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Most industries in Australia are represented by industry associations. Typically not-for-profit organisations, industry associations provide members with a range of services including support and training, as well as lobbying on their behalf.
Industry associations may:
- give you information about your industry (i.e. how changes to legislation will affect your business)
- provide you with useful resources (i.e. information and programs to help you meet industry standards)
- run training and education programs
- organise seminars
- facilitate networking events
- manage mentoring programs
- connect you with other businesses in your industry
- arrange public relations or advertising activities to promote your industry
- organise advertising campaigns to educate or persuade the public about issues relevant to your industry
- lobby on behalf of your industry to influence government policy.
These associations offer some information and services for free, but, in most cases, you need to become a member and pay a fee to access their full range of information, resources and services.
In many industries, becoming a member of the peak body can give your business credibility as your membership proves to customers that you have met strict criteria and have certain qualifications and experience.
Searching online is a good place to start to find industry associations relevant to your business.