What attendees will hear at the Melbourne Australian Communities Forum

Thursday, November 26, 2015

The Australian Communities Forum is happening again in Melbourne in just a week's time!


Attendees are in for an excellent, informative and interactive day. Check out our event line up below:


ELIANE MILES | Research Manager, McCrindle

Australian communities in context

To introduce the day, Eliane will outline some of the key factors defining 21st century Australian communities and set some context around this national communities’ research.

MARK MCCRINDLE | Principal, McCrindle Research

Australian Community Trends Report; Results from the national research study

This inaugural national study reveals is based on extensive research of the Australian public as well as current donors and also national research of staff and leaders working in Australia’s not-for-profit sector. This session will reveal the fascinating results including the National Giving Macro Segments, Giving Blockers and enablers, the giving sentiment matrix, donor priorities, the donor participation scale, the engagement hierarchy and the sector’s Net Promoter Score. In addition to sharing the key insights, attendees will be given practical steps in how to strategically respond to these illuminating findings.

GEORGE SAVVIDES | CEO, Medibank Private & Chairman of World Vision Australia

The change journey; leading teams and engaging workplace communities through cultural transformation

In his thirteen years as CEO of Medibank Private, George has led the organisation from government ownership to public listing, and this IPO was the second largest in Australia’s history. He has recently transitioned this organisation which has a customer base of 3.9 million Australians to new headquarters with a layout design to create a collaborative workplace. As chair of World Vision Australia, he has also given governance to one of Australia’s best known charities in these times of unprecedented change.

CLAIRE MADDEN | Research Director, McCrindle

Understanding the power of collaborative communities

Responding to the megatrends transforming Australia will ensure that organisations remain relevant in these changing times. From demographic change to generational transitions, from new technologies to emerging consumers, communities are changing and so is the workforce. This introductory session will give leaders insights into how to respond to this and create a culture of collaborative innovation.

REBECCA KOTOW | Head of Social Impact & Community Investment, NAB

Innovating and adapting to influence change and impact communities 

In her role as head of social impact and community investment at NAB, Rebecca and her team are responsible for micro-finance, impact investment and the community engagement of one of Australia’s largest organisations. NAB is regarded as a leading innovator in not only the communities’ space, but in workplace engagement as well. Their new headquarters at Docklands and the phenomenal work space community that is The Village, along with the employee engagement programs that Rebecca leads are all great examples of people-focused innovation.

FAY CALDERONE | Lawyer and partner at DibbsBarker

Engaging workplace communities

Fay is a legal specialist in workplace and employment engagement. In this session she will outline how to create engaging workplace communities and effectively manage cultural change. An increasingly central community in Australian society is the workplace community and Fay will deliver insights into how to harness talent, drive purpose and alignment, and create a thriving and healthy workplace.

SARAH PRESCOTT | Head of Marketing and Communications, Thankyou

The Thankyou story

Thankyou is an Aussie success story, not only because of the growth of this water, food and products company, but the business model it utilises to impact and fund impoverished communities. In this inspiring closing session, Sarah will outline the Thankyou model for empowering everyday Australians to change the world through simple choices in their everyday life. She will share what has made Thankyou a household name through creating effective, fresh and motivating marketing that cut through the noise and achieved something great.


At the event, we will also be launching the results from the sector-wide, not-for-profit study. Mark McCrindle will deliver a presentation on the Australian Community Trends Report and will share the results from the national research study. This inaugural national study is based on extensive research of the Australian public as well as current donors and also national research of staff and leaders working in Australia’s not-for-profit sector. All delegates will receive a copy of the Australian Community Trends Infographic, visualising the results:


TIM SURGENOR | Founding Director, DataMotive

Creating compassionate commercialism

One of Australia’s most important community trends is the rise of social enterprises; entrepreneurial organisations which operate to empower communities and make a difference for those in need. As the founder of DataMotive, Tim will share his story of building a business that transforms communities as well as highlighting how other organisations can utilise “impact-sourcing” and ethical buying to not only manage their costs but support ultra-poor communities.

GREG LOW | Co-founder, R2L

The power of visual story telling

Greg is an expert at helping organisations tell their story, especially through visual communications. With professional skills both behind the camera as well as in shaping campaigns and advising not-for-profits, he has a depth of experience in helping organisations create engaging content and telling their brand story.

NICHOLAS BOLTO | Managing Director, Olympus Solutions

The trust factor: giving confidence to donors 

Nic is a not-profit consultant who developed The Difference Index, an annual measure which assists in credentialing charities and their impact. Nic will review what donors are looking for and ways you can qualify your marketing claims to increase donor confidence

HEATH MCSOLVIN | Director of Fundraising, CBM 

Retaining long term donors while attracting Gen Y and Z

As Director of Fundraising at CBM Australia, Heath has worked across the mainly disciplines of fundraising for more than 20 years. During that time, he’s seen the changing face of donors - how to acquire them and how to keep them! Heath will share with you some of the insights he has found in finding new ways to recruit donors and important pathways that need to be built to keep them.


The power of big data to focus and grow organisations 

James and Nicholas are Econometrics Honours students at Monash University and they have a head for numbers and a heart of not-for-profits. While organisations collect more data than ever, there are simple ways to exploit this data gold mine with traditional statistical techniques and alternatives such as text mining and sentiment analysis. In this session, they will illustrate some examples of cropping, visualising and analysing data and texts from socio media and online data sources.

NICK DUBE | Founder & Creative Director, Heartburst Digital 

Digital Storytelling and the donor experience 

As the founder and creative director of Heartburst Digital, Nick is an expert at creating a compelling brand story through online channels. Based on his extensive experience with not-for-profits, he will give insights in how little online changes can make a big communications difference.

ASHLEY MCKENZIE | Team Leader of Communications, McCrindle 

Social media tips and tricks 

In an era of message-saturation, the challenge for organisations is to deliver quality content that will cut through the noise. In this session, Ashley McKenzie, who leads the communications strategy at McCrindle, will share tips and tactics on how to best influence through social media and which platforms engage different communities.



Australian Communities Forum, Sydney November 13, 2015 from Power Creative on Vimeo.

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