Summer Networking featuring Barramundi on the Barbie- Frankfurt, August 2019

On 1 August 2019, the German Australian Business Council hosted a summer networking event at the Adina Neue Oper Frankfurt showcasing our Mittelstand member, Barramundi Aquakultur. Operations Manager, Fritz Beindorff shared his thoughts about the sustainable Barramundi farming business in Hainburg (20 minutes outside of Frankfurt) and emphasized the benefits of Barramundi grown without antibiotics or hormones. Following a lively Q&A, guests were treated to an expansive buffet spread showcasing “Barramundi on the Barbie” specially prepared by the Adina Frankfurt Neue Oper catering and culinary team. We were delighted to connect with many new members and friends over a spectacular sunset view of the Frankfurt skyline.

Photos by Cherokee Bech

Ambassador’s Dinner- Frankfurt, June 2019

The German Australian Business Council’s Annual Ambassador’s Dinner 2019 was an exclusive and highly successful event as we welcomed over 100 international guests, including representatives joining us from the German-Australian Chamber of Industry and Commerce (AHK) Australia Delegation, at the Sofitel Frankfurt on 25 June 2019.

The pre-dinner networking reception set the stage for the evening with new and renewed connections and lively conversations over drinks and canapes. Dinner started officially with a welcome by Chair, Dr Sabine Pittrof and Co-Patron Australian Ambassador to Germany, H.E. Lynette Wood introducing our special speaker: Senator The Hon. Mathias Cormann, Minister for Finance, Special Minister of State, Leader of the Government in the Senate. Singing a line from Belgium’s wining Eurovision song “J’aime la Vie”, Belgium-born Senator Cormann showed his gracious humour as he responded to a quip by Dr Pittrof about Australia’s successful participation in the Eurovision as testament to the strong Australia-EU ties. This set the tone for his keynote as he outlined the Australian’s government economic priorities and the tremendous opportunities for strengthening bilateral relations.

The evening concluded with a vote of thanks by Mr Jeff Connolly, Executive Chairman and CEO of Siemens Australia and Pacific and Head of the AHK Australia Delegation.

The German Australian Business Council would like to warmly thank our sponsors FrankfurtRheinMain GmbH and ANZ; and partners, AHK Australia and the Australian Trade and Investment Commission for their kind support.


Photos courtesy of Todd Gardner, Frankfurt.


ABIE FTA Briefing- Brussels, 4th of July 2019

The German Australian Business Council joined our sister organizations as part of the Australian Business in Europe network ( to host Australia’s Chief Negotiator for the EU Free Trade Agreement, Alison Burrows, as she delivered a Special Briefing on the status of the negotiations along with a distinguished panel including Ambassador to the EU, Justin Brown, Austrade’s European General Manager, Dan Tebbutt and European Australian Business Council CEO, Jason Collins.   The event was attended by ABIE members from all over Europe including the UK, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Bulgaria, Spain and the Czech Republic, together with representatives of several Australian-based business associations and industry groups and Australian Federal and State governmental agencies. The ABIE network is a collective of organisations across Europe and Australia collaborating to develop and promote business relations between the two regions.

GABC and Austrade Europe Landing Pad networking evening at betahaus- Berlin, March 2019

On 26th March, 2019 the German Australian Business Council joined the Australian Landing Pad in Europe (run by the Australian Trade & Investment Commission) in hosting a networking evening at betahaus café in Kreuzberg. This event was an opportunity for members and friends to engage both with the Landing Pad community and to meet with the bootcamp delegation visiting Berlin in preparation of Hannover Messe.

Approximately 30 guests were introduced to the 8 strong delegation and the Europe Landing Pad program by its manager, David Urry, and the Australian Trade Commissioner for Germany, Steve Rank. Local beers and Currywurst helped fuel the engaged conversation throughout the three hour event.

Networking BBQ- Berlin, June 2019

On 5 June GABC Berlin hosted an after-work networking BBQ at the former Australian Embassy to the German Democratic Republic in Berlin Pankow which is now the base for a local artist collective ( The small informal event was attended by a dozen members and friends who enjoyed the vast garden, cool drinks and communal cooking experience alongside interesting conversations with other guests and the resident artists. The evening’s highlight was the guided tour of the historic landmark building and some of the exhibitions on display by the artists. We look forward to hosting further relaxed after-work events for the Berlin community in the near future. The next Berlin event will be the annual Sommerfest der Wirtschaftsverbände at Chalet Suisse on the 30th of August, 2019.

