CTO Annual Conference 2016


The CTO Conference was jam packed this year providing information and resources for community transport providers to excel in our transformed sector; attracting providers from across New South Wales as well as Queensland. The CTO’s diverse range of Partners traveled from New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia to attend. The CTO would like to extend an enormous thank you to all Partners and delegates. As promised we can now provide you with copies of speaker presentations from the conference. For a full rundown of sessions and speakers, see the 2016 Conference Program.


Behind the Scenes – Conference Prep

Over the weekend the CTO Team was busy doing final conference prep which included packing over 400 conference bags with goodies just for you!
CTO Team and Eyob from Memphis Events meets on Sunday afternoon to do a final run through of the conference!
400 goodie bags packed for delegates attending the conference including a CTO branded coffee cup, Turkish towel, stubbie holder, sunglasses as well as products and information donated by CTO Partners!!
Kate our Sector Development Manager in the back stage area, holding the CTO Turkish towel! Every single one of those boxes (plus many not visible here) are stuffed with goodies for the conference bags! Let the packathon begin!


Monday 24 October

Bump In
CTO Partners arrived early to set up their stands in the Mantra’s entry and foyer.
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The open glass doors provided a very narrow entry for Freedom Motors vehicle!


CTO partner AVA setting up their stand


28 CTO partners attended the conference, greeting and supporting delegates at their stands in the Mantra foyer.

CTO Board Summit

The CTO Inaugural Board Summit kicked off at 12noon with Liz Hopkins from Northcott facilitating the session which included presentations from Jenny Dean from Aon and Consultant with Governance Evaluator; Nik Szafraniec from Transport for NSW and CTO Partner Andrew Mackenzie of Roe Mackenzie Lawyers.
Jenny Dean and Liz Hopkins
Andrew Mackenzie of Roe Mackenzie Lawyers.
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After the introductory talk, delegates wrote down the 5 top priorities for their board.

Delegates then created a wall of the top 5 priorities for community transport boards.


Delegates gathered around their top 5 priorities, and here Nik Szafraniec leads a discussion on the priorities.

Liz Hopkins discussing key priorities with Board Members in the sector.



The CTO AGM for 2016 was held after the Board Summit and saw the re-election of the CTO Board from 2015.  Congratulations to the all our board members! You can view their profiles on the CTO Website.
CTO Board Members and Staff
CTO Board Chairperson Bethany Simmonds and Treasurer Ben Whitehorn.

Bethany Simmonds, Chairperson addresses the AGM.

Stephen Fornasier, CEO Shoalhaven Community Transport.


Networking Social Function

A gorgeous night for a networking function for CTO Partners and delegates on the pool deck at the Mantra on Salt Beach.

A view of the networking function, from the gardens of the Mantra.


NSW ATN, NATSIC CTN and Hastings Macleay Community Transport Teams at the Networking Function.

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The Manning Valley and Area Community Transport team members; David Murray, CTO-Chair CTO Board and Bethany Simmonds, CTO Chairperson.

The Mantra pool deck by night.


South Western Forum members.


Deam from FUSO, CTO CEO Stavros
Koufis, CTO SDM Kate Toohey, Sammy J and Gavin from FUSO.



As the sun went down CTO coloured lights came on!


Tuesday 25 October

Welcome Dance & Welcome to Country

The CTO Conference began with a wonderful Welcome Dance by Kokorek Aboriginal Dance Group from Kingscliff High School. Following this Kyle Slabb from the Gudjingburra clan of the Bundjalung Tribal Group beautifully welcomed us to their country in the traditional language of his tribe. The CTO was very touched by the way we were welcomed; it was a very special way to begin the conference.

Kokorek Aboriginal Dance Group from Kingscliff High School warm up.
The first dance from Kokorek Aboriginal Dance Group.
Final stance at the end of one of the group’s dances.
Kokorek Aboriginal Dance Group and CTO and NSWATN Staff.
In the plenary Kyle Slabb welcomed us to country, on behalf of the Gudjingburra clan of the Bundjalung Tribal Group.

img_4239A cleansing dance performed as a part of the welcome to country by Kyle Slabb.



The CTO Conference for 2016 was officially opened by MC Sammy J whose antics had everyone laughing and waving their hands in the air! Presentations occurred across three plenary session with workshops in the afternoon. For more detail please refer to the conference program.

Sammy J opens the conference

gets the audience warmed up


 and has everyone laughing!

CTO CEO Stavros Koufis Conference Address
Terry Lee-Williams, Director Rural and Regional Service Delivery and Performance Branch.
Barbara Wise, Point to Point Transport Commissioner


Keynote Address from Dai Powell, CEO of HCT Group

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Dai Powell is the CEO HCT Group traveling from the UK to speak at the conference. The organisation started as a local community transport provider and began running additional services to support this community work. The results speak for themselves as HCT Group is now the UK’s largest social enterprise.
Feda Adra, Former Chairperson Australian Community Transport Association (ACTA).
Jim Longly, Deputy Secretary Ageing, Disability and Home Care, NSW Department of Family and Community Services.
The Honourable Andrew Constance, NSW Minister for Transport and Infrastructure 
Minister Constance Keynote Address.
Minister Constance, CTO CEO Stavros Koufis and Geoff Provest MP for Tweed.
 Minister Constance and CTO CEO Stavros Koufis.


