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.


8:30 am : Registration opens & optional site tour

9:00 am : Welcome to Association Membership Summit 2024

9:05 am : Welcome by Sydney Masonic Centre

9:10 am : Association Membership & Services Survey
The survey report explores trends in the association sector and how associations have adapted to meet the changing needs of their members.

Tony Gleeson, Associations Advisor, Associations Forum 

9:40 am : Sponsor - CredShare

9:45 am : The Membership Quiz: Questions To Answers You Were Afraid To Ask!
Join us to discover the secrets of membership with our fun, thought-provoking and interactive quiz, which will explore the answers to the most intriguing and challenging questions that have been put to the Associations Forum over the past 12 months.

Tony Gleeson, Associations Advisor, Associations Forum 

10:00 am : 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.

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

10:30 am : Morning Tea

11:00 am : Sponsor - Dell Technologies

11:05 am : 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.

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

11:35 am : 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

Monique English, Engagement Manager, Standards Australia 

12:05 pm : 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.

Matthew Fisher, Chief Executive Officer, Australian Society of Anaesthetists 

12:35 pm : Lunch

1:30 pm : 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. 

  • Shona Gawel, Chief Executive Officer, Grain Growers 
  • David Chin, Head of Membership and Marketing, Resolution Institute
  • Claire Hewat, Associations Advisor, Associations Forum

2:30 pm : Empowering Members: A Vision for a Member-Centric Future
Focused on giving members a voice and steering towards a more member-centric future, Michael Johnson passionately advocates for reconnecting with the roots of the association. Discover the strategies and initiatives that will not only amplify the voice of the members but also strengthen the foundation of the association through a profound commitment to its core values. 

Michael Johnson, Chief Executive Officer, Accommodation Australia 

3:00 pm : Afternoon Tea

3:30 pm : Adapting to Change: Strategies for Modernizing Membership Models and Nurturing Community Engagement 
This session will unveil a roadmap for associations navigating the dynamic shifts in membership landscapes. Explore the innovative use of volunteer committees to connect with a burgeoning younger demographic. Delve into the impact of evolving professions and careers on membership dynamics, and question the conventional wisdom: Is membership growth the true measure of association success? Samantha will also address the changing face of membership models, where private practices and corporate entities challenge traditional approaches.

Samantha Hunter, Chief Executive Officer, Occupational Therapy Australia 

4:30 pm : Closing comments 

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 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.

Samantha Hunter, Chief Executive Officer, Occupational Therapy Australia

Sam was appointed to the role of CEO of Occupational Therapy Australia by the Board of Directors in September 2018 and given the mandate to drive transformation and growth in the association to ensure longevity, ongoing contemporary relevance and increased influence through representation and advocacy. Over the past five years Sam has led, developed a grown a highly skilled team who have successfully achieved solid growth in both equity and membership. Sam has over 25 years of experience both as a senior leader and Board Director working across corporate, professional services, and not for profit organisations. She has a breadth of experience collaborating with multidisciplinary teams across sectors and understands the nuances of complex and competing political environments. Sam strives to work with members, government, and stakeholders to create collaborative solutions for an engaged and resilient profession. Sam is a natural communicator with high level business development skills demonstrating consistently strong growth, with a strong focus and belief in her own continual learning and development and looks for opportunities to develop her team to be inspired leaders and to be at the forefront of innovation in their sectors.

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.

Monique English, Engagement Manager, Standards Australia

Monique English is the Engagement Manager at Standards Australia in the Manufacturing and Agriculture sectors. Monique started with the organisation in 2021 after a 20-year career in stakeholder management, project management and business administration. Monique is passionate about engaging with industry and learning where standards can play a pivotal role in resolving challenges and supporting innovation.

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.


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.


CredShareTM transforms association management by automating credential checks, promoting compliance and growth. It integrates smoothly with CRMs and regulators on a secure AWS platform, proven to cut admin costs up to 80%. CredShareTM ensures updated, validated member credentials, enhancing efficiency and member satisfaction. Embrace a secure, simple future in credential management with CredShareTM.

Professional Advantage
A leading technology partner in the Associations industry, Professional Advantage helps leaders and decision-makers retain, engage, and acquire members whilst achieving a 360° view of their organisation through the Microsoft Dynamics 365 platform. The platform enables you to streamline operations, reduce costs, maximise revenue, and fulfil your organisations strategic mission.

Dell Technologies
We are proud to partner with professional associations to drive digital transformation and enable member acquisition, retention, and engagement. We provide exclusive discounts,
a dedicated point of contact and small business trusted advisors to design technology solutions.

Back to events list

Business Events Perth FEB 2024
Nexia FEB 2024