From the Board – Oct/Nov

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Following the recent call for nominations, the AIPP is welcoming two new directors to join our national board. 

Geoff Comfort and Ben Kopilow, both from the ACT, have volunteered their services and their nominations have been accepted. 

Sara McKenna, who has been filling a casual vacancy, also nominated and will continue to serve. 

Some members have asked about the voting process. We’d like to clarify member votes are only required when there are more nominations than positions vacant. In this case, there weren’t sufficient nominations for us to require a vote. 

One position for a casual vacancy director remains available and we are looking for a talented individual to join us. 

If you’re an accredited member and meet all pre-requisites (AIPP Constitution) please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have questions or are ready to join the team.

Our constitution requires a number of current board members to rotate their positions and, depending on tenure, they can then stand for re-nomination.

This year Melissa Neumann and Louise Bagger went through this process and will remain on the board. Other previously elected board members are David Simmonds and Dan O’Day, and our current co-opted directors, Bruce Pottinger and Felisha Mendoza Mina, are also staying on the team.

Please join us in welcoming Geoff and Ben who will officially take up their appointment the day following the November AGM. 


“I’d like to introduce myself to the AIPP members: I’m Geoff Comfort, a commercial photographer based in Canberra.

During my long involvement with the AIPP, I’ve served on the ACT council as a council member and as state president.

I’ve also been involved with a variety of national office working groups and am currently the chair of the AIPP commercial committee. In 2017 I was made a Fellow of the AIPP.

I’ve been involved in the ACT state awards and APPA as an entrant, organiser, judge and panel chair. At APPA in 2016, I was awarded my Grand Master of Photography.

My involvement with the AIPP has covered many aspects and given me a broad range of knowledge of the institute. This gives me a solid background in understanding where the AIPP has come from and will undoubtedly assist me in helping to guide the AIPP in the future.

I see a strong AIPP moving forward. The current Board is making the move from working as an operational group to a strategic body. This enables long-term plans to be considered.

The coming changes to membership categories is an excellent example of further long-term planning set in place.

We need to remember the AIPP is not only about photographers. It also represents video producers and as recent APPAs have highlighted, the quality of their work is outstanding.

Lobbying and education are also a large part of the AIPP. I’ve been involved in both roles through the commercial committee and look forward to expanding some of this work to meet the needs of more members.

I’m looking forward to taking up my position on the board, maintaining the AIPP as the peak industry body, and working to create better value for members and potential new members.

Geoff Comfort (FAIPP, APPLM, GMPhotog )


Ben Kopilow APP M.Photog I has been a member of the Institute since 2006. He has served on the ACT Council for ten years, including two terms as ACT President. He is the current Chairman of the Members and Accreditation (MAC) Standing Committee and has served on various other subcommittees over the years. He has also been actively involved in the AIPP mentoring program, in presenting lectures and workshops in the ACT, and on the state awards team.

Ben has been in the photography industry since 2004, and before that has run successful businesses in other industries since 1994. He has also worked for nearly 20 years as a volunteer in the not-for-profit charity sector, serving on and chairing numerous committees.

His experience from these roles, both inside and outside the photography industry, include strategic planning, policy development, critical analysis, advocacy and stakeholder engagement, mentoring, mediating, and meeting procedure. Ben is also a professional public speaker and trainer. He has presented lectures and workshops from small group sessions to speaking at national conventions before thousands.

Ben will add to the board his robust business, organisational, communication, and critical analysis skills, along with his attention to detail, to help implement the AIPP’s future goals. To strengthen its core representation of accredited professionals, while at the same time creating an institute that is reflective of, and inclusive of, the broader photographic community.

– Ben Kopilow (APP, MPhotog I)

Rebranding Update and New Website

Despite a number of unanticipated delays, the new website and membership management system is underway with an expected launch around mid January, 2020. 

This has unfortunately also delayed the introduction of our new membership categories and we apologise for the frustration this has caused. 

Please bear with us and for now, it’s business as usual until we can get this project complete.

You’ll start to see new colours and branding and we plan to do a big launch once everything is complete and ready to roll out. Watch this space!

APPA 2020

We can confirm APPA 2020 will be in Melbourne in mid August.

Judging will run on the 15th, 16th and 17th. We’ll provide venue details once confirmed. 

Melbourne National Office Sub-lease

Following the closure of the AIPP National Office in Melbourne at the end of March 2018, we were fortunate to be able to sub-lease the space for the remainder of the term.

We’re pleased to confirm this has finalised.

Volunteer Culture

It’s important we bear in mind the AIPP is predominately run and managed by volunteers. 

Although differences among us are to be expected at times – as they are across any and all organisations and workplaces – we undoubtedly have more in common that it may sometimes seem.

Please consider tolerance for all; be generous with empathy and forgiveness of faults. Everyone is doing the best they can.

We all want a strong and vibrant industry body to represent us, to educate us, to be part of, and to be there for us.

When attending events, we ask you to be aware of those who are new and/or shy. Invite them to be part of the conversations and introduce them to others you know.

Making everyone feel welcome and helping them find their place helps to build a cohesive community for all members. Thank you.

Congratulations to our Latest APPs

Exciting Times Ahead

The Board has been forced to be more operational than strategic in the last 18 months or so simply to keep the AIPP running.

Being in this position has given us the opportunity to comb through the institute piece by piece to see what works, what doesn’t, and what brings us joy. 

This continues to be a work in progress but a lot has already been achieved.

The board is now is a position to progress further and will be bringing many elements together in January, 2020 to prepare a solid business and strategic plan for the future.

We are more excited than ever to be presenting you with the AIPP of the future…so please stay tuned! 

Kind regards,

– The Board

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