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Board Level – Summer 2021

Board Level – Summer 2021

Greetings everyone. I hope this post finds you well, safe and loved by those around you.

I would like to acknowledge the Darug and Guringai peoples who are the Traditional Custodians of the Land on which I live, and I pay my respects to their Ancestors and Elders, past, present and emerging.

This is my first blog post as President of ANZ ACBS, an organisation I’ve been so proud to be a part of for the past 15 years and a community where I’ve found friends, like-minded colleagues and daring karaoke partners. The President Blog is an opportunity to provide members with transparency around the Board’s work and to showcase the incredible achievements of our organisation and its members. It is my privilege to continue a tradition started by Eric Morris and proudly continued by Tiffany Rochester and Daniel Simsion.

Board Changes:

Our AGM was held online in November 2020 and I want to thank the work of our secretary Andrew Duirs for organising and conducting such a successful event.

Outgoing President, Daniel Simsion delivered a fantastic address entitled Context and Crime: Exploring Opportunities and Next Steps for our Growing Chapter. I want to acknowledge Daniel’s leadership in his time as ANZ ACBS President. The summer bushfires of 2019/2020 were devastating and followed closely by a global pandemic which suddenly changed the way we worked and lived. Daniel led the Board through these events and changes with steadiness and foresight while personally living through one of the longest lockdowns in the world. Daniel worked tirelessly for the organisation and ANZ ACBS is in a better place because of him. I personally want to thank him for his ongoing generosity and guidance in passing the president baton.

Daniel Simsion

Of course, an AGM means a change to the makeup of the Board and we would like to welcome Deborah Hart (Member-At-Large), Toni Hanna (Member-At-Large), Melissa Schellekeins (President-Elect), Lisa Mastin-Purcell (Student Rep), and Elizabeth Maher (New Zealand Representative). All of them bring a wealth of experience, both personally and professionally, and we are thrilled to have them volunteer their time and dedicate their passion to the ANZ ACBS Board.

I’d like to acknowledge the Board members who finished their term late last year. ANZ ACBS is truly blessed with a membership of fabulous people and our outgoing Board members reflect just that.

Jennifer Kemp finished in her role as Member-At-Large. Jennifer brought an enthusiasm and attention to detail that proved invaluable to the workings of the Board. She was an active member of both the Finance Committee and the Webinar Subcommittee and much of the success of the webinar series last year was due to her efforts. We are lucky to have Jennifer continue on the Webinar Subcommittee.

Jennifer Kemp

Sarah Mooy also finished in her role as Member-At-Large. Sarah is a passionate proponent of social justice and equity and was highly active in our Action and Advocacy Subcommittee. We are thrilled to have her continue to play a significant role in that group.

Our Student Representative, Claire Turner also finished her term on the Board.Claire was a strong voice for both Student and New Zealand issues and was instrumental in organising the Dunedin Skills Intensive. When Covid-19 hit in 2020 she also ran a weekly online mindfulness session with Hayley Quinn providing comfort and focus for many members during the height of the pandemic.

Nathan Phillips finished in his role as New Zealand representative. Nathan was a strong voice for New Zealand and cultural diversity and outlined how to conduct our meeting (hui) from a Maori approach.

We also had to say goodbye to Tiffany Rochester. Tiff had been on the board for 5 years and has become such an integral part of the ANZ ACBS community that is difficult to pay full tribute to her vast contribution. As President she worked tirelessly to move our organisation forward, implementing membership reform that will benefit ANZ ACBS for many years. As Past President, her extensive organisational knowledge and grace provided a steadying light which we all benefitted from. She will be sorely missed.

Tiffany Rochester


Along with our fabulous new Board, we have three volunteers who offer their time to contribute to the work of ANZ ACBS:

Michael Swadling continues to work in Membership Support. This is a very important role for us, and we are so fortunate to have Michael’s skill and knowledge.

Tracey Hart is a new volunteer and has taken the role of Membership Officer. Already she is working with our Secretary Andrew Duirs to establish new ways of interacting with members.

James Fowler has taken the role of Communications Officer. No doubt you will hear from him as he communicates the work of the Board on our social media pages and contributes to the website. In a short time, James has already made me wonder what we did without him. James can be contacted at

If you are interested in volunteering with ANZ ACBS please contact me directly at

Organisation Changes

The covid-19 pandemic has given us the opportunity to pause and reflect on how the organisation works and as such a few changes have been implemented.

Executive Officer, Kali Madden will finish up with us at the end of March. Kali has been with ANZ ACBS since 2017 and has contributed to it being the financially healthy and professional organisation it is today. It is not easy to be the constant amidst a rolling board and Kali has brought passion and good humour to the position. I would personally like to thank her for her involvement with ANZ ACBS and wish her all the very best for the future.

This year the Board has divided its work into three main subcommittee areas: action and advocacy, membership and webinar/events.

Webinar and Events:

Louise Shepherd kicked off our events programme for the year with 90-minute skills-based webinar entitled ‘Facing the climate emergency together: How can ACT skills help?’ Well attended and highly well received, Louise provided an informative, reflective, passionate and deeply insightful webinar that has set a high bar for our 2021 event series. Many thanks to our Webinar and Events committee, consisting of Shelley Viskovich, Daniel Simsion, Jennifer Kemp, Sara Boucher and Lisa Mastin-Purcell for their fantastic work.

We realise that after the long slog of 2020, a certain amount of online fatigue may have set in, but the Webinar Committee members are putting together a fabulous series of webinars and trainings – stay tuned for announcements very soon!

Our first Book Reading event of 2021 saw Eric Winters read from his book ‘Swipe Right on Your Best Self’ This continues to be a great way for members to showcase their work and for the community to be aware of the wonderful work being done in our region. Thank you to our Secretary, Andrew Duirs for getting these book readings together.

Action and Advocacy

Our action and advocacy committee, consisting of Sarah Mooy, Andrew Duirs, Claire MacLeod, Deb Hart, Toni Hanna and myself, have been continuing their work in improving the ability of ANZ ACBS to respond to key issues affecting our communities. In collaboration with James Fowler, our new Communications Officer, the committee has developed a social media strategy that promises to alert and engage with members around key issues throughout the year.

ANZ ACBS also continues to work with other non-US international chapters to help CBS expand across the world and support other chapters to grow. Most recently we have connected with ACBS India Chapter and look forward to opportunities for future collaboration.

Conference 2021

Early in 2020, due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Board, in consultation with the conference team, took the hard decision to postpone the planned November 2020 conference for 12 months. The Board has again decided to postpone the conference until 2022. While vaccines begin to roll out across some parts of the world and our region, it was decided that the levels of uncertainty regarding international travel were still too high for us to guarantee a successful conference. Instead, the Conference team will work towards a smaller online event later in the year. Stay tuned!

Membership Committee

The Membership Committee, comprised of Andrew Duirs, Michael Swadling, Tracey Hart and myself, has been meeting to consider not only how to grow the organisation but how to continue to be an organisation that members want to be actively engaged with.

ANZ ACBS Sponsorship for World Conference submission

Jennifer Kemp was successful in her application for ANZ ACBS sponsorship for submission of her workshop to the ACBS World Conference 2021. This promises to be a fabulous workshop. Good luck Jen!

That’s all from me for this quarter. If you would like to dob in a colleague to tell us about their fabulous work (or generally just to tell us how great they are), if you’d like to see something different happening for ANZ ACBS members, if you have an idea or a desire to help your community, please get in touch. I’d love to hear from you.

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