with fellow professionals, driving positive changes not only within his organisation but also across the industry.

    A Commitment to Excellence

    Samuel French's dedication to improving the membership experience and encouraging innovation in the association industry aligns perfectly with the goals of the Future Leader Scholarship program. By investing in leaders like Samuel, the program is nurturing a generation of individuals who will spearhead transformative change within their respective organizations and the broader association community.

    As a National Membership Development Officer, Samuel has already demonstrated his ability to foster growth and drive meaningful engagement. His role at the Australian Institute of Architects is testament to his commitment to excellence and his vision for a thriving association sector.

    The Future is Bright

    Samuel's journey is an inspiring example of dedication and vision. As a National Membership Development Officer, he has already proven his ability to drive growth and engagement. With this well-deserved recognition, Samuel is poised to make even greater strides in his career, contributing to the ongoing evolution of the association sector.

    We congratulate Samuel French on this achievement and look forward to witnessing the positive impact he will continue to make in the association industry.

    For more information about the Future Leaders program, visit

  • 02 Feb 2023 9:16 AM | Sarah Gamble (Administrator)

    In the dynamic world of association management, emerging leaders like Cassandra De Conno shine brightly. Cassandra was awarded the prestigious 2022 Future Leader Scholarship supported by AuSAE and Adelaide Convention, a recognition that spotlights her journey and promising future in the association sector.

    The Future Leader Scholarship Program: Nurturing Tomorrow's Leaders 

    AuSAE, in partnership with Adelaide Convention Centre, established the Future Leader Scholarship program to foster leadership qualities within the association sector. It serves as a launchpad for emerging leaders, building a network of dedicated individuals poised to elevate their organisations and the association sector.

    Cassandra De Conno: Operations Manager at SMSF Association

    Cassandra's career in the financial services industry began as an accountant in a mid-tier firm. However, her passion for marketing and communications steered her toward the association sector. In 2016, she joined the SMSF Association, where she quickly rose through the ranks, eventually becoming the Operations Manager in 2022.

    A Seamless Transition to Leadership

    Cassandra's strength lies in her versatility. Her background in communications and marketing proved invaluable as she transitioned into a leadership role, overseeing Finance, IT, HR, and Operations. Her academic qualifications, including a Bachelor of Commerce in Marketing and a Graduate Certificate in Strategic Communications, further enhance her leadership prowess.

    Cassandra De Conno exemplifies the qualities of an emerging leader in the association sector. Her recognition as the 2022 Future Leader Scholarship recipient underscores her dedication and potential. As Operations Manager at the SMSF Association, Cassandra's journey promises to be a source of inspiration for others in the industry. Watch out for her as she continues to make waves and shape the future of the association sector. Cassandra De Conno is undoubtedly a rising star.

    For more information about the Future Leaders program, visit

  • 02 Feb 2023 9:11 AM | Sarah Gamble (Administrator)

    In a world where innovation and leadership are paramount, recognising and nurturing emerging leaders becomes a cornerstone of progress. The 2022 Future Leaders program, a joint initiative by the Australasian Society of Association Executives (AuSAE) and the Adelaide Convention Centre, aims not only to acknowledge exceptional individuals but also to provide them with the tools and opportunities needed to shape the future of various sectors. We are thrilled to introduce and celebrate the recipients of the 2022 Future Leaders Scholarship.

    Congratulations to the 2022 Future Leaders

    Amid a pool of outstanding nominees, a select few have risen to the top, earning the well-deserved title of the 2022 Future Leaders. These remarkable individuals have demonstrated not only their present capabilities but also a promising potential to shape the future of their sectors. Through their innovative thinking, dedication, and commitment to growth, they have showcased qualities that make them stand out as true leaders of tomorrow.

    Meet the Future Leader Scholarship Program recipients for 2022

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

    The 2022 Future Leaders embarked on a journey, one that will equip them with the necessary skills and knowledge to drive change, inspire progress, and create a lasting impact. With the support of the AuSAE and the Adelaide Convention Centre, these recipients attended the AuSAE Conference & Exhibition (ACE) 2023 to leverage opportunities for their associations and connect with like-minded peers.

    Shaping the Future, One Leader at a Time

    The Future Leaders program is more than just an accolade; it's a stepping-stone toward a future that is rich in innovation, leadership, and positive transformation. As associations continues to evolve, these emerging leaders will be at the forefront of shaping industries and communities, leading by example, and setting new benchmarks for success.

    We extend our congratulations to the recipients of the 2022 Future Leaders Scholarship. May your association management journey be filled with discovery, growth, and meaningful connections.

    For more information, visit

  • 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

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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