Association Events Summit

5 September 2019, Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre



Associate Professor Dave Nicholls

President, Australian Rheumatology Association

Assoc Prof Dave Nicholls, BHB MBChB (Auckland) FRACP DipSportsMed (London) FSDrA, was born and raised in rural New Zealand, living and working on the Sunshine Coast since 2005. A University of Auckland graduate, he completed rheumatology advanced training in Wellington, NZ. During his ARC Fellowship in Rheumatology and Sports Medicine at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge, he completed his Diploma in Sports Medicine.

He is the owner and Director of Coast Joint Care and Co-Director of the Rheumatology Research Unit with Assoc Prof Peter Nash, exploring their interests in new and novel therapeutics. He is Associate Professor at Griffith University (Sunshine Coast Clinical School) and Adjunct Associate Professor at the Clinical Trials Unit, University of the Sunshine Coast. Assoc Prof Nicholls is the current President of the Australian Rheumatology Association.

Alexandra Larach

Events Manager, Associations Forum

Alexandra is responsible for creating and managing the content and programming for all Associations Forum events, including the Associations Forum National Conference, the CEO & Chair Symposium and the Summits. Her role incorporates sourcing speakers, creating the event programs and assisting with event logistics.

Alexandra attended Macquarie University where she received a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Media, Culture and Communication and Criminology, and a Masters in Policing, Intelligence and Counter Terrorism.


Regional Business Director APAC, Professional Convention Management Association

Spanish born Asian adopted, Antonio comes along with more than 14 years of personal and professional experience in education, Learning & Development, training, media and now business events industry, all of them APAC based.

A former co-founder of Las Lilas School, the first privately owned Spanish Language Institution in South East Asia and Associated Center to the Instituto Cervantes, Antonio brings a wide experience in working with major regional higher education organizations and business schools as well as high profile companies to drive businesses through leading by example.

Antonio is a client-focused commercial professional responsible for managing and developing large existing customers and building new, large project business pipeline across face to face, digital and blended learning solutions. He is also a results-oriented leader with a strong focus on team development and facilitating methodology.

He has had an extensive Asia Pacific regional sales experience working with key markets as China, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and ANZ.

Jacqui Diamond

Events Manager, The Mathematical Association of Victoria

Jacqui has over 20 years’ experience in Events Management. She began her career in events at Norwich Union Life through the Rugby Union Norwich Rising Star Award Dinner. Taking a concept to completion ignited her passion for management and she has since been involved in the planning and implementing of large-scale national conferences, congresses, awards, charity dinners, product launches, golf days and exhibitions. 

Jacqui is currently the Events Manager at The Mathematical Association of Victoria where she has worked since November 2016 managing the annual conference for over 1400 primary and secondary teachers in Victoria. 

Joanne Jacobs

Co-Chief Executive Officer, Disruptors Handbook

Joanne Jacobs is an award-winning digital strategist and company director, and she is the Co-CEO (with Gavin Heaton) of Disruptor's Handbook, a firm that facilitates incubation of innovation from a marketing perspective.  She is on the NSW Government Digital Advisory Panel, and she is an active mentor of startups at the Telstra accelerator, Muru-D.

In her career, Joanne has worked in London where she ran a social media production house, and she was a consultant in social networking technologies, as well as a professional speaker, business coach, trainer and strategist for digital marketing practices. She was formerly COO of the marketing agency, 1000heads. Joanne also has a long history in academia, lecturing extensively in strategic use of information technology and strategic internet marketing.  She was co-editor with Axel Bruns of the book, Uses of Blogs (2006).

John Peacock

Chief Executive Officer, Associations Forum

John is the Chief Executive Officer of Associations Forum, is one of Australia’s most experienced advisors to associations and charities and is a thought leader for the not-for-profit sector. With a BCom (University of NSW), he has held senior management and Directorship roles with various not-for-profit organisations. Since 2000, John has trained and consulted to hundreds of associations and charities, large and small, on strategic planning, governance, board effectiveness, operations, restructuring and financial issues.

As well as engagement on specific projects, John’s consulting business undertakes whole-of-organisation reviews of associations and charities. John’s operational specialisation is developing plans that can be translated into actions, budgets and job descriptions. His change specialisation is in the field of mergers of associations.

Julie Hood

Director – Events & Member Relations, Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA)

Julie Hood is responsible for the delivery of events for the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA), this includes the Association’s flagship event, the APPEA Conference & Exhibition which attracts close to 3000 registrations each year, 150 exhibitors and over 30 key sponsors.

