Read a roundup of activities around the AILA and NZILA chapters
by Jonathan Pack and Sal Achrafi
Young Professionals Mentoring Program
Many lessons were learnt in 2020, but one of significance was the importance of continuing to develop and mentor the insurance industry’s future leaders, even if that had to be done, for the most part, online.
As we enter the 2021 financial year, the AILA NSW Young Professionals are excited to again launch their annual Mentoring Program.
A significant number of industry leaders have signed up for the program and agreed to donate their time to mentor a strong cohort of ambitious young insurance professionals. Mentors and mentees are from all walks of the insurance industry – claims professionals, forensic accountants, loss adjusters, and insurance lawyers.
A common thought shared across the group is the importance of the industry’s future and there is a great focus on developing individuals of the future, so we can see continued success in years to come. The program enables mentors to meet regularly with mentees with a framework of suggested topics to prompt meaningful and thoughtful discussion about the mentee’s career.
After the success of last year’s wrap-up networking event, kindly sponsored by Sedgwick, the Mentoring Program will again end with a networking event to give mentors and mentees an opportunity to meet and network with others who participated in the program.
The program is run by two AILA NSW YPs, Jonathan Pack from Chubb Insurance and Sal Achrafi from MDD Forensic Accountants. Both are excited to be involved in the program with such high-calibre mentors who are focused on continuing to invest into the development of YPs for the future of the industry.
New South Wales
by Nicholas Zambetti
In our last quarterly update in June (drafted in May) I mentioned how it seemed we had turned a corner in the fight against Covid and its repercussions for AILA NSW.
How quickly things change. As I write this column, we are still in lockdown in NSW and have at least another month of lockdown ahead of us. Little did anyone expect such a virulent variant as Delta would become a disrupter.
Because of Covid restrictions, we have had to direct new seminar events to our successful online format, cancel some F2F events, and move the rest online.
Our first Twilight seminar (on the Wonkana and Globe Church decisions), led by Justice Meagher, was postponed from the original planned date of 8 July and now moved to 30 September. The second, on securities class actions, was held successfully online on 22 July. Thanks to Paul O’Brian, his dedicated Twilights team, and our AILA secretariat for working to transition events online at short notice.
For other events, we had been monitoring Covid restrictions and making judgements to move them to webinar formats where circumstances and speakers permitted. But the deteriorating Covid situation has resulted in all F2F events being avoided until further notice. If circumstances permit, we may try to host the AGM as a F2F event before year’s end.
Sadly, we have decided to postpone the scheduled October National Conference to a date to be fixed in August, September or October 2022. We came to the view that transitioning the conference to an online event was not optimal for members and sponsors.
The National Conference is as much a high-calibre educational event as a major networking event and we did not want members to miss the opportunity to re-connect in Sydney after such a long lockdown period. It will also increase the prospect of international speakers and visitors being able to join us.
Life@AILA is again delivering excellent content this year and thanks to the NSW lead Stan Drummond for his efforts. The aptly titled online seminar: Life@AILA: Acting efficiently, honestly and fairly – In an octopus’s garden, was a success and planning is now in progress for theAnnual Life Insurance Review in November.
Eagerly anticipated YP networking events also have been put on hold, however the YP-organised NSW AILA Mentorship Program has begun with a great response from mentors and mentees. Many thanks to those who have offered their time to act as mentors over the next 12 months. A special thanks to YP co-chairs Dan Robinson and Sybilla Warring-Lambert and to committee members Jonathan Pack and Sal Achrafi for all their work on this worthwhile initiative.
While it seems we won’t be savouring affogato coffees along the Mediterranean coast for some time yet, AILA NSW is doing its best to continue to provide value and benefits to members and to do so in what have been trying circumstances over the last quarter. Plans are afoot to ensure what we have missed in 2021 will be more than made up for in 2022.
Please stay well.
by Andrea Petrocco
The Victorian committee is looking forward to the second half of the year.
Unfortunately, due to Covid restrictions, we were forced to delay our first F2F seminar, but have rescheduled for Thursday 2 September 2021, where we will hear from Lead Ombudsman Emma Curtis and Ombudsman Chris Liamos, who will discuss vulnerable complainants and claims handling.
Turks Legal partner Anthea Karvounaris and barrister Daniel Briggs will present a webinar on the same day on Changes to the duty of disclosure: Game changer?
The branch is busy preparing another F2F seminar to give members the opportunity to reconnect with their AILA network over breakfast. It is planned for September – so watch the AILA website for details.
Fliers will come to members soon for some great events, with topics including GICOP 2020 Part 2, Life@AILA, e-trials, mentoring, networking and more.
The committee is locking in speakers and working with industry to deliver an engaging, thought-provoking 2H 2021.
Get to know your committee
You may have seen committee members moderating or presenting webinars and wondered who they are.
We’ll help you get to know the committee, what they do in their day jobs, and, more importantly, their answer to ‘Why do you love being on the committee?’ This issue we profile Dora Cosentino.
