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Nominees include insurers, reinsurers, adjusters, brokers, consultants, academics, judges and lawyers.


2015 Ron Shorter Award (VIC)

AILA Victoria hosted the final of the inaugural Ron Shorter Memorial Award on 30 July 2015.  

The award was conceptualised by Mr Shorter before his untimely passing and has become a key event on the AILA NSW calendar since it commenced in 2012.

Following the success of the Award in NSW it was decided to extend the completion to Victoria this year. Young insurance professionals were eager to participate and the insurance industry was keen to attend the final to experience the presentation of critical industry issues by young professionals who have had the benefit of public speaking training.

In its first year in Victoria the competition was oversubscribed.  The final was sold out with around ninety people in attendance to support the finalists.

Three finalists were picked following a workshop facilitated by Polaris coaching. At the end of the workshop each participant used their newfound skills to speak on their selected insurance topic for two minutes. All successful applicants benefited from participating, many applying to help overcome their fear of public speaking. Others found that their confidence had increased as a result of the intensive coaching and guidance received from Polaris.

The three finalists selected following the workshop were Danielle Blaschuk from Catholic Church Insurance, Laura Gaffey from Gilchrist Connell Lawyers and Alexander Morell of Colin Biggers & Paisley Lawyers.

L-R: Laura Gaffey, Alexander Morell & Danielle Blaschuk

Each received further coaching from Polaris prior to the final, which was held at Colin Biggers & Paisley's offices on 30 July 2015.

Danielle Blaschuk (pictured below) distinguished between specialised advice that may be provided to consumers of insurance about personal lines insurance products distributed directly. Danielle spoke in the context of her previous experience as a personal lines broker in the Canadian insurance market in her presentation “The Influence of Customer Service on the Personal Lines Insurance Sector”

In his presentation “Conflicting Duties – the tripartite relationship between insurer, insured and defence counsel” Alexander Morell (pictured below) used humour and case studies to highlight the issues insurance lawyers face when accepting instructions to act for insurer and insured in third party claims.

Laura Gaffey (pictured below) spoke passionately and persuasively about the alarming statistics and the potential issues the insurance and legal industry’s face as a result of the inadequate representation of women in senior positions.

The Judging Panel comprised His Honour, Justice Emilios Kyrou, Supreme Court of Victoria, Donna Walker, Executive General Manager, Broker Business. CGU, Noel Condon, Chief Executive Officer, AIG.  

L-R: His Hon. Justice Emilios Kyrou, Jennifer Beard (Polaris), Alexander Morell, Laura Gaffey, Noel Condon, Danielle Blaschuk and Donna Walker.

When announcing Alexander Morell of Colin Biggers & Paisley Lawyers the winner Justice Kyrou expressed his admiration for all three finalists for the courage they demonstrated by standing up in front of ninety people and speaking without the benefit of notes for fifteen minutes. Justice Kyrou said that the ability to recover from a setback during the course of a presentations was a sign of a proficient speaker and all three speakers demonstrated this important skill on the night.

L-R: Sue Vidler (AILA National President), His Hon. Justice Emilios Kyrou and Alexander Morell

Congratulations to Alexander the deserving winner of the inaugural Ron Shorter Memorial Award in Victoria and to our runners up Danielle and Laura. In the opinion of those who attended the final they are all winners.

Everyone attending the AILA National Conference being held in Melbourne, 14 – 16 October 2015 will have the opportunity hear both the NSW winner, Ms Divya Pahawa from Meridian Lawyers and the Victoria winner Mr Alexander Morell of CBP Lawyers give their winning presentations on the morning of Friday 16 October. Both winners will be showcasing the skills they have acquired by taking part in the competition and hopefully encourage other young professionals to participate in the Awards next year.

The Ron Shorter Award will be back in NSW and Victoria in 2016. The dates will be advised before the end of the year.

Well done to all who participated in this year's competition. We look forward to an even greater competition in 2016.

AILA Victoria would like to thank Polaris Coaching for the excellent training it provides to participants of the Ron Shorter Award, and Colin Biggers & Paisley Lawyers and Unisearch for their generous sponsorship of this initiative.

L - R: Ian Hatch (Unisearch), Laura Gaffey, Alexander Morell, Danielle Blashuk, Danny Gompes (Unisearch), Sue Vidler and Marc Chiarella (CBP)



PO Box 2011 FOREST HILL VIC 3131
1300 699 140 office@aila.com.au



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