Recap on NIBA’s Vic Breakfast Seminar and Lunch Gala, and NIBA / UAC Expo

On Friday 20 May, the Victorian broking community gathered together at the Crown Melbourne to network and celebrate achievements in a very challenging market.

Written on 25 May, 2022
Amy Cai

On Friday 20 May, the Victorian broking community gathered together at the Crown Melbourne to network and celebrate achievements in a very challenging market.

NIBA’s Vic Breakfast Seminar

The day started with a breakfast seminar which featured an engaging panel discussion by members of the Young Professionals Committee.

The panellists, who are some of the state’s top executives, provided valuable words of advice on working in a post-lockdown environment and prioritising career development in this context.

With so many changes in the corporate environment, especially in Victoria which experienced the longest lockdowns during the pandemic, each of the panellists had unique stories and experiences to share.

Key Lessons on How to Build a Successful Career in the Post-Covid-19 Workplace

  1. COVID-19 has pushed us into a new way of working shaped around productivity and value rather than log in/log off times.

Flexible or hybrid working arrangements are becoming the norm in a post-lockdown work environment. Businesses now understand that these arrangements provide workers new opportunities to grow and add value to the business and to clients.

Be open about the flexibility you need, in order to be productive.

Take the time to focus on your health and overall wellbeing – remember that you perform better at work when you do so, as well as reap the physical and mental benefits.

For employers, it’s important to be conscious of your employees’ needs and how they can always change. People’s circumstances are always evolving – so be flexible when approaching work arrangements.

  1. For aspiring parents in particular, the flexibility is there for you.

Don’t be afraid to have a conversation with your leader about your plans for a family. A good leader will want to work with you at all stages of your life, and may think of ways to accommodate your circumstances that you had not considered.

During maternal or paternal leave, set up 10 touchpoint days to understand what is happening with your business. Ask for a full report on your portfolio often so you are kept up to date on what is happening.

Be open and upfront about how you want your work to look.

An added tip from panellist Prudence Cheng:

For parents out there with toddlers, my tip for early morning meetings and getting kids to day care is to dress them in their clean clothes for day care instead of their PJs the night before.

  1. For those of us regularly working from home, it’s important to take breaks throughout the day and to switch off outside of work.

Allowing yourself mental breaks through meditation or exercise is crucial, as a clear mind will help you focus better and perform to a higher standard.

Giving yourself the time to recharge and reset will allow you to perform much better than someone who works all the hours under the sun.

  1. When considering a role move, do your research first.

Ask yourself what are the things that you enjoy or don’t enjoy in your current role, what matters to you, and whether a new company will allow you to grow.

When applying for a new role, interview the interviewer on the things that are important to you. Make sure you clearly understand the company’s stance on things, such as:

What is the tenure of your people?

How many people have been promoted in the past 2 years?

What is the company culture like?

  1. Consider how compassionate a company is, because this plays a key role in their culture when this comes from the top down.

From a health perspective, look at salary continuance, private health and trauma cover to protect yourself financially in the event of something unexpected occurring.

  1. Don’t assume you always have to move companies to develop.

If you are unhappy with your role, consider seeking internal advice to see if there is anything else that can fit your skill set at your current organisation.

Talk to your leader about what opportunities exist or is there an avenue to explore new opportunities and how do you make those things happen.

  1. Don’t be afraid to have conversations with your leaders.

You never know what could come out of a conversation – oftentimes, your input is what will help your leaders deliver better outcomes for you in the workplace.

Never assume anything, be respectful but honest. With a bit of transparency, we can all succeed.

Special thanks to the following panel members:

  • Emma Keegan, Branch Leader & Head of Strategic Sales Operations – Corporate, Gallagher
  • Prudence Chang, Executive Manager Business Development and Partners, NCI
  • Kevin Baker, Regional Director, South East Australia – National, Aon | Chairperson – NIBA Vic Committee
  • Facilitated by Catrina Galanti, Sales Executive, NCI


NIBA / UAC Vic Underwriting Expo

Following the breakfast seminar, attendees headed to the Vic Underwriting Expo

NIBA saw a successful turn out of brokers and underwriters at the Vic Underwriting Expo, with over 96 exhibitors attending the event and more than 500 brokers registered to walk through the Expo.

