Reimagining Peak Bodies and National Centres for the Modern Age

Reimagining Peak Bodies and National Centres for the Modern Age is illustrated by a maze infographic with people heading towards the centre point which is an Australia map. The style is sophisticated and detailed.

In the ever-evolving realm of advocacy and industry leadership, the role of peak bodies and national centres cannot be overstated. These organisations serve as essential conduits, embodying entire industries’ collective vision and aspirations within a dynamic environment that demands resilience and innovation. Over recent years, there has been a notable surge in demand for these national leaders to redefine their market positioning with precision, purpose, and profound impact. We’ve been entrusted to rebrand and reposition organisations carrying over 127 of history right through to establishing landmark national centres to address society’s most pressing challenges; our experiences have revealed invaluable insights into successful strategies and the critical junctures that prompt the need for strategic repositioning.

Are peak bodies and national centres equipped to navigate the complexities of the modern age, including funding challenges, brand perception, and shifting landscapes? 

These essential organisations play an important role in representing diverse interests and driving progress, yet often face intricate relationships, funding dependencies, and evolving expectations. Could strategic rebranding, guided by co-design and human-centred design principles, be the key to revitalising impact and autonomy? Based on our work in this field, we believe so. This journal article will explore how strategic rebranding can breathe new life into missions, forge deeper connections with stakeholders, and future-proof organisations while honouring their rich history and legacy. We will share insights and learnings from our recent partnership rebranding the National Centre for Action on Child Sexual Abuse and some key considerations that contributed to that project’s success.

Pie chart infographic that illustrates funding sources for peak bodies and national centres, showing the distribution of financial support from government funding, grants, donations, and other sources.

Could strategic rebranding—guided by co-design principles—be the key to revitalising impact and leadership?

The transformative journey of rebranding hinges on the collaborative power of co-design. Co-design workshops are the cornerstone of this process, fostering collaboration, innovation, and inclusivity. By engaging diverse stakeholders, including industry leaders, professionals, and members, peak bodies and national centres can leverage insights, data, and research to redefine their identity, purpose, and impact within the advocacy landscape.

How can peak bodies and national centres strike a balance between tradition, history, and innovation in today’s landscape?

Amidst the quest for innovation, peak bodies and national centres face a fundamental challenge—balancing tradition, history, and longstanding legacy with innovation. While grounded in tradition, these organisations must adapt to their members’ and stakeholders’ rapidly changing needs and expectations. Preserving organisational culture and identity must harmonise with the imperative for progress. Striking this balance seems like a challenge, but through the power of co-design and workshops, this can be a really effective, inclusive and empowering step in the process.

Illustration infographic balancing legacy and progression for National Centres and Peak bodies undergoing a branding process.

How does harnessing the power of storytelling transform engagement and connections with stakeholders? 

Harnessing the power of storytelling is pivotal in the rebranding journey. As our name suggests, it’s a cornerstone of our process. Brand storytelling can evoke powerful emotions, fostering genuine connections and transforming how peak bodies and national centres engage with their audience. These organisations can establish deeper connections with stakeholders through captivating narratives, motivating action and achieving organisational success. Whether showcasing industry accomplishments or championing advocacy efforts, storytelling is potent for cultivating empathy, fostering understanding, and driving meaningful engagement.

Can peak bodies and national centres adapt to resonate with evolving societal values and priorities? 

Of course. As peak bodies navigate the complexities of the modern age, they must adjust their advocacy efforts to resonate with changing values and priorities. These organisations can create meaningful engagement and representation within their ranks by embracing diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives. Moreover, collaborative partnerships and cross-sector alliances emerge as superpowers for addressing complex societal challenges and driving collective impact. As the guardians of industry interests, peak bodies play a critical role in shaping the future landscape of their sectors, driving innovation, and advocating for positive change.



What insights can we gain from the rebranding journey of the National Centre for Action on Child Sexual Abuse? 

Following the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, the Australian Government, in collaboration with state and territory counterparts, embarked on a critical mission: to establish a national centre dedicated to addressing the profound impacts of child sexual abuse on victims and survivors.

With a commitment of $22.5 million over five years, the Australian Government worked closely with all jurisdictions to secure matched funding for this pivotal initiative. In October 2021, the National Centre for Action on Child Sexual Abuse (National Centre) was officially launched, representing a collaborative partnership between the founding organisations Blue Knot Foundation, the Australian Childhood Foundation, and The Healing Foundation. Notably, the National Centre operates autonomously from the government.

At its core, the National Centre is driven by a set of primary objectives aimed at increasing awareness of the impacts of child sexual abuse, reducing stigma, promoting help-seeking behaviour, and supporting best practices in advocacy, support, and treatment. Central and unique to its approach is a strong emphasis on partnering with victims and survivors, valuing their knowledge and experiences as essential to the initiative’s success.

Grid of visuals showcasing the rebrand of The National Centre

The Challenge:

In our Storyfolk office, one of our core mission statements was clear: this was a once-in-a-generation opportunity to reshape Australia’s approach to discussing child sexual abuse. We aimed to dismantle this topic’s stigma and taboo, creating a safe and informed space for open dialogue. Our sub-goal was to develop an approachable brand that allowed openness and thoughtful conversations among people from all walks of life, whether at a casual event like a BBQ or in more formal settings. Getting this brand right could quite literally change lives and have such a positive domino effect on so many people, leading to meaningful societal change. On the flip side, we recognised that failing to establish a brand with authenticity and impact was simply not an option. It could erode the trust of the National Centre, exacerbate distress among victims and survivors, and constrain the National Centre’s capacity to transform Australia’s response to child sexual abuse. Success hinged on executing a strategic rebranding effort with precision yet having a clear, empathetic undertone in all aspects of the brand.

