Venessa Paech (BFA, MA) is an internationally regarded online community expert and educator. She led Community for Lonely Planet, REA Group, Envato and Australia Post. Through her consultancy PeerSense she helps organisations design, build and maintain safe and thriving communities via strategy and coaching. Her clients have included: ABC, AASW, Teach for Australia, QUT, University of Sydney, SANE and Woolworths.
In 2009 Venessa founded the Australian Community Manager Roundtable which in 2011 became Swarm, Australia’s premiere conference for community practitioners. She is Co-Founder and Director of Australian Community Managers (ACM), the national centre of excellence for online community management training and resources. ACM hosts a 6000+ online community, produces research into community management, facilitates the national Code of Ethics for community professionals and offers training for anyone working with online groups or communities (professional or volunteer). In 2021 ACM launched the first ever national training for online community professionals in defamation, in response to new regulatory obligations in the Australian market, and in 2023 ACM launched the All Things in Moderation global conference for humans who moderate.
Venessa works in several international community management leadership collectives, and liaises with industry, government and researchers to grow community management practice in APAC. She has served as an expert witness in Australia for legal matters surrounding the use of social media and online communities. Venessa developed and teaches the first post-graduate online community management Unit for the University of Sydney, where she also teaches business executives about strategic community, lectures in Internet Cultures and Governance, and is a PhD Candidate (University of Sydney) researching AI and online communities.