Board Strategy Meeting, Frankfurt, February 2023

Our board met to discuss #strategy, priorities, and plans for 2023. Many in-store on our two nations’ hot topics! #FTA #energy #criticalminerals #technology #health

Many thanks to our corporate member Squire Patton Boggs for kindly hosting us.

Dalibor Vukadin | André Haermeyer | Dietrich Klusemann | Lucia Santoso | Elisabeth Opie | Sabine Pittrof | Robert Harrison | Eberhard Goihl | Peirui Tan | Kiki Loukas | Daniel Maccarrone (online)


Investment NSW Dinner, Frankfurt, February 2023

We had the honour of co-hosting a dinner on 23 February with our corporate member Investment NSW, welcoming their team in Frankfurt and connecting them with German companies.

Agent-General Stephen Cartwright OAM highlighted the enormous #decarbonisation opportunities, particularly in the #criticalminerals#mobility, and #renewableenergy sectors.

The #Bradfield #Aerotropolis, which includes development of the second international airport (Western Sydney International Airport) and the #Multiversity (collaboration between University of NewcastleUNSWUniversity of WollongongWestern Sydney University, and TAFE NSW) will drive further economic activity and job creation in priority sectors such as #advancedmanufacturing#defence and #aerospace, and the #circulareconomy.

Reach out to the Investment NSW team (Paul WebsterThomas EinsfelderRussell Canning) to learn more about #investment opportunities in #NSW.

Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade) | Europe, UK and Israel | Johanna Harvey (she/her) | Emma StevensFrankfurtRheinMain GmbH International Marketing of the Region | Eric Menges | André Haermeyer | Sabine Pittrof | Lucia Santoso | Peirui Tan


Lost Weekend Brunch with Penelope Richardson, Munich, February 2023

Situated in the centre of the LMU University in Munich is a modern industrial style space named Lost Weekend

The German Australian Business Council and Lost Weekend worked together to present Penelope Richardson on February 19, 2023 and her artistic works inspired by her time in Germany. Highlighting historical events through her art, she spoke of Art and Architecture and its importance and significance during WWII. Not only did she live in Germany but in Mexico too, creating art inspired by her time with prisoners in there.

People from all parts of the world can come and meet in this unique location called Lost Weekend, enjoy plant based treats as well as scrolling through their selection of books from local writers, exhibition space for artists and a stage for all cultural and artistic events.



Australia Day / Waitangi Day Event, Diepenbeek, January 2023

In an ABIE first, ANiB, ABIE Netherlands, ANZCCL and the German Australian Business Council teamed up to jointly celebrate Australia Day and Waitangi Day at Diepenbeek, in  the Belgian border region of Limburg on 28 January 2023.

About 30 participants flocked to the Jambalaya restaurant at the country town to be greeted by stone crocodiles and stuffed emus (as well as some stuffed local deer) and to be treated to a delicious 3-course-menu. It was a great mix of people and we were delighted to also welcome Jason Collins from the European Australian Business Council whose visit to Belgium coincided with the event. Networking went on for 5 hours and plans are already on the way for a repeat either in the summer or for next year’s Australia Day. Congratulations to our friends in Belgium and Luxembourg for organising a fabulous event!


Austrade: Trade and Investment Priorities for Europe, Frankfurt, February 2023

On 7 February, we had the pleasure of having Jennifer Mackinlay, General Manager Europe and Senior Trade and Investment Commissioner, Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade) in Frankfurt, where she gave an update on their trade and investment priorities for Europe and the United Kingdom.

Jennifer emphasized the economic significance of Europe and its deep relationships with Australia, which will be further strengthened though the proposed EU-AU Free Trade Agreement.

With focus on trade diversification and modernisation, underpinned by strategic relationships and capabilities, Jennifer highlighted trade and investment opportunities for companies in the green economy, agricultural business, advanced technology, health and infrastructure sectors.

It was great seeing members and friends at our first event of 2023. Special thanks to our Corporate Member Adina Apartment Hotels for hosting us!


Free Trade Agreement Webinar, December 2022

On December 15 we were able to welcome some 50 people from around the globe who had registered for another Business Council webinar, this time on the Free Trade Agreement between the EU and Australia featuring the EU Chief Negotiator, Mr Christophe Kiener and Mr Nils Weller, the coordinator for the EU trade negotiations with Australia.

The topic, the Free Trade Agreement is, of course, very topical. In the current climate of ever changing and shifting trade relations and severe disruptions of supply chains, it is important to have reliable and like-minded partners. While the UK and New Zealand have marched ahead, concluding free trade agreements with Australia and the EU respectively, negotiations on the EU-Australia free trade agreement have recently resumed which gives reason to hope that it may be concluded in the near future.

