Membership in focus: Five minutes with Jeff Oatman

26 Feb 2019

​The GBCA is driven by a bold mission – to lead the sustainable transformation of our built environment. However, we couldn’t do this without our members, who are working in the coalface of industry. Our members are so important to our mission, that we’ve made it one of four strategic pillars in our latest strategic plan. This goal ensures we will continue to look for new ways to boost membership satisfaction, retention and growth. How will we achieve this? We sat down with GBCA Senior Manager – Membership, Jeff Oatman, to talk about the evolution of our member base and where we’re headed.

How has membership evolved since you joined the GBCA? 

When I started in 2010, a lot of our members were aligned to the Green Star office market and contributing to what we now consider as 'old generation' rating tools, like Office Interiors or Office Design. Since then, Green Star’s scope has broadened beyond what we could have imagined, and so naturally, our membership has diversified. Organisations like Impact Investment Group, Nightingale Housing, Sydney Metro Authority, and Officeworks are examples of the variety of members who have all come on board as members in recent years. This is a reflection of their interest in supporting the GBCA in delivering our mission, but also the fact that the GBCA has something for them outside of Green Star for offices. 

What are some of the key benefits of being a GBCA member? 

Fundamentally, GBCA membership demonstrates your organisation's commitment to the sustainable transformation of the built environment. 
This ensures our industry has the most influential voice, up-to-date knowledge, and leading standards required to deliver low carbon buildings and precincts. Organisations are increasingly under scrutiny to ensure they are doing more than paying lip service and membership with the GBCA provides a direct link to achieving these outcomes. 
Together with our members, we have developed world leading rating tool Green Star, advocated progressive policy positions and navigated long-term pathways like the carbon positive roadmap to support industry activity. 

In your role, how do you manage relationships with our members? 

I try to understand who our members are and what they are trying to achieve, then I work out how to best support them. Some members are more passive than others, while some members want to be actively involved in everything from working groups, to providing feedback on scoping papers, to better promoting their achievements and creating content for our professional development program. 
I also try to connect members with one another – which is a lot of fun! We have lots of events that members attend to hear from key speakers and new trends, but the networking opportunities are one of the most valued benefits our members report in our annual survey. 

What can we expect from membership under the GBCA’s new strategic plan? 

We can expect more focus on our members – this means more engagement and more communication on how we can best support them. Whilst we are a mission driven organisation, the support of our members is what drives us forward. 

How can non-members learn more about coming on board with the GBCA? 

The easiest way is to get in touch with our membership team and ask about how they can get involved. We meet prospective members all the time who are curious or interested in the work we do and how they can best support us. 

Earlier this year, we surveyed our members to find out how we can deliver better service, provide support and lead the sustainable transformation of our built environment. We’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for your contributions. A special congratulations goes out to PTW Architect’s Rob Brown, who won the survey competition prize, choosing a full conference pass to our upcoming flagship conference TRANSFORM.