Apr 022013


I recently attended the 4th Australian VA Conference (AVAC), which was in my home town of Sydney in the amazing Star Room at the IMAX.  I have been lucky enough to attend it every year since it’s inauguration, and it has been getting better every year.

This year the speakers were very relevant to my current situation, and all of the speakers appeared genuine, only wanting to share with us information to help us grow our business and improve ourselves, and not wanting to just sell their products.

There were a lot of information and tips I could take with me and use straight away, while I work through and implement some of the bigger ideas.

One of the things I have been told at each event is that a blog is great for SEO, and that it doesn’t have to be perfect, i.e. don’t spend to much time dwelling on it.  So while I was camping over the Easter break, I decided rather than procrastinating about it for another year, now is as good a time as any, so I sat in my camp chair in the shade with my laptop on my lap and started my first blog.

The great line up of speakers and topics included:

  • Mariette Rups-Donnelly of Powerhouse Presentation was our MC and did a sensational job
  • Nick Bowditch, from the Australian arm of Facebook, taught us how Facebook ticks behind the scenes.
  • Dr Natalie Shepherd, Embracing Your Life, presented on Communication styles, which has nothing to do with your personality, and with a brief 5 question survey most of us were able to determine our communication style.
  • Pam Brossman, Digital Authors Academy & She Experts, shared with us the next three up and coming digital marketing tools.
  • Terri Bell, Terri Bell & Co, reminded us of the spam act, and went through some of the important information that needs to be included in your Terms & Conditions.
  • Robyn Henderson, Networking to Win, gave us some great tips for networking, both personally and via LinkedIn.
  • Christine McKee, Be Institute, taught us about breaking our day into ‘snack-sized chunks’.
  • Rosie Shilo,Virtually Yours, started a great discussion about outsourcing overseas and the challenges that are faced by Australian VAs.
  • Donna Toothaker, Step it Up VA Coaching, who spoke about Value-based model versus standard hourly rate.
  • Phil O’Brien, Active Corporate Experience, explained to us different methods of self defence, to always be award of what is going on around us and planning and preparing action plans in the case of threat.
  • Charly Leetham, Ask Charly Leetham, shared with us some of her amazing wealth of knowledge about WordPress and specifically blogs.
  • Marianne Broeng, Meliam Consulting Pty Ltd, gave us information on how to use and understand the potential of a good CRM within your business.
  • Elissa Farrow, About Your Transition, gave us some key tips on how to manage projects to help ensure success.
  • Dana Skopal, Opal Affinity, gave gave us some great ideas and tips on how to manage and prioritise our time for business and personally.
  • Rosemary Marchsese, Fitness and Health Author, Physiotherapist and Trainer, spoke about our diet, exercise and stretching and incidental exercise.

I will expand on some of the wealth of information and tips I took away in future blogs.

Apart from the fantastic line up of speakers with useful information, a venue with amazing views of Darling Harbour, being in a room and networking with a bunch of phenomenal VAs from around the country is awesome.  Working virtually you get to know people by their email signature, logo or their social media profile picture, but meeting them in person is even better, you get to put a face and personality to a name.

Thanks to the organisers, Kathie Thomas, A Clayton’s Secretary,  and Anita Kilkenny, AKA Virtual PA, those behind the scenes Gai Brown, Make My Day VA, Kylie Short, Tilda Virtual, and Monika Newman, Absolutely Virtual, myself, Wynyard Business Solutions, and the sponsors, who made the event possible.

If you are a VA, or an aspiring VA I can not recommend highly enough that you put the 14 & 15 March 2014 in your diary, and plan to attend AVAC 2014.



  4 Responses to “Australian VA Conference 2013”

  1. Great blog post Paula! It was a fantastic event, I was only able to attend on the Friday so missed being in the group photo…the organisers did a fantastic job and thank you to the sponsors also. You’re right it was great to put faces to email signatures haha!

  2. Well said Paula!

    It was a great event, and it will now be a permanent feature in my diary! VAs are awesome.

  3. Thanks Paula for all your work, and it was lovely to meet you. Look forward to future blogs!

  4. Well done Paula for just getting to it and penning your first blog post. AVAC sounded super this year and I was disappointed to miss but I have everyone to thank for sharing parts of it on social media and then blogging about it later. So thanks for sharing and all the best for your blogging future!

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