NIBA Gala Lunch

The highly sought-after NIBA Gala lunch took place in the Crown Aviary on the rooftop of Crown Melbourne.

The event opened with speeches from NIBA President Dianne Phelan NIBA CEO Phil Kewin.

Award Winners Announced

Winners of the Vic/Tas Broker of the Year Award and Young Broker of the Year Award were announced at the Gala Lunch.

Greg Shallard from Affinity Insurance Brokers won the Vic/Tas Young Broker of the Year Award, presented to him by Zoran Romanovski, Vero State Manager Vic/Tas.

The Young Broker of the Year Award, sponsored by Vero, recognises the broking industry’s rising stars under the age of 35.

Daniel Quintin from Gallagher won the Vic/Tas Broker of the Year Award, presented to him by Kylie Barrs, National Partnership Manager, QBE.

The Broker of the Year Award, sponsored by QBE, goes to an individual broker who is deemed an inspirational role model for the broking community, who has demonstrated excellence in broking practice and client advocacy.

As the winner of the Vic/Tas 2022 Broker of the Year Award, Daniel also received the inaugural Graham ‘Bear’ Stevens Trophy.

The Graham ‘Bear’ Stevens Trophy
The Graham ‘Bear’ Stevens Trophy


This trophy is in recognition of Graham Stevens’ significant contribution and dedication to NIBA and the broader broking profession.

Gary Seymour, Chairman of Edgewise Insurance Brokers and a long-time friend and colleague of Graham’s, presented the second trophy to Daniel.

“Bear fell in love with the insurance industry as a 17 year old, and found his true passion as an insurance broker. He was a strong mentor and teacher, and he had unending time and patience for developing young brokers and their careers. He has left a lasting impression and he will be missed,” says Gary.

“Shortly before Graham passed away, he was informed that the Graham ‘Bear’ Stevens Trophy was going to be awarded in his name for his significant contribution to NIBA and the industry. He was very proud and honoured to have this trophy named after him.”

“His wife Norma, who was present at the awards ceremony, and family are very appreciative that NIBA has signified his contribution to both the association and the industry in this way,” Gary added.

Greg Seymour presented to Daniel to inaugural Graham ‘Bear’ Stevens Trophy
Gary Seymour presented to Daniel to inaugural Graham ‘Bear’ Stevens Trophy


As the Victorian/Tasmanian winners for their respective awards, Greg and Daniel will now go on to compete nationally for the Broker of the Year and Young Broker of the Year Awards.


For more information on the winners, please read NIBA names winners of Vic/Tas broker awards.


Keynote speech from James Castrission

The award ceremony was followed by an engaging keynote speech from James ‘Cas’ Castrission, Australian adventurer and author.

Cas made history in 2012, alongside his best friend Jonesy, by completing the longest unsupported polar expedition of all time. In 2008, the duo also paddled 3,318km across the Tasman Sea without assistance, becoming the first kayakers to do this.

Key Lessons on Resilience from James Castrission:

Resilience is the perseverance on a long-term goal, and it is a critical skill to have in the workplace.

Studies have found that the most successful and adaptive people are not those with talent or physical capability – instead, what they have in abundance is resilience and mindset.

There are 3 key components that we can all embody when it comes to building and employing resilience in challenging situations:

  1. Focus on what you can control, whether that is your attitude or your wellbeing.

There are many things in our lives that we may obsess over, which are totally out of our control – such as toilet paper shortages in the supermarket, the rising cost of living or our social media news feeds.

Rather than splitting our attention across so many different things, prioritise what we can control in any given scenario.

  1. Pay attention to the language you use.

In difficult situations, push yourself to use language that is empowering.

When we find ourselves blaming or externalising, it’s important to use language that takes responsibility.

A simple formula to consider is this: Event + Response = Outcome.

While we can’t control the event that occurs, what we can control is our response to that situation, and that in turn can change the outcome.

  1. Take control of your physiology.

Research has shown us that when we are smiling, it is much easier to overcome difficult challenges.

In fact, just smiling is a strategy used by marathon runners to help them push through the pain of an endurance run.

For Cas, his ability to smile was what helped him persevere through his gruelling adventures in Antarctica and across the Tasman Sea.

The act of smiling forced him to stay humours, to make light of any difficult situation and to connect with the people around him.

Interested in having Cas present at your next event? Book an obligation free call with Cas at