Photo: Maurizio Camagna

ABIE International Networking meeting, Sofia 03./04. May 2019

On the 3rd and 4th of May, 2019, representatives of the ABIE groups met in Sofia to discuss how to further improve their collaboration in terms of activities and events. The meeting was organized by BABC (Bulgaria) with participants coming from Bulgaria, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Spain and the UK. The European-Australian Business Council, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands participated via telephone.

Andrea Biggi, Deputy Head of Mission from the Australian Embassy in Athens, joined the dinner on Friday and the full meeting on Saturday to discuss the EU-AUS Free Trade Agreement, which is still in the negotiation phase. ABIE groups were asked to give their country-specific input to the team. A common submission from all ABIE groups is planned for June 2019.

In addition, the international network of Australian Business in Europe (ABIE) organizations will host a briefing on the status of the negotiations for the EU-Australia Free Trade Agreement in Brussels on the 4th of July, 2019. This meeting will outline the opportunities and challenges facing export-oriented businesses from multinationals to SMEs and will allow the opportunity to contribute your perspective to the process through questions and feedback. The briefing will be given by Australia’s lead negotiator, Alison Burrows, Special Negotiator EU-FTA, Office of Trade Negotiations, Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade.

The common website  is an excellent platform to share information internationally and has been well received by members across Europe.

GABC Board members Sabine Pittrof and  Eberhard Goihl attended the meeting and summarized it as a well-structured and very effective base for further activities.


AGM 2019- Frankfurt, March 2019

The Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the German Australian Business Council e.V. was held at the Adina Frankfurt Westend on Tuesday, the 19th of March 2019.

The Chair of the Board, Sabine Pittrof, gave a review of 2018 which had been a year of changes and challenges for the Council on various levels. In that context, we were able to deliver 19 events, maintain our membership base, and contribute a submission to the Trade Sub-Committee of the Australian Parliament regarding opportunities for SMEs.

In 2019, the Council will focus on two core themes of Free Trade Agreement and Digitalisation which will guide our events strategy. This will be supplemented by a new communications plan led by board member Kiki Loukas.

Eberhard Goihl, Treasurer of the German Australian Business Council, outlined the current financial status and highlighted significant improvement on our account receivables. Our 2019 budget includes increased expenditure on event support and website enhancement in order to improve our membership engagement.

The AGM attendees also discussed the potential introduction of new membership models to enhance our value proposition for members. In addition, there were some updates and suggestions for the attraction of younger, next-generation members.

The board thanked Sabine for her dedicated leadership and Eberhard for his fiduciary diligence.

The evening concluded with interactive Australian business trivia and networking over drinks and refreshments.

We would like to extend our sincere thanks to our corporate member and AGM sponsor Adina Apartment Hotels for their warm and generous hospitality.


Farewell Dinner for GABC Patron, Richard Leather- Frankfurt, March 2019

GABC members and friends came together for this informal event to honour Richard Leather, Consul General and Senior Trade and Investment Commissioner for Western Europe. Richard has been GABC patron for last two years and an active member, providing ideas and impulses and helping to bring the GABC forward. Richard and guests enjoyed a three-course dinner at Enoteca InCantina, which serves high quality food and wine from Italia’s Emilia Romagna region.

GABC Christmas Reception with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra-Frankfurt, Dec 2018

The German Australian Business Council celebrated the festive season in Frankfurt with an evening reception at the Australian Consul-General’s residence on the 6th of December, 2018. We were delighted to welcome representatives of the Sydney Symphony orchestra: CEO Emma Dunch, Director of Artistic Planning, Raff Wilson, and Director of External Affairs, Lizzi Nicholl to the event in conjunction with the 2018 Sydney Symphony Orchestra’s European Tour.

Members and Friends enjoyed the opportunity to network and celebrate the year’s achievements over a buffet dinner. Special thanks also goes to GABC Members Liz Holland and Oliver Schmidt who donated two tickets to the Melbourne Cup Carnival for a Christmas raffle.

The evening was a fitting end to a productive year of events.

Australia Day Breakfast Briefing: The EU-Australia Free Trade Agreement Negotiations-Frankfurt, January 2019

The German Australian Business Council kicked off 2019 with an event with Jason Collins, CEO of the European Australian Business Council, updating our members and friends on the current status of the EU-Australia Free Trade Agreement negotiations.

Jason set the context with a general economic outlook for Australia and its bilateral relationship with Europe before delving into the core tenets of the EU-Australia Free Trade Agreement negotiations. There was much discussion around the table of the potential impact on the flow of services, investment, and people.

This event was the first of our series on the EU-Australia Free Trade Agreement. There will be another update with the Australian Business in Europe (ABIE) network in July.

In the meantime, here are some links for additional information on the EU-Australia Free Trade Agreement: