Ambassador’s Dinner 2018- Berlin

After a four year long wait, the German Australian Business Council’s festive Ambassador´s Dinner returned to Berlin on 21 June, 2018. Held at the Australian Embassy in the city centre, this year´s edition of the well-established dinner format brought together guests from various business and economic sectors as well as friends and supporters of the German Australian Business Council.

Two keynote speeches were introduced by a welcome from Dr Sabine Pittrof, Chair of the German Australian Business Council. The evening was moderated by Board Member, Evangelos Kotsopoulos and Board members Simone Wienhausen and David Urry gave a farewell after awarding the raffle prize draw.

In the first keynote, attendees heard from German Australian Business Council patron, Richard Leather, Australia´s Consul General and Senior Trade Commissioner (Europe). Richard focused on overall bilateral relations between Australia and Germany and the remarkable work achieved between various working groups over the past few years. Citing the recent Perth conference as a highlight, he turned to the upcoming negotiations around an EU-Australia Free Trade Agreement and showed the advantages such arrangement would have.

This year´s second keynote was delivered by Mr. Terry Nichols, General Manager of Rheinmetall Defence Australia (Electronic Solutions). On his birthday, Terry explained the nature of German defence industry group Rheinmetall´s presence in Australia and discussed the group’s recent successful bid for a large Australian Government contract. It was interesting for the audience to hear about the specific, long-term and complex nature of the very large defence procurement projects in which companies such as Rheinmetall and others participate.

Over a three-course dinner, the guests enjoyed in-depth conversation and a relaxed evening.

Special thanks go to this year´s sponsors who made this event possible in the first place. Sonic Healthcare Germany (gold sponsor) as well as the State of South Australia and Aesop kindly supported the evening.


Spring Networking Drinks, May- Frankfurt

Members and friends of the German Australian Business Council were warmly welcomed by the German Australian Business Council’s Co-Patron, Richard Leather, Consul-General Frankfurt and Senior Trade and Investment Commissioner for Western Europe, at his residence for our Spring Reception on 16 May 2018.

We also had the privilege to hear from Ms Lyn Lewis-Smith, CEO, Business Events Sydney about the power of conferences and how business events are setting agendas, shaping best practice and creating change. In particular, she spoke of her recent experience as Co-Chair of the Host Steering Committee for the Global Summit of Women Sydney 2018. This summit was the largest ever held with over 1200 delegates from 60 countries coming together to share effective strategies and practical working solutions by and for women in all three sectors of society – government, business and civil – to improve women’s economic status globally. There was a strong German delegation at the Summit led by Ursula Schwarzenbart, Daimler’s Head of Global Diversity Management. The next Global Summit of Women will be in Basel, Switzerland in 2019.

We were delighted to see a number of new faces at the reception and new connections being made over canapes and drinks.

CADwalk Event, May 2018-Munich

On the evening of 3 May 2018, Members and friends of the German Australian Business Council were immersed into the 3-D, interactive world of CADwalk. With 2 CADwalk’s already in Adelaide and Perth, the company recently grew its footprint to Munich, Germany. It was a very interesting and enjoyable evening. Opening with a presentation on cybersecurity and hackables by Robin Kroha of metafinaz informationssysteme, guests were brought up to date on risks and some ways of managing risks for our digital world. CADwalk CEO Gerhard ‘Kim’ Kimenkowski and colleague Tom Shopland then provided an overview of CADwalk’s international growth, and a hands-on (feet-in) demonstration of various industrial planning scenarios for its interactive command and control room design.


German Australian Business Council participates in Brexit Briefing

Board Members of the German Australian Business Council, Peirui Tan and Sabine Pittrof, attended an expert briefing to Frankfurt’s international community on Brexit on 7th May 2018. Corporate Member Frankfurt Rhein Main GmbH International Marketing of the Region had invited representatives from the Consular Corps and the International Trade and Investment Commissions and Associations to “bust” some myths about Frankfurt and the Rhein Main Region, showcasing this central German hub’s capabilities and readiness for companies taking refuge from Brexit. Congratulations to Frankfurt Rhein Main on a successful event and thank you for all the good work you are doing for the City, the region and Germany in the broader sense.

NGA Indigenous Art Exhibition, Berlin, March 2018

Members and friends of the German Australian Business Council attended a special arts event in Berlin-Mitte on the 15th of March, 2018 alongside guests from Berlin´s political, cultural and medical scene and supported by GABC corporate member Sonic Healthcare Germany. The Australian Indigenous Art exhibition was on loan from Canberra´s National Gallery of Australia and featured the largest collection of this kind which the NGA has ever sent outside of the country. It showed beautiful, traditional artworks from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists, right through to modern/contemporary installations, spanning the course of several centuries. Shown in the Ollbricht Foundation´s impressive me Collector´s Room, the exhibition also marked the culmination and endpoint of the Australia Now cultural year which included dozens of highly acclaimed arts projects, exhibitions, concerts and installations around Germany.



German Australian Business Council AGM 2018

The Annual General Meeting of the German Australian Business Council e.V. was held at the Frankfurt office of the Australian Trade and Investment Commission on Thursday 19 April 2018.

The Chair of the Board, Sabine Pittrof, gave a review of 2017 and an overview of 2018. 2017 was a celebration of the German Australian Business Council’s 20th Anniversary and was marked by a growing profile nationally and internationally, increasing numbers of corporate memberships and a broadening focus on policy review.

