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‘Road to Cobargo’ wraps up a learning and charitable experience for young brokers


Pictured: 2021 NIBA Young Professional Broker of the Year winners, Vero Young Broker Alumni members and Vero Senior Leaders arrive at the village of Cobargo, NSW.

“Charity work and fundraising to support communities affected by severe weather events have become an integral part of the Vero-sponsored NIBA Warren Tickle Memorial Award Program. Each year, we ask the state winners to work together to select a community or a local charity affected by a major weather-related event. They’ll then present the case to a panel of senior Vero executives for the opportunity to receive funding towards their revival,” said Anthony Pagano, Head of Intermediated Distribution.

In 2020, the five state winners elected to support the Cobargo Community Bushfire Recovery Fund (CCBRF) with a grant of $25,000, courtesy of Vero. This year, the goal of the ‘Road to Cobargo’ journey was to meet with grant recipients and CCBRF representatives to witness how the Vero Young Broker Alumni grant helped the community through to recovery. “This first-hand experience challenged us on how we see our roles as insurance professionals, and how the broking industry can more effectively give back to the community on individual and industry levels,” said Brad Dalton, Strategic Advisor, Commercial & Intermediated.

After meeting with Director of the Little Yuin Pre-School, one of the recipients of funding from CCBRF, the whole group got their hands dirty helping with restoration and renovation projects throughout the children’s playground and garden beds.

Media Releases

NIBA Names SA NT Award Winners


Ceduna-based Karen Skinner and Adelaide-based Patrick McCole were today crowned the 2021 SA/NT National Insurance Brokers Association (NIBA) award winners during a virtual ceremony.

The pair complete a full set of ten candidates for national honours – five for the QBE-sponsored Stephen Ball Memorial Award and five for the Vero-sponsored Warren Tickle Memorial Award.

Ms Skinner, who co-owns MGA Insurance Brokers Ceduna with her brother – located almost 800 kilometres northwest of Adelaide – won SA/NT Broker of the Year. She competed against CBD Insurance Services MD Kate Edgar.

“I wish to thank MGA for taking me on 22 years ago. I fell into the industry and since then I have never looked back and have enjoyed it,” Ms Skinner said. “It’s very rewarding and I hope to stay in the industry for many more years to come.”

QBE GM Sales & Relationship Management Elliot Hill today praised her outstanding commitment to client advocacy and customer service and said she “serves as a powerful source of inspiration to the broader broking industry”.

Ms Skinner now competes for national honours against Marsh’s Sydney-based Head of Financial and Professional Services Pacific Craig Claughton; Queensland’s Crucial Insurance & Risk Advisors MD Tony Venning; WA’s GSK Insurance Brokers Senior Account Manager Jeff Booth; and Tasmania’s Capital Innovation Chairman Ian Goninon.

In the Young Professional Broker of the Year category, Aon Client Executive Mr McCole competed against fellow SA/NT finalists Webber Insurance Services Account Broker Nikia Goers and PSC Insurance Brokers Account Manager Jasmine Miller.

He now vies for the national award with NSW/ACT winner Markey Insurance & Risk Senior Account Executive Megan Farmer; Queensland’s Crucial Insurance & Risk Advisors Broker Alishia Oliver; Albany District Insurance Brokers Account Executive Luke Cameron; and Victoria’s Integral Insurance Services Senior Broking Executive Mitchell Wight.

“Patrick is a great ambassador for the insurance broking profession. He has forged an impressive career working with a diverse range of clients ranging from SME businesses to not for profit entities and healthcare sectors,” Vero’s Head of Commercial Intermediaries Anthony Pagano said.

CEO Dallas Booth says NIBA received a significant number of applications this year and the finalists represent “the cream of the crop”.

“We congratulate all the finalists who exemplify the highest standards of professionalism and competence in the broking industry,” Mr Booth said.

Due to COVID outbreaks and restrictions, the NIBA/UAC Queensland Underwriting Expo and gala lunch was rescheduled to September 22 while regional gala lunches are now slated for next month.

NIBA will this year host a five-day hybrid annual convention, visiting Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Brisbane, and Sydney from September 28 to October 28.

Media Releases

NIBA names SA/NT broker award finalists


The National Insurance Brokers Association (NIBA) has revealed the 2021 finalists in SA/NT for both its Broker of the Year and Young Professional Broker awards.

The SA/NT winners will be crowned at a NIBA SA Gala Lunch on July 23 at the Adelaide Convention Centre. The winning pair will then go on to compete for national honours, to be presented at the NIBA Convention at The Star Gold Coast in October.

Broker of the Year finalists are: CBD Insurance Services MD Kate Edgar and Skinner & Irvine Insurance’s Karen Skinner.

Ms Edgar and Ms Skinner are now in the running to join Capital Innovation Chairman Ian Goninon – the Victorian/Tasmanian Broker of the Year – and winners from NSW/ACT, Queensland and WA in competing for the 2021 national Stephen Ball Memorial Award, which is sponsored by QBE.

The Young Professional Broker finalists in SA/NT are: Webber Insurance Services Account Broker Nikia Goers; Aon Client Executive Patrick McCole; and PSC Insurance Brokers Account Manager Jasmine Miller.

The winner from that trio will join Vero’s prestigious Young Brokers Alumni Program and compete alongside Integral Insurance Services’ Mitchell Wight – this year’s Victorian/Tasmanian Young Professional Broker of the year – and winners from NSW/ACT, Queensland and WA for the national Warren Tickle Memorial Award, sponsored by Vero.

“Vero is proud to support the next generation of industry leading insurance brokers and its longstanding association with NIBA’s Young Professionals and the Warren Tickle Memorial Award,” Vero State Distribution Manager for SA/NT Andrew Walker said.

WA winners are due to be announced on July 9, Queensland winners on July 14 and NSW/ACT winners on July 16.

Broker of the Year finalists in those areas are:

WA: GSK Insurance Brokers Senior Account Manager Jeff Booth; Marsh Managing Principal Sarsha Neal; and Imperium Insurance & Financial Solutions MD Sumit Sopori.

Queensland: Austbrokers Comsure Senior Insurance Advisor David Kimber; Aon Client Manager Tamara Trotman; and Crucial Insurance and Risk Advisors MD Tony Venning.

NSW/ACT: Marsh Head of FINPRO Craig Claughton; Driessen Insurance Brokers MD Leo Driessen; and Arma Insurance Brokers Hunter Valley MD Amanda Morris.

Young Professional Broker of the Year finalists are:

WA: Albany District Insurance Brokers Account Executive Luke Cameron; Knightcorp Insurance Brokers Account Executive Joel Middleton; and Risk Guidance Insurance MD and Founder Robbie Gibbs.

Queensland: Austbrokers Coast to Coast Sales Manager Taela Bloemers; Aon Client Executive Lachlan Hastings; Cornerstone Risk Group MD Business Development Scott Mitchell; and Crucial Insurance & Risk Advisors Broker Alishia Oliver.

NSW/ACT: Markey Insurance & Risk Senior Account Executive Megan Farmer; Ian Jones Insurance Brokers Newcastle Account Broker Kayla Smith; and Warren Saunders Insurance Brokers Broking Operations Manager Lindsay Turner.