By Dean Long, Chief Executive Officer, Australian Federation of Travel Agents
It has been a cracking start to the year for AFTA and at a pace that will need to continue for the rest of the year. As we announced last week, we have now moved to the next stage of the AFTA reform project following 18 months of hard work. The proposed Constitution sets the Association on a path of leadership and inclusiveness, applying the real learnings from the pandemic on how the Association needs to be governed.
The overwhelming feedback has been positive in nature with a strong view that these are important reforms which have been required for some time. Submissions can still be made and to make it easier, you can access a quick survey addressing the main changes HERE.
Yesterday, I also completed a townhall with industry, addressing a number of questions from the Sector. You can access this recording if you didn’t have the opportunity to attend.
On Government engagement, this month we meet with the Prime Minister and Minister for Skills Brendan O’Connor. On Friday I will be back in Canberra reconnecting with the members of the National Party including the leader, David Littleproud, as we continue our bi-partisan lobbying activities. Our outgoing advocacy focus will be on competition law settings, skills pathways and importantly the aviation white paper. These themes will dominate our engagement in the year ahead.
Excitingly, next week we will also hold our inaugural women in Travel Summit in Sydney where nearly 160 people will attend. The goal of the Summit is to gather information on how to continue supporting women in travel and which areas need improvement, which will then be detailed in AFTA’s Workforce Report. This report, to be released annually, will include achievable goals for the industry to work towards to better meet the needs of the majority of its workforce. Across the three sessions we will cover how the travel industry can best support women in the workplace, explore industry best practice into the future and importantly encourage personal development in areas such as career progression.
As part of our continued improvement strategy, we have engaged professional development keynote speaker Chelsea Pottenger, the Founder and Director of mental health and wellbeing business EQ Minds. Hearing and learning from leaders beyond travel is critical to ensure we continue to improve as a Sector.