9:00 am - 9:30 am

Opening remarks & Welcome

  • 9:30 am

    Building awesome Facebook Groups: the secret sauce

    Alison Michalk and Larah Kennedy - Quiip
  • 9:30 am

    Ethics and governance for online community managers

    Venessa Paech - Swarm
  • 11:15 am

    Social media legislation: community manager primer

    Paul Gordon - Wallmans Lawyers
  • 11:15 am

    Self-care for community professionals (and their communities)

    Dr Jennifer Beckett - University of Melbourne

12:45 pm - 2:15 pm


  • 2:30 pm

    Symposium - Platform governance for better communities

    Dr Fiona Martin and Nicolas Suzor
    • 2:30 pm - 5:00 pm

      Building cohesive, productive online communities depends on good governance relationships – particularly with the platforms that host our conversations and content. But increasingly major international communications platform providers are being portrayed as reluctant to control the violence and misinformation they host, and slow to provide moderation tools that help community managers minimise harmful content and deal with bad behaviour.

      In light of the Christchurch Call and global debates about how social media platforms and their user base might be better governed, the 2019 Swarm Symposium will examine the following topics with a range of expert speakers and researchers:

      • Choosing platforms: governance considerations in community building
      • Asymmetric relations: negotiating ToS with platform providers
      • Regulating live streaming and synchronous chat
      • Identifying and responding to misinformation campaigns
      • Controlling hate: moderation tactics and intervention styles
      • Caring for managers & moderators: mental health considerations
      • Surveillance technologies and their impact on user
      • AI and its impacts on community development
      • The platformisation of customer service and community relations

7:45 am - 8:50 am

Arrivals & Registration

8:50 am - 9:00 am

Welcome to Country

9:00 am - 9:20 am

Founders Welcome

  • 9:20 am

    Why Woolies is investing in online community

    Gemma Howells - Woolworths FoodCo
    • 9:20 am - 9:55 am

      Learn how and why one of Australia’s biggest and best loved brands built an owned community of food lovers (including their case to the business for its value), and how the community team have made bunch so popular there’s a huge waiting list – and an employee spin-off community.

  • 9:55 am

    Community lessons from the support frontlines

    Brent Patching - Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia
    • 9:55 am - 10:30 am

      In exploring how online communities are changing the delivery of psychosocial support, Brent shares his tips on using a research mindset in developing online community strategy; creating a sustainable community with minimal resources; and empowering users to drive conversations, particularly in a support and NFP context.

10:30 am - 11:00 am

Morning Tea

  • 11:00 am

    The Indispensable Community: how to stop chasing engagement and start delivering results

    Rich Millington - Feverbee
    • 11:00 am - 11:40 am

      Do you spend your days endlessly trying to get community members to click like, share, and post comments? Do you feel forced to chase meaningless engagement metrics? If so, you’re probably one of thousands of community professionals caught in the engagement trap. During this talk, Rich explains how top community professionals have stopped chasing engagement and instead built communities neither they, nor their members, can live without.

      This talk will help you:

      • Stop chasing engagement metrics and focus on the behaviours that really matter.
      • Get your boss and your colleagues to provide you with the resources to build an indispensable community.
      • Persuade members to make their best possible contributions to your community.
      • Help you develop remarkable new products.
      • Align your community to many areas of your business and multiply your value.
      • Develop a comprehensive strategy for your brand’s community from scratch.

  • 11:40 am

    Lessons in connection from the world's biggest neighbourhood network

    Jennie Sager - Nextdoor
    • 11:40 am - 12:15 pm

      10 years ago, a group of entrepreneurs set out on a mission to build an app that could make the world a better place. Technology increased social isolation, and they wanted to flip that reality on its head and create support for authengtic and meaningful connections. This is how Nextdoor was born. Learn how it was built into a global powerhouse that has become the go-to online community for neighbours worldwide – and how its teams use hyperlocality to turbocharge connection and interaction.

12:15 pm - 1:15 pm


  • 1:15 pm

    The skills you need to run a community of 330 million

    Evan Hamilton - Reddit
    • 1:15 pm - 1:50 pm

      Being a team of one running a small community differs greatly from running a team of 16 and a community larger than the United States. Evan will share his journey and the skills he had to learn along the way to successfully run Reddit’s community team. His insights about scaling community management will help you build your own career roadmap – whether you manage a community of 1000 or 100 million.

  • 1:50 pm

    The perfect platform is hard to find – how to make the most of the cards you've been dealt

    Sarah Hawk - Discourse
    • 1:50 pm - 2:25 pm

      Community technology has come a long way in the past decade – so far that it can be difficult to keep up. Most community professionals find themselves battling to create a truly magic experience for their members while becoming increasingly weighed down by stakeholder expectations, budgetary restrictions, limited resources and technical debt. Even when starting from scratch the many different considerations can become overwhelming. But fear not – help is here! With many years of experience as both a community practitioner and a software builder, Hawk will walk you through some simple strategies to make the most of the hand that you’ve been dealt.

2:25 pm - 2:50 pm

Afternoon Tea

  • 2:50 pm

    A quest for belonging: Building new online communities

    Jason Hill
    • 2:50 pm - 3:25 pm

      Building new communities is hard and most of them fail. A seasoned community practitioner, Jason shares stories of his career in community has unfolded, and the critical lessons he has learnt about building spaces people want to belong to – and communities that have a chance at lasting life.

  • 3:15 pm

    How to become a Chief Community Officer

    Shira Levine
    • 3:15 pm - 4:25 pm

      Longtime Online Community advocate and strategist Shira Levine brings her infectious enthusiasm to an important topic for all of us: how to position yourself as CCO, your organisation’s Chief Community Officer — in five easy steps. After sharing her pathway to community leadership, Shira will lead us through an activity that locks the lessons in– for immediate impact on the job.

  • 4:25 pm

    State of AU community management

    Venessa Paech - Swarm
    • 4:25 pm - 4:45 pm

      Venessa will share highlights from the 2019 ACM Career Survey and the state of the industry in our region, including trends on the horizon.

4:45 pm - 5:00 pm

Thanks & Wrap Up

5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Drinks & Networking