Mr Kiener shared many insights into where the alignments between the EU and Australia are close… as well as those areas where work has still to be done. He did express the hope that the main topics could be concluded by the end of 2023, but also pointed out that all governements – in the EU that would be 26! – would then still have to ratify the agreement, a process that could take a while as well. As these agreements in general then tend to stand for several decades this investment in time is, however, considered well worth while by both parties.

Participants fielded many a great question which Mr Kiener was able to expand on so that the full hour set aside for the webinar was well and truly filled.

As the topic will still be relevant for a while, it is planned to provide an update with another online or even in-person event in 2023.


Christmas Eisstockschießen, Munich, December 2022

On 11 December, the German Australian Business Council hosted a small informal get-together at the Wirtshaus Zum Straubinger. In freezing temperatures we celebrated the festive season over mulled wine and with Eisstockschießen (curling). It was great to have an exclusive group of old and new members and friends in attendance.

Despite the low temperature, spirits were certainly high – the Glühwein may have helped!

We would like to wish everyone a very merry Christmas.


Ambassador Dinner, Berlin, November 2022

On Thursday, 10th November 2022 the Ambassador Dinner took place at the Australian Embassy in Berlin, as the final Silver Jubilee Signature Event of the German Australian Business Council (GABC), celebrating 25 years of connecting Germany and Australia.

The Business Council was very pleased to have the Australian Ambassador to Germany, H.E. Philip Green as well as Evangelos Kotsopoulos, CEO of Sonic Healthcare and Paul Webster on behalf of Investment NSW as speakers. Also in attendance was special guests the NZ Ambassador to Germany, H.E Craig Hawke. Among excellent speakers in a broad range of topics, most notably insights on mutual benefits of a Free Trade Agreement between Australia and the EU.

Special thanks to the event sponsors, Sonic Healthcare, Investment NSW and ANZ. Thanks also is extended to AFL Germany for their support and special gifts to the Ambassador, presented by Manuell Gauding and Theresa Kresse, as well as the Australian Embassy staff who hosted the great event.


Business Council Strategy Meeting, Frankfurt, October 2022

The German Australian Business Council board had a successful meeting in Frankfurt on 29 October discussing our new vision and future strategy. Looking forward to sharing details with our members in the next few months! Many thanks to our corporate member Squire Patton Boggs for hosting us.

Left to right: Elisabeth Opie, Sergej Bukovac, Kiki Loukas, Eberhard Goihl, Peirui Tan, Dalibor Vukadin, Sabine Pittrof, André Haermeyer, Dietrich Klusemann.

Pictures taken by our amazing office staff Katja Bockwinkel and Suzanne Heim.


The Great Reassessment: Perspectives from Australia and Germany, Frankfurt, October 2022

ingeniam and the German Australian Business Council were pleased to host a joint event, in celebration of their respective 20th and 25th anniversaries on 24th of October 2022 at the ingeniam facilities in Frankfurt.

Both speakers:

  • Stephan Breitfeld – Managing Partner, ingeniam, Frankfurt
  • Allan Laurie – Managing Partner, NOVUS Search Partners,  Sydney

provided insights into recent phenomena called Great Reassessment both from Australian and German perspectives.

Many employees and employers are reviewing their opportunities worldwide, as remote working is becoming more common. Nevertheless, the legal framework to facilitate the so-called “Nomad-Visas” between Germany and Australia, neede to be enhanced by their respective governments. For the time being, remote working is allowed within the EU, for a certain period of time, in order to keep the remote worker subject of taxation in the member state of origin.

In Australia remote working is allowed between the different states, as Allan illustrated, working for  Novus based in Sydney, from his home in Regional Victoria. He also mentioned that certain companies in Australia are currently hiring remote workers from Latin America.

Beside his time at Novus, Allan also provided insights as the Chief Executive Officer of Munarra – Australia’s First Indigenous Led University –  beginning the operation in 2024.

Stephan informed that the extended periods of remote working might increase the flexibility to take on new jobs opportunities, which on the other hand, might decrease the loyalty. Inclusive work environments and soft skills like empathy, vulnerability of the leadership are becoming more important. Moderated by the Deputy Chair, Sabine Pittrof, the attendees were given the opportunity to shape actively the discourse e.g. asking how blue collar workers are trying to shift from their presence jobs into remote working.

The participants let the event fade away in a relaxing, networking atmosphere.