Gender Diversity Roadmap: What’s the Journey Forward?

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In recognition of International Women’s Day, the CACC held events in both Melbourne and Sydney to explore the topic of gender diversity.     In Melbourne, CACC corporate sponsor, Drake International hosted a panel including four industry leaders:  René Lalande, CEO, Transdev Australasia, Honourary Consul of Canada, Melbourne; Susan Oliver, Founding Chairman, Scale Investors; Amanda O'Brien, CEO, Xtreme Freight and Chairman, Supply Chain & Logistics Association of Australia; and Lisa Williams, Chief Procurement Officer, The Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport & Resources (DEDJTR). In Sydney, the event was hosted by CACC corporate sponsor, KPMG, and included a panel discussion with some prestigious guests: Ms. Angela J Bogdan, Consul General of Canada; Liz Griffin, Head of Diversity & Inclusion, Commonwealth Bank; Craig Mennie, National Leader Transaction Services, KPMG Australia; and Libby Davies, Chief Executive Officer, White Ribbon. The discussions started with a look at the backgrounds of the panelists.  In Sydney, most started in teaching, before moving onto other professions; while in Melbourne, the panelists initially began in traditionally male-dominated occupations.  Regardless of their beginnings, all of panelists have a passion for encouraging and supporting the impact that women can have in the workplace. With moderator, Melissa Wharton, Founder, Thread, directing both events, other common themes prevailed in both panels. A question about “feminism” raised many valid points related to how words can take on different meanings for different people and how people have different associations with words. The consensus was that “gender equality” was more appropriate term to use today. However, the notion of feminism should not be dismissed.  In Melbourne, Susan states, “It’s part of a proud history of women that have fought for something – and we should remember and give credit for that history”.  In Sydney, Libby remarked “Feminism has a very important function in drawing the attention of every one of us –...

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Australian SMEs Entering the Canadian Market – What You Need to Know

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Last week the CACC’s SME Committee hosted another successful roundtable event (21 Feb) which focused on advice for Australian businesses looking to expand into Canada. Moderated by Chris Beal from RFC Ambrian, panelists included Josh Khoddami from Neu.Capital, Angela Rossi from Altios International, and Kane Bourke from OMF Markets, who hosted the roundtable in their Sydney office. The discussion covered a range of topics relevant to Australian businesses looking to enter Canada including incorporation, financial considerations, as well as legal and administrative matters. So what do you need to know? Let’s start with the basics: First, on average it takes between 1-3 months to set up a business in Canada. While finding the right advice can make the process more efficient, the amount of time required is also largely dependent what the nature of your business is. Second, Australia and Canada operate very different national models for doing business, with Australia (generally speaking) being a much easier environment to set up a company in, while Canada is a bit trickier in terms of incorporation, tax, grants and other considerations as these vary widely from Province to Province. If your company doesn’t need to be based in a specific location within Canada, make sure you evaluate the pros and cons of setting up in each province to ensure the location you are incorporated in is the best possible fit. Third, get the right advice and advisers. While this may seem commonsense, one panelist made the point that his business found it difficult to find a lawyer (even from a global firm) who could work seamlessly across multiple Provincial regulations. Finding a bank who can work across both borders easily (NAB for instance) can also make the transition process much easier. And while working out the myriad of decisions for yourself can seem like you are saving money, paying for the right advice...

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CACC Congratulates Australia’s Newest High Commissioner to Canada

