2018 AICNSW State Conference and Awards Dinner

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The 2018 AICNSW Annual State Conference was held on Saturday 20 October 2018 at the Sofitel Wentworth Hotel, Sydney.

Officially opened by Master of Ceremonies, Mr Jon Downes, the Conference was first addressed by Ms Cheryl Alt, President of AICNSW.

After welcoming the attendees, Ms Alt spoke about the challenges that had faced conveyancers during 2018, noting the accelerating pace of change affecting the industry and the need for the conveyancing profession to stay on top of this change in order to flourish.

Content on the day included contributions from Revenue NSW and the NSW Office of Registrar General, a presentation of decision making and ethical conduct form, the Sydney Ethics Centre and a session on leasing, off the plan contracts and legislation updates.

Rob Edwards, the keynote speaker, presented an entertaining and thought-provoking session on personal health and wellbeing and how easy it is for each one of us to take small personal steps towards improving our personal and emotional health, ranging from simple changes to our lifestyle to how we act and move.

AICNSW industry partners again provided the scene for an energetic expo area which enabled conference delegates to find out more about the products and services available to assist conveyancers in their business and in the efficient and professional delivery of conveyancing services. We again benefitted from the support and commitment of our sponsors who generously made their staff available to help AICNSW attendees understand their products and services and to take part in their fantastic prize draws.

Most importantly, our sponsors provided the necessary sugar to maintain physical and cognitive energy during the day. I am sure those who were in attendance on the day would attest to the level of energy in the Expo area during the various refreshment breaks.

For those who felt adventurous, ‘Greeny’, our caricature artist, provided his unique take on our personal appearances through his wonderful drawing skills.

After a short adjournment at the end of the day, the momentum was renewed at AICNSW’s Conference and Awards Dinner. This event is a great opportunity to let off a bit of steam of after an intensive day of presentation, and to also allow us an opportunity to celebrate the contributions made by conveyancing businesses and individual practitioners throughout the year. Offering a genuine and well-deserved tribute to their professional excellence, the Awards allow winners and finalists to be acknowledged and enjoy and reflect upon their significant achievements in 2017.

Once the formalities had concluded, Conference attendees were entertained by AICNSW house band, Hype, who had everyone up and dancing with some very distinctive moves until very late.

A special thank you goes to our newest sponsor, LMW, whose representative Matthew cut an impressive John Travolta-style figure and swept the dance floor before him.

Finally, the author must acknowledge that his desire to take to the stage was overwhelming and apologises to all those who witnessed the bad lip syncing to the great John Farnham’s ‘You’re the Voice’. There is always next year to get it right!

The President’s Award

The President’s Award is presented to a business owner who has exemplified best practice and professionalism in conveyancing during the year.

This award is sponsored by First Title.

2018 President’s Award Winner: Peta Stewart, Peta Stewart Conveyancing, Lavington.

This year’s winner is a breath of fresh air. Not only is Peta competent, confident and exceptionally proficient in electronic conveyancing, she also has some firsts tucked under her belt. She is the first conveyancer to open a business in her area and the first to bring electronic conveyancing to her part of the world.

Peta is also giving back to the conveyancing community, to the public and to professional colleagues. She has taken on mentoring and keynote speaking and has an active social media presence. All of these things positively promote our profession and put conveyancers at the forefront of the minds of the general public.

It is rare for a direct lawyer competitor to make the effort to nominate one of our members for the President’s Award, but Peta had three glowing nominations from lawyer competitors.

2018 President’s Award Finalist

Congratulation to all of our finalists:

Joanne Azar
Platinum Conveyancing, Parramatta

Katherine Boyd
Boyd Conveyancing, Belmont

Lauren Buhagiar
Active Property Conveyancing, Wollongong

Susan Hall
Halls Conveyancing, Picton

Maha Machado
Strictly Conveyancing, Rydalmere

Leah Payne
Southern Property Transfers, Wandandian

Therese Ryan
Cornerstone Conveyancing Services, Sawtell

Irene Vakarin
John Orford Conveyancing, Bexley

Kaylene Widderick
On Call Conveyancing, Oatley

Nicole Yeaman
Auswide Conveyancing, Kellyville Ridge

The CEO’s Award

The CEO’s Award recognises a dedicated employee who is highly regarded as a team member and who provides high standards of service to clients and support to other staff members.

This award is sponsored by Stewart Title.

2018 CEO’s Award Winner:
Merrill Phillips, Stacks Law Firm, Taree.

Merrill has been in the legal and conveyancing industry in excess of 30 years, with the last 17 years specialising in conveyancing. She has high standards and conducts herself with a great degree of professionalism.

She is highly respected by her peers and clients and deals mainly with residential and rural conveyancing, but she does also throw in a bit of intergenerational transfers as well as business, commercial and retail leasing.

Leading a team of five conveyancing staff and providing all the valuable advice, guidance and support they need, Merrill has even been known to assist staff from other local conveyancing firms.

Merrill ran her own practice for three years before merging with her present employer, Stacks Law Firm, in February 2011, who support her 100%.

2018 CEO’s Award Finalist
Congratulations to all of our finalists:

Carmela Alexis
John Orford Conveyancing, Hurstville

Elizabeth Arkins
Stewart Conveyancing, Bella Vista

Roslyn Elphick
Dott & Crossitt Solicitors, Richmond

Claudia Hofstetter
Keith Hurst & Associates, Sydney

Service Awards

AICNSW once again takes great pride in recognising those conveyancing practitioners who are celebrating personal milestones of 10, 15 or 20 years of membership of the AICNSW.

As this list lengthens, we can continue to be proud of and encouraged by the ever-rising status of the conveyancing profession and its growing depth of expertise.

10 Year Members

  • Joanne Azar
  • Renee Williscroft
  • Michelle Hartmann
  • Georgina Weir
  • Jacqueline Dalrymple
  • Karen Cranney
  • Lynette Singleton
  • Nicole Coulter
  • Kerry Martin
  • Linda Gulliver
  • Michelle Goff
  • Rachel Provost
  • Lynette Dobell
  • Cory-Anna Darcy
  • Daniel Lynch
  • Natalie Currall
  • Desmond Dubery
  • Elizabeth Arkins
  • Kelly Myhill
  • Ali Zein
  • Jade Fletcher
  • Xiaomin Zhong
  • Leanne Anderson
  • Roger Jenkins
  • Ann Woo
  • Catherine Thorneycroft-Jameson

15 Year Members

  • Joanne Belfanti
  • Lorraine Berry
  • Deborah Bowring
  • Paula Brown
  • Robin Bulyk
  • Kay Cavanagh
  • Patricia Chang
  • Karen Duffy
  • Amanda Edmonds
  • Marina Eyeington
  • Shirley Hardingham
  • Christine Jones
  • Sandra Kelly
  • Danielle Perrie
  • Cindy Lambert
  • Maria Lawrie
  • Arja Levonpera
  • Sharon Mealing
  • Carole Millar
  • Toni Oliver
  • Lianne Pocknall
  • Melissa Ryan
  • Stephen Saunders
  • Shiv Sharma
  • Carol Shennan
  • Jason Smith
  • Susan Spring
  • Sylvia Alkhas
  • Monique Tudor
  • Lynnette Waldon
  • Nicole Yeaman
  • Amanda Williams
  • Kimberley Winton
  • Leah Payne