Ambassadors’ Dinner, Frankfurt, July 2022

On Monday, 4th July 2022 the Ambassadors’ Dinner took place as the Silver Jubilee Signature Event of the German Australian Business Council (GABC) celebrating 25 years of connecting Germany and Australia.

GABC was very pleased to have both the Australian Ambassador to Germany, H.E. Philip Green, and the European Ambassador to Australia, H.E. Dr. Michael Pulch, attend and to have Tim Pallas, Member of the Victorian Government and Xavier Simonet, CEO of Austrade, as additional speakers. Guests heard about the significance of the Free Trade Agreement, a topic that the Business Council together with ABIE colleagues from around Europe will address in the coming months with Australian foreign and trade ministers.

Over 100 high level professional guests, including The Hon. Jaala Pulford came together at the Restaurant Opéra inside the Alte Oper building in Frankfurt to benefit from both the speakers’ insights as well as the high profile networking opportunity.

Special thanks to the event sponsors of the Victorian Government, ANZ, Coorong Apiaries and FrankfurtRheinMain, as well as Austrade, for their mutual support which helps drive such high profile events.



Invest and Trade Western Australia Dinner, Frankfurt, June 2022

The German Australian Business Council was pleased to host a dinner with long-standing corporate member Invest and Trade Western Australia in honour of the Hon. Roger Cook, MLA, Deputy Premier of Western Australia and Minister for State Development, Jobs and Trade, Tourism, Commerce, Science in Frankfurt on 21 June 2022.

The Deputy Premier announced a new office will open in Frankfurt, the first spoke office established within the United Kingdom / Europe Hub of the Western Australian International Investment and Trade Office Network.

The dinner was attended by around 30 representatives from companies engaged in bilateral business with Western Australia. The delegation had brought beautiful Perth weather with them and all attending enjoyed the networking opportunity until well into the night. Many thanks to the Western Australian government for partnering with us for this event! The German Australian Business Council looks forward to a permanent presence of Western Australia in Frankfurt!


American-German Business Club Munich’s 25th Anniversary Party, June 2022

The American-German Business Club Munich (AGBC) was founded in 1996. Due to Covid, the celebration of their 25th anniversary was only a virtual one in November last year.

However a special Garden Party took place in Munich on June 11 with an exclusive buffet dinner, drinks and entertainment at the America House.

Business Council Board Members Elisabeth Opie and Eberhard Goihl had the pleasure to participate. Together with Constanze Sabathil (President of the AGBC) and Larry Schulz (former President) they enjoyed the evening and a special birthday cake.

The Business Council and the AGBC work closely together with the aim to continue fostering the international relationship. In doing so, the associations have an honorary corporate membership agreement in place, which means, Business Council members benefit from attending AGBC events at member rates.


State of Victoria Business Luncheons, Frankfurt & Munich, May 2022

The German Australian Business Council was honoured to co-host luncheons with one of our oldest corporate members the State of Victoria in Munich and in Frankfurt.

Agent-General Tim Dillon outlined European-Victorian collaborations in #sustainable #mobility, #renewableenergy , amongst others.
Victoria – 3% the area of #Australia but 25% the population and 30% the GDP – boasts a growing #innovation-driven economy #hightech #lifesciences and welcomes further closer collaborations.

The luncheons were supported by GABC Board Members Sabine Pittrof, Lucia Santoso, Elisabeth Opie and Eberhard Goihl



Adina Munich Official Opening, May 2022

Since September 2021 the new hotel of our Corporate Member Adina in Munich is up and running. On May 5 the official opening reception took place. Located in the ‚Werksviertel‘ it’s close to the hostel Wombat’s and the Heaven’s Gate. GABC Board Members Eberhard Goihl, Robert Harrison and Dalibor Vukadin enjoyed a nice evening with a walk around, music, excellent food and drinks together with friends, customers and partners.


