January 29, 2020

Change, collaboration and culture – Mas’ AASN vision

More than 140 staff members from Mas, AGA, MRAEL, CEG, and GForce gathered for the first time at a two-day conference to hear Mas’ AASN 2020 Vision and Beyond.

Opening the conference, Mas General Manager John Glass focused on the positive changes currently occurring in the AASN space and what this means for those gathered in the room who will begin delivering the Mas Experience early next month.

“One thing is for sure – change is constant” he says. “We are now lucky to be able to include MRAEL and GForce in our consortium, which will allow us to deliver the Mas Experience to more apprentices, trainees and employers in more places across Australia.”

Change, Collaboration, Culture

Following themes of change, collaboration and culture, the two day conference featured a diverse range of speakers and presenters and provided plenty of time for attendees to network and connect.

After an overview of the Mas journey so far presented by IntoWork CEO Poul Bottern, day one was filled with insights from speaker Con Frantzeskos from PENSO, who gave attendees a crash course in marketing theory and sparked ideas around new audiences and ways to reach them.

A team of Mas staff members including Joalle Draper, Kirstie Pike, Tracey Stone, Josephine Amore, Belinda Kennedy and Nishie Garg were on hand to explain the changes brought about by the new AASN contract, in an interactive and informative session which encouraged crowd participation.

We are at the start of our journey. Winning the tender is just the first step – now it’s time to deliver.

– Mas General Manager, John Glass

The afternoon was devoted to breakout sessions which covered a range of topics including the Mas marketing journey and vision for connecting with audiences; Tradeswomen Foundation Australia founder Fiona Lawrie’s journey as a woman working in male-dominated trades; Collective networking and mentoring programs; and how pre-employment programs like SEAT and RIDE are encouraging community engagement leading to employment.

Sessions for day one closed with a panel consisting of AGA acting CEO Poul Bottern, CEG CEO Andrew Anninos, GForce CEO Rob Birch, AASN Manager Dana Ditfort and Mas Board members Kevin Neville and Liz Board; which was chaired by Mas’ South Australian State Manager Kara Prichard who asked all the hard questions with just a dash of humour.

L-R – Panel Chair, Mas South Australian State Manager Kara Prichard; CEG CEO Andrew Anninos; AGA acting CEO Poul Bottern, AASN Manager Dana Ditfort; Mas Board member Kevin Neville; GForce CEO Rob Birch; and Mas Board member Liz Board.


Staff members Alistair Hunter of AGA and Tom Runciman of Mas joined friends to form a musical super group which entertained staff at the end of day cocktail party, with the buzzing, happy crowd dancing on into the night.

Day two of the conference kicked off with Darren Coppin delivering an overview of Esher House, which uses behavioural science and data analysis to develop positive outcomes for employment and education.

A session with Richard Dore CEO of Proteus looked to build on the work previously undertaken internally by Mas to develop a positive, respectful and inclusive workplace, taking a look at how individuals can contribute to positive group culture.

Looking toward the future

Ending the day with additional breakout sessions, John Glass took to the stage for the final time to thank attendees, presenters and facilitators for their contribution to a successful conference.

While the conference highlighted work to be done as Mas, AGA, MRAEL, CEG and GForce move together toward the future, attendees left the conference feeling a renewed sense of understanding and drive.

“We are at the start of our journey” says Mas General Manager John Glass. “Winning the tender is just the first step – now it’s time to deliver.”

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