September 2016


Frantic pace keeps Chris ‘flat out’

By Kate Tilley, Editor, Resolve

Chris Rodd has given up his day job, but he’s now busier than when he worked full time.

Chris, a former AILA national president and Victorian chapter president, spent 27 years with the same company – Commercial Union, then CGU, then IAG – most recently as technical counsel, delivering training.

He took a retrenchment package in May, but says he’s now working “flat out”.

He is Australia’s representative on the AIDA Presidential Council, a member of the AILA national board, and chairs the international committee of the US-based Federation of Defence and Corporate Council (FDCC).

He has frequent speaking engagements around the globe, so travels almost constantly.

Chris has just completed a mediator’s course and is becoming accredited so he can fulfil many requests to conduct mediations.

“I plan to do some consulting,” he told Resolve. “It’s still in the mix, but it’s a matter of when I can find time.”

Chris is heavily involved in organising the joint AILA, NZILA, FDCC, ILAS (Singapore’s AIDA chapter) and Hong Kong Insurance Law Association’s regional conference in Singapore on 26-29 September 2017, which coincides with an AIDA Presidential Council meeting.

He is keen to further develop insurance law education and, with a team of industry luminaries and academics, is helping draft a common syllabus to implement across Australian universities.

He has lectured at Melbourne’s Monash University, but has been too busy this year. “There’s a lot going on at the moment,” he says – which is an understatement.

This is just a snapshot of his travel plans. After speaking at the NZILA conference in Queenstown in September, he’s off to Prague to support his wife, Professor Susan Davis, a leading women’s health researcher who is the scientific chair of a conference there.

Chris says they support each other at major meetings around the world when their hectic schedules allow. Sue is the inaugural Chair of Women's Health in Monash University’s Department of Medicine at the Alfred Hospital and a consultant endocrinologist at Alfred Health and Cabrini Medical Centre, Melbourne.

After a couple of days with Sue in the Greek Islands, Chris heads back to Adelaide for the AILA Conference in October, then to Vienna for the VIth AIDA Europe Conference in early November.

And he’s planning ahead for the AIDA World Congress in Melbourne in 2022. “I’ll be involved if I’m still of sound mind and body,” he joked. He’s proud that Australia is again the host of a World Congress – the last was in Sydney in 1995.

Chris is adamant retirement does not feature in his future plans, but he’s not likely to emulate his predecessor AIDA Presidential Council representative Michael Gill’s longevity in the role.

“I’ll be good for about another six years,” he told Resolve.

He is an avid snow skier, heading to Japan in early 2017 for back-country skiing and then Argentina later next year.

He enjoys scuba diving, golf, stand-up paddleboarding, running and regular gym sessions.

Chris has three sons. His eldest, Kristian, is also a lawyer, but currently on a two-year sabbatical travelling the world.

Ashley works in landcare and his youngest, Simon, is an apprentice carpenter.

He also has four adult stepchildren, Anna, Natalie, Matthew and Nick. The two girls are professional skiers and the eldest, Anna, represented Australia at the last Winter Olympics. Matthew is an engineer and Nick is studying.

“No, they don’t all live with us but tend to drift in and out between overseas trips,” Chris told Resolve.

AILA can expect many more years of Chris’s involvement in the association. He says it’s not in his genes to keep still.

Given that his mum, who now lives in a nursing home, was still jogging at the age of 83 and his late father was working part-time as a pharmacist when he was 82, Chris is right – it must be in the genes and that’s a great benefit for AILA and AIDA.

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Resolve is the official publication of the Australian Insurance Law Association and
the New Zealand Insurance Law Association.