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News from March 2015

Singapore gathers to honour founding Prime Minister

A memorial service has been held for Mr Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore’s Founding Prime Minister. He was 91. A number of associations were present, including the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCCI), Association of Muslim Professionals (AMP), Singapore Indian Association (SINDA), Eurasian Association, Singapore Federation of Chinese Clan Associations (SFCCA), Chinese Development Assistance Council (CDAC) and Business China. Tens of thousands lined the streets in…

Financial Planning Association accepts first salaried advisor firm

Mercer has become the first salaried advisor firm to be accepted as a Financial Planning Association (FPA) Professional Practice. The membership comes after Mercer announced the appointment of its six financial advice officers and 40 Strategic Financial Advisors as accredited Professional Practices of the Financial Planning Association FPA.  The FPA is Australia’s peak professional body for financial planners and is designed to recognise financial planning practices of the higher calibre.…

New CEO at Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association

Peter Skillern has been named the new CEO of the Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association (TFGA). Mr Skillern came to the role after former CEO Jan Davis retired.  Mr Skillern is a lamb farmer and has been the TFGA’s policy and advocacy manager for the past two years. After Ms Davis decided not to seek reappointment, Mr Skillern took up the role on an interim basis. Previously, Mr Skilern worked as a banker and has held senior roles with Environment Tasmania and the state’s Liberal Party.  “Being…

Australian Tourism Chief Executive Ward Tilbrook questions $60million hotel in Adelaide

Although competitors and Councils are supporting the development, South Australia’s top independent tourism body has said there is no need for a $60 million hotel at Adelaide Airport. The hotel would form part of a $1 billion expansion of the airport, which the Federal Government approved in January. “Outside of March, it could be argued Adelaide hotel occupancy levels wouldn’t warrant additional beds – particularly…

100-member rule official repealed

After months of lobbying, legislation to repeal the “100-member rule” has been passed. According to the Governance Institute, the initiative will genuinely advance the Federal Government’s initiative to reduce red tape and save businesses thousands of dollars. The “100-member rule” enabled just 100 shareholders to call a company general meeting, regardless of how may shareholders the company had. The company itself had to financially support the meeting, meaning large enterprises were…

Arthritis South Australia will fund the state’s first dedicated Rheumatology Nurse

As the number of children with arthritis rises and demand grows, Arthritis South Australia has moved to fund a dedicated paediatric rheumatology nurse. There are currently 600 – 700 children diagnosed with arthritis in South Australia and delaying treatment impacts heavily on children. The nurse will be based at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital and will act as support for the state’s only paediatric rheumatologist. Arthritis SA CEO, Julie Black, said the need for the specialist was…

MFAA gathers SMSF Industry Associations

With Treasury set to review key aspects of the Self Managed Super Fund (SMSF) sector, the Mortgage & Finance Association of Australia (MFAA) has formed a partnership with three other leading Associations in the sector. The aim of the partnership is to ensure the SMSF industry is well represented in the review and the MFAA’s submission to the review is well supported. The MFAA has partnered with the Financial Planning Association of Australia (FPA), the Association of Financial Advisors…

Consumers Health Forum of Australia appoints new CEO

Consumers Health Forum of Australia (CHF) has announced Leanne Wells as new Chief Executive Officer. CHF Chair, Tony Lawson, said Ms Wells brought strong experience in health administration and advocacy to the role. “The appointment of Ms Well is a great development for CHF at a time when pressures on the health system demand a continued and effective voice on behalf of health consumers,” said Mr Lawson. Ms Wells said she was looking forward to taking up the position. “It couldn’t…

SPAA renamed SMSF Association

In a bid to clarify what it actually does, SPAA has changed its name to the Self Managed Super Fund Association (SMSF Association). The Association was quick to clarify that other than renaming and slight logo update, not a lot has changed. The basic logo design and brand style, staff and goal of SMSF Association has been retained and Specialists have a transition phase of 12 months to update to the new logo. All certificates issued from 11 February will carry the new branding, however…

