Roundtables & Forums

Leveraging the Experience and Expertise within the Sector

Roundtables – Zoom

Each 2-hour Roundtable focuses on a different aspect of operational excellence while focusing on three questions:

Over 1,100 sector participants attended the 30 different Roundtables delivered over the last two years with an average ‘Would you recommend to others’ score of 8.8 (out of 10).

The online delivery shift to Zoom, due to COVID, has been effective. CSP events maintained high engagement through the use of Zoom breakout rooms. Online events have also extended our reach. While previous in-person events were limited to Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane; the Zoom events now include participants from across Australia and New Zealand.

Hot Topic Forums

These forums focus on varying key topical issues and each have a different format:

  • 30-minute presentation by a sector Subject Matter Expert or consultant covering why is this important, what does a solution look like, key success factors and potential pitfalls
  • 45-minute small group discussion (using Zoom Break Out rooms) to discuss the approach and potential applications
  • Large group discussion to identify key insights and ideas



Improving Traineeship Offer

Traineeships are important to the sector as a way to address a staff capacity gap and increase the pool of skilled employees.

The South Australian Department of Innovation & Skills engaged Bradford Institute of Advanced Education (BIAE) to complete research to understand why the sector has a low utilisation of traineeships and to identify improvement recommendations.

The Centre partnered with BIAE to conduct a Focus Group with 25 participants to gain sector input in exploring these issues.


Cyber Security: Threats & Strategies

Cyber security is a significant risk to the sector as data breaches can have a major impact on clients, organizational reputation and financial sustainability.

Our guest speaker, Leon Fouche, (Partner and National Cyber Security Lead for BDO Australia), presented the findings from BDO and AusCert’s ‘2019/2020 Cyber Security Survey’ involving 500 organisations. Topics covered included what are the major cyber security risks, how are organisations responding to these risks, and effective strategies to be better prepared.

The 50 sector participants were then involved in small group discussions to explore what works, and doesn’t work, in addressing this key issue.


Development as a Retention Strategy

Our members highlighted attracting and retaining talent is a key challenge in delivering their purpose and commercial objectives. The sector is facing increased demand for services but has constrained salary budgets.

This Roundtable focused on how For Purpose organisations can use staff professional development as part of their Employee Value Proposition.

The CEO’s from Allambi Care and Key Assets Australia shared insights and practical ideas on this important topic. The 40 sector participants were then involved in small group discussions to explore application in their organisations.


COVID-19 Residential Outbreak Planning

A key concern for any organisation with a residential facility is how to respond to a potential COVID-19 outbreak.

A panel of Directors from Uniting NSW/ACT and Able Australia provided insights and practical ideas about how to plan such an event.

This was followed by small group discussion involved 30 Sector Leaders to share effective strategies and practical ideas.


Digital Leadership Enabling Remote Working

A key priority for IT Leaders in the new COVID-19 world is how to support a remote workforce.

Organisations are implementing initiatives to address issues such as data security, data access, collaboration tools, supporting remote workers and business process changes.

Their CIOs from Black Dog Institute, headspace National and Ozcare shared their insights and key learnings.

The 55 sector leaders were then involved in small group ncussions to find solutions to shared challenges.


Transforming For Purpose Organisations

One of the key challenges for CEOs and Executive Teams is how to transform their organisation so it can deliver its purpose, optimise impact and also achieve its commercial objectives.

Three CEOs from Royal Institute Deaf & Blind Children, Northcott Disability Services and Settlement Services International shared insights and key learnings from their organisational transformation journey.

The 60 executive participants were then involved in small group discussions about transformation success factors and potential pitfalls.


Volunteer Engagement through COVID-19

Organisations have been impacted by the need to stand down volunteers as a result of COVID-19.

Over 60 sector leaders and Volunteer Managers discussed different volunteer engagement approaches, and plans to encourage volunteers to return when social distancing restrictions are lifted.