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PICTURE: Natasha Smith, Australia’s next High Commissioner to Canada The responsibility for advancing Australia’s interests in Canada will be handed over in February 2018 to Natasha Smith (GAICD), Australia’s next High Commissioner to Canada, as announced by the Hon Julie Bishop MP on 30 November 2017. “On behalf of the Canadian Australian Chamber of Commerce, I congratulate Natasha Smith on this significant appointment which is so meaningful to both of our countries,” said Brian Hansen, CACC President and Director. “Ms Smith brings a wealth of diplomatic experience to her new role, having most recently served as First Assistant Secretary, Multilateral Development and Finance Division with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT),” he said. A senior career officer with DFAT, Ms Smith has also served as Assistant Secretary, Humanitarian Response Branch and Assistant Secretary, Integration Task Force. Previously, Ms Smith has served overseas as a Counsellor (Development) at Australia’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York and First Secretary (Development) at the Australian Embassy in Jakarta. Recently, Ms Smith made a point of meeting with members of the CACC’s leadership team including Brian Hansen in Sydney as well as directors Lesley Gillespie OAM and Mike McGrath in Melbourne. “It was a pleasure to meet Ms Smith and to learn how she is focused on continuing to cement the relationship between our two countries,” Lesley, Chair of CACC’s Melbourne Committee said. “In particular, Ms Smith recognises that while the two countries have strong ties and are similar in custom, law and history, it is important to not become complacent,” she said. “Australia and Canada have a history of trade that spans more than one hundred years and it is a relationship that continues to expand and strengthen,” said Mike McGrath, CACC Director. “With regard to Ms Smith’s views...

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Bridges Are Built On A Foundation Of Relationships

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Lesley Gillespie (CACC Director), Dr. Stewart Gill (Masters, Queen's College), Professor Joanne Tompkins (Australian Research Council), Zac Hatzantonis (PwC), Misha Ketchel (The Conversation), Dr Tim Gravelle (University of Melbourne) and Erik Denison (CACC Melbourne Committee) How to build bridges and take down the silo walls that separate academics from the business community was the topic of lively discussion at the most recent event hosted by the CACC’s Melbourne Committee. One of the strengths of the CACC is to foster connections for business and trade. The Building Bridges event went one step further in an effort to include the world of academia in these important connections. Hosted by Master of Queens College, Professor Stewart Gill, OAM, academics and business leaders came together to discuss how the two could improve the ways in which they could work together. Further details on each of the panelists can be found here. “It’s terrific that Canada is able to lead the way…and that the CACC is bringing the two sectors together to look at how we inform one another and, how we help one another,” said Professor Gill. Throughout the course of the discussion it was very clear: both the business sector and academia are very willing to work together. They key theme of how to build the bridge between academia and business is ‘relationships’. Professor Joanne Tompkins spoke about the importance of “brokering relationships”, effectively meeting a range of people with whom to get to know and in time exchange ideas. Agreeing with Professor Tompkins was Zac Hatzantonis, Partner with PwC, “Our firm’s purpose is to build trust in solving complex problems. Having partnerships in place with experts means that we can collaborate instantly and prepare our reports within the time lines that we are given.” Dr Tim Gravelle who has straddled the corporate world...

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Export Development Canada Makes Sydney Home

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In late November 2017, Export Development Canada (EDC) will officially open its Australian operation in Sydney with a special event featuring Peter Hall, Vice-President and Chief Economist, EDC. The Sydney operation marks EDC’s 20th international representation. A Crown corporation that operates at arm’s length from Government, Export Development Canada is Canada’s export credit agency. EDC supports and develops Canada’s export trade by helping Canadian companies respond to international opportunities. With a formal presence in Australia, EDC will be well situated to build and strengthen bilateral trade between Canada and Australia. EDC will do so by offering financing to Australian companies and project owners that have, or are considering, business with Canadian companies or their affiliates in the region. Export Development Canada has a history of supporting a number of Australian companies such as Origin Energy, Woodside, GoldLinQ and Optus, to name but a few. The role of the Sydney-based EDC team will be to connect Australian and Canadian companies while providing financial solutions to both. In addition, EDC will facilitate introduction to make doing business with one another as easy as possible. Export Development Canada also helps by matching Australian companies with strategically selected Canadian companies that have the specific capabilities the Australian company is seeking in its supply chain. Export Development Canada can be of support to Canadian businesses currently operating in Australia that may require various contracts in Australia.  And, EDC may be of further support to Canadian businesses seeking to expand beyond Australia into the greater Asia-Pacific region. An important aspect of EDC is that it partners with local and international financial institutions to increase the reach of its support. EDC proactively seeks lending opportunities and/or participation in syndication transactions in Australia. Heading up the Australian operation of EDC is Chief Representative, Teri Nizzola. Ms Nizzola is...

