AuctionsPlus celebration reflects on the past, embraces the future + Photos

Jon Condon, 11/06/2016
A+ 6

AuctionsPlus CEO Anna Speer addresses the 30th anniversary gathering in Sydney


GLIMPSES of the past, the present and the future were all evident at a celebratory dinner in Sydney on Thursday evening, when AuctionsPlus marked 30 years of operations as Australia’s national online livestock marketing platform.

The event was attended by about 300 industry stakeholders – producers, agents, industry administrators and others connected with the red meat supply chain – from the current day to decades past.

As outlined in this earlier Beef Central article, AuctionsPlus was spawned in June 1986, commencing full-time weekly sales a year later. Today the program trades about $460 million worth of cattle and sheep livestock each year, drawing vendors and buyers from all parts of the continent.

auctions plus logoAs the photo gallery at the base of this page shows, Thursday’s event provided a gathering-point for many of those responsible for the original formation and development of Computer Aided Livestock Marketing (CALM), the predecessor of today’s AuctionsPlus.

The night was also chosen to unveil AuctionsPlus’s new logo (see image – inverted A+ in the shape of a cow’s head), and a new business website, starting soon.

It also provided a worthy launchpad for new AuctionsPlus innovations, including a unique ‘star rating’ system designed to reinforce online trust between buyer, seller and the assessor involved.  Anybody familiar with the Uber public transport system will know about a similar mechanism, whereby drivers and their passengers constantly rate each other on their experiences.

Rachel Botsman

Rachel Botsman

This ability to create better relationships through real-time feedback was a central theme in a dinner presentation on the emergence of the ‘collaborative economy’ by guest speaker and social media expert, Rachel Botsman.

The rules of trust are changing in the digital age, Ms Botsman told the audience. “There is a shift from trust in institutions to ‘peer trust’,” she said.

“This emerging type of trust greases the wheels of business, facilitates person-to-person relationships and changes the ‘real world’ behaviour of people. And its power is being harnessed by both disruptive start-ups and massive brands.”


Dinner raises $38,000 for RFDS

Two spirited charity auctions were held in conjunction with the anniversary celebrations, raising funds for the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

The first was a live interfaced auction during the Darling Harbour dinner itself, and the second an online-only auction for those who could not attend.

The live interfaced physical auction held during Thursday night’s dinner raised $17,000, while the online remote charity auction raised $8205. A percentage of dinner ticket proceeds also went to RFDS, taking the night’s total raised to $38,000.

Top selling auction items were a signed Lee Kernaghan black Fender guitar ($4500) and an advertising packaging on the Beef Central and/or Sheep Central websites, ($3000, bought by Lucinda and Brian Corrigan, Rennylea Angus stud near Albury).

Other items to sell well were an Ultimate Grand Final Experience (NRL or AFL) donated by Landmark ($2500); Adelaide Sporting Experience donated by Elders ($2000), and a carton of Rangers Valley Black Market Angus striploins ($1400). Click here to view results for all live charity auction items.

The separate online remote charity auction featured popular items including Sydney Spring Racing Carnival members’ tickets ($415), service voucher for Clear Vision Imaging ($1050); Hunter Valley Gardens Experience ($630); Steel Chief Sheds voucher ($950) and Hazeldean semen package ($825). Click here to view full online charity auction results.


Click on the photo gallery below to view some of the industry people in attendance.

More on a panel session discussion from the AuctionsPlus dinner later this week.


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  1. Anna Speer, 16/06/2016

    Hi Peter,
    We certainly acknowledge and regularly engage with the predecessors and pioneers of AuctionsPlus and CALM – without them we would not have this sensational platform in which to market livestock nationally. There were a number of CALM pioneers at the event, Howard Gardener, Dick Austen, John Griffith, Colin Campbell, Dennis Scanlon, Susie Clark, Tom Brinkworth, Ian Dawson, David Coombs, Bob Jameison, Bob McKittrick, Danny Wilkie, Peter Rollason, Phillip Russell, John Wyld to name a few. There were also a number of apologies from those who were unable to attend. As it was a ticketed event that sold out within 48 hours, it was challenging to ensure that we had a mix of people, old and new, producer, agent, assessor and buyer… we wish that everyone could have attended, old and new, those that pioneered CALM and those that are driving the business into the future. The event was advertised nationally and everyone was invited. I am sorry that you felt you missed out. Hopefully we will have another Sale Day next year and we will endeavor to have a larger crowd so those that missed out can join us. Did you manage to watch the online stream – we streamed the entire event so those that missed out on tickets could be a part of the event. You can also watch the presentations on our facebook page.

  2. Michael goldby, 13/06/2016

    Would have been great to have known!

  3. John Cooper, 13/06/2016

    Sorry Editor I completely forgot that David Wright had left us some ten years ago,but should still be remembered for his contribution
    John Cooper.

    Cheers John. We gave David due recognition in this earlier article, which you may have missed. Editor

  4. John Cooper, 13/06/2016

    Peter . I must say I agree and the notable absence if he was invited is David Wright.Without his perseverance and energy I doubt that Ca.LM would have got going as it did.I well remember the days as a board member 1985 -1989.

    John Cooper

  5. Peter Kostos, 13/06/2016

    It is a shame that some of the more prominent people from the CALM days were not notified, nor invited.

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