AGM 2022, Frankfurt & Online, April 2022

The German Australian Business Council held its AGM on 27th April 2022 in a hybrid format, attended by 15 members in-person in Frankfurt and 9 members online.

Reports were given by Sabine Pittrof (Chair) and Eberhard Goihl (Treasurer).

The highlights of 2021 were 15 events including three in-person events: the Ambassador Dinner in Frankfurt, the Berlin Sommerfest and the inaugural Next Gen event in Frankfurt. Together with ABIE, the Business Council contributed to policy papers which drew responses from senior members of the government including the prime minister.

The Business Council celebrates its 25 year anniversary in 2022 and will be holding one Ambassador Dinner each in Frankfurt, Berlin and Munich. An Australian Football jubilee match will take place in Berlin organised by the AFLG. A special 25% discount will be offered to listed friends to become new members.

Details are on the refreshed website:

The Business Council board farewells and thanks Malte Schuldlich for his service to the event team and welcomes Dietrich Klusemann and Lucia Santoso as new members to the board, both based in Frankfurt and will be supporting events. The remaining board members have been re-elected: Sergej Bukovic, Eberhard Goihl, André Haermeyer, Robert Harrison, Evangelos Kotsopoulos, Kiki Loukas, Daniel Maccarrone, Elisabeth Opie, Sabine Pittrof, Peirui Tan, David Urry, Dalibor Vukadin and Simone Wienhausen.

The AGM concluded with a networking hour amongst the in-person attendees.


Bavarian-American Friendship Day at the Frühlingsfest, April 2022

German Australian Business Council members and friends were invited on behalf of the Munich International Networking Groups (MING) to the Bavarian-American Friendship Day at the Frühlingsfest in Munich.

Together with approx. 400 international guests, they could celebrate for the first time after two years of Covid


related resistance at the Hippodrom tent.

It was a big chance to cross-network with many Bavarian, American and international groups.

Linda Jo Rizzo as guest star was on stage with her wonderful selection of rock, pop and soul favourites.

This celebration is always a fun event enjoyed by everyone participating.




The Sustainability Transition in Europe and Opportunities for Australia webinar, March 2022

With an acceleration of efforts by the European Union (EU) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and Europe’s potential energy shortages following recent events in Eastern Europe, it was no surprise that this was the focus of the joint online roundtable organised by the Australia France Business Association (AFBA) and the German Australian Business Council (GABC) on the 29th March 2022.

Entitled “The sustainability transition in Europe and opportunities for Australia”, the roundtable brought together two eminent economic experts: Australian-born Professor Christoph M. Schmidt, President of RWI – Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung and Chair of the Franco-German Council of Economic Experts (FGCEE) and Professor Christian Gollier, Professor of Economics and Director of the Toulouse School of Economic and a Member of the FGCEE.

The roundtable was moderated by Sabine Pittrof, Chair of the GABC and Bernard Tabary, President of AFBA.

Professor Schmidt opened the discussion with a poignant statement that “climate change is the greatest challenge to face humanity in the 21st century”. It is now essential, he said, to “curb emissions quite drastically” if we hope to “reach a plateau in the path towards higher temperatures”.

The Paris agreement of 2015 was a milestone in this regard because it gave the international community a target to limit global warming to well below 2°C compared to pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit it to 1.5°C.

“Europe sees itself at the forefront of international efforts to reach this objective”, Professor Schmidt declared.

Recent years have seen an acceleration of efforts in the EU towards the energy transformation with the European Green Deal, setting a binding target of achieving climate neutrality in the EU by 2050 and reducing emissions by more than 55% by 2030, compared to 1990 levels.

Professor Schmidt highlighted several efforts made by the German government to mitigate climate change including a landmark ruling by the German Federal Constitutional Court in April 2021 which declared that the current German Climate Protection Act is partially unconstitutional because it does not specify greenhouse gas emission reduction targets beyond the year 2030. In 2021, Germany also introduced a National Emissions Trading System to fix carbon pricing in the fields of heating and transport.

