The AFA 2017 National Adviser Conference returned to the Royal Pines Resort on the Gold Coast, marking 40 years since the first conference was held in Sydney in 1977.
Five AFA members who were in attendance at that first conference were also on the Gold Coast, including Godfrey Phillips who was named as the recipient of 2017 Michael Murphy Award. Phillips received the Award, which is the highest recognition an AFA member can receive, for his longstanding service to the Association and the profession.
In a year in which advisers saw the Life Insurance Framework and Professional Standards legislation passed by Parliament, the AFA continued with the theme of Adaptive Change from last year’s conference.
This theme was addressed by musician and humanitarian, Sir Bob Geldof, who closed the conference by calling for attendees to consider how they could work together, not using group think, but group thinking, to overcome the fear and concern people have about the present and the future.
His comments followed two and a half days of guest speakers and industry peers who presented a view of advice that looked to better outcomes for clients and higher standards for advisers. This message was presented through the prism of the personal experiences of advisers and experts who shared their own journeys and the lessons learnt along the way.
As in previous years, the Conference delivered its plenary speakers and focus sessions under three AFA learning pillars – adviser performance, business performance and advice strategy – with the collegiate nature of this event demonstrated by many speakers offering to share resources, tools and tips with attendees.
The AFA also held its Annual General Meeting at which three board vacancies were filled with Dave Slovenic elected as Treasurer, Karen Veitch elected as SA/NT State Director and Matthew Hawkins re-elected as Tasmanian State Director.
AFA members also unanimously passed changes to the Association’s constitution which will enable it to become a code monitoring body under the new professional standards regime.
Advisers also made the most of the social settings provided with the Exhibition area filled with the free exchange of ideas between delegates, something which spilled over into the social events and the closing Gala Dinner.