With a strong background in hospitality, Julie worked with the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition as an Event Manager from opening to 2000 and then moved to APPEA. Since then her role has developed over 19 years from Conference Manager through to Director of Events & Member Relations, where strategic direction, profitability and member focus at events are key priorities.

Kylie Clarke

Director, Evise

Having been in the events industry for 17 years, Kylie Clarke is one of two Directors of event tech and consulting company Evise. Combining event experience, industry leading technology, project management, strategy and event content development, the Evise team helps clients deliver outstanding event experiences and opportunities for people to connect.

Prior to joining Evise, Kylie was Manager of Conferences and Events at The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists.

Through strong leadership of her internal team and PCO, Kylie oversaw the organisation of the national Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM), New Zealand Branch Annual Scientific Meeting, special interest group meetings, training workshops within the training curriculum, and hands on educational courses in collaboration with RANZCR’s international counterpart The American College of Radiologists.

Kylie holds a Diploma of Event Management and a Certificate III in Business Administration. She has a strong background in communication and event management experience across not-for-profit organisations. She has proven ability to lead and deliver complex projects with collaboration, innovation, integrity and a sense of fun.

Megan Flower

Executive Officer, Landscaping Victoria Master Landscapers

A certified plant-killer by her own admission, Megan has not let her lack of possessing a green thumb overshadow her role as Executive Officer of this progressive industry body over the last 5 years.

Like most small associations with very few staff, Megan was brought into the role to manage the diverse nature of the business with her broad skillset. Marketing, finance, governance, membership sales and particularly sponsorship and events have grown under Megan's management. The office plants, not so much.

With prior careers in the corporate sector covering marketing, event management and customer experience, Megan is well versed in delivering high-level strategic planning as well as understanding the detailed nuances required to create successful events which have had positive results overall for Landscaping Victoria Master Landscapers.

Monica Robertson

Events & Marketing Manager, Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia (Queensland)

With over 11 years’ experience in the events industry, Monica’s career includes events management, sponsorship management and marketing. At IPWEAQ, Monica is responsible for Branch and Annual Conferences, bringing together those engaged in the public works sector.

Some of Monica’s major achievements have included the project management and delivery of event services at a number of well-known Queensland events, such as the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, Brisbane Festival and Queensland Beef Week. Monica holds a Bachelor in Mass Communication from the Queensland University of Technology, and a Masters in International Hotel and Tourism Management (Event Management) from the University of Queensland.

Rebecca Cobon

Manager - Events & Sponsorship, Master Builders Queensland

Rebecca Cobon is a successful events management and sponsorship professional, who has delivered numerous events of state and national significance in her 20-year career. 

Her early achievements include coordinating Victoria on Show 1996 (The Official Opening Exhibition for the New Melbourne Exhibition Centre), Wine Australia 1998, Taste of Victoria, Ausplas (the largest, longest-running plastic show in the Pacific & SE Asia) Federation North 2001 (A Centenary of Federation National Centerpiece Event) and Beef Australia.

She has used her skills to deliver a wide range of successful events, exhibitions and field days across diverse industry sectors.

More recently, Rebecca launched St Peters Lutheran College's Performing Arts venue and ran it for 2 years as the Venue & Events Manager. She is currently the Manager, Events & Sponsorship for Master Builders Queensland, where she oversees sponsorship and delivers more than 160 events a year statewide.

Rebecca enjoys creating bespoke events to increase stakeholder engagement and shares her passion by teaching with TAFE Queensland.

Savio D'sa

Education and Marketing Manager, Audiology Australia

Savio has over 10 years’ marketing and events experience across a range of associations and sectors. He is responsible for the overall education program delivered by Audiology Australia including as well as marketing activities. Savio is passionate about delivering educational events that facilitate knowledge exchange and provide the platform for fostering long-lasting professional relationships.

Stacey Rodda

National Partnership Manager, Australian Institute of Architects

Considered a knowledge leader for the Australian Institute of Architects national office based in Melbourne, Stacey’s ten years in Architecture practice doing Marketing and Business Development for leading architectural practices across Australia and internationally placed her perfectly for this new challenge as National Partnership Manager for the Institute, a role needing precision and relevance to make the partnership program truly successful.

Having worked for numerous architectural firms doing marketing and business development over ten years, joining the AIA was a logical next step. With extensive experience writing proposals, communication plans, media releases, project descriptions and project plans, Stacey’s true passion is in helping architectural firms gain a competitive edge. 

Stacey’s current programs include two Regional conferences, one in Cairns and one in Byron Bay, a National Conference in Perth in 2020. State and National Awards for 2020 as well as the 2020 Venice Biennale Australian Architecture pavilion.