• 29 Jul 2017 12:17 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    In July, the CACC had the pleasure of hosting Andrew Ireland, CEO Sydney Swans and Mike Pyke, Canadian and ex-Sydney Swans player, to talk about business in sport.  Members were treated to an intimate and honest discussion about the ins and outs of running an AFL team and insights on being a professional athlete.  The Old Growler in Woolloomooloo hosted the event and members were treated to chicken wings and poutine to kick off the evening’s festivities.

    Monica Lunin, Director of Mojologic, CACC Director and CACC Events Committee chair, began with a warm welcome to Jack Cowin, CACC Patron and Chairman and Managing Director or Competitive Foods.  Monica also highlighted the mutual love of sports that is shared by both Australians and Canadians with the colours of the Sydney Swans being close to the “hearts of Canadians”.

    Jesse Landry, Founder and Publisher of The Australian Business Executive and CACC Events Committee member, moderated the event and started the discussion by recapping the careers of both Andrew and Mike and how they both ended up meeting at the Swans.      

    In talking about the business of running a sports club, Andrew highlighted how the AFL has been successful at making the competition between teams as equal as possible. He remarked that purely on membership and attendance numbers, some teams would never be able to match the game revenue of the Swans - even if they filled the stadium for every game. 

    The AFL has been successful at getting high levels of participation. Mike sees it as a family-driven thing: “If you don’t get the basic drivers of participation, generationally, you’re going to struggle.”  The discussion continued with how the AFL has been better at filling stadiums than other codes.  Andrew puts it down to several factors - the long-term investment that the AFL makes at the grass roots level, and that as an Australian-based game, the best players are not interested in going anywhere else.  Andrew also states: “At the of the day, it’s an entertainment vehicle and you need to put the best game on … It’s about having a good team and an attractive sport that [people] can come to in a safe environment.”

    As in any business, the success of a sports team depends on the quality of the product.  When the Swans started the season with six losses, Andrew noted that while there was an impact of ticket sales, he was confident that they had the right team to pull through and “to play well for a number of years”.  Mike remarked that the team’s record reflected a “a change in mentality” and credits John Longmire, Swans coach and Josh Kennedy, Swans captain, for turning things around. 

    Both Andrew and Mike attributed the success of the Swans to the player-ownership culture within the organisation.  Andrew described how in the distant past, everyone on the team was treated the same way.  Now, everyone is treated as individuals, with their own self-defined “trademarks”, and where the standards are “set by the players themselves”.  Mike also mentioned that the Swans have been good at defining clear roles for everyone in the organisation and entrusting them to do that job well: “We all had our trademark games, that week in and week out, we could realistically perform.“      

    When asked where the money comes from in AFL, Andrew described the valuable contribution of the Swan’s corporate partners and the importance of delivering measurable results to them: “The old ‘sponsor’ doesn’t exist … You go and have a serious conversation with people running serious businesses and they’ll invest money into you, if you can deliver outcomes that will drive their business.”  

    During the Q&A session, Mike, who is now an investment banker with Moelis Australia, talked about his career transition and provided some advice to the audience: “The hardest thing for athletes and I suspect probably just for people more generally - is to be patient.  Any change that you are going to make in your life, no matter how big it is – it always takes time - time is always the best judge.”  In talking about the challenges of his new career, Mike said, “It’s a matter of how you react to those challenges, the attitude you apply on top of that, and then also the ability to consistently keep putting in that effort and keep going, and over time, you’ll get an outcome.”


    Written by:

    Karen Clark, CACC Copywriter

    Communications & Membership Committee

  • 23 Jul 2017 8:40 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    To mark Canada’s sesquicentennial anniversary of Canadian Confederation, Her Excellency, the Honourable Linda Dessau AC, Governor of Victoria and Mr Anthony Howard QC hosted more than 100 people, including special guests His Excellency Mr Paul Maddison, High Commissioner of Canada and Mrs Fay Maddison at Government House on Friday, 21 July in Melbourne.


    The theme of the celebrations was recognition of the ties that bind Australia and Canada.  The Governor spoke about the good friendship between the two countries, in particular how Australia and Canada have fought side by side in wars across more than a century; share commercial connections by way of two-way trade substantial investment ties, and shared priorities for sustainable economic growth, global health and gender equality.

    Above all, the Governor commented that it is the personal connections between the two countries that are the most important. With both countries having in common their respective Indigenous Peoples, each with proud and dignified histories.

