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AILA President’s message – Cameron Roberts

AILA forges ahead with launches, awards, a merger

It’s been eventful for AILA since the last issue of Resolve was distributed.
We’ve merged with another body, planned the launch of Ladies@AILA, called for entries in the Gill Award, heard presentations from Ron Shorter award finalists, and are forging ahead with plans for the AILA National Conference in Hobart, Tasmania, on 31 October-2 November.
AILA and the National Product Liability Association (NPLA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that sees NPLA members invited to join AILA and AILA develop national and chapter-level product liability subcommittees to promote a better understanding of product liability risks, including insurance, loss prevention, recovery, and risk management strategies to minimise exposure.
AILA has always had a strong product liability focus, with most chapters hosting at least one product liability seminar annually.
The MoU ensures product liability remains an AILA focus and there will be more seminars about the Australian Consumer Law and other topics relevant to product liability insurance.
Product liability is a highly specialised field, with few people working exclusively in it.
Merging the two associations means AILA members benefit from the specialist expertise of NPLA members and NPLA members benefit from the broader array of insurance topics covered at educational events hosted by chapters around the states and territories.
The merger strengthens AILA’s reputation as a one-stop shop for insurance industry educational events.
I welcome past and present NPLA members to AILA. AILA is an organisation for all of us who form part of the Australian insurance industry, which is so fundamental to Australia’s growth and prosperity.
This issue of Resolve features an article by Gail Greatorex, owner and principal of Product Safety Solutions, who was a regular contributor to NPLA’s publication and we’re delighted she is happy to continue that for Resolve.
AILA launches L@AILA
AILA is launching a women’s group – Ladies@AILA – just before the national conference.
L@AILA is the brainchild of board members Kim Bradey and Melanie Quixley and former board member Sue Vidler and is designed to encourage, celebrate and support diversity and balance in the insurance industry and the AILA membership.
L@AILA will provide education and networking events to encourage gender diversity in our industry and its leadership by, among other things, developing and promoting different and diverse skills that create improved business strategies and decision making.
State and territory chapters will be encouraged to organise educational events to enhance women’s soft skills – like communication, time management, problem solving, and self-confidence – to encourage leadership development.
L@AILA will be launched on Wednesday 30 October 2019. Former Tasmanian Premier Lara Giddings is the guest speaker.
Ms Giddings is an ideal launch presenter because she is a strong advocate for progressive social policy, women in leadership, and the support required to enable women to achieve success.
Ms Giddings, Tasmanian Premier from 2011 to 2014 and now CEO of AMA Tasmania, was the youngest woman elected to an Australian parliament when she was voted in to represent the Tasmanian House of Assembly seat of Lyons in 1996.
Launch event details
Leading the charge with Lara Giddings
Wednesday 30 October 2019
1.45pm – 4pm at Etties Bar, 100 Elizabeth Street, Hobart
AILA members $50; non-members $80
Register at www.conference.aila.com.au – click here
Hurry to enter the Gill Award
Entries close on 15 September for the inaugural Gill Award that honours an AILA founder, Michael Gill.
Michael is a past president of the international insurance law association, AIDA; chair of the National Insurance Brokers’ Association’s code compliance committee; a former partner and chair of DLA Piper, where he remains a consultant; and has served AILA at many levels, including as the inaugural president. He is an AILA life member.
Michael co-founded AILA after attending the AIDA 1982 World Congress in London, where he was urged to establish an AIDA chapter in Australia. That occurred the following year and Michael’s involvement has continued throughout AILA’s history.
The Gill Award is open to financial members of AILA who are Australian-based residents. Entrants submit a paper of 3,000 to 4,500 words on one of 12 AIDA working party topics:
  • Accumulation of claims and subrogation
  • Consumer protection and dispute resolution
  • Marine insurance
  • Personal insurance and pensions
  • Climate change
  • Credit insurance and surety
  • Motor insurance
  • Reinsurance
  • Civil liability insurance
  • Distribution of insurance products