New Executive Director at Independent Schools Council of Australia

The Independent Schools Council of Australia (ISCA) has announced Dr Yvonne Luxford as Executive Director. Dr Luxford comes to the role after Mr Bill Daniels retired after more than 14 years of service. Dr Luxford has extensive experience in senior policy and advocacy roles on the national political scene and comes to ISCA after four years as CEO of Palliative Care Australia. Warwick Dean, ISCA Chair, said ISCA was pleased with Dr Luxford’s appointment. “Dr Luxford comes to ISCA…

Professor David Weisbrot AM appointed Chair of Australian Press Council

The Australian Press Council has appointed Professor David Weisbrot as Chair.  Professor Weisbrot is Emeritus Professor of Law and Honorary Professor of Medicine at the University of Sydney, as well as part-time Commissioner of the NSW Law Reform Commission, Vice-President of the Australian Academy of Law, a Member of the Strategic Advisory Board of the Garvan Institute’s Centre for Clinical Genomics and a member of the National Pro Bono Resource Centre’s Advisory Board.  Previously,…

New Zealand Bankers Association welcomes new member, new affiliate member

Bank lobby group the New Zealand Bankers Association (NZBA) has unveiled its new affiliate membership program, along with its first affiliate member, MasterCard New Zealand. NZBA Chief Executive Kirk Hope said the association had recently expanded its membership criteria. Previously, NZBA membership had been limited to banks registered under the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Act. “The new affiliate membership category announced today allows us to formalise relationships we have with…

Australian Medical Association calls for National Boxing Regulation

In light of the death of professional Queensland boxer Braydon Smith last Saturday night, the Australian Medical Association (AMA) has questioned why the sport is allowed to continue. “We believe that a so-called sport where two people knock each other in the head as often as you possibly can to win a bout seems rather barbaric,” said Queensland AMA president Dr Shaun Rudd. “You’re not allowed to hit the organs beneath the belt whereas you’re allowed to hit the organ above your shoulder,…

ENA New Zealand moves towards infrastructure world-first

In a move that could see New Zealand become one of the first countries in the world to boast this kind of infrastructure, the Electricity Networks Association (ENA) has announced it is investigating the instillation of charging locations for plug-in electric vehicles along its highways. The “Renewables Highway” project could see these charging stations cover all highways across the country to encourage individuals to purchase electric cars. Chief Executive Graeme Peters said the ENA Board…

Rural Doctor's Association calls for more MRI scanners

The Rural Doctors Association of South Australia has called for more MRI scanners in regional SA. “There are no MRI scanners outside of the Adelaide metropolitan area,” said Rural Doctors Association President Scott Lewis. Prime Minister Tony Abbot supported the call and said he would be “amazed” if an MRI licence was not granted to regional SA within 12 months. Health Minister Sussan Ley would need to be consulted. Mr Lewis said rural residents…

Upgrade for Adelaide Festival Centre expected to boost State Economy

The South Australian Government has announced an upgrade of Festival Plaza, including a redevelopment of the Adelaide Festival Centre. The renovation is to include an external upgrade and establish new entries, foyers and an interactive arts playground on the bank of the River Torrens. The South Australian Government has committed $90 million to the Adelaide Festival Centre upgrade. The redevelopment will also include a new underground car park, a premium office building with access to…

Queensland Industry Bodies join to call for Industrial Relations Overhaul

Six of Queensland’s top organisations have submitted a combined report to the Productivity Commission, calling for an overhaul of industrial laws. The Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ), the Queensland Tourism Industry Council, the Queensland Hotels Association, Motor Trades Association Queensland, Clubs Queensland and the Franchise Council of Australia want changes made to workplace reform, arguing that inflexible workplace laws are contributing to youth unemployment.…

AIST weighs in on Superannuation Fund debate

Following Treasure Joe Hockey’s recent call for debate over greater flexibility in the superannuation system, the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) has spoken out. Mr Hockey asked whether first homebuyers should be able to use some of their superannuation to aid them in their first property purchase. “We certainly need to have a conversation about super, we know we do,” said AIST CEO Tom Garcia. “But I think talking about opening up for home loans or anything else…