    Her Excellency highlighted several Canadians who have made significant contributions to Australia such as Alexander Robertson and John Wagner who made their fortunes on the gold fields of Victoria and were behind the famous Cobb & Co. It was Wagner who designed Stonnington House that was home to seven Governors of Victoria in the early part of the 20th century.


    Another interesting Canadian connection shared by the Governor was the story of Captain Henry Ross who designed and was the standard bearer of the Southern Cross flag that flew over the Eureka Stockade.

    Being Melbourne, there is of course, an AFL connection, too. Andrew McGrath, originally from Ontario, plays Half-back Flanker for the Essendon Bombers Football Club. In fact, His Excellency Mr Paul Maddison has been a supporter of the Essendon Bombers since he attended a Bombers match at the MCG back in 2007.

    In his remarks, His Excellency Mr Paul Maddison spoke to the four themes of the sesquicentennial celebrations: Diversity, Reconciliation, Environment and Youth.  These themes would certainly resonate for Australians and Canadians alike, again highlighting the shared values and interests of the two countries.


    Several CACC members had the distinct privilege of attending this special celebration. CACC Director Mike McGrath representing the Melbourne Committee said, “For those of us Canadians who weren’t in Canada on Canada Day for the actual 150th, tonight’s event really is the next best thing. Thanks to Her Excellency and Mr Howard, tonight we honoured and truly celebrated Canada and the positive contributions both Canada and Australia have made and continue to make to one another.”


    Reflecting on the festivities, Doug Wright, Chairman of the CACC’s Communications Committee said, “One of the highlights of the evening was the quartet from the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra who managed to tug at the heartstrings of Canadians and Australians alike by performing the national anthems of our two countries. It’s a great time to be Australian and it’s a great time to be Canadian. What a wonderful celebration of Canada’s 150th here in Melbourne, at Government House.”

  • 01 Jul 2017 9:09 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    Thanks to the time difference, Australia was one of the first countries to celebrate Canada’s sesquicentennial. And the CACC was no exception, co-hosting a member cocktail party two days ahead of schedule with staff at the Canadian Consulate in Sydney.

    Just over 100 CACC members attended the event to mark Canada’s 150th birthday, including Chamber Patron, Jack Cowin, and guest of honour, Amarjeet Sohi, federal Minister for Infrastructure and Communities.

    Mr. Sohi was in Australia for four days to attend the Australian Financial Review Infrastructure Summit and meetings related to his portfolio.

    While CACC members drank Ontario wines and enjoyed Canadian-inspired nibbles, Mr. Cowin opened the formal portion of the evening, noting the high turnout and praising founding members of the chamber for having the vision to establish a business group representing Canadian and Australian business interests many years before.


    PICTURE: Doug Wright (Chair of Communications & Member Engagement Committee) & Helen Shephard (Altus Group)

    “You don’t have to walk too far to be able to see the inroads Canadian and Australian businesses are making every day and the great relationships that are being built between the two countries,” he said.

    In his speech, Mr. Sohi noted that Canada 150 was an opportunity to reflect on what makes the country great and for Canadians to make the next 150 years even better by building a more inclusive and fair society for all. He talked about the importance of engaging young people, celebrating the country’s diversity, reconciliation with indigenous peoples and environmental sustainability.


    The former Edmonton city councilor drew from his own experience as a 17-year-old, when he immigrated to Edmonton from the Punjab in 1981, sponsored by an older brother. He said Canada changed its immigration system for the better 50 years ago and he sees the positive effects across the country through its diverse society, strong workforce and vibrant communities.

    “We can all learn from each other and that’s what we’ll be celebrating on Saturday,” he said.

    Mr. Sohi talked about the warm welcome and assistance he had received from consular staff in Australia, praising them for their service to Canada. He touched on meetings arranged with government officials to discuss investments Australia and Canada are making in sustainable infrastructure and clean energy, and the need to share best practice.  

    He said Canada was pushing to be at the forefront of innovation when it comes to infrastructure.


    PICTURE: Mike Bacina (Chair of SME Committee) & John Williams (Trade Commissioner, Queensland Representative for Trade & Investment)

    Angela Bogdan, the Consul-General of Canada in Australia, thanked Mr. Sohi for making time in his busy schedule to attend the cocktail party. She said she remembered him walking up to Rideau Hall as part of Prime Minister Trudeau’s first cabinet, noting she had been moved by “the congeniality of the team members as well as the cabinet’s unprecedented diversity and gender balance.”