The Journey:

Our journey in rebranding the National Centre was guided by a strategic approach prioritising empathy, collaboration, and thoughtful design. We conducted co-designed workshops involving victims, survivors, industry experts, the team, key stakeholders and government representatives. The cornerstone of our approach was to humanise victim-survivors’ stories and experiences to bring more awareness to this topic. One victim-survivor comment within one of the workshops which were, “One person is a tragedy, one million is a statistic,” underscoring the need to convey individuality and depth, showing the real people and their real stories rather than blanketing the issue with statistics that often don’t quite resonate in the same way. This insight inspired the brand foundation with thoughtful storytelling embedded in each aspect of the identity, including a bespoke thumbprint illustration suite utilising the real stories shared by victims-survivors that were visually represented in bespoke thumbprints; each story is unique, symbolising that no two experiences are the same and that each person’s journey of healing also requires a different approach. 

The Result:

The result was a brand, communication strategy and website that positioned the National Centre as an industry-leading organisation while genuinely resonating with real people through the power of storytelling. The National Centre brand design has deeply resonated with real people through the compelling art of storytelling. By symbolising the uniqueness of each victim’s and survivor’s story, our efforts convey the intricate reality of child sexual abuse, intending to bring hope, eliminate stigma, and empower victims and survivors. This sparks an ongoing educational movement, intending to transform the National Centre’s brand into a symbol of hope, unity, and genuine change, with a long-term goal of shifting stigma and attitudes.

Dr Leanne Beagley, Chief Executive Officer of The National Centre for Action on Child Sexual Abuse, shared her perspective on partnering with Storyfolk:

“We chose Storyfolk for their alignment with our approach, their engagement capability, and their passion for people. They approached all of our stakeholder groups with candour and acute listening, creating personalised workshops and consultations. They listened and reflected compassionately on what they heard and then acted on it. The biggest impact was on our board, with Storyfolk approaching them with respect and honour. The board’s confidence in the process and emphatic endorsement of the outcomes was palpable and welcome. The resulting resonant brand and package have led to further work.”

If you would like to learn more about the work we produced with The National Centre, please go to our case study on the project, here.


Co-design workshop in Storyfolk head office. Post it notes with brand development and group meeting

Why is co-design essential for crafting inclusive and empathetic branding solutions?

The National Centre’s outcomes have been remarkable, yet we needed a strong foundation guided by research, insight, and stakeholder engagement to achieve the same result. The importance of co-design in rebranding peak bodies and national centres cannot be overstated. Co-design workshops are pivotal in this endeavour, serving as the cornerstone of a transformative process characterised by collaboration, innovation, and inclusivity.

The power of co-design for national centres and peak body organisations:

1.Inclusive stakeholder engagement:

Co-design workshops provide a platform for engaging a diverse array of stakeholders, including industry leaders, professionals, and members. By soliciting authentic insights, stories, perspectives, and feedback from this broad spectrum of voices, peak bodies and national centres can ensure that their rebranding efforts genuinely reflect their communities’ collective vision and aspirations.

2. Informed decision-making:

By incorporating insights from co-design workshops, organisations can make more informed decisions throughout rebranding and bring stakeholders along. This data-driven approach ensures that strategic choices regarding identity, messaging, and visual representation are grounded in a comprehensive understanding of stakeholder needs and expectations. This makes for more compelling and unique visuals within the brand identity and drives a clear alignment of almost all the stakeholder groups.

3. Cultivation of innovation:

Co-design fosters a culture of innovation by encouraging participants to think outside the box and explore refreshingly different approaches to branding and storytelling. By harnessing workshop participants’ collective creativity and expertise, peak bodies and national centres can push the boundaries of conventional branding norms and develop innovative solutions that resonate with their audiences.

4. Empathy-driven solutions:

Co-design strongly emphasises empathy, ensuring the rebranding process remains human-centred and empathetic to stakeholders’ needs and experiences. Organisations can craft narratives and visual identities that authentically reflect their values, mission, and impact by centring the voices of those directly impacted by their work.

By boldly embracing innovation, fostering inclusivity, and harnessing the power of storytelling, organisations can reshape their identities and reignite their societal impact for generations to come. The remarkable success of the National Centre for Action on Child Sexual Abuse serves as a testament to the transformative potential of strategic rebranding. It underscores the importance of aligning with stakeholders, crafting authentic narratives, and striking the delicate balance between expertise and empathy. 

Are you ready to transform your organisation’s impact through strategic rebranding and authentic storytelling? Let’s begin the conversation. Connect with Sarah Gross, our Creative Director/Partner at Storyfolk, to explore how we can tailor a branding strategy for your peak body or National Centre.

 Email Sarah at 

Support Services

If you or someone you know is affected by child sexual abuse, some options for 24/7 support are listed below.


Join our mailing list

Receive compelling industry insights, thought-provoking content and early access to events we are participating in.

Four emails a year. Unsubscribe any time.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.