Eberhard Goihl, Treasurer of the German Australian Business Council, outlined the current financial status and highlighted some of the improvements in 2017, including an online payment system.

The Board thanked Eleanor Stephen for her contribution as Office Administrator and wished her well in her new employment. We welcomed Elizabeth Matters as our new Office Administrator.

The Board also thanked our departing Board Members for their contribution over their terms. We welcome our new Board Members – Rebecca Liebel (Munich), Kiki Loukas (Frankfurt), Malte Schudlich (Frankfurt) and David Urry (Berlin).

The evening concluded with networking over drinks and refreshments.

We would like to extend our sincere thanks to the Australian Trade and Investment Commission for their warm and generous hospitality.

Insights from Queensland University of Technology Breakfast in Frankfurt

How can we live better while living longer? Members and friends of the German Australian Business Council had the opportunity to hear some of the latest research and insights from Queensland University of Technology (QUT) Faculty of Health’s Professor Ross Young, Executive Dean; Professor Greig de Zubicaray, Assistant Dean (Research); and Professor Remco Polman, Head of School.

Professor Young started with an overall introduction to QUT’s strengths in clinical health, biomedical and health technology research. He then spoke about his own research around genetic testing to provide early detection and care for mental health, which has become a priority for many governments and communities in recent years. Professor Zubicaray, who specializes in the neurobiology of language and memory, highlighted that policies and regulations have yet to catch up with the increased number of self-help health devices and apps. Greater collaboration between government, institutions and organizations will need to be in place to ensure consumer privacy and security while establishing efficacy and safety. In addition to mental health, Professor Polman emphasized that it was important to ensure physical health across all ages from adolescence to old age. Much of his research has centred around behavioural change and understanding motivations and fears, such as fear of falling among the elderly.


It was a mentally active and simulating morning for participants as they learnt about the latest health research developments in Australia. Wwe look forward to hearing more about QUT’s collaboration and work in Germany next time!



German Australian Business Council meets International Business Councils Munich

In 2017, the International Business Council Munich (IBCM), a business networking forum that brings together members of 16 international business organizations active in the Munich area was launched. The IBCM’s mission: “To combine the strengths of the participating IBCM groups in joining for business events of mutual interest and in addressing topics of common interest.  An umbrella organization, the IBCM provides an organizational interface, supports the sharing of ideas, facilitates making new business contacts, and stimulates learning.”

The International Business Council Munich (IBCM) held a Kick-off Event on Tuesday, 13th March 2018.

The event featured Keynote Speaker Dr. Wolfgang Hübschle, Executive Director, Invest in Bavaria with “Disruptive Technologies and the Effects on Local Marketing”.

Afterwards each IBCM organization provided a 2-minute elevator speech on its group’s key features and upcoming events. GABC board member Elisabeth Opie gave an excellent overview of our business council, including its mission statement and outreach.

More than 100 guests enjoyed a buffet dinner with networking in the foyer. In parallel, members of each organization were available for informal discussions on their respective groups.

The currently participating 16 IBCM organizations are:

Anglo Bavarian Club (ABC)

American-German Business Club Munich (AGBC)

Chinaforum Bayern e.V.

Deutsch-Französischer Wirtschaftsclub in Bayern / Le Club

Deutsch-Japanische Gesellschaft (DJG) in Bayern e.V.

Deutsch-Japanischer Wirtschaftskreis e.V. (DJW)

Deutsch-Kanadische Gesellschaft e.V. (DKG)

Deutsch-Niederländisches Geschäftsforum e.V. (DNG)

German American Business Association (GABA-California) – Munich Chapter

German Australian Business Council e.V. (GABC)

German-Indian Roundtable (GIRT)

German Malaysian Round Table (GMRT)

Irish Business Network (IBN)

Münchner Kreis (MK)

Österreichisch-Bayerische Gesellschaft e.V./Austrian-Bavarian Club (ÖBG)

Professional Women’s Network (PWN)

Luncheon with Australian cyber security delegation in conjunction with Austrade- Munich

Some members  and friends of the German Australian Business Council had the pleasure of participating in a luncheon meeting with a cyber security delegate group from Australia on the 16th of February, 2018 in Munich.

As the Australian delegates were in Germany to attend the Munich Cyber Security Conference 2018, they also took the opportunity to engage in a wider program of briefings and customer engagement opportunities  in both Munich and Berlin. These visits included meetings with government and policy stakeholders, corporations, academics and R&D institutes with an interest in the areas of cyber policy, financial services, artificial intelligence, future mobility and defence supply chain.

Over the informal lunch, guests had the opportunity to build new networks and to discuss both the German and Australian business and policy environment for cyber security companies and strategies for business from a bilateral perspective. Special guest Dr Tobias Feakin, Australian Ambassador for Cyber Affairs, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) was present to discuss these issues with the attendees.

The German Australian Business Council is very grateful to Kelly Sims and the team from Austrade for providing the opportunity to attend such an interesting event.

Christmas Networking Dinner Munich

On December 14 the German Australian Business Council invited members and friends to a joint Christmas Networking Dinner together with the Munich based Anglo Bavarian Club (ABC). As in the last years it was an ideal opportunity to meet new people and discuss the 2017 events as well as the basics for 2018. There was a fantastic Bavarian touch set dinner and everybody enjoyed the pre-Christmas atmosphere.

One highlight was the chorus of all participants singing two Christmas songs conducted by Hamish Douglas, the chairman of the ABC.

Some impressions below.