    She also took the opportunity to promote the consulate’s growing role in showcasing Canadian food and wine at trade and consumer shows.

    Ms. Bogdan then presented Jack Cowin with a memento for his services to the Canadian and Australian business community.


    The evening concluded with a prize draw with several lucky attendees walking away with door prizes including hockey sticks, Montreal-style bagels and wine.

    On July 1 there were many other Canada Day celebrations in Australia, including a dinner dance organised by the Canadian-Australian Club in Sydney and a pancake breakfast and flag-raising ceremony in Canberra organised by the High Commission of Canada in Australia. Eighteen iconic buildings across Australia were lit up in red and white, including Sydney’s Town Hall, Canberra’s Old Parliament House and Brisbane’s Story Bridge.


    PICTURE: Marc-Andre Hawkes (Consul & Senior Trade Commissioner), Diane Yanire (Founder, Quebec Oz) and Dave Young (Owner, Smoking Guns Bagel)

  • 27 Jun 2017 1:40 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    On June 21st, CACC and AMCHAM, along with Drake International, hosted some of the stars of the Ice Hockey Classic between Team Canada and Team USA in Melbourne.  Lucky members were able to network with each other and mingle with coaches, trainers, captains and players from both teams in a relaxed and personal setting.  The mixer also raised funds for the StopConcussions Foundation.


    PICTURE: Dave "Tiger" Williams, Scott Messick - Acting U.S. Consul General (Melbourne), Mike McGrath - CACC Director & Managing Partner, CMO at PwC Australia, H.E. Mr. Paul Maddison - High Commissioner of Canada in Australia, Darryl Sittler, Kerry Goulet - Co-Founder StopConcussions, Ray Doyle - AMCHAM

    Representatives from both the Canadian and U.S. governments also attended the event, including H.E. Mr. Paul Maddison, High Commissioner of Canada in Australia and Scott Messick, Acting U.S. Consul General (Melbourne).  Mr. Messick remarked, “The Ice Hockey Classic is a great opportunity to highlight the sport of hockey at its highest levels to our Australian friends and shine a light on the importance of concussion awareness and research.” 


    PICTURE: H.E. Mr. Paul Maddison, High Commissioner of Canada in Australia

    Mr. Maddison recapped the evening by saying, “International sporting events are great catalysts for strengthening diplomatic relationships on so many levels. The Ice Hockey Classic mixer was no exception, with the great hockey talent and Drake’s superb venue combining to create an outstanding corporate networking opportunity for many in Melbourne’s CBD, while concurrently raising support for a great charity – the StopConcussions Foundation. It was a privilege to attend, to meet new friends in Melbourne, to catch up with old friends, and to hang with NHL greats Darryl Sittler and Tiger Williams.”


    PICTURE: StopConcussions, Zonte's Footsteps (Brad Rey, Director) and Empire Liquor 

    (Brenton Quirini, Managing Director)

    The CACC would like to thank the StopConcussions Foundation, the AMCHAM, Drake International, the High Commission of Canada in Australia and the U.S. State Department for their support on this event and also Zonte’s Footsteps, a South Australian winery and Empire Liquor, the Australian distributor of Fuller’s Ales, who supplied the beverages for the evening.

    ********

    The 2017 Ice Hockey Classic raised awareness and funds for the StopConcussions Foundation in association with Nick Rushworth of Brain Injury Australia and Barry Munro of Shoot For A Cure. 

    The StopConcussions platform was founded by former European star Kerry Goulet and ex-NHL stars Keith and Wayne Primeau.

    StopConcussions is a concussion / neurotrauma educational and awareness platform for all sports, to address the growing trend of concussions in sports. It is an educational portal that players, parents, coaches, and officials can visit to seek information regarding concussions, with the goal of becoming more aware and ultimately safer individuals in their respective sports. 

    Founded in 1986, Brain Injury Australia is the national peak advocacy organisation representing the needs of the over 700,000 Australians with a brain injury, their families and carers. It is also the central clearinghouse of information and gateway to nationwide referral for optimising their social and economic participation. Brain Injury Australia also drives multi-year public awareness campaigns devoted to: the leading cause of death and disability in children who have been abused, inflicted traumatic brain injury (sometimes called “shaken baby syndrome”); concussion in sport; the leading cause of head injury, falls - due to the ageing of our population; women, family violence and traumatic brain injury; and people with a brain injury in the criminal justice system (as many as 80 per cent of Australia's adult prisoners report brain injury).

