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AACP 2021 President’s Report

October 17, 2021 AACP News



Cassandra Pullos

AACP President

30 September 2019 to date


It is with pleasure and a sense of achievement that I report to AACP members on the year that was.  Whilst the impact of Covid has presented some challenges for us over the last year, we have nonetheless accomplished a significant amount for our members and for the development of Interdisciplinary Collaborative Practice in Australia.  In reflecting on the transformative work that has been done to build AACP.  I take particular pleasure in highlighting the following:


Our 2021 Road To Resolution Conference


Launched by AACP Patron, the Honourable Diana Bryant AO QC, in April this year, the conference has received overwhelming, positive feedback.


A great deal of work was invested in the conference by our Conference Subcommittee and I commend their efforts in assembling this cohort of talented and respected collaborative trainers and for putting together a fabulous program


The event has served to put us on the international collaborative stage (with delegates from as far afield as Poland), it has added value to the knowledge base of existing collaborative professionals and attracted new collaborative professionals.  The series of 8 recorded conference sessions will be a valuable resource for months to come.


Whilst the conference does not conclude until 19 November 2021, we anticipate walking away from the conference with a small profit, which is incredible in circumstances where profit was not the main objective of this conference.


I also commend the foresight of the conference’s principal sponsor, Vincents and the virtual platform sponsor, Divorce Done Differently, without whom this conference simply could not have gone ahead.  It can be risky to be the first to back a grand plan and we believe their investment has proven a sound one.


Strategic Relationships

Also of note this past year, was the less visible work done in the building of relationships with strategic partners nationally and internationally, as well as promoting collaborative practice to the wider community. Board members have stepped up to a myriad of opportunities to present at external conferences, to engage in webinars and training programs and to make themselves available to the media.


Strategic Planning for 2022 and Beyond

Last but not least in the accomplishment highlights, I’d like to make note of the work that has commenced on strategic planning for 2022 and beyond. The Board has engaged the services of Liz Giblett to facilitate the planning process and we acknowledge Board member, Susan Warda from Mills Oakley for generously funding the first phase of this process.  A sound strategic plan is important not only to ensure that our strategic priorities align to the needs of our members but also to keep the Board invigorated and motivated.


Our Treasurer, Julie Gray, will report on our financial performance for the past 12 months further in this report, and without giving too much away, we are in the healthiest position that we have been in since inception, which is an incredible achievement for AACP. In the space of four years, we have managed to reach a surplus position, which has allowed us to build reserves for our work in the coming months. Our plan for the year ahead as the Road to Resolution ends, is to shift our focus to other activities aligned to our strategic imperatives. More information about this will be reported to members following our Strategic Planning Day in February 2022.


Over the last 15 months, remarkably, membership in AACP has almost tripled.  We are encouraged existing members are renewing and new members are joining, on the basis of the value AACP is delivering in terms of connection, engagement and advocacy in the collaborative community, even in these challenging times.


I acknowledge in particular the support of our integrated members from NSW and South Australia and look forward to continuing working in close cooperation with Collaborative Professionals NSW and CollaborativeSA. We are hopeful that similar partnerships will grow with other states and territories.


I also acknowledge the support of our Silver Corporate members, Mediation Collective and Pearson Emerson, our Gold Corporate members ATW Family Law and Mills Oakley and our first ever, Platinum Corporate members, Broun Abrahams Burreket.


Whilst details of the work to be undertaken in 2022 and onwards will be revealed following the Board’s Strategic Planning Day in February of next year, we confirm now that the AACP Board is committed to delivering against our Strategic Plan.  We are in the unique position where the composition of the Board will remain unchanged (barring unforeseen circumstances) in the year ahead.  This consistency and stability will work to our advantage.


I would like to extend my thanks to the Board and the Executive Team for their hard work and efforts over the past year. I single out the Conference Subcommittee in particular, who have done an amazing job in delivering the outstanding product that they have.


I believe it bears stating that Board members engage on the Board in a volunteer capacity and are responsible for meeting all expenses associated with their involvement on the Board.  I would hate to think what the costs in-kind would be if we factored in the hourly rates that we have on our Board.  Board members invest their time in AACP because they believe in its Purposes and in the value of collaborative practice as a dispute resolution model for the Australian community.


I, along with the Executive Team and Board members, look forward to the advent of 2022, more engagement with members in person and the continued momentum of ICP in Australia.


Cassandra Pullos,

AACP President

AACP thanks our platinum, gold, and silver corporate members:

AACP thanks our corporate partners: