Announcing the new BCI Australasian Chapter
Following a proposal submitted by the Australian Chapter Leaders (also known as ARAG), individual Australasian Chapters will now be amalgamated to form a single Australasian Chapter with representation from all Australian states, territories, and New Zealand regions. The changes will take effect from this week.
The change will see Australasian members benefit from a larger Chapter that represents the whole Australasian region.
It will be supported by a Leadership Committee that acts as an administration and coordination function, with participation from the Australasian membership and the BCI Central Office. The new Leadership Committee, guided by a new Australasian Operating Model, will work to communicate, coordinate and support BCI events globally, by region, or locally either at physical or virtual events.
Australasian Chapter membership will serve a community of more than 2000 business continuity professionals, of which more than 900 are BCI members. The changes are expected to drive greater collaboration across the region, with members able to share best practice across a wider audience, and therefore increase engagement within the Chapter.
Please see below for comments from Leadership Committee members, which highlight the further benefits of the new changes.
Comments and statements from the Leadership Committee
“Catalysts for change come in many different forms. In early 2020, Shaun Allingham (NSW), Sharon Buckland (Victorian Chapters) and myself were discussing the challenges of providing events and values of membership. Over the course of 2020 and the beginning of 2021 our discussions started to grow into a feasible idea and possible way forward. The proposal to change to an Australasian Chapter from state-based chapters was developed over 2021 and presented to ARAG in late 2021.
I see the benefits of increased virtual meetings, face-to-face as hybrid events across Australasia, for all BCI Australasian members to participate. One of the key points is versatility, as this does not prevent BCI members undertaking a local face-to-face BCI event and streaming this session to all other BCI members in Australasia. It also doesn't prevent coffee meetings conducted in a city as it'll be advertised across Australasia and, as people are travelling again, members across Australia may be able to attend their coffee meeting and network. I also see the benefit of virtual webinars, as we can get a larger Australasian perspective of the challenges faced and provide greater engagement, promotion, collaboration, and communication across all Australasian membership to be more inclusive. This could also include an occasional Asia-Pacific region collaboration, not only to network virtually but understand our neighbouring countries challenges in dealing with similar disruptive events. I am looking forward to the new Operating Model and explore ways of engaging with our members.”
- Brian Holecek OAM CEM , SA Committee Member, & Australasian Chapter Committee Member
“I am excited to be part of the new Australasian Chapter Committee and the opportunity that it presents for current and future Australasian members. As a single Australasian Chapter, our presence will be stronger and more influential and facilitate greater networking and sharing of ideas. We hope to be able to increase member value, promote inclusivity to all of our members, promote greater collaboration and provide transparency through clarity of direction.”
- Shaun Allingham MBCI, NSW Chapter Leader, & Australasian Chapter Committee Member
“The changes to the way the Australian and New Zealand Chapters operate will greatly enhance the effectiveness of the BCI Chapter for its BCI members and the broader business continuity network. Australasia has some inherent challenges due to geographies, time zones, and diversity of cultures that will be better served through a centralised Chapter that will be able to understand, assist and communicate information and capability enhancing knowledge to its BCI members and the broader business continuity network.
Some of the guiding principles that resonate with me, especially considering disruptive events such as COVID-19, climate change, reliance on technology and the war in Ukraine, are as follows:
- Communities and people seek direction and clarity when coming face to face with change – the new Australasian Chapter will promote greater engagement through a spirit of commitment and enthusiasm to support the business continuity community within Australasia to deal with changes at home and abroad.
- It has been a hard two years for many people to connect and stay reconnected, the new Australasian Chapter will strive to welcome both members and non-members, and assist their development within the industry.
- The threats, risks and issues that exist across jurisdictions should be understood, embraced and be the foundations for building greater strength in resilience, the new Australasian Chapter will acknowledge and celebrate cultural differences between geographical locations and foster a spirit of togetherness.
It is an exciting time ahead for the new Australasian Chapter. I look forward to supporting the transition and ongoing success of the Chapter and the BCI in Australasia.”
- Tom Foskett MBCI, WA Chapter Leader, & Australasian Chapter Committee Member
“From a purely personal standpoint, after 25 years in the industry and 12 in Australia, I could see the challenges each Chapter had in finding speakers, maintaining engagement and maturing BC across the Australasian region. The pandemic has undoubtedly impacted engagement and new GDPR rules has meant that we have no direct way of engaging with our members e.g., meeting for coffees, having ad hoc conversations from which events and speakers could be sourced.
By moving to an Australasian Chapter, we are aiming for wider and more inclusive engagement. I personally hope we can reach wider than just our region and invest time and effort in bringing international speakers to our events, so we can learn about the rest of the world and whilst some materials may not be relevant to our region, I feel we are opening up our members to wider networking opportunities, enhancing their knowledge and skills, and adding overall value to their membership.
I hope the local Chapter camaraderie is maintained, as that is still so very important, but it's also important that our new Chapter reflects the size and scale of our region, caters for everyone and provides the best value to our members.”
- Sharon Buckland MBCI, former VIC/TAS Chapter Vice Chair, & ARAG member
Join the BCI Australasian Chapter group here.