Bringing Associations Together To Boost Performance


Association Membership Summit 2024

Register for this event
Date:Thursday, 29 February 2024
Time: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm AEDT
Venue:Sydney Masonic Centre, Ionic Room, 66 Goulburn Street, Sydney NSW 2000

Members are at the core of associations. A healthy membership leads to a vital organisation, yet even strong associations need to keep up-to-date on how to recruit, retain and engage members. The Association Membership Summit will explore how to boost member satisfaction and create a member-centric strategy for your association.

This intensive one-day summit is designed to provide practical insights on the membership challenges faced by associations and other NFP organisations.

The topics will include:

Expanding and Diversifying Membership Base
This session will explore strategies for associations to broaden their membership base by reaching out to new demographics, industries, and geographical regions. It is important to have a diversity in membership to enhance organizational resilience, innovation, and inclusivity. The speaker will also share insights into effective engagement and recruitment methods.

Membership Recruitment and Retention
Join this session to discuss strategies and methods to attract new members, in addition to tactics aimed at retaining existing members and ensuring their ongoing engagement and satisfaction. The presenter will share case studies on building and maintaining a vibrant and sustainable membership base.

Revolutionizing Association Operations: Unleashing the Full Potential of Membership 
The panel discussion will revolve around redefining and reinforcing the value proposition of the association in a member-centric future. 

Advocacy is Core Business
Advocacy is core business for organisation and success will impact more than members. Success takes planning, relationship development, communication, research and solution development among many strategies. Matthew Fisher, CEO, Australian Society of Anaesthetists, will present some real-life examples which also embrace organisational change.

Membership Challenges, Membership Plans and Strategy
This session will showcase how Standards Australia engages with the technical committee members & ensures to provide the best possible service. Three key themes that will be discussed are -

  • Engaging & listening to members through “voice of the customer” program 
  • Digital transformation & bringing members on the journey from conception to implementation 
  • Helping the members promote and define the benefits of participating in Standards Australia

The speakers will include:

  • Matthew Fisher, Chief Executive Officer, Australian Society of Anaesthetists
  • Margot Smith, Chief Executive Officer, RSL & Services Clubs Association
  • Michael Johnson, Chief Executive Officer, Accommodation Association of Australia
  • Shona Gawel, Chief Executive Officer, Grain Growers
  • Roland Terry-Lloyd, Head of Engagement and Strategic Delivery, Standards Australia
  • Karen Worsfold, Head of Member Services, Financial Services Institute of Australasia
  • David Chin, Head of Membership and Marketing, Resolution Institute
  • Claire Hewat, Associations Advisor,Associations Forum
  • Tony Gleeson, Associations Advisor, Associations Forum

Member Registrations: $600
Non-Member Registrations: $800 (NFP only)

Associations Forum will send a tax invoice upon registration for this event.

Registrations are only open to not-for-profit organisations. For corporate enquiries, please contact 

This event is proudly sponsored by

"Gaining clarity to the specific needs and motivations of your association's membership base is crucial to meeting the expectations of your members and attracting new ones."


Matthew Fisher, Chief Executive Officer, Australian Society of AnaesthetistsMatthew Fisher

Matthew Fisher is the Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Society of Anaesthetists and an appointed Director of Exercise & Sports Science Australia and Doctor Portal Learning. He holds a PhD from Deakin University and was awarded an honorary Doctor of Health Studies for his work in rural and regional health by Charles Sturt University where he also holds an appointment as an Adjunct Associate Professor. Matthew has worked as a CEO in healthcare associations for 22 years and previously worked in the public and private healthcare sectors and in tertiary education. He has been fortunate to attend executive education at both Harvard Business School and London Business School.

Margot Smith, Chief Executive Officer, RSL & Services Clubs Association

As a people focused senior leader, Margot has been working in not-for-profit and corporate organisations for 25 years,  most recently as Chief Executive Officer of RSL & Services Clubs Association. Prior to that, Margot has worked in a variety of membership, events and community engagement roles with companies such as Optus, Ausgrid, LexisNexis, Governance Institute, Australian Institute of Management and Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand. Margot has a Graduate Diploma in Business, a Certificate IV in Training & Assessment, a Bachelor of Arts with majors in Education & Psychology, has undertaken the Company Directors Course, and a Certificate in Governance Practice with Governance Institute.

Michael Johnson, Chief Executive Officer, Accommodation Association of Australia

The inaugural CEO of Accommodation Australia - National, Michael has more than thirty years of experience at the highest levels of the tourism accommodation sector across Australia and New Zealand. As head of Tourism Accommodation Australia (TAA National and NSW) since May 2019, Michael spearheaded the sector’s response to COVID, steering it through its darkest days in more than 100 years and representing the accommodation sector in the halls of power in Canberra and Sydney and in the media. As CEO of TAA – and interim CEO of the Accommodation Association of Australia since October 2022 – Michael has been pivotal in the amalgamation of Australia’s two peak accommodation bodies. Michael epitomises the resilience of the accommodation sector and whether it’s encouraging the next generation of young hotel workers to build a successful career in hospitality or drawing attention to the needs of the industry at the highest levels, he is an enthusiastic and effective ambassador for the accommodation sector.

