The Australian Communities Forum Sydney Recap

Monday, November 16, 2015

Last Friday, McCrindle Research and R2L&Associates were proud to present the Sydney Australian Communities Forum. The ACF featured 13 brilliant speakers and 4 jam-packed sessions.


Claire Madden opened the event with a session on understanding the power of collaborative communities. She gave a snapshot of our changing communities, how we can understand and interpret the emerging generations and best utilise the power of collaborative communities.

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We then heard from Mark McCrindle on the Australian Community Trends Report where he shared 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.

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Mark’s session revealed 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. All delegates were given a copy of the Australian Community Trends Infographic, visualising the results:

R2L & Associates co-founder Jon Rose then shared the implications of these findings on the not-for-profit sector and attendees were given practical steps on how to strategically respond to these illuminating findings.

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Our keynote speakers

Partner and lawyer at DibbsBarker Fay Calderone shared key insights on how to create engaging workplace communities, and that inspiration, vision and motivation is key. Fay reminded us that in an organisation, culture will eat compliance for breakfast every time, and reiterated the need for us to build healthy and values-based workplace culture.

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Glen Gerreyn from the Hopefull Institute spoke brilliantly on the need for hope, inspiration and motivation in our teams and lives. Glen reminded us that we need to have more dreams than memories, that failing is a part of the process and encouraged us to fail forward.

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Amanda Rose from Western Sydney Women shared how we can be strategic connectors in our online and offline worlds, and how our attitude can make or break our cause.

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Equipping our delegates

The Australian Communities Forum was an interactive day based around an innovative format. After a hearty buffet lunch, delegates participated in a number of 15 minute practical buzz groups to be equipped with practical insights about engaging their communities.

Creating compassionate commercialism, Tim Surgenor, DataMotive

The power of visual storytelling, Greg Low, R2L&Associates

Using brand to engage your community, Fran Avon, Wesley Mission

Transforming communities through cultural change, Karen James, On-Purpose Hub

Putting care back into community through quality CRM, Justin Yoon, AlpaSys

Data visualisation – bringing research data to life, Ben Duffin, McCrindle


To further explore the research component of the Australian Communities Trends Report, our Future communities workshop presented the results from the environmental scan of the not-for-profit sector, where a panel of experts gave an overview of the emerging trends, challenges and opportunities which will impact Australian communities overt the decade ahead.



It was also a privilege to have Sarah Prescott, head of marketing and communications at Thankyou wrap up our conference and share with us about the inspiring Thankyou story and the journey her organisation has been on. She inspired our delegates to know the why behind what they do, and challenged us with ‘who says we have to do things the way they have been done before’?




Overall it was a brilliant and packed day. Thank you to all the expert speakers who contributed and those who attended and shared their thoughts and expertise.

Melbourne Australian Communities Forum 2015


We are now busily preparing for our Melbourne Australian Communities Forum, on the 3rd December 2015. Our keynote speakers include:

Watch this space for the program, which will be released very soon!

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