Almost around the clock, CTO Partners were on hand to meet with delegates about how they can help meet their needs.


There was little space left in the Mantra’s foyer once all 29 Partner stands had been set up.



CTO Partner FUSO


Our Partners brought a wide array of buses for delegates to see at the conference including Patico.


CTO Partner Kevrek.


Delegates take a tour of vehicles from Norden.

And the team from Power Creative (also behind the CTO Video Project) filmed hours of interviews with speakers, partners, board members and community transport providers…
Stephen Oxley, CTO Board Member being interview by Christine Heard and filmed by Dave Power of Power Creative.
Minister Constance during his interview.
CTO Chairperson Bethany Simmonds
 Keynote Speaker, CEO Dai Powell of HCT Group.

CTO Conference Gala Dinner

This year’s theme for the conference gala dinner was resort wear and again the community transport sector did not disappoint! The dinner was held in the ballroom of Peppers Salt Resort and Spa next door to the conference venue.
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Pre-dinner drinks at Peppers Resort before the CTO Gala Dinner

The dinner was a great time for everyone at the conference to have fun and relax together

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The staff at Peppers decorated a beautiful ballroom! CTO members, partners and speakers enjoy the Gala Dinner together.
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The amazing team from NSW ATN and the Western Region with Sammy J.

Brotherhood of the Blues 
were phenomenal!

DJ Boom Shaka and the Rainbow Unicorn from Brotherhood of the Blues.
Best Dressed and CTO Awards 2016
Congratulations to all the nominees and winners!
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 Sammy J announces CTO Award recipients: Sharon from GoCo Community Transport and Amanda Lewis from Tumbarumba CT (Snowy Valleys Council).
Stephen Oxley and Jenny Hadfield from Manning Valley Area Community Transport.
Stephen Oxley, Terry Lee-Williams and Mick Devine line up as Sammy J invites the nominees for best dressed forward.
The CTO Chair Bethany, judging nominees for best dressed.
The winner of best dressed Adam (middle) from the NSW ATN with the ladies from Baywatch! Adam won the best dressed award wearing a sarong his daughter hand made for him!

Wednesday 26 October

Thank you Breakfast for CTO Partners
After a fantastic night at the Gala Dinner, CTO Staff and Board Members gathered to say a very big thank you to our Partners for their support in making the conference such a success.

CTO CEO Stavros Koufis thanks CTO Partners and talks about the future of our work together in community transport.
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CTO Partners and Board Members at the Thank You Breakfast.

The plenary and presentations on Wednesday opened with Brotherhood of the Blues, Luke, Zac and John sharing their journey with the conference and receiving a standing ovation. It was incredible to hear how they young men did not allow their disabilities to stop them following their dream and the hard work that has enabled their success. They were followed by a number of presenters from government services that community transport providers are regularly interacting with.
Brotherhood of the Blues, Luke, Zac and John share their journey with the conference receiving a standing ovation.

Emma Jobson, Commonwealth Home Support Program, A/State Manager NSW and ACT, Department of Health.

Suzanne Punshon, Director – Stakeholder Relations and Engagement, NSW North, NDIA
Delegates making sure they have a good view for presentations.

Workshop with Dai Powell on Community Transport as a Social Enterprise


Peter Fraser, President Safer Australian Roads and Highways, SARAH

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 Peter gave an emotional presentation which had an enormous impact on the audience. He challenged us all to commit to making Australia roads and highways safer for vulnerable road users.


Kate Hunter, Driving Change: Buckle Up Safely, The George Institute for Global Health AUSTRALIA

Presentation of the CTO Video Project so far! You can still contribute your videos!

James Wilson from Health Direct Australia addresses the plenary as a member of the panel.
Emma Jobson from the Commonwealth Home Support Program also participated as a member of the panel.
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Community transport providers took the opportunity to ask questions regarding issues most affecting their services.

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Some of our partners had run raffles during the conference, and before all was said and done the prizes were awarded to the luckiest amongst us!
Thank you to everyone who’s sent in their feedback, it has been very positive and you’ve also given us some great ideas for next year. Here’s what you’ve been saying about the CTO Conference for 2016:
‘Best CTO conference – I’ve been to 8’
‘I am very new as a Manager so this conference was just great to attend – well done CTO’
‘ Very well put together and I am really looking forward to next year’
The Team at the CTO would like to say a sincere thank you to all our Partners for working with us to provide the community transport sector with an outstanding conference. Thank you to all our speakers for the invaluable information provided to equip the sector. To our incredibly talented MC’s, Sammy J and the Brotherhood of the Blues, thank you for throwing your all into the conference. To everyone who attended the conference, (with a special mention to those who traveled long distances) thank you for your commitment to what community transport is about and the work the CTO is doing.
Here’s to 2017 and the future of community transport!