GABC Focus Future event with DB Schenker ANZ, February 2020, Frankfurt

On 6 February 2020, Craig Davison, CEO, DB Schenker ANZ provided an overview of the AU$1.0b business which has been in operation since 1962 with over 2000 employees. Craig discussed DB Schenker’s transition from a traditional freight forwarder and cargo logistics company to an end-to-end supply chain solutions provider offering value-added services to customers. He also highlighted some of the current key projects in Australia, including the Western Sydney Aerotropolis, BHP South Flank Project in Western Australia, and Belectric Limondale Solar Farm. The presentation was followed by a lively discussion about the future of the freight industry and DB Schenker ANZ’s sustainability initiatives.

We thank GABC Member Adina Frankfurt Neue Oper for the kind hospitality.


GABC Christmas Celebration, December 2019, Berlin

GABC members and friends met for a pre-Christmas networking dinner at Berlin´s famous Gendarmenmarkt Christmas Market. Traditional Glühwein helped to warm up a freezing evening, followed by a festive dinner in Lutter & Wegener´s tent.

GABC Aviation event with Dr Ian Douglas, October 2019, Frankfurt

GABC members and friends from the aviation industry gathered in October for an event titled “A land far away: How mega-hubs impact the way we fly to Australia?”. The keynote speaker was Dr Ian Douglas , Chair of the Australian International Air Services Commission. Dr Ian Douglas, who recently retired from the School of Aviation at UNSW Sydney where he was a Senior Lecturer in aviation management,  shared his broad experience in air transportation economics and airline strategic thinking. The audience engaged in the discussion on the rise of the mega-hub airports in the Middle East and Asia and how this has changed travel patterns and the way in which Europe and Australia are connected. Additionally, GABC was honoured that the event was attended by Mrs Anna Fedeles, the new Australian Consul-General in Frankfurt. Ms Fedeles was happy to introduce the event topic in light of her own experiences, having recently served in the Middle East prior to her posting in Frankfurt.


End of Year Breakfast Briefing, December 2019, Frankfurt

On 11 December 2019, the German Australian Business Council concluded the year with a breakfast briefing focusing on our 2019 themes of the Australia- EU Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and digitalization.

We also had pleasure in welcoming Ms Anna Fedeles, the new Consul-General, Frankfurt, and Trade Commissioner with responsibility for the DACH region and the Netherlands. Anna gave an update on Austrade’s new Digital First strategy, which includes delivery of services digitally and access to wide-ranging data sources and information tools. She also highlighted the key investment priorities between Germany and Australia in sectors such as space, financial services, advanced manufacturing, mobility (as a service), defence, AgTech and energy.

Mr Jason Collins, CEO of fellow ABIE organization European Australian Business Council, then gave an update on the current status of the proposed FTA between the EU and Australia after the latest fifth round of negotiations. Against the context of the US-China trade dispute and Brexit, there is optimism regarding the negotiations as there has been significant investment growth over the years in sectors such as renewable energy and public procurement (particularly in infrastructure and defence) between Australia and the EU.

A lively discussion followed about the potential FTA benefits for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and the promotion of stronger research and innovation ties between the EU and Australia through programs such as Horizon EU.

The event concluded with a farewell from the Business Council Board to our Co-Patron Mr Dan Tebbutt, Senior Trade and Investment Commissioner, Austrade who heads back to Australia in the new year. Dan has been a positive and proactive supporter of the Council and we wish him all the best in his next role.

We thank all members and friends for your support over the year and look forward to seeing everyone in 2020.





ABIE conference, November 2019, Frankfurt

On November 8th, 2019, the GABC patron, Dan Tebbutt, General Manager Europe and Senior Trade and Investment Commissioner Frankfurt for Austrade welcomed delegates from a number of ABIE organisations at the Australian Consulate-General in Frankfurt a.M. He delivered a special briefing on Austrade’s global strategy and priorities which was followed by networking at the Indian restaurant Mera Masala owned by GABC Member Om Johar.

