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A strong industry association is vital to continuing to lift our industry voice, building our capabilities and achieving outcomes, and creating new connections for our future. Part of ensuring we have an industry association that is future-focused is making sure we continually invest, adapt, and create.
With this in mind, the AFIA Board recently implemented a revamped governance structure underpinned by a decision-making architecture that assists AFIA in navigating the current financial services landscape and positions the association to leverage the strength of our diverse membership, build organisational resilience and financial sustainability, and create additional and ongoing value for our members and stakeholders.
Our governance structure aims to define, clarify and guide our decision-making processes and ensures our members are actively engaged in setting our strategic direction and work program. A thematic approach to our governance ensures we embed cross-industry and sector-specific leadership to support our policy, communications, industry standards and member services work.
Helping to address the fast moving and unknown variables that we continue to experience with COVID-19, our governance structure allows AFIA and our members prepare to reshape and reposition the industry moving forward. As we slowly emerge from restrictions and enter new ways of business and working, our new structure is already proving a key change for the Association. We have been able to move nimbly and quickly gather intel and points of view to respond to Government, regulator and consumer advocate queries. This has helped to maintain an open and critical dialogue with key stakeholders and allowed us to influence support programs and packages to benefit our members and the industry.
At its March meeting, the AFIA Board gave thoughtful consideration to both the current challenges and those that lie ahead. They agreed on the need to construct a fit for purpose Association. This required a proactive approach and an ever-adapting strategy that gave clarity of our strategic direction, amplified our influence and achieved better outcomes for the industry, members and the community.
In alignment with AFIA's revamped governance structure, the Board successfully introduced a strategy refresh and a new engagement model.
The strategy refresh is designed to position AFIA to lead and represent its diverse membership to do the right thing by their customers and stakeholders, create a unified voice focused on the future of the industry, and drive a culture of integrity, transparency and fairness. These concepts are contained in our new strategic goal:
Financing Australia’s Future: Embrace the challenges of the modern finance industry, by leveraging the insights of our diverse membership, to influence our future and drive a culture, based on integrity, transparency and fairness, to achieve better outcomes for our customers and our industry.
Our new strategy builds on a strong platform of history and commitment across our membership and focuses us on striving to be the best we can be for our customers and for our communities. A key theme of the strategy refresh was to reenergise the Association – to act rather than react and to rebuild for the longer term.
In order to achieve our strategic goal and succeed, we refined our priorities and shifted focus to four strategic priorities - navigating the external environment, leveraging the internal environment, creating a space for thought leadership and focusing on the future. Our work program going forward will be structured within these key areas and will be reinforced by our guiding principles: access to credit, competition and innovation, and economic and social participation.
New Engagement Model
Our new engagement model highlights the need to cultivate further interaction, participation and engagement throughout our membership, to leverage research and data to better understand member interests, and to fine-tune our advocacy model in order to lead the Association from the current crisis to the next normal. The model aims to create a sense of belonging and connectivity within our industry, reimagining member services by shifting events and networks to community, shifting information sharing to professional development, and transactions to relationships.
The overall objectives of this new engagement model include:
Hear some of our Board members share their thoughts and views on the value these changes are bringing and continue to bring to our industry association.