The AFA Commons

In communities around the world people have created a space where they could share their commonly held resources. Think the piazza’s in Europe, the town square in England, or the well in the middle of the African village. This space is owned by everyone in the community and is used to share not only the resources of the community but also the culture.
The AFA National Adviser Conference brings together all of the knowledge and capability of the AFA advice community for everyone to share in and benefit from. It is a place where everyone can share our culture of collaboration, entrepreneurship & passion. That’s why we created the AFA Commons as the centre of our conference. The AFA Commons is your place to share in our common goal of providing great advice for more Australians.

AFA Curriculum

The AFA curriculum supports a professional development eco-system that is built around the needs of the modern financial adviser and their clients. The AFA curriculum balances technical skills and knowledge with how they are practically applied. The AFA professional development philosophy grows the knowledge, skills and confidence of the financial advice community.

AFA Learning Pillars

The AFA has established 4 key learning pillars that address critical issues, challenges and opportunities faced by contemporary financial advisers in their professional career. We use these learning pillars to curate the rich variety of knowledge, skills and expertise shared within the AFA community and to deliver this in a manner which gives you the practical tools to adapt and to thrive.

Create your own AFA conference experience by tailoring the professional development content that is relevant and practical to you.

Business Performance
  • Cultivating a high performance advice practice
  • Innovating to create great client experiences
Adviser Performance
  • Creating the emotionally intelligent adviser
  • Helping your clients understand your advice strategy
Advice Strategies
  • Great advice strategies that create client certainty
  • Technical skills and knowledge practically applied
Professionalism & Leadership*
  • Living professional standards and behaviour
  • Regulatory change and creating positive community perceptions
 *You will find all Professionalism & Leadership sessions on Plenary.


8.15am Registration and Exhibition Open  
8.30am - 9.25am First Time Attendees Welcome Event  
9.40am - 9.55am Opening Ceremony  
9.55am - 11.15am AFA Narrative
Exploring The Issues and Opportunities Affecting Financial Advice
11.15am - 11.55am Prof Michael Drew & Brian Parker, MLC
Building Client Certainty
11.55am - 12.55pm Lunch  
12.55pm - 1.45pm Jon Burgess
The Three Minds Approach
1.45pm - 2.05pm Rising Star Award
Partnered with ANZ Wealth
2.05pm - 2.40pm Daniel Flynn
A Social Enterprise Born of Innovation
2.40pm - 3.30pm Tim Reid
Marketing To Win More Business
3.30pm - 3.40pm Day Close  
3.40pm - 4.30pm Afternoon Tea  
4.15pm - 5.30pm Association of Financial Advisers AGM (for Members)  
7.30pm - 10.00pm Welcome Reception
Partnered with ANZ Wealth


7.00am - 8.15am

Plenary Breakfast
Amanda Gore

Six Secrets to Great Conversations

8.20am - 8.50am

AFA Excellence in Education Award
Partnered with Asteron Life

Campus AFA Graduation Ceremony

8.50am - 9.00am Morning Wrap  
9.00am - 9.30am Morning Tea  
9.35am - 10.05am Steve Woodhouse
Dignity & Choices: A Client’s Perspective
10.05am - 11.05am Meet the Professional & Meet the Innovators
11.05am - 11.50am Geoff Ross
Get a Proper Goal
11.50am - 12.00pm Day Close  
12.00pm - 1.00pm Lunch  
12.15pm - 12.45pm FChFP Graduate Lunch (Invitation Only)  
1.00pm Departure Optional Tours depart Cairns Convention Centre  
1.15pm - 3.15pm

Optional Masterclasses
Creating Retirement Certainty Masterclass
Corporate Superannuation Masterclass
Inspire Masterclass

3.30pm - 5.00pm Masterclass Networking Activities (offsite)  
6.00pm - 9.00pm Evening at Leisure  
9.00pm - Late ClubAFA
Partnered with Asteron Life


7.00am - 8.05am

Optional Breakfasts
1. Corporate Superannuation
2. Campus AFA
3. Leaders Forum
4. GenXt

8.15am - 8.25am Day Welcome  
8.25am - 9.10am Paul Taylor
Body & Brain Performance
9.10am - 9.30am Female Excellence in Advice Award
Partnered with TAL
9.30am - 9.50am Hon Chris Bowen MP
A Vision for Financial Advice
9.50am - 10.30am A Profession in Transition: Seeding the next generation
Panel Session
10.30am - 10.35am Morning Wrap  
10.35am - 11.05am Morning Tea  
11.05am - 2.10pm Licensee Leadership Forum
Invitation Only: For executive delegates from our AFA Licensees
11.05am - 11.45am
11.50am - 12.30pm
12.30pm - 1.30pm Lunch  
1.30pm - 2.10pm

2.20pm - 2.45pm AFA Recognition & Michael Murphy Awards  
2.45pm - 3.30pm Will Your Disclosure Hold Up in Court?
Panel Session
3.30pm - 3.55pm Afternoon Tea  
3.55pm - 4.40pm Andrew Demetriou
Changing the Public’s Perception
4.40pm - 5.00pm Closing Ceremony  
7.15pm to 1.00am AFA Adviser of the Year & Practice of the Year Gala Dinner
Partnered with Zurich

Tuesday 14 October

11.05am - 11.45am

Business Performance
forum    fundamental

Think like a CEO: Adapting your advice model to change

Is full advice or scaled advice the future driver of business growth and profitability?

An increasing number of advisers are adapting their business models to offer both scaled and full advice. We explore the thinking and strategy used by CEO’s from advice businesses and dealer groups.


Rod Bristow, Infocus


Rod Bristow, Infocus
Craig Parker, Affinia

Adviser Performance
Adviser-Case-Study  fundamental

What do you say after “Hello”?