The following day, the international meeting of Australian Business in Europe (ABIE), a network of Australian business associations and chambers across Europe, took place at the office of GABC Corporate Member Squire Patton Boggs. ABIE brings together multiple organisations representing Australian and Australian-interested organisations across Europe with the shared objective of growing and strengthening the trade, investment, business and diplomatic ties between the two regions. 

Delegates from eight different organisations convened to discuss the future strategy of the network. Prior to the meeting, delegates heard three presentations from Australian government representatives. Simon Clayton, the Deputy Head of Mission at the Australian Embassy, Berlin spoke about the negotiations of the EU-Australia Free Trade Agreement. Dan Tebbutt spoke on collaboration between government agencies and business organisations, and Charlotte Stevenson, from the Department of Home Affairs, spoke on the Australian government’s Global Talent Program.

Dalibor Vukadin and board Gabc conference Dalibor Vukadin and board Gabc conference frankfurt


Act Global, Think Local- Tools for Global Brands to Engage with Local Culture at CADU (Cafe an der Universität), November 2019, Munich

On the evening of November 5th 2019, members and friends of the German Australian Business Council were introduced by Martin Karaffa, Associate Partner at Hofstede Insights, to the world of branding and advertising, observed from the cultural point of view. Martin successfully engaged the audience by comparing the “me-culture” vs. “us-culture” and explained the effects of individualism vs. collectivism in the formation of repurchase intent. Using the cultural dimension of high  “power distance” in some countries, Martin explained why luxury cars serve as power indicators. He also explained further cultural factors such as uncertainty avoidance, masculinity etc. and their effect on branding using very sophisticated techniques. The result was a thoroughly thought-provoking presentation. In addition, the cosy atmosphere at CADU and the delicious tapas style food made for a very enjoyable evening.

We would like to thank Martin Karaffa for his presentation.



ABIE representatives meet in Australia, October 2019, Sydney

In an ABIE first, representatives from four ABIE organisations: the European Australian Business Council, the Australia Spain Business Association, the Irish Australian Chamber of Commerce and the German Australian Business Council were able to gather for a working lunch in Sydney. Delegates discussed ways to advance the network and better integrate the Australian organisations. Thank you to the European Australian Business Council and the Irish Australian Chamber of Commerce for hosting this special meeting.

Berliner Wirtschaftsverbände Sommerfest 2019, August, Berlin

As in the previous years, the Sommerfest der Berliner Wirtschaftsverbände was again a great success! With perfect weather and a very strong turnout, more than 15 GABC members had ample opportunity to mingle in a relaxed atmosphere and network with their peers, including those from the local Berlin region, Germany and also with members from other international associations (including organisation representing the UK, China, Thailand, Netherlands etc.). In addition to a delicious BBQ style buffet, there were activities for children and families and the largest tombola ever (supporting an education focused charity) with the opportunity to win over 100 prizes including several offerings of South Australian wine.


GABC- MING Business Networking at Oktoberfest 2019, September, Munich

On the 29th of September 2019, the GABC Oktoberfest Business Networking Event took place. GABC members and guests met at the Schottenhamel Festzelt. Together with more than 230 participants from the MING (Munich International Networking Groups), everybody enjoyed the unique atmosphere over lunch. The typical Bavarian white blue sky weather and the lively music, beer and obligatory Hendl (chicken) inside the tent created a wonderful backdrop for interesting networking and discussion.


Siemens Factory Tour, September 2019, Frankfurt

On the 26th of September 2019, the German Australian Business Council invited members and friends to a tour through the Siemens Medium Voltage Switchgear factory in Frankfurt. Since 1984, Siemens has built gas-insulated switchgears, which can be used in transformer and distribution systems of power supply companies, as well as in medium-voltage systems which can be found, for example, in the mining industry, wind parks and on offshore platforms and ships. Siemens gas-insulated switchgear technology provides various advantages in respect of climatic independence, personal safety and maintenance-free design.

The tour provided a great insight in a fascinating field of technology which is otherwise usually not accessible to the public. Thanks to the very professional Siemens staff, who managed to explain the highly technological production processes to a largely lay audience, the tour was a fascinating and very informative event for all participants.

We would like to thank all at Siemens who made this event possible and we look forward to the next tour.