Fresh Inspiration, Uplifting Worship and Life-Changing Connections at CONNECT23

Fresh Inspiration, Uplifting Worship and Life-Changing Connections at CONNECT23

More than 250 delegates from around the nation have left the Gold Coast inspired and energised for their work and ministry.

CMAA's annual CONNECT conference brought together a stellar line-up of thinkers, artist and artisans in 2023.  We were treated to the likes of Riley Clemmons and Bella Taylor Smith performing and leading our gathering in beautiful times of worship; speakers such as Hillsong’s Robert Fergusson, The Curious Co’s Eliane Miles and Jon Bergmann from Avenir Leadership Institute getting us thinking deeply about what we do and how we do it; and experts such as CV Global’s Molly Kubes, online pastor Dave Adamson and branding expert Sam Vallich guiding us in the latest wisdom on culture and connection.

This year’s conference had a slightly different format to previous years, with shorter, sharper presentations and a wider variety of guest speakers, many sitting on panel sessions covering topics such as screen craft, fundraising, innovation, handling criticism, and how to navigate the present cultural moment.

Highlights of our gathering included the presence of David and Helen Smallbone speaking about their journey through the Christian music industry, the exclusive screening of their biographical film Unsung Hero, and the Excellence in Media awards, which highlighted outstanding talent across not only media and the arts but also in leadership and innovation.

We celebrated new talents such as youth band M22, winner of the Australian People’s Choice Award, and Georgia Free, voice of the Finding Hope podcast and winner of the compelling Digital Media award; awarded outstanding work by leading names in the sector such as Richard Attieh, for his documentary Written in Chalk; then reflected back on decades of service and creativity from Jeff Crabtree, Peter McCoy, Gary Hoogvliet and Kosti Simons as they were honoured with Legacy Awards for their ground-breaking work in both the media and church arenas.

Throughout the CONNECT23 schedule we also had a chance to celebrate some brilliant Australian creators and makers, with short-burst videos showcasing the work of artists, singers, film makers and documentarians. These films helped to raise awareness of MADE, a new initiative of CMAA helping creatives to network and inspire one another in their work and creativity.

For those who couldn’t make it to CONNECT23, sessions will be released in video format over the coming months for CMAA members. Keep your eyes open for short snippets that will also start to appear on our socials.

BUT there’s nothing like being there in person; so start planning now to make the trek to the Gold Coast when we do it all again in 2024!

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