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Member Spotlights 

Leigh Catley

General Manager - Communications & Marketing
Federated Farmers of New Zealand
AuSAE member since: February 2013

What we do?
Federated Farmers is New Zealand’s peak industry body for the primary sector. It is an independent rural advocacy association. Feds aims to add value to the business of farming for our 13,000 members. Federated Farmers consists of 24 provinces and associated branches giving farmers a collective voice at both a national and provincial level.

Feds has offices across the country, the policy management and communications teams are based in Wellington. The organisation has 55 staff, more than half working on policy and advocacy issues. The organisation is supported by a busy communications and stakeholder engagement team, its channels include its own online news site, a weekly email newsletter, columns written regularly for mainstream media and a busy Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter presence. 

Number of Members 14 000 farms, farm suppliers and farming supporters.
Staff Size 55 Staff
Years in Association Management 20 years

How I got into Association Management
By accident. I didn’t realise I was working in “association management” until a new employer told me one of the reasons he’d hired me was because of my associations experience. 

What I like about my job
Working for associations has taught me that effectiveness can always be measured. I understand the importance of being seen to be reporting to stakeholders, not just talking about doing it. I also understand the importance of financial accountability and reputation management, and the danger of not ranking these aspects of management highly enough.

My Biggest Challenge
Managing the expectations of the people who ask our organisation to help them with something, every day.  Our organisation gets huge expectations placed on it, by members, the public, the government and the media.

What I am most proud of at our association
The people I work with are passionate about what they do, they like doing the best job they can and they like working for people who tell you what they really think!

Favourite AuSAE Event
The Wellington lunches.  Lots of great networking with people I know and people I don’t.

What I want to learn from other AuSAE members
All sorts of different things! Mainly I learn that we are not alone, we are probably struggling with something that someone else has already dealt with and it’s always a good idea to keep an open mind about where the next solution might come from.

How AuSAE has helped me
AuSAE helps me network with a wide range of association professionals, but probably most of all I look to AuSAE to set the standard for association professionalism.  My organisation uses AuSAE as the “bar” which we should try to reach.  Feds is 118 years old and it’s still learning how to be a great association, AuSAE helps us figure out how to keep getting better.

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August 2018 Member Spotlight Antony McFelin - New Zealand Association of Counsellors

July 2018 Member Spotlight Jill Romeo - Australian and New Zealand Association for Health Professional Educators

June 2018 Member Spotlight Rod Severn - Professional Advisers Association 

May 2018 Member Spotlight Bill Moore - Fitness Australia

April 2018 Member Spotlight Steve Williams - New Zealand School Trustees Association

March 2018 Member Spotlight Linda Smith - The Chiropractors Association of Australia (Queensland)

February 2018 Member Spotlight Alison McKessar - Association of Administrative Professionals NZ

January 2018 Member Spotlight Cheryl Power  - Australian Society for Microbiology

Reasons to Join 

Community of association professionals


Professional Education 


Member only on-line Resources


Leadership Growth Opportunities



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