Shona Gawel, Chief Executive Officer, Grain Growers

Shona is GrainGrowers' CEO. Shona has over 20 years' experience working in the areas of marketing, communications, membership services, media and public relations. Shona's experience includes roles in Australia and the United Kingdom, working on projects that have spanned digital technology, infrastructure, the charity sector and industry associations. Passionate about local communities and the champions who make them special, Shona loves being a part of the team that gets to share the stories and experiences of growers across the country.

Roland Terry-Lloyd, Head of Engagement & Strategic Delivery, Standards Australia

Roland Terry-Lloyd is the Head of Engagement and Strategic Delivery at Standards Australia. His key responsibilities in this role include leading a team of Engagement and Strategic Managers accountable for establishing, building, and maintaining relationships for existing and new stakeholders to ensure the success of Standards Australia’s work in developing and adopting standards in the national interest. Additional responsibility includes accountability for a portfolio of cross sector initiatives supporting key government and Standard Australia objectives. Prior, Roland was the head of Standards Development overseeing multiple teams to deliver publications within agreed time frames and to exceed the need of our contributors’ expectations. He has been with SA since 2017.

Karen Worsfold, Head of Member Services, Financial Services Institute of Australasia 

Karen joined FINSIA in February 2022 where she is responsible for member engagement, marketing and communications and our events and sponsorship programs. Previously, she was Senior Marketing & Communications Manager at the Financial Planning Association (FPA) from 2017 – 2021 where she managed member engagement and acquisition activities and consumer focused projects such as FPA’s annual Financial Planning Week campaigns and its Money & Life digital channel. Karen has more than 15 years’ experience leading marketing communications management and stakeholder engagement in the not-for-profit, university and cultural sectors including as Sponsor & Donor Manager for Australia at the Venice Biennale, Alumni & Donor Engagement Manager at University of Sydney, and Brand & Reputation Manager at University of NSW. Karen holds a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) from the Australian National University. She has completed graduate studies in marketing and arts management and is currently completing a Master of Arts. 

David Chin, Head of Membership and Marketing, Resolution Institute

David is a seasoned business leader with over 30 years of experience in driving growth across diverse industries, including accountancy, financial services, global payments, insurance, FMCG, education, and not-for-profit associations. He is a trailblazer in retail growth and the digitization of global payments, having led a multinational financial services company in their Asia Pacific and Australian businesses. In the past decade, David has made significant contributions to not-for-profit associations in regional and global roles at CPA Australia, the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, and the Resolution Institute. He has helped organizations develop greenfield opportunities, lead transformations, and turnarounds. As an innovative and people-centric leader, David values data-driven decision-making, systems, processes, a culture of execution, and celebrating successes.

Claire Hewat, Associations Advisor, Associations Forumclaire

Claire has over 20 years’ experience in senior executive positions including two successful roles as a CEO at Dietitians Australia and Allied Health Professions Australia. Claire has also had substantial non-executive governance experience on four national and one international board. She has extensive experience in professional self-regulation and is currently chair of the Ethics Review Committee for an Australian allied health profession. Claire has used her experience to provide support and mentoring to other NFP CEOs and boards in areas of governance, strategic planning, complaints and disciplinary processes, change management and more.

Tony Gleeson, Associations Advisor, Associations ForumTony Glesson

Tony Gleeson MBA GAICD is Associations Advisor at Associations Forum. He has over 30 years of experience in the fields of association management and governance, leadership, project and change management, organisational integration and talent development. Tony has been Chief Executive of Australian Institute of Refrigeration Air-conditioning and Heating (AIRAH) and the Australian Institute of Management (AIM), and was an Executive General Manager with CPA Australia. Prior to his roles with membership associations, he held senior consulting roles in strategy, process re-engineering and change management with PwC, Deloitte and Terra Firma Consulting.Tony is an innovative and energetic leader, skilled communicator / team builder, and adept negotiator. He has significant experience in providing support and guidance to CEOs and boards in areas of governance, strategic planning, change management and more.

Special thanks to our sponsor

Sydney Masonic Centre - The perfect venue for your event of any size
The Sydney Masonic Centre, perfectly located in Sydney's CBD can cater to your association event of any size. Start on level 4 for up to 150 people with registration and catering spaces, plenary and break out rooms all on the one level. Move to ground level for conferences of up to 250 people, or then add in Level 1 with a large plenary auditorium, banquet hall and spacious entry foyer and you have a conference for 600 pax with numerous breakout and foyer spaces to choose from.

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