Aesop Frankfurt Store Tour

Just one day after International Women’s Day, the German Australian Business Council was privileged to host a members-only visit of the Aesop store in Frankfurt.

Our Aesop hosts, Edna and Juliana, shared the fascinating story of Dennis Paphitis who launched the business from his former Armadale (Victoria) hair salon in 1987. Its products now extend to body and skin care; and the business has expanded overseas to over 40 countries with 11 stores in Germany alone.

Aesop, which means “storyteller” in Greek is a fitting name for the brand as every store has a unique story.

The Frankfurt signature store was created in collaboration with the Philipp Mainzer Office for Architecture and Design, taking for its primary inspirations the city’s Modernist roots and cultural heritage.

The store interior arrangement also alludes to the Die Frankfurter Küche – the 1920s prototype for kitchens prevalent in the West, first used in public housing project Das Neue Frankfurt.

The store tour was followed by personal skin consultations by Aesop and attendees went away with goodie bags courtesy of Aesop.

Scott Morison

G20 Finance Ministers meeting in Baden Baden

It’s been overshadowed by the meeting between President Trump and Chancellor Merkel, but this past couple of days has seen the meeting in the German city of Baden Baden of the G20 group of finance ministers, including Australia’s Treasurer, Scott Morrison. He’s been pressuring for a reference to trade to be included in the final communique. Link to video here.

Expat in the City Fair 2017 in Munich

On Sunday 11 March, The German Australian Business Council participated in the Expat in the City Fair in Munich for the first time.

The Expat in the City Fair was a one-day event full of information and inspiration for all internationals living in Munich. Questions about topics such as finances, insurances, education, daycare, expat life, job search and fun things to do in the Munich area were all answered at the fair – all in one day and all under one roof at the BMW Welt.

More than 2700 visitors came looking for and found all the great information and inspiration provided for them.

We had a lot of interesting conversations and found many new contacts and business opportunities.

Rita Roider, City of Munich opened the fair

German Australian Business Council Board members Eberhard Goihl and Rob Harrison ran the booth together with Susanne Schierok and Dali Vukadin.

Michael Rosemann – Munich’s first Breakfast Meeting

How can we use idle spaces? That was one of the questions proved by Prof. Michael Rosemann, honorary German Consul in Brisbane, and Head of the Information Systems School at the Queensland University of Technology in a recent meeting in Munich. Michael inaugurated what will hopefully become a regular series of informal „Boomerang Breakfasts“ in the city. He explained how we need to use or refuse facilities that are lying idle for other purposes – for example toilets to measure the health of their users? He is interested in how we can better exploit infrastructure for uses for which it was not designed.

Michael is also interested in supporting young entrepreneurial companies. He looks at twinning up startup hubs in various cities, which lead to a discussion of Munich’s advantages over Berlin (the location of Australia’s start up landing pad). As one of the participants pointed out, Berlin might be good for IT, but Bavaria and Southern Germany has more traditional industry that are starting to reach out and look for opportunities.

Michael also wants to reach out into the wider community in Brisbane and promote Germany. He’s working on German weeks in the city and supporting German language clubs for students and teachers. He is also extremely excited about a German-Australia Startup summit being organised in November in Brisbane.

A great speaker and we hope that we can have him back soon.


Kaufland to enter Australia

The German Schwarz Group, owner of the Lidl chain, is looking to expand its Kaufland grocery brand down under. The company has set up a website and is looking for land and staff in Australia.

Kaufland is apparently looking for big lots of land of up to 20,000 square metres, which will be similar in size as Masters stores were before they collapsed.

Australia Day Business Networking Event in Munich

The German Australian Business Council kicked off its 20th anniversary and first official event of 2017 in Munich with our Australia Day Business Networking Event at the Academy of the Martini Club Munich.

We were pleased to have Gabi Thye from Wacker Chemie AG as guest speaker. Gabi is a globally experienced Executive Business Manager in the chemical industry with assignments in Europe, North America, Greater China and Australia. Gabi and attendees shared German-Australian experiences at the event in the spirit of celebrating Australia day.

Eberhard Goihl, German Australian Business Council Board member highlighted in his welcome the ‘Australianow2017 initiative’ and launched the new ABIE International website. is a collaboration between the different ABIE groups – currently Australia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, United Kingdom – and provides a common platform highlighting various initiatives taking place across Europe.

