Set up to support and promote Australian science fiction and fantasy authors. As I’m not published I couldn’t get a full membership, but they did allow “JourneyFolk” to join as associate members.
As you’ve probably seen if you’ve clicked the link above, the ASFFWA seems to have vanished without a trace. Seems like a defunct organisation, which is very disappointing.
For those based in NSW I’ve found joining the NSW Writer’s Centre to be a great way of starting to feel connected to a broader writing community. I don’t know anyone in the industry and have never had any formal training as a creative writer, so having this connection is important. For those not in NSW, I’m sure there is a local writer’s centre near you. If you’re in Australia, you could also check out Writing Australia which in a joint collaboration of many of the state based writing centres around the country.
As an example of the kind of courses the Centre runs, in September 2011 I went along to a 1 day workshop run by Richard Harland on writing speculative fiction.
A more commercial cousin to the NSW Writer’s Centre above, the Sydney Writer’s Centre has some excellent resources if you have the stomach for a harder sell that comes with it. I especially found the podcasts featuring interviews with authors on writing valuable and good motivation.