    Shoot for a Cure is a fundraising campaign of the Canadian Spinal Research Organization (CSRO), the American Spinal Research Organization (ASRO) and the StopConcussions Foundation, integrating professional and amateur sports/sporting events, corporate sponsorship and community partnerships, which includes other non-profits and non-governmental organizations. Our goal is to raise funds, increase awareness and assist in prevention and cure of neurotrauma injuries. Shoot for a Cure is an international campaign uniting neurotrauma communities around a common cause.


  • 15 Jun 2017 10:22 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    PICTURE: Monica Lunin (CACC Director), Valerie Fowler (Consul General of the United States of America, Sydney), Darryl Sittler (Ice Hockey Classic), Dave "Tiger" Williams (Ice Hockey Classic), Gordon Grieve (Chairman, Piper Alderman), Toni Miil (Stop Concussions), Mike Bacina (Partner, Piper Alderman / Chair, SME Committee), Doug Carmichael (CACC Director)

    On June 15th, the CACC and AMCHAM, along with Piper Alderman, hosted some of the stars of the Ice Hockey Classic between Team Canada and Team USA in Sydney.  Lucky Chamber members were able to network with each other and mingle with coaches, trainers, captains and players from both teams in a relaxed and personal setting.  The mixer also raised funds for the StopConcussions Foundation.


    Ms. Valerie Crites Fowler, Consul General of the United States of America (Sydney) attended the event and remarked, “The United States and Canada share more than the world’s longest peaceful border - we also share a passion for sports.  And no sport better captures Canadian hearts and minds than hockey, with the United States trying hard to match our northern neighbors on the ice.  As an ardent Detroit Red Wings fan, I’ve loved hockey as long as I can remember, and was delighted to see this terrific game brought to Australia, a country that fully shares North America’s enthusiasm for sports.  The skill and sportsmanship of the players and coaches, each donating his time for the wonderful cause of the StopConcussions Foundation, impressed all who attended the games in Sydney and Melbourne.  I was delighted the USA triumphed in Melbourne after going down to defeat in Sydney.  Thanks to the CACC for their work in supporting the Ice Hockey Classic Mixer.” 


    PICTURE: Doug Carmichael (CACC Director) & Robert Hossary (AMCHAM)

    After the event, Robert Hossary, General Manager - NSW & ACT, American Chamber of Commerce in Australia, acknowledged the warm welcome that AMCHAM members received at the CACC. He said, “It is important that the business community works together to help address important issues like StopConcussions. What better way of doing this than joining together to enjoy the Ice Hockey Challenge.”


    PICTURE: Ice Hockey Classic Tour - Players, Coaches, Trainers

    The CACC would like to thank the StopConcussions Foundation, AMCHAM, Piper Alderman, the Canadian Consulate and the U.S. State Department for their support on this event and also Zonte’s Footsteps, a South Australian winery and Empire Liquor, the Australian distributor of Fuller’s Ales, who supplied the beverages for the evening.

    ********


    PICTURE: Canada Cup with some hockey fans!

    The 2017 Ice Hockey Classic raised awareness and funds for the StopConcussions Foundation in association with Nick Rushworth of Brain Injury Australia and Barry Munro of Shoot For A Cure. 

    The StopConcussions platform was founded by former European star Kerry Goulet and ex-NHL stars Keith and Wayne Primeau.

    StopConcussions is a concussion / neurotrauma educational and awareness platform for all sports, to address the growing trend of concussions in sports. It is an educational portal that players, parents, coaches, and officials can visit to seek information regarding concussions, with the goal of becoming more aware and ultimately safer individuals in their respective sports. 

    Founded in 1986, Brain Injury Australia is the national peak advocacy organisation representing the needs of the over 700,000 Australians with a brain injury, their families and carers. It is also the central clearinghouse of information and gateway to nationwide referral for optimising their social and economic participation. Brain Injury Australia also drives multi-year public awareness campaigns devoted to: the leading cause of death and disability in children who have been abused, inflicted traumatic brain injury (sometimes called “shaken baby syndrome”); concussion in sport; the leading cause of head injury, falls - due to the ageing of our population; women, family violence and traumatic brain injury; and people with a brain injury in the criminal justice system (as many as 80 per cent of Australia's adult prisoners report brain injury).