The secrets to successful first client meetings.

All the research points to clients valuing qualities like empathy, engagement and active listening. Discover the ‘art’ of successful client interviews while still discussing the science.


Russell Collins, Risk Insurance Communication Skills


Russell Collins, Risk Insurance Communication Skills
Sam Perera, Perera Crowther Financial Services

Advice Strategies 1
fundamental   forum   workshop

Asset Class Outlook Part 1: Global & Australian Equity Markets

Hear from globally respected portfolio analysts from leading investment houses and their views on the outlook of their specialist asset class.

This practical workshop gives you a deeper understanding of the drivers and outlook for investment markets for you to use with your clients.


Graham Rich, PortfolioConstruction Forum


Hugh Giddy, Investors Mutual Limited
Nick Bratt, Zurich (LIVE feed from NYC)

Advice Strategies 2
Adviser-Case-Study  expert forum

Competing in the SMSF market

SMSF is the fastest growing segment of the superannuation market. How you do determine if participating is right for your business and your clients?

A technical session exploring the basis for appropriate and inappropriate recommendations to establish a SMSF.


Tim Hewson, ING Direct


Tim Hewson, ING Direct
Sam Henderson, Henderson Maxwell

Tuesday 14 October

11.50am - 12.30pm

Business Performance
forum    fundamental

Where will my new clients come from? 

Will partnering with accountants ever overtake referrals from existing clients?

A definitive guide on how to get it right. The relationship between accountants and financial advisers is coverging. Workshop the practical steps from an accountants perspective on how to achieve mutual success for all parties.


Scott Charlton, Business Coach


Scott Charlton, Business Coach
Rob McGregor, GPS Wealth
Paul Forbes, Robina Financial Services

Adviser Performance
Adviser-Case-Study  expert  workshop

Understanding each client’s communication fingerprint

We all have our own unique natural behaviour patterns. This workshop explores ways in which you can tailor your client communication strategy to truly gain their trust and engagement. Use this adviser-focused workshop to discover your behavioural compatibility with those of your clients. Understand your clients’ behavioural influencers and how it impacts their financial decision making. We will demonstrate how four individual advisers use different communication styles to suit different client conversations.

Malcolm LeLievre, DNA Behaviour


Malcolm LeLievre, DNA Behaviour

Advice Strategies 3
fundamental   forum   workshop

Asset Class Outlook Part 2: Property & Global Debt Markets

Hear from globally respected portfolio analysts from leading investment houses and their views on the outlook of their specialist asset class.

This practical workshop gives you a deeper understanding of the drivers and outlook for investment markets for you to use with your clients.


Graham Rich, PortfolioConstruction Forum


David Goodman, Westpac
Damian Fitzpatrick, AMP Capital

Advice Strategies 4
fundamental  forum  Adviser-Case-Study

Meeting your Best Interest Duty when giving insurance advice 

Meeting the Best Interest Duty is more than the cheapest price and best definitions.

With the help of case studies we will demonstrate the process and advice strategies available to advisers to meet the Best Interest test.


Katherine Ashby, BT Financial Group


Katherine Ashby, BT Financial Group
Shaun Hunt, Hunt Wealth

Tuesday 14 October

1.30pm - 2.10pm

Business Performance
Adviser-Case-Study  expert  forum

Motivating & rewarding great advice teams

Great culture is at the heart of all successful businesses and it doesn’t happen by accident. Leaders in these businesses take a strategic approach to engaging, developing & valuing their people. Explore the thinking, processes and tools these business leaders use to nuture their high-performing advice teams.

Stephen Daly, Suncorp Advice


Stephen Daly, Suncorp Advice
Chris Browne, Rising Tide

Adviser Performance
Adviser-Case-Study  expert  workshop

Difficult decisions: Moving Mum & Dad to Aged Care

Navigating the emotional, technical and ethical considerations of inter-generational care decisions.

Using real case studies you will address both the financial and personal aspects of supporting clients dealing with these difficult life defining moments. Emotional Intelligence can make all the difference.


Ron Grima, Equity Trustees


Anna Lawton, Equity Trustees
Anne Graham, McPhail HLG Financial Planning

Advice Strategies 5
expert  forum

Are model portfolios good enough in a Best Interests world?

What can advisers do differently in the next GFC to manage downside risk and is it their responsibilty?

Most advisers match a client’s portfolio to their risk profile. This approach created unexpected consequences for clients during the GFC. It’s time to examine the adviser’s responsibility to manage client expectations and consider other portfolio solutions.


Graham Rich, PortfolioConstruction Forum


Adam Curtis, Perpetual Investment
Jody Fitzgerald, Australian Unity
Peter Kell, ASIC

Advice Strategies 6
expert  forum  workshop

The Complex Financial Plan: Great advice for more Australians

Test you advanced investment, insurance & advice strategy skills against the experts. We will workshop a comprehensive advice strategy for the modern Australian family.

This masterclass of financial advice will test everyone’s technical ability across the full spectrum of advice opportunities.


Nick Hakes, AFA


Catherine Robson, Affinity Private
Craig Day, Colonial First State
Anthony Brown, Medico Legal Insurance Group

Focus Session Format


Adviser Case Study

An AFA practitioner member shares their knowledge and real-world experience on a critical issue. Learn relevant and practical insights directly from your peers.


An open discussion between a panel of experts and advisers on critical issues faced by the financial advisers.


Take a hands-on approach and leverage the collective experience and expertise of your peers to solve a common business challenge. Walk away with the tools you need to implement new ideas.

Complexity of session


Specialist knowledge and insights that make you an expert in your discipline.


Knowledge and insights that are relevant to all practitioners.