25 attendees enjoyed the event in an excellent environment with a Flying Buffet and special Cocktails.

ABIE Website Launch

Australia Day 2017 saw the launch of an exciting new initiative to encourage co-operation and interaction between members of the group members of the ABIE international network.

 Founded in London in 1975, ABIE has grown into a dynamic network of organisations with a combined international membership of several thousand Australians working in Europe and Europeans involved with Australian industry and commerce, together representing both Australian companies with business interests in Europe and a wide range of European companies and professional organisations with reciprocal interests in Australia.

 The purpose of the ABIE international network is to strengthen the contact and co-operation between different ABIE groups, the sharing of expertise and contacts, building common platforms for joint activities and initiatives, and meeting together to discuss issues affecting its collective membership.

 The website was launched in Paris, Frankfurt and Munich at the Australia Day events of ABIE France and the German Australian Business Council, two cornerstone members of the ABIE international network. In Paris and Frankfurt it was launched by ABIE Czech Republic board member Richard York and in Munich by German Australian Business Council board member Eberhard Goihl. 

 “This website provides a one-stop-shop for ABIE members travelling around Europe, to find out in one click what is happening in their destination city “, he said.  “And we also hope it will help facilitate ABIE members deciding from time to time to cross borders specifically to participate in some of the fantastic events organised around the network”.  Richard emphasised that members of each ABIE group are entitled to attend events organised by other ABIE groups in any other country at the member rates.

 The website can be found at ABIE.EU.

Australia Day Business Networking Lunch in Frankfurt

The German Australian Business Council kicked off its 20th anniversary and first official event of 2017 with our Australia Day Business Networking Lunch at the newly opened Adina Apartment Hotel Frankfurt.

Our special guest all the way from Sydney was Mr Jason Collins, Chief Executive Officer of the European Australian Business Council, who provided us with a thorough background and fascinating insights into the proposed Australia – European Union Free Trade Agreement. The session sparked off a great deal of discussion among the 35 participants as they debated the opportunities and challenges of the proposed agreement.

Mr Richard York, fellow member of the Australian Business in Europe network, ABIE Czech Republic also joined the event to launch the new ABIE International website. is a collaboration between the different ABIE groups – currently Australia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, United Kingdom – and provides a common platform highlighting various initiatives taking place across Europe.

Those in attendance were also treated to an Australian menu comprising fresh seafood, lamb, and Pavlova specially created by the Adina team.

Australia Day Reception at the Australian Embassy

German Australian Business Council board members took part and networked on the occasion of the Australia Day reception at the Australian Embassy Berlin. In her speech, Ambassador to Germany Ms Lynette Wood pointed out the latest achievements in Australian German relations as well as prospects for the future. Highlights among others during the last year were various visits by members of the government to Germany showing the strong ties between the two countries. Among the prospects for the future is a great number of cultural events of the Australia Now 2017 campaign. This outlook as well as the embracing hospitality of the ambassador and the staff of the Australian Embassy Berlin once again showed our members that Australia is a close friend rather than a distant nation.


Christmas Business Networking Reception in Frankfurt

To mark the start of the festive season, the German Australian Business Council was given the privilege of holding the annual Christmas event at the residence of the Australian Consul General, Richard Leather, in Frankfurt.

The Consul General warmly welcomed German Australian Business Council members and their friends into this intimate environment and as on many occasions before, proved to be an excellent host.

The elegant yet festive soundtrack to this evening was provided by one of the German Australian Business Council members  – Cherokee Bech, an Australian DJ now resident in Frankfurt. Australian wine accompanied the excellent catering for the evening, making the networking all that more enjoyable!

Our chair, Sabine Pittrof also gave a brief overview of the past year’s events, major topics and changes to the association. We welcomed a number of new members on this occasion, joining us for the first time in one of our regular events and coming from as far away as Hamburg just for this occasion.


Australian Consul General and Senior Trade Commissioner in Frankfurt, Richard Leather welcomes our members and their friends to his residence.


German Australian Business Council Chair, Sabine Pittrof giving an overview of our engagements and successes in 2016.


German Australian Business Council members and their friends networking and enjoying a festive evening at the Consul General’s residence.