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An Honorary Fête in the World’s Most Liveable City

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Honourary Consul General of Canada in Melbourne, Mr. Rene Lalande The Melbourne Committee of the Canadian Australian Chamber of Commerce (CACC) fêted René Lalande on his appointment to Honorary Consul of Canada in Melbourne at a gathering of business leaders at PwC, Riverside Quay, Melbourne on 3 October. In a show of support for Canada’s newest Honorary Consul in Melbourne, the CACC’s Melbourne Committee hosted its inaugural event by congratulating René Lalande, CEO of Transdev Australasia on his recent appointment. Lesley Gillespie, OAM, CACC Board Member and Chair of its Melbourne Committee, launched the event by introducing Mr. Lalande to a gathering of approximately 40 members from Melbourne’s business community. Also in attendance were dignitaries Charles Reeves, Deputy High Commissioner of Canada and Myriam Boisbouvier-Wylie, Honorary Consul-General of France in Melbourne. “On both sides of the Pacific, René is a recognised business leader,” said Mrs. Gillespie. “We, the CACC, and the Melbourne Committee in particular, are very excited about working with René to advance economic opportunities between our two countries and of course, doing our part to support him in his role.” Mr. Lalande, having moved with his family from Canada to Melbourne four years ago, presented a keynote address on the topic of living in the world’s most livable city, after having lived in one of the world’s most livable countries. “Australia and Canada share some deep similarities – high quality of education, good infrastructure and other positive factors – which make them great places to live and great places to do business, “ said Mr. Lalande. Mr. Lalande also spoke to the great relationship shared by Australia and Canada. “We have strong mutual respect and shared values such as ‘having a fair go’, a passion for sports and an unshakeable desire to maintain our democratic, inclusive societies. “There...

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10th World Chambers Congress, Sydney 2017

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More than 1,000 business leaders and chambers of commerce members from 100 countries descended upon Sydney 19-21 September for the 10th World Chambers Congress, held at the International Convention Centre in Darling Harbour. Under the theme “Where Business Connects” delegates had the opportunity to discuss some of the world’s most pressing challenges. It was also an opportunity for members to meet and strengthen existing business relationships. New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian officially opened the Congress noting that in this time of disruption and rapid economic change, “chambers of commerce were vital as partners for governments and the community in pursuing economic opportunities and generating investment, innovation and jobs.” Chambers must promote global stability How can businesses with limited time and resources make a difference when it comes to peace-building efforts? This was a question raised in the first plenary session of the Congress which focused on business, conflict and terrorism. Session moderator Steve Killelea, president of the Institute for Economics and Peace, honed in on the interplay between business, peace and economic development and urged chamber members to be pivotal in communicating this relationship to governments. Delegates also attended sessions on infrastructure, changing chamber business models, and alliances on day one. The second day, presenters turned their attention to sustainability, global mobility, tourism as a driver for economic growth, workplace diversity, SME finance and working with media. Enlightening the audience with ways to attain sustainable business models, author and ZERI founder Gunter Pauli called on delegates to ditch business planning in favour of taking concrete action, which got delegates going on Twitter. “Scan for opportunities to implement new business models that will transform economies,” he urged. Chambers members need to encourage refugees In a talk about how protectionism around migration is leading to missed opportunities delegates were called upon...

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Jack Cowin’s Lessons of Life

