Young broker receives prestigious industry award

Jackson McDonald from GSA Insurance Brokers has been awarded the 2017 Australian Insurance Law Association (AILA) Ron Shorter Memorial Award for Professionalism in Public Speaking in NSW & SA for his speech on insuring autonomous technology.

McDonald has expressed his gratitude for all the support, feedback and coaching he has received during the process, “It is really nice to have a physical trophy to show for all the time and effort that was invested into the speech. It has also been a great opportunity to network, build my personal brand and represent GSA.”

He will head to Singapore in October with the other winners for the inaugural Asia Pacific Insurance Conference 2017.

Ron Shorter, who died in 2012, had conceptualised the award to give YPs in the insurance and legal industries valuable public speaking skills. The competition has trained more than 250 YPs since it was launched in NSW in 2012 and spread to Victoria in 2015 and Queensland in 2016. In 2017, the award was opened to entrants from South Australia, Tasmania and Western Australia for the first time.

Describing his preparation McDonald said, “There was a lot of research involved. I spent around a month reading university papers, opinion pieces and reviews to find as much information as possible. Self-Driving cars are so technical and complex, there was a lot of Google searches for computer jargon I’d never heard before.”

The other winners are:

  • Queensland: Naazihah Jamal, from Gilchrist Connell, whose topic is Pilates, people & productivity: The need for flexibility and diversity in the insurance industry
  • Victoria/Tasmania: Rumesh Gnanaseelan, from Minter Ellison, No fault compensation for medical injury: Exploring the patient safety potential
  • Western Australia: Melusha Robson, from LGIS, Disruption, what’s the interruption – Disruptive technologies and their impact on the insurance industry.

AILA National President Angus Kench described the complimentary registration at APIC17 as a fantastic prize that offered a range of learning and networking opportunities for YPs and other industry participants.

On his future plans McDonald said, “Once I’ve built experience and knowledge, I would really like to mentor young professionals and graduates as they begin to build their own careers. I’m fortunate to have great mentors around me, and I’m a strong believer in having a trusted person you can discuss all aspects of professional and personal development with and seek advice from.”