Ambassador’s Dinner, Frankfurt, June 2024

We are delighted to welcome our new patron Ambassador Natasha Smith at our Ambassador’s Dinner in Frankfurt this week. Ambassador Smith introduced herself in a Q+A fashion, interviewed by board member the Hon. André Haermeyer, expressing her commitment to energy as well as interest on people in the long history of German-Australian relationship.

We welcome our co-patron Consul General Kelly Matthews and thank the representative of five states John Langoulant AO, Vanessa Rehn, Pallavi Mishra, Thorsten Terweiden, Russell Canning and Stefan Augustin for their support and presence in this convivial evening of 90 guests.

We thank our premium sponsor Commonwealth Bank, gold sponsors Sonic Healthcare Germany and Vulcan Energy Resources, silver sponsor Government of Western Australia, and bronze sponsors ANZ, FrankfurtRheinMain and Mondiale VGL without whose contributions our event would not be what it is. Thank you Cris M. for giving us insights on the significance of lithium deposits in the upper Rhine valley and zero-carbon extraction technology.

Fine Western Australian wines from Voyager Estate were enjoyed, supported by our silver sponsor and supplied by our corporate member 2IslandWines, Ben Lengyel, the smooth organization of the evening credit to the team effort of Dietrich Klusemann, Lucia Santoso, Suzanne Heim and Gordana Paton and the beautiful photography of Jens Braune del Angel.

Photo credit: Jens Braune del Angel


AGM 2024, Frankfurt & Online, April 2024

On 25th April 2024 the German Australian Business Council held its Annual General Meeting at the beautiful offices of FrankfurtRheinMain. We are proud to report 16 events in 2023, as well as 2 policy submissions and participation in a parliamentary hearing on the FTA.

We farewell and thank board members Eberhard Goihl, Peirui Tan, Sergej Bukovac, Evangelos Kotsopoulos, Dalibor Vukadin and Simone Wienhausen for their years of dedication and invaluable service, and warmly welcome Caroline Bell, Kat Loughrey, Francesca Ubaldi, Jessica Walker and Lachlan Scully to the board. Thank you Vanessa Rehn for holding the board elections so efficiently!

After the AGM, 32 members and a few friends of the German Australian Business Council enjoyed a round of networking and tasting fine Australian wines provided by 2IslandWines, Ben Lengyel.

Lastly but by all means not least, we thank the FrankfurtRheinMain team Bertram Roth, Raphael Grünewald, Anna Haverkamp and Sener Akkus for kindly hosting us.

We look forward to seeing our members and friends at our next event, the annual Ambassador Dinner in Frankfurt on 4th June, where we look forward to welcome the new Ambassador Natasha Smith. 


Business Networking & Australian Wine Tasting Evening, March 2024

What a start to 2024 for Berlin business networking! The German Australian Business Council in collaboration with Club Vivanova launched their local events on 13 March 2024, hosting a Business Networking and Australian Wine Tasting Evening at the SANA Hotel Berlin.

The participants heard from Andre Haermeyer (Deputy Chairman, German Australian Business Council) who spoke about the Business Council’s mission and Bradley Mitton (Founder of Club Vivanova, and Australian Wine Importer) who spoke about the history of Australian wine production and introduced the Australian wines to be tasted.

The evening had a vibrant atmosphere with participants from both the German Australian Business Council and Club Vivanova Berlin actively engaging in great conversation, fostering valuable connections and potential collaborations.

The wine tasting journey showcased a selection of fine wines, including:

Woodlands 2021 Chardonnay from South East Australia
Blind Corner Biodynamic 2021 Orange from Western Australia
Woodlands 2019 Shiraz Cabernet from South East Australia

GABC would like to sincerely thank Bradley Mitton of Club Vivanova and all participants for a fantastic evening.


European Space Agency Introduction & Guided Visit, Darmstadt, February 2024

The German Australian Business Council entered Deep Space – for an evening!

A very successful event was conducted on February 29 at the premises of the European Space Agency‘s (ESA) operating centre (ESOC – in Darmstadt with over 50 attendees, with Octave Procope-Mamert, Head of Ground Facilities, leading through the evening.

The evening commenced with a guided tour through the premises and detailed explanations about the work the ESOC performs in Darmstadt, followed by presentations in the press centre.

