AILA unveils 2019 Ron Shorter Award

The Australian Insurance Law Association has unveiled its 2019 flagship public speaking competition for young professionals in the insurance industry, the Ron Shorter Public Speaking Award.

The award, which opens on 1 March 2019, provides industry young professionals (YPs) with public speaking training and exposure to industry peers and luminaries. More than 300 YPs have benefited since the award began in 2012.

The competition is open to YPs (under 35 years of age) from all fields of insurance and insurance law in all states and territories. AILA National Treasurer Sue Vidler, the board member who oversees the award, said it was “a fantastic opportunity for YPs to further their skills”. She urged all YPs, including unsuccessful applicants from prior years, to enter.

Applicants must nominate an insurance-related topic on which they will speak. Entries close on 3 May.

Successful applicants attend public speaking training workshops in Melbourne (27 May), Sydney (3 June), and Brisbane (17 June) at award sponsor Colin Biggers & Paisley’s (CBP) offices. A Perth workshop on 24 June is hosted by Kott Gunning.

Invited applicants in South Australia, Tasmania, the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory will join a workshop by videolink. Workshop participants receive training from Polaris Coaching and then give two-minute presentations on their topics. Three finalists in each location will progress to the finals and receive additional training.

At finals in Sydney (18 July), Melbourne (25 July), Brisbane (8 August), and Perth (15 August), competitors speak for 10 minutes on their topics and battle for the four regional awards before judging panels and audiences of industry professionals.

The four winners each receive economy airfares, two nights’ accommodation and registration for the AILA National Conference (31 October – 2 November 2019) in Hobart and deliver their winning speeches at the conference.

Finalists receive $250 gift cards. Ron Shorter, after whom the award is named, died on 7 February 2012, after a lengthy battle with cancer. From April 2007 to mid-2011 he was practice manager of CBP’s Sydney Insurance Group.

During his career Shorter inspired and mentored many YPs. He recognised that confident public speaking was a vital skill for all insurance professionals and had instigated the award in Sydney, where it was launched in 2012. It has since expanded to invite entries from YPs in all states and territories.