My Life as President: Half Year Reflections

People often ask me how I am enjoying being President. The short answer is Im loving it!

My year started by presenting my Presidential theme – Data for Good. In a time of great disruption, with the increasing urgency to tackle climate change and the prominence of artificial intelligence, actuaries are well positioned to navigate these.

To continue the good work we do, we need to keep attracting people to the profession who have the right skills, the right mindset and a desire to make a difference for good. It’s up to each of us to help make that happen.

As I approach the halfway mark of my presidency, I’ve been reflecting on what I enjoy so much about this role. Three things stand out: 

1. It’s great to meet so many actuaries 

Actuaries Institute past presidents and CEO Elayne Grace. taken in2024 when David Whittle centre is President
A rare occasion when I met up with three of the Institute’s past presidents in Melbourne

I’ve enjoyed having the time to listen to our members and discuss topics of interest. I’ve had the privilege of meeting our members all over Australia and international colleagues at the International Actuarial Association meeting in South Korea. As you can all agree, actuaries are wonderful people; smart, funny and principled. It’s great to have the chance to get together with members; to understand your views and concerns and share in the excitement of all the great things that we’re doing.

2. We’ve achieved so much!

Just in these past six months: 

We’ve had a fabulously successful Summit on the Gold Coast, with over 400 in-person attendees, and so many great keynote addresses and plenary sessions, along with 57 concurrent sessions! We were privileged to welcome leaders from the world of financial services such as Ann Sherry AO, John Green and Shez Ford, opinion leaders in broader fields like Sophie Scott OAM and Professor Alan Duffy, and our own distinguished leaders – Naomi Edwards, Helen Rowell and Estelle Pearson. The concurrent sessions were also full of stimulating ideas and essential knowledge for the actuary of the present and the future! Check out all about the 2024 Summit here.

Our profession has continued to contribute to the public discourse. This year, the Institute has made 17 Submissions on topics as varied as AI, superannuation, genetic testing in life insurance, the National Adaptation Plan, and the Budget. We are playing our part in serving the public interest, by using data for good. You can find our Submissions here.

Speaking at the Actuaries Institute’s International Women’s Day event with Vanessa Rowe, Jessica Chen and Bozenna Hinton

We continue to provide events that educate our members – 16 so far this year alone (as well as the Summit). We’ve covered a range of topics and about half of the events have been Data Science Meet-Ups. We’ve also held sessions on climate change, insurance and retirement incomes, just to name a few. A personal highlight for me was having the honour of hosting our International Women’s Day event! 
Join some of our upcoming events.

It’s very exciting to have so many up-and-coming actuaries.  With the median age of our members being 38 years of age, we continue to grow and refresh our member base. 

David Whittle, President, Actuaries Institute, 2024 Australian National University visit
Australian National University visit

I have had the privilege of visiting seven of the eight universities with whom we partnerit’s been great to meet the inspiring educators and to discuss the topics that are close to the hearts of our uni students

And speaking of inspiring educators – our Institute exam program continues to go from strength to strength – with 884 students sitting our Actuary and Fellowship exams in the first half of 2024. 

I had the privilege of awarding certificates to our new Fellows. As Presidents, it’s rewarding to celebrate this milestone with successful candidates, who are excited about all the opportunities that come with being an actuary. Our future is in good hands. 

IMAGE: Our Council and Executive Team dinner (Left); and Meeting our members in Canberra (Right)

I didn’t realise how much fun this year would be. I have loved spending time with all our amazing actuaries, and it’s been great getting to know the HQ staff better. There is so much passion to take our profession from strength to strength.

3. The great work that our members do!  

Whether it’s our traditional strengths in insurance and superannuation, or our ground-breaking work in AI, climate change, the NDIS or genetic testing (to name a few), the work of actuaries makes me very proud to be President. 

So, what am I looking forward to in the second half of my Presidential year? Mainly, it’s meeting more actuaries! Not only in Australia, but also in New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong.   

I look forward to seeing you soon! 


2024 Actuaries Institute Presidential  in tour in Victoria - 2024 President David Whittle shared the unprecedented need for actuarial expertise in addressing society's pressing challenges to a room packed full of enthusiastic actuaries and allied professionals. While in town, David and Institute CEO Elayne Grace met with past Councillors, and faculties and students at Melbourne and Monash Universities, highlighting both our strong tradition and the future-focus of our profession. Thanks to everyone who contributed to these engaging discussions, and a special shout out to our three past presidents, Naomi Edwards, Annette King and Nicolette Rubinsztein.
2024 Actuaries Institute Presidential Tour in Victoria – 2024 President David Whittle shared the unprecedented need for actuarial expertise in addressing society’s pressing challenges to a room packed full of enthusiastic actuaries and allied professionals.


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