Some key take-aways:

  • ESA has 22 Member States – most, but not all of whom are part of the European Union – who provide the basic funding.
  • ESA‘s charter specifies that their work is for non-defense and peaceful scientific purposes only. One of the key objectives is to find and build up small medium enterprises who can develop solutions to as yet unanswered questions and thus establish and develop Europe‘s competence in space related technologies.
  • Work in space focusses both on earth observations providing valuable data on amongst others climate change to scientists and policy makers alike as well as groundbreaking research in deep space.
  • Space agencies world wide cooperate very closely with one another thus leveraging their respective budgets and capabilites.
  • Many „hundred thousand“ galaxies (not stars!) have already been identified in space… so if anyone thinks we on Earth are important… think again.
  • ESA has an annual budget of €7.2 billion equivalent to €12 per European citizen.
  • They have managed and run over 80 space missions.
  • Increasingly „space debris“ is becoming a safety issue yet to be resolved.
  • ESA owns amongst others 3 deep space telescopes situated in Spain, Argentina and Western Australia. A second one is currently in construction at the WA site.
  • Every „1 space Euro“ spent generates around €8 in flow-on business and jobs.

The evening concluded with valuable networking over fingerfood and drinks.

ESA/ESOC is actively looking for further partners – especially in Australia – who have capabilities in space related technologies and are interested in working with ESA. Any interested parties are welcome to contact ESA directly or the German Australian Business Council.


Kangaroo Stammtisch, Munich, February 2024

Munich members enjoyed an after-work Stammtisch at the Park Café, which adjoins the Old Botanical Gardens, on Tuesday, 27 February 2024. Restarting a pre-pandemic institution, the Kangaroo Tisch, 20 people gathered together to talk about Australia, Germany, and strengthening relations between our countries. One subject of great interest – how do you get dual nationality, given the forthcoming changes in dual nationality laws in Germany. Board member, Rob Harrison, spoke to several about the challenges with the citizenship test and the level of the language test. He’d already got German nationality whilst retaining his Australian passport.

Other topics for discussion included the inevitable – great places for scuba diving in Australia, pros and cons to consider when selecting a city to live, what brought you to Germany (if you were from Australia) or how long did you spend down under (for the Germans). Information on work and residence permits was exchanged, and plans were set in motion for future events.


Innovations for a Secure Future: Transforming Military Strategies, Munich, February 2024


Board Strategy Meeting, Frankfurt, January 2024

Our board met in January to discuss strategies, priorities and plans for 2024. We are committed to action our membership’s feedback to deliver quality events and information on the hot topics of our two nations.

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

We look forward to discussing them with our members at the AGM on 25th April.


Christmas Networking Event, Munich, December 2023

On 17 December, the German Australian Business Council hosted a small informal business networking get-together at the Wirtshaus Zum Straubinger. In freezing temperatures we celebrated the festive season over mulled wine and with Eisstockschießen. It was great to have an exclusive group of 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.


IBCM / GABC Meeting, Munich, November 2023

IBCM/GABC event 29 November 2023 Guest Speaker Rainer Karcher, Global Head of Sustainability at Allianz Technology

Together with members of the IBCM-affiliated clubs and organised by the American German Business Club Munich, Rainer Karcher led an enlivened, highly informative, and thought-provoking discussion. He addressed:  “Sustainable IT – Addressing the Impact the Exponential Rise of Digitization is Having on our Planet,” outlining how sustainability is embedded not only in company IT services and products but also in so many facets of our daily business and personal lives.   In his words, Rainer was the mosquito in the room that hit us all and left us thinking about what we need to do for sustainability in our daily lives. For those of you who were able to join us, thanks for attending and making this such a memorable meeting.


Vulcan Energy Resources LEOP Opening, Landau, November 2023

The German Australian Business Council congratulates our new corporate member Vulcan Energy Resources on the opening of their Zero Carbon Lithium Optimisation Plant in Landau. The official opening on 23 November had representation from key Australian shareholders, strategic investors from the German automotive industry and more broadly Europe, German and European politicians, analysts, and local to international media.

The start of operations at this plant signifies the beginning of the world’s first production of net zero carbon lithium chemicals, and the first lithium produced in Europe with a fully locally sourced value chain – a fantatstic example of German-Australian business relations!

We certainly wish Vulcan great success with the plant.