Corporate Volunteering Hot Topic Forum

There has been increasing interest in corporate volunteering as it benefits both For Purpose organisations (as a revenue source or access to expertise) and corporates (who are seeking team-building projects to support staff engagement).

Subject Matter Experts Richard Duncan (previously Head of Volunteering Services at Wesley Mission) and Claire Turner presented why this is important, key success factors, potential pitfalls and examples of where it has worked.


Responding to COVID-19

Explores how For Purpose Organisations responded to lockdown changes by shifting to all staff working from home.

This Roundtable involved 40 For Purpose sector leaders discussing transition challenges and what works, and doesn’t work, in responding to these COVID-19 changes


Metrics Supporting Purpose

Performance metrics have become increasingly important to achieve funding, drive productivity improvements and make better decisions. This session explores how organisations are using metrics to achieve their purpose.

Sydney (December 6) Host: Mission Australia


  • ChildFund: Tom Schlosser (Head of Data Analytics and Innovation)
  • Northcott: Lee Carpenter (Deputy CEO)
  • Relationships Australia: Sarah Rowley (EGM, Customer Services)
  • Settlement Services: Greg Benson (GM, Client Services and Operations)

Managing Compliance

Managing compliance is a major issue from both an administrative workload and organisation risk perspective. This session explores how For Purpose organisations manage these demands through an emphasis on business excellence.

Sydney (December 12) Host: Wesley Mission

  • Barnardos Australia: Penny Hood (Executive Manager, People & Practice)
  • CareFlight: Glenn McKeown (National Q-HSE Manager)
  • The Fred Hollows Foundation: Penny Palmer (Global Lead – Legal Governance Risk and Compliance)

Driving Business Improvement

Explores how for Purpose organisations are using business improvement initiatives – such as Lean, Agile and Continuous Improvement – to help them achieve their purpose and commercial objectives.

Melbourne (November 19) Host: Australian Red Cross

  • EACH Social and Community: Sherisse​  Goodwin (Mgr, Governance and Executive Projects)
  • Save the Children: Adrian Stagg (Chief Information Officer)
  • YMCA Victoria: Amanda Locke (Chief Operating Officer)

Brisbane (December 2) Host: St Vincent de Paul

  • Endeavour Foundation: Greg McCluand (Continuous Improvement Manager)
  • Open Minds: Chris Shannon (GM – Strategy, Planning and Improvement)
  • Relationships Australia: Cassandra Ashton (GM, Strategy & Innovation)

Effective Volunteer Management

Volunteers are an important resource in delivering our purpose and commercial objectives.  This session explores effective practices to attract, engage and manage volunteers.

Sydney (July 30) Host: Wesley Mission

  • Salvation Army: Lucinda Gayl (Volunteer Resources Manager)
  • McGrath Foundation: Ryan Barlow (Marketing & Revenue Director)
  • Smith Family: Lauren Stocker (National Manager Volunteering)
  • Karitane: Grainne O’ Loughlin (CEO)

Melbourne (November 26) Host : Save The Children

  • Stroke Foundation: Suzanne Larsson (Volunteer Program Coordinator)
  • YMCA: Ang Cuy (Executive Manager, Youth Services)
  • The Salvation Army: Penny Aquino (General Manager – Volunteer Resources)

Brisbane (December 17) Host: St The Mater Foundation

  • Act for Kids: Karen McIntyre (Relationship & Fundraising Manager)
  • The Salvation Army: Ciska Burrie (Volunteer Resources Manager – QLD TAS)
  • UnitingCare Queensland: DJ Cronin (Manager, Volunteer Services)

Technology Supporting Purpose

Explores how For Purpose organisations are implementing new technology solutions to both support purpose delivery and drive cost efficiencies.