Dora Cosentino is a Senior Associate in the Insurance and Corporate Risk Team at MinterEllison Melbourne. She specialises in general insurance, personal injury, coronial inquests, asbestos litigation, intentional torts, and historical sexual abuse claims. She started at MinterEllison in 2012 as a law student and is a strong advocate for promoting insurance law to junior lawyers.
Why Dora loves being on the committee: “Insurance law and litigation is an extremely broad practice area. It provides the opportunity to experience an incredible array of interesting matters, ranging from motor vehicle accidents to Victorian Government inquiries. Being on the committee enables me to promote insurance law to junior solicitors and encourage them to explore the diversity of our industry. It also enables me to build strong relationships with my fellow committee members and other industry professionals, against or alongside whom I often act.”
Stay safe and we look forward to seeing all AILA Victoria members soon.
By Scott Duell
At the time of writing, various parts of Australia are grappling with another wave of Covid-19 outbreaks, lockdowns and restrictions.
This has disrupted the AILA SA event schedule (as it has other branches) but, due to the tireless work of our committees (who are all volunteers), the Secretariat, and National Board members, AILA as a whole has remained nimble and overcome these challenges to continue providing an outstanding program of events.
AILA SA held our traditional “Welcome to 2021” social event, albeit later in the year than scheduled, which turned into an end-of-financial-year event. It was again a joint venture in conjunction with AICLA and was a very successful evening with many from all facets of the industry attending.
We also held the second of our breakfast briefings, which was on Covid business interruption claims, entitled “Questions, questions, questions”. The presenter was Graham Peters, Head of Crawford Forensic Accounting Services. The event had, ironically, already been pushed back due to Covid restrictions, so we were pleased to have Graham present.
Also happening slightly later in the year than first anticipated, is the SA version of the Australian General Insurance Law Review, which will be hosted by our great supporter, Finlaysons.
We bid a temporary farewell to committee member Lani Cater, who is now on parental leave. We wish her and her family all the best.
A big welcome back to Emma Pilkington, who rejoins the SA committee following her parental leave.
by Kate Stockford
Winter has well and truly come to Tasmania but the committee is keeping warm and busy.
We had great responses nationwide to our webinars on concussion and financial services.
August is traditionally the workers’ compensation masterclass, and this year is no different. Due to restrictions that continue for venues and holding face to face events, we again opted to do a seminar each Thursday of the month, culminating with the ever-favourite, Chief Commissioner’s Choice, where the Chief Commissioner of the Workers’ Rehabilitation and Compensation Tribunal presented her thoughts. The bonus of having the sessions via webinar means they are available across the nation.
Assuming Tasmania stays in its relatively safe state, we plan to have a cocktail party to thank masterclass sponsors, speakers and participants on 3 September 2021. We could not achieve this without gold sponsor HWL Ebsworth and silver sponsors IIME Online, LKA Group and RedHealth.
We are finalising educational offerings for the end of the year and looking forward to continuing our success in 2H 2021.
by Justine Siavelis
AILA WA saw in the end of the financial year with an interesting panel discussion, chaired by Ian Shakespeare of SMG Health.
Kim Gilbert, of Zenith Insurance Brokers; Meicha McCagh, from CGU; and Stephen Williams, from Kott Gunning; shared their personal and organisational experiences of Covid and its impact. The audience stayed for drinks, canapes and networking with colleagues and it was great to see friendly faces.
Unfortunately, the much-loved Sir Ninian Stephen Masterclass was a victim of Perth’s mini lockdown. It was a great shame to miss such a fantastic line up of speakers, however we look forward to the Masterclass returning in 2022.
We held an August seminar on District Court trial preparation, advocacy and negotiation skills with the ever-entertaining David Burton, from McCabes.
Stay tuned for a webinar on cyber and seminars on forensic accounting and fire investigations in 2H 2021. Our social program is currently on hold, pending a return to ‘life as normal’ (we hope) in 2022.
by Jack Fairweather
The AILA Qld Committee was ecstatic to be able to bring back its in-demand Insurance Law Intensive for 2021 after the 2020 event (like many others) fell victim to Covid-19.
With lockdown measures introduced again for Qld, the event’s timing was very fortunate.
The industry really got behind the event, with tickets selling out well in advance.
In addition to the venue, the Calile Hotel, primary attractions were the line-up of exceptional speakers: Justice Daubney AM, Justice Crow QC, Rebecca Gilsenan, Tricia Hobson, Robin Cooper-Driver, Helen Brand, Nigel Jones, Marie Hughes, Samantha Traves, Neil Singleton, Janine Reid, Jake Carter and Mark Waller. The AILA Qld Committee extends warm thanks to each speaker for generously offering their time and for their very engaging presentations. You can read articles about several presentations in this issue of Resolve.
The AILA Qld Committee thanks each of the sponsors that ensured the event was a great success: Clyde & Co, Hall & Wilcox, Jensen McConaghy Lawyers, Sparke Helmore Lawyers, Vincents, Nationwide Experts, Surveillance Central, Law In Order, Leximed, Hemmat’s List and Adept IME.
AILA Qld also thanks all the attendees for getting behind the event again. It was fantastic to catch up with so many industry colleagues after some time.
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Resolve is the official publication of the Australian Insurance Law Association and