AFA seeks to broaden reputation

A survey by Risk Advisor has found that the majority of its readers listed the Association of Financial Advisors (AFA) as the association that best represents risk advisors’ interests. AFA chief executive Brad Fox said that although he viewed the trend as an endorsement, AFA represented other areas of financial interest as well. “We did come from the Life Underwriters Association,” said Mr Fox. “This is part of our heritage, so what that gives us is a really deep understanding of the issues…

Not-For-Profit Funding Survey Released

An inaugural benchmarking survey by Russell Kennedy Lawyers and financial management firm, Pitcher Partners, has found there is a need for Not-For-Profit organisations to find alternate means of funding to Governmental support. The finding comes in the wake of changed funding policies and a second Survey result that highlights many Not-For-Profits rely heavily on Government grants. The report recommends that all organisations ensure they have the means to maintain solvency in the event…

Women in Supply Chain Breakfast: closing the gap

In the wake of International Women's Day on 8 March, registrations are now open for the Women in Supply Chain Breakfast.  The event, an initiative of the Victorian Transport Association, seeks to support women in Transport and Logistics and explore how the genders can collaborate to close the gap.  Guest speakers include Gaylynne Neill, General Manager Human Resources at Linfox, Hermione Parsons, Victoria…

100-member rule passed in the Senate

Following a recommendation by the Senate Economics Legislation Committee, the bill repealing the “100-member rule” to call a general meeting has been passed in the Senate. Officially titled the Corporations Legislation Amendment (Deregulatory and Other Measures) Bill 2014, the Governance Institute of Australia has been questioning the suitability of this Bill and advocating against it for nearly a decade. It now looks likely that the bill will be annulled. The Governance Institute has…

Australian first menu sets Royal ICC apart

Not only is the Royal International Convention Centre (Royal ICC) Brisbane’s newest convention centre, but it also offers guests the unique, location centric menu. In an Australian first, Royal ICC is offering guests a menu filled with award-winning produce from some of the nation’s most prestigious food and wine competitions.From Australia’s best steak, lamb, wine, ice cream, cheese, diary, beer and cider, selected produce has been awarded gold, silver or bronze…

Malaysia vying for Business Tourism Sector

Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB) unveiled three key initiatives at AIME 2015. These initiatives are designed to draw business events to the Southeast Asia country. The three campaigns, names Malaysia Year of Festivals (MyFEST) 2015, Malaysia Like Never Before, and Malaysia Twin Deal X (MTD-X) respectively, are value-added corporate meetings and incentive promotions. “With the introduction of these new initiatives couple with our delegation size here at AIME, we are confident…

New Real Time Analytics App Launched by DoubleDutch

Designed to help event organisers produce more effective, strategic events, DoubleDutch has launched Event Performance, an app that measures delegate engagement and allows delegates to give feedback in Real Time. "Event Performance is the culmination of a much broader vision," said Lucian Beebe, VP of Product. "All along, we were building an app that was architected from the ground up to give organisers the data they need to transform the way they run events. Most analytics reports generated…

Refurbishment paying off for Adelaide Oval

  Having undergone a $535 million redevelopment in 2014, Adelaide Oval is now enjoying being one of the most in-demand locations in the South Australian Capital City. The venue has increased its functions spaces from six to 23 and can cater for groups ranging from two to 3000 people. Adelaide Oval is one of Australia’s most recognisable and prestigious venues, which offers panoramic views out over the city and St Peter’s Cathedral. While the site can host many different types of…

New CEO at MTA South Australia

The Motor Trade Association (MTA) of South Australia has appointed Paul Unerkov as its new Chief Executive Officer. Mr Unerkov comes after the retirement of outgoing CEO John Chapman. Mr Chapman was CEO for eight years. MTA President Neville Gibb said Mr Chapman had taken a particular interest in the role the MTA could play in terms of its political advocacy as well as it’s training and education scheme. “It has been a privilege to work with John,” said Mr Gibb. Mr Chapman said he was…

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