On the topic of the war in Ukraine, Professor Schmidt underlined that “Germany is particularly vulnerable”. Putin’s regime is financed by oil, gas and coal reserves that are sold to the West and Germany receives more than 50% of its natural gas and oil from Russia. He believes that economic sanctions may help stop the war in Ukraine but it is not a certainty.

Short and medium-term solutions include shifting to coal and nuclear, reducing demand, particularly in the chemical industry and diversifying Germany’s energy sources and integrating carbon pricing into the European trading scale.

In the long term, creating energy and technology partnerships with other countries will help Germany meet its climate goals. As an example, he explained that Germany had recently signed a Hydrogen Accord with Australia which will see the two countries invest in a series of new initiatives to accelerate the development of a hydrogen industry. This will include exploring options to facilitate the export of hydrogen produced from renewables from Australia to Germany – ‘shipping the sunshine’ as it has been labelled.

France on the other hand has pursued a very different path from Germany in terms of energy policy, explained Professor Gollier.

“France put in place a nuclear electricity industry in the 80s and 90s so that 75% of electricity production comes from nuclear and renewables and hydro. Today, more than 90% of electricity is nearly fully decarbonised”, he said.

The decarbonisation in France has led to some major issues including the rising cost of electricity, a NIMBY effect towards onshore and offshore wind turbines and the yellow vest movement which was triggered by the carbon tax put in place 6 years ago.

In 2019, the Réseau de Transport d’Électricité (RTE), the electricity transmission system operator of France, was requested by the French government to prepare a study on the evolution of the power system in France. The study provided six different scenarios on how to obtain net-zero emissions target by 2050 and revealed that the total annual cost would be marginally smaller by using the maximum amount of nuclear power in France (53%) rather than renewables.

R&D will also play a key role in combatting climate change, in particular the development of batteries and hydrogen networks and technologies to sequestrate CO2 from the atmosphere.

An interesting discussion ensued between the two speakers on the topic of nuclear electricity – Professor Gollier declaring that Europe needs to reconsider its position towards nuclear energy and Professor Schmidt responding that he doesn’t see Germany reversing its anti-nuclear stance in the near future. As he concluded, “Europe’s model is unity and diversity”.

In response to a question on whether European policies will influence Australia to change its policies on sustainability, Professor Schmidt reiterated the importance of the German-Australian hydrogen partnership.

“Energy is currently very expensive in Europe and that should incentivise other parts of the world such as Australia to sell energy solutions to European governments”, he said.

In his vote of thanks, Bernard Tabary thanked the excellent speakers and Sabine Pittrof for co-moderating the webinar. He particularly thanked the GABC for partnering once again with AFBA and looked forward to organising many more joint events together.


#Break The Bias webinar, March 2022

On 8 March 2022, co-inciding with International Women’s Day, the International English Library held an online panel discussion #Break The Bias. Dr. Sabine Pittrof, Chair of the German Australian Business Council participated as a panelist in the discussion around gender inequality.

Please find here a link to the International English Library website:


Australia Day Corporate Roundtable and Dinner, Munich, January 2022

After a long time without in-person events due to the pandemic, the German Australian Business Council is really pleased to have hosted a Corporate Round Table and Dinner in Munich with H.E. Philip Green OAM, Ambassador to Germany. Thought leaders in business, innovation and politics had the opportunity to discuss topics of mutual interest and future common activities – making this quite a special event. Our guests enjoyed the Fitzroy Restaurant at the new hotel in Munich of our Corporate Member Adina, which provides a fantastic panorama view across the city (including sheep on a rooftop which the hotel overlooks!) This dinner is the starting point for further events in 2022 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Business Council as well as 70 years of diplomatic relations between Australia and Germany. Our special thanks to the Ambassador for taking the time and to our Board members Elisabeth Opie and Rob Harrison for sponsoring the event.