Australian & New Zealand Perspectives on the Co-operative Identity

International co-operative principles are enshrined in domestic co-operative legislation. This webinar explores regional perspectives on the awareness, importance and currency of the Global Co-operative Principles.

Australian & New Zealand Perspectives on the Co-operative Identity

The International Co-operative Alliance (ICA), the global apex for the co-operative and mutual movement, is holding a worldwide consultation on the Co-operative Identity. With an estimated 1 billion members and 3 million co-op businesses worldwide, how co-ops are perceived and how they behave is driven by the underlying principles and values that guide them.

Joining with our Australian counterpart, the Business Council of Co-operatives and Mutuals (BCCM), we invite our business leaders, your members, academics, service providers and key stakeholders to participate in an online discussion to explore how we think about, communicate, and live our co-operative identity as member-based businesses.

In an age of ESG and B Corp, our organisations are positioned for the future we currently face into. We want to ensure as first-world economies, that our principles propel and advance our business success and provide us with competitive advantage.


About the Statement on the Cooperative Identity:

The ICA is the global steward of the Statement on the Cooperative Identity – the Values and Principles of the cooperative movement. In 1995, the ICA adopted the revised Statement on the Cooperative Identity which contains the definition of a co-operative, the values of cooperatives, and the seven cooperative principles described below. You can also consult the Guidance Notes on the Cooperative Principles and Values which give detailed guidance and advice on the practical application of the Principles to the cooperative enterprises.

  1. Open and voluntary membership 
  2. Democratic Member Control
  3. Member Economic Participation
  4. Member autonomy and independence
  5. Education, Training and Information
  6. Co-operation amongst co-operatives
  7. Concern for community (social responsibility)

Join us for this webinar where you will gain an understanding of this piece of work and can contribute our views to the ICA. New Zealand in particular has a significant reliance upon our co-op and mutual businesses for our economy and communities, so please make sure our members have a voice and participate in the conversations.

To gain access to the webinar link, please register your attendance here and save the date to your calendar. 


Melina Morrison, CEO, BCCM and Co-Vice Chair
Co-operative Identity Advisory Group Melina Morrison has been a driving force for change in the cooperative movement for two decades. She is the founder CEO of Australia’s first national body for cooperatives, the Business Council of Co-operatives and Mutuals (BCCM). Under Melina’s leadership, the BCCM has achieved fundamental reforms to level the playing field for cooperatives. She commissioned the first study on the size and impact of Australia’s cooperative sector creating the first evidence base to advocate for better support for cooperatives. Melina also led the development of Mutual Value Measurement, a framework to measure the total value created by coops, with research partner Monash University. Melina was at the forefront of advocating and developing amendments to Australian law, opening new opportunities for cooperative businesses to access capital to grow whilst safeguarding their cooperative status for future generations. Melina is a director of Australian Mutuals Foundation which funds development of financial cooperatives in South-East Asia. Melina is a former editor of the ICA Digest and worker on the ICA’s International Year of Cooperatives and Blueprint for a Cooperative Decade communications campaigns.

Roz Henry, CEO, Cooperative Business New Zealand
Roz Henry joined Cooperative Business as CEO in 2019. She has worked with the board to implement a strategy to build greater knowledge and understanding of the model by our government, expand capability across our business communities governors and leaders along with establishing key partnerships. This is critical given the importance of co-op’s and mutuals to the New Zealand economy. Roz’s earlier career laid the foundations for her joining Cooperative Business NZ. Starting out with the New Zealand Dairy Board (now Fonterra) one of our largest co-op’s globally, followed by an extensive period management consulting domestically and internationally, working with a range of corporates, co-operatives and government agencies, along with heading up operations within a regional government agency, has enabled her to utilise this experience and network to best support our business community.
Jacky Mills, Chief Experience Officer, Capricorn Society
Jacky was appointed as Capricorn’s Chief Experience Officer in March 2023. She is responsible for identifying and implementing strategies related to the overall experience of the Capricorn community. This includes the core functions of brand, marketing, market research, the rewards program and external communications, along with developing customised experiences designed to deliver on Capricorn’s vision and purpose. Prior to joining Capricorn, Jacky held sales, marketing and operational leadership positions at organisations including QBE Insurance, IAG and Wesfarmers Insurance. Her experience includes brand strategy, market research and insights, customer experience monitoring, business to business marketing strategy, and the development of direct and partnered sales channels. Commencing her career in market research helped Jacky understand the importance of the end-to-end member experience and deeply understanding this from a member’s perspective. She is passionate about delivering excellent communications that are tailored to their audience.
Mike Brown, CEO, Marlborough Grape Growers Cooperative & Chair, Cooperative Business New Zealand
Mike is a specialist in the export of food and beverages, beginning his career as a winemaker and working in the primary sector ever since. An advocate for collaborative activity, Mike has chaired the boards of Zeffer Cider and Pure NZ, and has been a director of several industry organisations.
Prof Nicola Shadbolt, Professor of Farm & AgriBusiness Management, School of Agriculture and Environment, Massey University & Director, Cooperative Business New Zealand
Nicola comes to the board with extensive experience across a variety of roles in government, agribusiness and consultancy. Previously serving on the boards of Transit New Zealand and Fonterra, Nicola remains a crucial advocative voice for the co-operative business model. In 2018, Nicola was awarded the New Zealand Order of Merit for service to agribusiness.
Dr Ann Apps, Honorary Lecturer, School of Law and Justice, University of Newcastle
Dr. Ann Apps is currently an Honorary Lecturer in School of Law and Justice at University of Newcastle Law School and an Honorary Fellow in the Laureate Research Program, ‘Global Corporations and International Law’ at Melbourne University. Ann is a member of the ICA Law Committee. She has represented the ICA (Global) and the ICA Asia-Pacific on several projects, including as a sub-regional legal expert for the Legal Framework Analysis for Oceania in the ICA-EU Partnership on Co-operative Development, the UNDESA Workshop on “The Role of Co-operatives in Sustainable Development in Asia-Pacific Countries” in Fiji, and a project to build a regional framework for co-operative law in the South Pacific. Together with her colleague, Dr Sidsel Grimstad, Ann was involved in the design and delivery of a co-operative law and governance module in a post graduate program on co-operative management and organisation at University of Newcastle. She has also designed co-operative law units to be included in other mainstream courses on business and corporations’ law. Ann is admitted as a solicitor of the NSW Supreme Court and has practice experience in property, commercial law, and civil litigation. Ann has published in the areas of tort, co-operative law and the law relating to mutuals. She has recently been awarded a PhD in Law. Her thesis considered the impact of law and regulation on co-operatives and mutuals in Australia. Her research interests include co-operative law and governance, and the broader fields of corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, and legal models for social enterprise.