    Shoot for a Cure is a fundraising campaign of the Canadian Spinal Research Organization (CSRO), the American Spinal Research Organization (ASRO) and the StopConcussions Foundation, integrating professional and amateur sports/sporting events, corporate sponsorship and community partnerships, which includes other non-profits and non-governmental organizations. Our goal is to raise funds, increase awareness and assist in prevention and cure of neurotrauma injuries. Shoot for a Cure is an international campaign uniting neurotrauma communities around a common cause.


  • 01 Jun 2017 2:41 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    PICTURE: Chair, Paula Conboy - Australian Energy Regulator


    The last 18 months have been among the most challenging for the energy sector since the National Electricity Market was established nearly 20 years ago, according to the head of the Australian Energy Regulator (AER).

    AER Chair Paula Conboy was addressing CACC members at a recent function hosted by RBC Capital Markets in Sydney where she shone some light on the often complex industry and explained how the AER was now adjusting the sector’s regulatory framework to ensure it is “fit for the future.”

    She talked about the role of the AER and how it regulates the market and reports to government, industry and consumers on the status of the energy sector.

    The AER monitors the wholesale electricity and gas markets to ensure energy companies comply with the legislation and rules, taking enforcement action where needed, regulates retail energy markets around the country (with the exception of Victoria), and provides retail price comparisons for consumers through its Energy Made Easy website to help them find the best energy solutions for their needs.

    Ms. Conboy is known for her determination to help consumers get a better deal when it comes to their household energy bills.

    “Our work is guided by our energy objectives which are to promote economic efficiency in the long-term interests of consumers. The energy objectives include a number of variables – price, quality, safety, reliability and security of supply – we focus on these variables and these alone,” she said.


    PICTURE: Dominic Hudson (RBC Capital Markets), Paula Conboy (AER), Brian Hansen (CACC)


    She said competition and consumer choice lead to better outcomes for everyone rather than overly prescriptive regulation and an incentive approach to the market yields more efficient outcomes. “Competition where possible, regulation where necessary,” she told the audience.

    Rapid evolution in the industry like new business models for selling energy, a tightening of supply and soaring energy bills were a concern, prompting the organisation to look at where the lines should be drawn and how the AER can best ensure the monopoly components are regulated effectively.

    Ms. Conboy touched on ring-fencing, tariff reform and improving tools to assess efficient forecasts in setting revenues.

    She reviewed the various guidelines the AER had established in the last two years with the audience, including a consumer engagement guideline for network service providers to implement consumer engagement strategies that are effective for all stakeholders.

    The AER will be consulting widely with the sector on areas where the regulatory framework may need to evolve, examining which services they will regulate and the broad nature of its current regulatory arrangements. [note that the CCP is already established and forms part of our revenue determination processes. We hold public forums, release issues papers and call for submissions to most of our reviews – be they guidelines or revenue resets]

    Ms Conboy said the regulatory framework was resilient and would be able to accommodate changes and emerging issues.

  • 31 May 2017 9:24 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    Helen Keller once said, “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”  And such was the collective attitude of those who attended the CACC’s recent Melbourne Mixer, hosted by Piper Alderman in Melbourne on Tuesday, 30 May.

    The Melbourne Mixer brought together those who had expressed a keen interest in championing the CACC’s mission in the Melbourne market.

    On the night, Brian Hansen, CACC Director and President welcomed the group of approximately 25 Melburnians by sharing highlights of the CACC’s history as well as the vision for the organisation. “In particular, the importance of building and, fostering business opportunities between Australia and Canada, from the Melbourne perspective,” Brian said.

    Also welcoming the group was Melbourne-based CACC Director, Mike McGrath. “In establishing the CACC’s presence in Melbourne, we, as a non profit organisation have faced and overcome a number of challenges. The presence of all of you here tonight is testimony to the CACC’s future success in the Melbourne market.

    Having arrived from Canada just hours before the gathering were special guests StopConcussions’s Co-Founder and Ambassador Kerry Goulet along with Toni Mill, StopConcussions’s Logistics  & Player Relations.

    The evening was rounded out by Melissa Wharton, CACC’s General Manager, Secretariat, “Since our call out for volunteers at our event last December, we received considerable interest from a number of people Melbourne, who have really propelled the Board’s approval of the Melbourne branch. And, I am just delighted to personally meet this great group of local leaders who are committed to supporting the work of the CACC in Melbourne,” she said.

