AAWI Melbourne Launch Report
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By Madeleine Lloyd
AAWI Administrative Assistant

Our Melbourne launch was a great success. We had a turnout of 70 people, including our guest, Law Institute of Victoria President Stephen Sapountsis, and two staff. 15 people who had registered did not attend, so this is a great attendance rate. It was also great to see our committee members join our Co-Chairs Sarah Rey and Karen Streckfuss to celebrate the AAWI launch.

AAWI Committee at Melbourne Launch

Erin Rice, John Boardman, Joanna Betteridge, Peta Nowacki, Jane Seymour, Graham Andrewartha, Sarah Rey, Karen Streckfuss

Karen and Sarah both spoke and their presentations were very engaging. Karen and Sarah took questions from the floor regarding what AAWI hopes to achieve in Australia and New Zealand. The questions showed a great deal of interest in the association and dedication to improving the quality of workplace investigations in Australia.

Among the questions were whether AAWI:

  • was aiming to move towards an accreditation system;
  • would be providing a helpline for members;
  • would list its members and their contact details on the website for employers to make contact;
  • would permit members to use the association’s logo;
  • would be providing training.

After the speeches Committee members fielded more questions regarding the format of Local Circles and how people could get involved. I signed up one person as a member on the night, and many others expressed interest and took flyers. Although we only had one membership sign-up, bringing the laptop was still helpful to show potential members how to navigate the AAWI site and to assuage confusion about using the US website. 

The Metropolitan Hotel was an ideal venue. The space was a perfect size for our numbers, set up cocktail-style. A lectern and microphone was included in the hire and there were no technical hiccups. The Metropolitan staff provided a table for registration along with guest Wi-Fi access so that I could help guests to navigate the AAWI website and show them how to sign up. Their drink card system also worked well.

The Melbourne launch has created significant momentum for AAWI. Going forward, we plan to contact the people who attended the launch to encourage them to sign up as members. Committee members from other states also had the opportunity to observe how the Melbourne launch was run and develop ideas for their own launches.