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If you lose your health, nothing else matters, regardless of your success. How much money would Kerry Packer have paid to get a new kidney? Include techniques such as meditation or physical training into your life to maintain your mental and physical health. If you lose your integrity, no amount of success will be meaningful and it will produce a hollow feeling when you look in the mirror. What would Alan Bond, Eddie Obeid, and Rodney Adler say on this subject? What would they say is important to them today if they were around? Control your own destiny – most satisfied people I know have control over their own lives and affairs. We are probably all seeking the independence to do what we want to, when and where we want to do it. How many unhappy people are there? Ninety percent of the population are in jobs, activities or relationships out of economic necessity? They stay in a job they hate. Have a vision or dream of where you want to go. Develop your passion / work and play. Be prepared to take some risks. Life is an adventure and a challenge. When you are young, you can afford to fail because you can start over again. When you are old, you need the stimulation. Caveats to risk: Don’t bet the farm. Things go wrong with the best-laid plans. Spread the risk. In cricket terms, you don’t have to swing for a six on all occasions. Singles and doubles will get you there. Don’t underestimate the power of compound interest / 50 yrs. There is no shortage of good deals or ideas. Don’t fall in love with a business. Don’t put yourself in peril chasing something / Ego Dangerous. The number one priority of a CEO is to make sure...

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In the last quarter: Jack Cowin captivates with stories, life lessons

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PICTURE: Jack Cowin, CACC Patron and Michael Bacina, Chair of SME Committee A lifetime of business success in Australia hasn’t taken the quiet Canadian out of Jack Cowin. As icy winds battered the windows of KPMG’s Sydney offices, the Chairman and Managing Director of Competitive Foods Australia was quietly reflective and self-deprecating as guest speaker at a recent CACC lunch. Touching on his frugal, but warm-hearted upbringing by Depression-era parents, his experience selling plants as an enterprising teenager and the highs and lows of business life, the 75-year-old got laughs from the 70 people in attendance when he joked: “Life is like a football match. We’ve got quarters and unfortunately I’ve just entered the last one.” Last quarter or not, he’s not planning on retiring just yet because the myriad of business opportunities that have come his way continue to keep him “occupied and entertained.” An Australian Financial Review Rich Lister and CACC’s Patron, Mr Cowin is best known for his fast food investments, including Hungry Jack’s, KFC and Domino’s Pizza. This is where the bulk of his wealth has been created. But after his initial success in the industry, he wanted to diversify his holdings to see if he could make money outside of the fast food sector. This started with shares in Network 10 where he was an investor, buying the television station out of receivership in 1992. Mr Cowin invested $4.5 million and sold his shares in the TV network for $72 million just five years later. He remained a Network 10 director for 20 years until 2015. Today, Mr. Cowin has shares in Fairfax Media, investment bank Moelis Australia, technology firm Bailador and Sydney’s BridgeClimb. At one time, he even invested in the largest cattle company in the world, but after a disagreement with one of...

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CACC Welcomes New Honourary Consul of Canada in Melbourne

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The Canadian Australian Chamber of Commerce (CACC) welcomes René Lalande, CEO Transdev in his role as Honorary Consul of Canada in Melbourne. “On behalf of the CACC, I would like to congratulate Mr. Lalande on his appointment,” said Brian Hansen, President of the CACC. “As CEO of Transdev’s Australasian operations, Mr. Lalande has significant experience in international operations, trade and relations”, said Mr. Hansen. “We look very forward to collaborating with our new Honorary Consul General in Melbourne as together we support trade and business connections between Australia and Canada.” Originally from Québec, Canada, René Lalande first came to Australia four years ago. During his time in Australia, Mr. Lalande has held senior executive positions including Managing Director at Bombardier Transportation Australia, prior to joining Transdev. “I acknowledge and respect the work of the CACC,” Mr. Lalande said. “In my role as Honorary Consul General in Melbourne, I am particularly delighted to have the opportunity to connect with its Melbourne Committee and find ways to collaborate and further the important work of the CACC in the Melbourne market.” “I am fortunate enough to live in the most livable city in the world, having come from one of the most livable countries in the world. There is much scope and opportunity to strengthen ties between Australia and Canada.” CACC Director and Chair of the Melbourne Committee, Lesley Gillespie OAM said, “Mr. Lalande is a recognised business leader in both Australia and Canada and we are very excited about how we, the Melbourne Committee in particular, may work with Mr. Lalande to advance economic opportunities between our two great countries.” The CACC will formally welcome Mr. Lalande at a special event in Melbourne later in 2017, details to follow at a later date. The Canadian Australian Chamber of Commerce (CACC) is a...

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