    The next step in the evolution of the CACC’s presence in Melbourne will see the Melbourne Committee formally coming together in July. “I look forward to sharing news about the great progress of the Melbourne Committee in the months to come,” said Melissa.

  • 02 May 2017 2:23 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    The latest CACC event, Starting Up Down Under: Canadian Entrepreneurs’ Success Stories was held in April at the BlueChilli offices in Sydney’s CBD.  The event showcased the journeys of four Canadian Entrepreneurs, Sarah Mak (Managing Director, The Story Boxes and Co-founder, FolkTale), Ronald Tucker (CEO, BitTrade Australia), Luther Poier (CFO, BlueChilli) and Jeff Downs (CEO, Redback Conferencing). 

    The evening started with a warm welcome from Ms. Angela J. Bogdan, Consul General of Canada in Sydney, who spoke of the robust nature of the Canadian-Australian relationship on several fronts and the important work of the CACC.

    With 100 registered attendees, the panelists started the discussion by recapping their stories of how they arrived in Australia.  On being a Canadian living in Australia, Jeff said, “Part of the fabric of your life is loving the place you are from, from a distance and the opportunity to experience a different kind of life”.  The Navy, travel, working holiday visas and post-graduate study, all played a part in getting our entrepreneurs to Australia.  However, not all of them had a history of starting their own businesses, with Sarah describing herself as an “accidental entrepreneur”. 

    Many valuable lessons about startups were shared including Ronald’s analogy of “staying on the bicycle”.  He cites that we can be our own worst enemy and that we need to keep moving forward.  “We want to see our dreams come to life immediately”, he said.  He explains that, like Uber and the Internet, we all need to have patience to allow the environment to evolve and mature in order to find success.

    A common theme was around continuous learning.  Whether it was Sarah encouraging people to challenge their assumptions or Luther highlighting that everyone follows their own journey - “[taking] learning and doing something with it is one of the most important things.”

    Networking and building relationships were other important lessons of the evening – both here and in Canada.  Ronald worked with Chambers in Australia and Canada to grow his BitTrade business and Sarah has leveraged the support and community offered by Luther’s BlueChilli and her association with the CACC to ramp up her newest venture, FolkTales.

    The audience contributed with their own questions, including how to get ideas for a start up. Luther encouraged people to look at the industries that they work in and to find problems that need solving.  Jeff urged attendees to be honest with themselves about whether an idea is commercially viable.  “You don’t have to be the first, you just have to be the best”, said Jeff.      

    To wrap up, moderator Chris Warwick (Principal, Beachhead Management), took the opportunity to give away tickets to the upcoming Hungry Jack’s Ice Hockey Classic game in Sydney.  The tour, with one game in Sydney and one in Melbourne, will support the StopConcussions Foundation and Brain Injury Australia.  A 4-on-4 Fantasy Day is also available for those wishing to take to the ice with Darryl Sittler for a once-in-a-life-time ice hockey game.  For more details, please contact Toni Miil at toni@stopconcussions.com.     

    For the first time, the CACC used their twitter handle, @CACCLive, to capture live tweets from the event – check out the thoughts of some of our attendees.     

  • 28 Apr 2017 12:45 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    Canadians: want to build your brand in Australia? Data is key to building your presence, but don’t forget about authenticity and value for your customers, urged the group account director of a Sydney-based advertising agency.

    Dan Clark was speaking at a seminar organised by the CACC’s SME Group and hosted by his firm, The Hallway, one of Australia’s most awarded advertising agencies.

    “One of the things The Hallway emphasises is the power of data and taking data-centric approaches to help brands better understand their customers,” Clark told the 30 entrepreneurs and SME owners in attendance.

    “Data can be a scary word for some people, but it can be as simple as the customer information you already have and how that info might relate to your next customer and the next. You don’t have to be a data scientist who does algorithms for fun on the weekend to understand how it works.

    “Understanding your data will ultimately help to inform your creativity and in turn allow you to provide content that is more relevant to your customers,” he added. 

    Clark noted Australia had more liberal data privacy laws than Canada and that it was easier for Canadian brands to move from their more regulated environment to Australia than for Australians to open conversations with Canadian customers, where customers must give explicit consent for brands to liaise with them.

    Clark emphasised the need for brands to provide valuable content and to refrain from pushing out endless marketing promotions which can quickly turn off customers. He also touched on the challenges of social media, explaining how brands needed it to build conversations with their customers, but also noting they should be more considered about which channels were best for their initiatives.


