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BURWOOD, Australia – Two Australian credit union support organizations are in the process of merging to offer a better service to credit union managers and directors. They will begin operations as a single organization January 1, 2006. They plan to offer “a fully integrated suite of programs targeted to the specific needs of key leaders segments,” according to a joint announcement by the two groups. The new name will be the Australasian Credit Union Institute (ACUI). One of the organizations is the Australian Institute of Credit Union Management Ltd. (AICUM) whose goal has been to help credit union managers by providing professional development courses as well as giving managers a chance to network. AICUM, founded in 1981, also promotes the ethics of the credit union movement. They service New Zealand as well as Australia. The Australasian Institute of Credit Union Directors Ltd. (AICUD) was formed in November 1995 when six state institutes merged into a single national organization with New Zealand joining in September 1997. They work with directors of credit unions to make sure they have the skills to properly oversee their credit unions regardless of the size, The new group plans to work closely with the Credit Union Services Corporation of Australia, Ltd. (CUSCAL) as well as NCUA to “offer a full integrated and coordinated professional development strategy” to both directors and managers. The two organizations hope by combining their resources they will be able to reduce operational costs as well as to increase the income from the courses and materials they offer. They also feel it will be a better use of the talent already on board. Three major events will be held next year: the ACUI National Conference in Canberra in March 2006, the Winter Conference on the Gold Coast in June 2006 (Australian’s seasons are reversed from those in the United States) and a Leadership Development Forum in Sydney in September 2006. Each will have sessions for manager and directors. The first Leadership Development Forum will be kicked off prior to the official merger in Canberra September 5-6, 2005 and will follow AICUD’s National Convention September 3-4. The Forum will also be linked with CUSCAL’s Chairs/CEO’s Forum on September 5th. The combined meeting allows participants to maximize their travel budgets rather than to book three separate cities at three different times of the year.

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