Sydney (April 3) Host: Mission Australia

• Salvation Army Aged Care: Paul Berryman (Head of Information Technology)
• Royal Far West: Jacqui Emery (Business Director)
• The Wilderness Society: Matt Brennan (Chief Operating Officer)

Melbourne (June 5) Host: Uniting Vic.Tas

• Red Cross: Noel Clement (Director; Migration, Emergencies & Movement)
• Diabetes Victoria: Lalith Abeysena (Chief Operating Officer)
• Each Social & Community: Marcus Harvey (Previous Chief Information Officer)

Brisbane Panel (June 14) Host: Mater Foundation

 Endeavour Foundation: Andy Salmons (National Digital Marketing Manager)
 Mercy Community Services: Patrick Lilwall (Executive Director, Transformation)
• Royal Flying Doctor Service: Trent Dean (Head, Clinical Governance)


Measuring Social Impact

Impact measurement is a key priority for organizations but is also rated one of their greatest challenges. Successful organizations share insights.


Sydney (June 13) Host: The Benevolent Society

• YMCA: Louisa McKay (Executive Leader, Community Services)
• Mission Australia: Rachel Christie (Impact Measurement Specialist)
• Interrelate: Sharon Grocott (Head of Research & Innovation)

Melbourne (June 28) Host: Australian Red Cross

• YMCA: Jacki Whitwell (Executive Manager, Impact Strategy)
• Uniting: Kath Mackay (Divisional Manager, Community Services South)
• Sacred Heart Mission: Leanne Lewis (General Manager, People, and Strategy)

Brisbane (August 1) Host: St Vincent de Paul

 Uniting: Tom McClean (Head, Centre for Research, Innovation, and Advocacy)
 YMCA Brisbane: Gary Adsett (Group Mgr, Social Impact) & Rebecca Duell (Impact & Innovation Team)
• Churches Of Christ: Mike Folland (GM – CEO Office)


Impact Investing: Bond Insights

Organisations are implementing alternative financing options to fund purpose delivery. This session provides insights on one option  – Social Impact Bonds – from leaders with first-hand experience.


Melbourne (May 31) Host: Save The Children

  • Australian Community Support Organization: Vaughan Winther (CEO) & Remberto Rivera (CFO)
  • Melbourne City Mission: Dave Wells (GM, Innovation, Impact & Govt)
  • Sacred Heart Mission: Catherine Harris (GM, Business Development)

Sydney (July 18) Host: The  Benevolent Society

  • Life Without Barriers: Brad Swan (Director, Strategy & Engagement)
  • The Benevolent Society: Matt Gardiner (Exec Dir, Child & Family)
  • SYC Ltd : Paul Edginton (CEO)
  • Uniting : Magdalena Liso (Head of NEWPIN – ACT and Southern NSW)

Corporate Partnerships

Corporate partnerships are an effective way to fund and implement purpose delivery, and assist corporates committed to supporting social impact. This session explores how to create mutually beneficial partnerships.


Sydney (June 27) Host: The Salvation Army

  • ChildFund: Margaret Sheehan (Head of International Programs)
  • McGrath Foundation: Holly Masters (CEO)
  • Settlement Services: Naushin Rahman (Corporate Partnerships Mgr)

Brisbane (July 31) Host : The Mater Foundation

  • Mater Foundation: Nigel Harris (CEO)
  • Royal Flying Doctor: Ian Finlayson (Head, Corporate Affairs)
  • The Smith Family: Chris Stevenson (Senior Business Development Manager)

Transition to The Cloud

Many For-Purpose organisations are moving their systems to the cloud to improve access and productivity, and deliver cost savings. This session explores key success factors and potential pitfalls.

Sydney (November 22) Host: The Benevolent Society

  • Baptist World Aid : Jane Alfred (Information Services Manager)
  • Barnardos Australia : Neal Ross (Head of Technology)
  • Mission Australia : Peter Smith (Chief Information Officer)

Cyber Security

Cyber attacks can impact our clients and our reputation. This session explores approaches to reduce these risks, meet regulation standards and responding quickly to data breaches.


Brisbane (November 25) Host: The Salvation Army

  • Mercy Community Services: Patrick Lilwall (Executive Director, Transformation)
  • Ozcare: John Scurr (Head of Information Technology)
  • St Vincent de Paul: Stephen Finch (IT Manager)