World Conference of CUs' Annual Confab — In Photos

More than 125 women credit union leaders from 24 countries participated in the 2014 Global Women's Leadership Forum that was held in conjunction with the World Council of Credit Unions Conference in Gold Coast, Australia last week. One session was a panel discussion that was moderated by Patsy Van Ouwerker, CEO of Travis CU (U.S.), and featured Louise Petschler of Customer Owned Banking Association (Australia), Barbara Gascoigne of Jamaica Teachers' Association Cooperative CU Ltd. (Jamaica) and Luse Tamani of the Oceania Confederation of Credit Union Leagues (Pacific). Photos of women who have been helped by credit unions all over the world served as the backdrop.

World Council of Credit Unions attendees line up with their respective countries' flags for the colorful parade of flags that traditionally kicks off WOCCU's annual event. This yearís gathering attracted 1,882 attendees from 48 countries and was held at the Gold Coast Convention Centre in Gold Coast, Australia.

Aboriginal dance troupe Nunukul Yuggera was featured during the opening of the World Council of Credit Unions annual meeting. As the host of this year's event, Australia had the opportunity to showcase unique aspects of its culture.

Elkanah Odembo, former Kenyan Ambassador to the U.S. and current WOCCU Vice President of Africa, addressed the crowd at the World Council Young Credit Union People (WYCUP) program in conjunction with Australia's Emerging Leaders Initiative.

A number of World Council of Credit Unions attendees gathered on the beach at Kurraw Park, Gold Coast, Australia, to participate in the "Run For A Cause."

World Council of Credit Unions CEO Brian Branch said credit unions need to do a better job of reaching out to young people during his speech at WOCCU's annual conference. "Young adults today have many more financial services options available to them, and they are willing to pay more for convenience," he said.

Lee Wetherington, ProfitStarts director of strategic insights, told WOCCU attendees about the importance of technology, particularly mobile banking, during a general session at the World Council's annual meeting. "Mobile personal financial management is the segue from mobile banking to mobile finance and loan... and mobile shopping," he said. "What everyone wants in mobile PFM is privacy, ease and simplicity."

A reception during WOCCU's annual meeting included several "special guests," including a baby crocodile, a koala bear and other indigenous animals.

ABCUL United Kingdom CEO Mark Lyonette, SICREDI Brazil COO/CIO Paulino Rodrigues and National Association of Cooperative Savings & CUs Poland Head of Warsaw Office Pawel Grzesik participate in a panel discussion on back office aggregation and common branding at the World Council of Credit Unions annual meeting.

The World Council of Credit Unions welcomed a new associate member during its recent annual meeting: Australasian Mutual Institute of Australia. WOCCU Chairman Grzegorz Bierecki presented a World Council flag to AMI CEO Graham Olrich.

Australia Money Magazine Editor Effie Zahos, moderated a panel on non-traditional market entrants. Panelists included RFi Intelligence Co-founder Alan Shields, Mocen President Alex Sion, and Flow, Inx. CEO Amy ter Haar.

New Zealand Association of CUs Director Rob Nicholls won the World Council of Credit Union's Distinguished Service Award. Nicholls is also a former WOCCU director, as well as former deputy CEO of Credit Union of Australia.

Michael Koisen, CEO of Teachers Savings and Loan Society in Papua, New Guinea, won the World Council of Credit Union's Distinguished Service Award. He has worked in credit unions throughout the Pacific region for 33 years.