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History of the Actuaries Institute of Australia

  • The voyage begins

    The UK Institute of Actuaries receives its royal charter. Aspiring actuaries in the Australian colonies must make a long sea voyage to take Fellowship exams.
  • An Actuarial Society

    William Reginald Day, an AMP actuarial trainee, writes to Sydney’s actuaries proposing to create a society in the “interests of Actuarial Science in Sydney.” Seventeen people attend the inaugural meeting of the Actuarial Society of NSW - the Institute’s precursor.
  • A good pass

    James Fulton Little becomes the first Australia-born person to complete all the exams for the Fellowship of the Institute of Actuaries. An adventurous actuary, he is later elected President of the American Institute of Actuaries.
  • Value for money

    Society membership has doubled with 49 members paying an annual fee of five shillings.
  • A premium on patriotism

    World War I disrupts Australia’s life offices. Actuaries are asked to set premium loadings for soldiers and sailors.
  • The numbers grow

    Demand for actuarial skills escalates. Actuary Charles Wickens (Commonwealth Statistician 1922-1932) is instrumental in developing the Bureau of Census and Statistics.
  • Life changes shape

    Stalled by World Wars and the Great Depression, long-awaited life insurance legislation finally passed. Life offices must submit returns to the new Life Insurance Commissioner. The statutory fund concept is introduced, along with actuarial control over premium rates and distribution of surplus.
  • A key calculation

    Using an IBM 650, actuaries GC Lane and GC Ward pioneer the use of computers in actuarial valuations. The work – and their paper 'The emergence of surplus of a life office under varying conditions of expansion' is influential well into the 70s.
  • Actuaries Incorporated

    The Society is reconstituted and incorporated as 'The Institute of Actuaries of Australia and New Zealand.
  • World’s best practice?

    Australian actuaries pioneer new techniques and solutions including a world-leading unit pricing structure still used by financial institutions today.
  • First degree

    Australian actuaries launch a Macquarie University degree that covers the first part of the syllabus. It became an international benchmark for similar qualifications.
  • Expanding cover

    Institute members established a beachhead in General and Health Insurance – now a major employer of actuaries.
  • Prime and first

    Catherine Prime is the first woman to gain Fellowship in Australia. She will later be both Actuary of the Year and President.
  • Essential Actuaries

    The Insurance Act enshrines the importance of actuaries and demand continues to grow in general insurance.
  • Name change

    New Zealand actuaries form their own society. The Institute becomes ‘The Institute of Actuaries of Australia.
  • Independence days

    The first Australian fellowship exams mark a new maturity for the profession.
  • First female President

    Catherine Prime, the first female Actuarial Fellow (1971), becomes the first female President. Profiled in New Idea she says, “I certainly won’t be rushing out to join women’s liberation. I’ve liberated myself!”
  • 2000 in 2000

    Catherine Baldwin becomes the Institute's first female CEO. Membership hits 2000.
  • Risk management matters

    Australian actuaries are heavily involved in the creation of the CERA designation. Membership hits 4000.
  • Pandemic, but no panic

    COVID hits Australia. First semester exams are moved online - overnight. Membership has now passed 5000.
  • Hoa Bui becomes the first Asian-born President

    Hoa Bui is elected President of the Institute. Ms Bui is the first Asian-born and the seventh female President of the Actuaries institute.
  • A broader sense of diversity

    Hoa Bui becomes the first Asian-born - and seventh female - President of the Actuaries institute.
  • Data for good

    The 'Actuaries use data for good' campaign celebrates actuaries’ data skillsets and provides a new and compelling language to explain what actuaries do - and so expand their influence and demand for their services.
  • ICA2023

    The world’s actuaries come to Sydney (in-person and online) to share insights, experience, lessons and stories.