  • New technologies
  • State supervision and insurance
Shortlisted entrants will deliver a presentation on their topic to the judging panel and answer questions.
The judges will consider entrants’ depth of research conducted to support their conclusions; engagement with and understanding of their chosen topic; clarity of thought; the topic’s purpose and commercial application; and the quality of the written and verbal presentations.
The $A10,000 prize includes the winner attending an AIDA international event and presenting their paper to the relevant working party.
I will chair the judging panel, along with Samantha Traves, a consultant to Barry.Nilsson. Lawyers and a Qld University of Technology visiting fellow; Wendy Ford, claims director, Aon; Alison Grice, national legal & claims manager, CGU; and Patrick Mead, a partner at Carter Newell.
The Gill Award winner will be announced at the 2019 AILA conference in Hobart, Tasmania. The award’s supporting partner is DLA Piper.
Shorter award finalists hone presentations
The state winners of the Ron Shorter Public Speaking Award are honing their skills ahead of presentations at the national conference.
The award provides industry young professionals (YPs) with public speaking training and exposure to industry peers and luminaries. More than 400 YPs have benefited since the award began in 2012.
The Victoria/SA winner is Shannen de la Motte, from AIG, who spoke on: The price of price optimisation in the insurance industry.
The NSW winner is Claudio Trovato, from Meridian Lawyers, whose topic was: Sharing is caring: Accommodating the challenges and implications of the sharing economy. 
The Queensland winner is QBE’s Bennet Thomas, who spoke on: Contractual indemnities and the impact on the insurance policy as a whole.
The WA winner is Joel Speldewinde, from Wotton + Kearney, whose topic was: FIFO and pure mental harm claims – Future fears and new perspectives.
Congratulations to the successful finalists, each of whom receives economy airfares, two nights’ accommodation and registration for the AILA National Conference in Hobart, where they will deliver their winning speeches.
Ron Shorter, after whom the award is named, died on 7 February 2012, after a lengthy battle with cancer.
From April 2007 to mid-2011 he was practice manager of CBP’s Sydney Insurance Group.
During his career Ron inspired and mentored many YPs. He recognised that confident public speaking was a vital skill for all insurance professionals and had instigated the award in Sydney, where it was launched in 2012. It has since expanded to invite entries from YPs in all states and territories.
The award is sponsored nationally by CBP, Dever’s List, and Sedgwick, which AILA welcomes as a new sponsor in 2019.
Register now for national conference
With the national conference, themed Off the map: Charting new territory, rapidly approaching, I urge AILA members to register now and our NZILA colleagues from across the ditch to join us.
Registrations are open – read more here.
The program features a wide range of speakers across an array of topics.
The Tasmanian committee has a long history of organising highly diverse, relevant, industry-focused content and this year will be no exception. I cannot wait for this conference.
For just a small taste of what to expect in Hobart:
Presentations include cyber security expert Fergus Brooks, from IT security firm Ctrl Group, who warns that anything “smart” can be hacked. He says a strong focus on technology’s benefits belies the potential downsides security breaches create. Fergus will help us learn to beat the hackers or at least better protect ourselves.
Quad bike safety will be under the spotlight when forensic engineer Dr Shane Richardson argues control mechanisms are more effective than training alone to reduce the average Australian death rate of 13 a year. But the quad bike community is divided on crush-protection devices, so a lively debate with QuadSafe representatives is likely.
Plaintiff lawyer and class action specialist Joshua Aylward, perhaps surprisingly, will share tips on avoiding insurance policy disclosure, among other things.
Victorian barrister David Gilbertson QC will tell delegates an explosion of damages amounts awarded in defamation cases could see insurance capacity shrink.
There’s also a session a driverless cars, an ethics debate, a panel session on flammable cladding and other non-conforming building products, and much more.
I am told the panel session on flammable cladding will feature a "perfectly safe" demonstration. Perhaps now is a good time to thank AILA's public liability insurer, CGU, for its ongoing support.
I look forward to seeing you in Hobart in October-November.


PO Box 4295 Burwood East VIC 3151
1300 699 140 office@aila.com.au



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