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AMPLA Needs You

From the Chair and Executive Director

AMPLA needs your support. Despite numerous efforts to arrest the decline in growth over the past few years, AMPLA continues to experience difficulty in its ability to generate revenue. Our membership revenue and conference attendance have not met our business plan for the last two years. COVID has certainly impacted our ability to host face to face events and resulted in the cancellation of the flagship annual conference. However, the underlying struggle AMPLA faces is not solely linked to COVID – in other words, unless major changes are made our revenue base will continue to decline. After 40+ years of existence AMPLA must now face the fact that it has to change its approach and the services and value it offers to build its membership numbers and increase its capacity to generate revenue.

Membership numbers are up thanks solely to our addition of a free membership category for Young Professionals under Corporate Accounts. This is great, as a constant rejuvenation of the membership is crucial to AMPLA’s survival and future growth. However, membership revenue is down as our traditional supporters, law firms, corporates and individuals are no longer maintaining memberships as a matter of course.

The quality of the professional education and development content being offered by AMPLA is still of the same very high quality. Our capacity to tap into varied legal and industry expertise, offer diverse opinions and approaches to current legal issues, and contribute to legislative development is unique. AMPLA very quickly (and successfully) switched to webinars as soon as COVID prevented face to face events and attendance has been strong across all webinars offered. Unfortunately, given the huge amount of free webinar content on offer elsewhere, it is extremely difficult to charge anything other than a nominal fee for our webinars, again contributing to AMPLA’s struggle to generate revenue. On top of this, we are aware that everyone is suffering from “webinar fatigue”, making it more and more difficult to ensure attendance and even minimal income from the sessions. This is despite the huge amount of work that goes into creating and hosting them.

What are we doing?

The AMPLA Board is not taking this challenge lying down, and has kicked off a number of new initiatives to increase revenue and ensure a future for AMPLA. These include:

  • Launching an accreditation program in 2021, which will lead ultimately to a fully developed accredited education offering aimed at ensuring a well-trained and well-respected pipeline of energy and resources law professionals into the future.
  • Launching a partnership program in 2021, which will target non-traditional companies to partner with. The aim is to look at mutually beneficial arrangements, including obtaining financial benefits towards AMPLA’s bottom line.
  • Implementing a name change. The Board wishes to respect AMPLA’s history and brand cache, but also recognise that AMPLA is now focussed on so much more than just “Australian Mining and Petroleum Law”. We are now an international organisation, covering a wide range of resources and energy law, including new energy, commodities trading and climate change to name a few. The old name simply does not resonate with potential new members, partners and sponsors – this means we unable to derive revenue from them. In terms of these groups, it is imperative that our name is both modern, acceptable and able to quickly and accurately describe who we are in 2020 and beyond.

What can you do?

  1. Take out or renew membership with AMPLA.
  2. Encourage your organisations to support AMPLA by taking up memberships for staff or sending staff to events, in particular the annual conference.
  3. Volunteer your time to develop, present or host AMPLA events, write articles or join and contribute to your local AMPLA branch committee.
  4. Attend as many AMPLA events as possible, in particular the annual conference.
  5. Tell us what you think - what you like and what you don't like about AMPLA.

What do you get for your membership?

  • 4 free “core” seminars per year.
  • Networking opportunities with a broad range of professionals across the energy and resources sectors.
  • Access to significantly discounted events and conferences.
  • Access to example model documents.
  • Access to quality publications.
  • Accreditation program, which will be launched in 2021.

If you value AMPLA and want it to be here in the future, I implore you to do at least 2 of the 5 things listed above. I personally value AMPLA, its history and what it offers to professionals in the energy and resources law and related sectors. It is my and the Board’s goal to ensure not only AMPLA’s survival, but strong growth in the future in order to become the must join membership organisation for any professionals interested in energy and resources law and related sectors.

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