Girls to the Front: 3 Best Sessions at ACESYD17 Presented by Women

Another year, another conference season is starting in Australia, and the International Conference Centre in Sydney seems to be the place to be in 2017. To kick off the Australian Not-For-Profit (NFP) conference season is AusAE’s Ace Conference (ACESYD17).

In it’s third year of operation, this conference promises some great sessions as well as a good party or two! They’ve also got a lot to live up to from last year’s amazing line-up.

Last year’s conference highlighted the gender inequality still present in your average NFP, so this year I’ll be discussing the best sessions to attend presented by women in honour of the great cause championed by the AusAE team!


Also a little off topic but, hallelujah, Andrew Klein is hosting again this year. If you saw him present last year, you know what a great laugh he is and how he brought such fun to the conference while always being an utmost professional. That’s a fine line to walk, but he does it perfectly!

#GirlsToTheFront: Here are the best three sessions at ACESYD17 presented by fierce women.

1. Let’s Get Digital: Effective & Integrated Digital Marketing for Associations, Debbie Bradley, Account Director, Zadro Agency

Thursday, May 11 at 11:00 a.m.

Zadro is an organisation run completely by women, so this is a good place to start your #GirlsToTheFront conference journey. With a mission to promote women leaders to the top through strategic integrated communications management, Group Account Director, Debbie Bradley, will be presenting on how your association can conquer digital marketing.


In the current NFP landscape, your digital assets are more important than ever in expressing your unique stories to your members. So you need to ensure every piece of content you publish is part of a bigger integrated strategy that stays on brand, on message, and progresses your mission. Be sure to attend this session if you’re interested in how to build and work on your digital brand.

2.The Trials & Tribulations of the Small Association, Patrizia Torelli, Chief Executive Officer, Australian Furniture Association

Friday, May 12 at 11:00 a.m. 

If you don’t already know Patrizia from the Australian Furniture Association, do yourself a favour and buy this woman a drink at the conference dinner. Not only is she a bad-arse CEO, but she is also hilarious and humble, so for me, someone early in my NFP career, I really look up to her.

Patrizia will be talking about her tenure at the Australian Furniture Association and how she has transformed a small association into an organisation to be reckoned with. Due to her innovative and clever approach, Patrizia is perfect to present on how you can build a successful membership organisation with a small staff, little resources, and pure will.

3. Keynote: Naomi Simson, Founding Director Redballoon, Entrepreneur, Blogger, Linkedin Influencer, Author, and Speaker

Friday, May 12 at 3:15 p.m.

The final keynote before the last session of ACE is by Naomi Simpson, Founding Director of Red Balloon. Not only is she the founder of Red Balloon (and trust me, that would have been enough), she is also a champion for healthy and happy workplaces through her other organisation, Redii, and an avid blogger on

Naomi will be bringing her commercial success in business and in workplace culture to ACESYD17 to show the NFP sector what they can learn from her long list of accomplishments.

Bonus Sessions

This year Aptify is proud to support AusAE in presenting Learning Zone. Held for the first time, the Learning Zone will host five speakers over two days on the topic of Innovation in a Bring Your Own Device World. Speaker highlights include Graham Catt of the Australian Veterinary Association and Susanna Richardson from the Victorian Hospitals Industrial Association.

I can’t wait for another great ACE conference this year, I’ll see you all in Sydney at the Learning Zone or hosting Stream B.

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