The AASM commenced in 2009 after discussion amongst the Australian Social Marketing academics attending the 2009 International Nonprofit and Social Marketing conference – INSM (now known as the International Social Marketing conference – ISM).
These academics had identified the need for an association that represented the interests of social marketing, provided guidance and assistance and information sharing in the field. Professor Linda Brennan and Associate Professor Wayne Binney (as co-chairs of the 2009 INSM conference) initiated follow-up meetings in Melbourne (2009) and Brisbane (2010) until the association was formed and registered as an association in Victoria. The initial group responsible for starting the association consisted of; Linda Brennan, Jan Brace-Govern, Wayne Binney, Stephen Dann, Susan Dann, Heather Dounglas, Judy Drennan, Marie-Louise Fry, Gillian Sullivan-Mort, Michael Polonsky, Josephine Previte, Sharyn Rundle-Thiele, Rebekah Russell-Bennett and John Thompson.
An interim executive was appointed in late 2010 with Susan Dann as the Acting President, Rebekah Russell-Bennett as the Acting Vice-President and Sharyn Rundle-Thiele as the Acting Treasurer and 35 founding members joined the association.
Rebekah Russell-Bennett took over as President in 2011 with Lelde McCoy as Vice-President.
In 2014 Ross Gordon took over as the new President, with Lelde McCoy continuing as Vice-President.
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