    Clark was joined by James Gaskell, managing director at Flight Network, and one of the agency’s clients. They discussed the branding exercise that Flight Network was currently undertaking with The Hallway as the online travel company (second biggest in Canada after Expedia) prepared to launch in Australia later this year.

    Gaskell said it was important for Canadian brands to do their homework when it came to understanding the similarities and differences between Canada and Australia, to better understand the Australian market. It can even come down to small, micro-societal norms like the different ways Canadians and Australians spell words and even how they write dates, he noted.

    “On the travel front, while Canadians and Australians share many characteristics, like big geographical areas to navigate, there are important differences,” said Gaskell.

    “In Canada, travel is on a different scale. We have proximity to the USA so it’s a North American mentality we’re dealing with and bigger volumes. That’s not the case in Australia with a smaller population and no big neighbour nearby. With fewer holidays from work, Canadians tend to focus on the short-haul, like going to the States for a three-day weekend. Australians, with more time off and the challenges of having to go seven hours to get to an overseas destination, tend to be away for longer. “It’s a different experience that we are trying to address,” he said.

    Flight Network’s point of difference from other online travel companies like Expedia and BYOjet is its mobile-first approach. Gaskell explained how Flight Network is using technology to improve the travel booking experience and how travel is moving increasingly mobile, with more customers using their smart phones to book their holidays.

    “This was something Flight Network was poised to take advantage of in Australia as Australians have always been early adopters when it comes to mobile phone use,” he said.

    “The Hallway had also advocated starting with mobile as it is an effective way to spend media dollars instead of using traditional TV and radio advertising for Flight Network’s launch,” added Clark.

    Brad Bennett, The Hallway’s head of technology, also spoke at the seminar, discussing how brands can work with agencies for better outcomes. He also highlighted two other clients (UNSW and Google) where The Hallway had recently undertaken successful brand-building exercises that drove business results.

    Clark and Gaskell promised to take part in another seminar later in 2017 to discuss the results of Flight Network’s launch into the Australian market.

    The SME Group’s Co-Chair Michael Bacina, a partner with commercial law firm Piper Alderman, emceed the seminar and spoke about the CACC’s work with Australian and Canadian SMEs to date, noting upcoming roundtables and other events.

    The CACC’s SME Group launched in October 2016 and has enjoyed strong growth among Australian and Canadian small-to-medium enterprises. Its regular roundtables provide valuable business learning, networking and mentorship opportunities for members.

    Questions for this roundtable’s speakers? They can be reached via LinkedIn:

    https://www.linkedin.com/in/dan-clark-b3557714/

    https://www.linkedin.com/in/jamesgaskell/ https://www.linkedin.com/in/mikebacina/

  • 08 Mar 2017 5:01 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    Congratulations to one of our Corporate Sponsors Altus Group 

    on their recent acquisition of EstateMaster

    On March 1, 2017, Canadian-based Altus Group Limited, a global provider of commercial real estate services, software and data solutions, acquired Australian-based EstateMaster, a property development feasibility and management software provider.

    “The acquisition of EstateMaster broadens our product offerings with software solutions complementary to our ARGUS Developer product, while adding market share in our growth regions, including Australia and the Middle East,” said Robert Courteau, Chief Executive Officer of Altus Group.  “Their established track record of growth, combined with their impressive team and solid industry reputation will add value to our growth initiatives.”

    Altus Group is a publicly-traded company (TSX: AIF) headquartered in Toronto, Canada with approximately 2,300 employees with offices in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific. Altus Group’s businesses, Altus Analytics and Altus Expert Services, embody decades of experience, a range of expertise, and technology-enabled capabilities that empower clients to analyze, gain insight and recognize value on their real estate investments. 

    EstateMaster is a property development feasibility and management software provider to over 1,000 firms predominately in the real estate developer community.  With a leading market position in Australia and the Middle East, the EstateMaster Development Feasibility software is the accepted market standard for the production of feasibility reports in the Australian property markets, including all national banks, professional associations and government bodies. 

    “This union represents a very exciting opportunity to offer greater value to our combined client base that depend on our established software solutions to help make informed decisions,” added Martin Hill, Founder and CEO of EstateMaster.  “Joining Altus Group will strengthen our ability to offer solutions that address a broad set of requirements across various customer segments, while leveraging Altus Group’s extensive expertise and resources.” 



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