AGM & Economic Outlook

23.05.2016 Homepage

What an inspiring and interesting day Thursday has been. We welcomed roughly 90 Members for our AGM & Economic Outlook, which was kindly hosted by Deutsche Bank in Melbourne on 19 May 2016.

At the AGM we re-elected the current German-Australian Chamber’s board and expanded the Board with five very experienced executives. The new Honorary President, Mr Andrew Mackenzie, CEO of BHP Billiton, was also elected on the day. We had the great pleasure to enjoy two inspiring presentations, first by our host’s, Deutsche Bank Australia, Chief Economist Mr Adam Boyton, followed by our incoming President and CEO of BHP Billiton, Mr Andrew Mackenzie.

It was a real privilege and honour to listen to Adam Boyton and his expertise, particularly about the budget’s implications on business and trade.  

We were inspired by Andrew Mackenzie’s insights, he shared about his advocacy of free trade, his personal ties with Germany, and his second to none understanding of what is still one of the most relevant industries in this country. Already at this early point of his tenure it becomes clear that his presidency will be of tremendous value to the Chamber and its members. 

At the AGM, the German-Australian Chamber also re-elected all current Board of Directors Members and expanded the Board with five very experienced executives: Dr Wolfgang Babeck, Heidi Krebs, Tobias Marchand, John Ruthven and Philip Stanford. All Members of the Board were also elected unanimously.




Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Wolfgang Babeck has been an officer of the AHK since 2009 and served as its chairman in 2012/2013. Wolfgang is solicitor and notary in New South Wales, solicitor in England & Wales and Rechtsanwalt in Germany. As partner of German Law firm Buse Heberer Fromm and for Australian law firm DibbsBarker he advises companies in cross-border transactions and dispute resolutions. Wolfgang lectures international law at Bond University, has authored a number of books and is the Chairman of the International Law Section of the Law Council of Australia.

Heidi Krebs is the Director of Business Development at Cablex Pty, Australia’s leading, globally recognised manufacturer of custom cables and harness assemblies. She is also co-owner of this Australian manufacturing company that can be seen as the Australian equivalent of a typical German “Mittelstand” company. Heidi has over 27 years' experience in contract manufacturing environments. Heidi’s responsibilities include Global Business Development and Marketing and she is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. In June 2015 Heidi accepted Employer of the Year Award on behalf of Cablex at the “Women in Industry Awards”.

Tobias Marchand is the Senior Bayer Representative and Managing Director Bayer CropScience. Bayer is one of Germany’s largest companies and an international, research-based group with major businesses in health care and nutrition. He is in his current role since March 2015 and he joined Bayer as part of its business management training program in 1982 before gaining experience throughout Bayer’s global operations.

John Ruthven is President and Managing Director, SAP Australia and New Zealand. SAP is the German software powerhouse and the market leader in enterprise application software. The company is also strongly engaged in the development of Industry 4.0 applications. John Ruthven has more than 20 years’ experience in the IT industry, in local, regional and global functions across management and sales operations.

Philip Stanford is the CEO of thyssenkrupp Marine Systems Australia (tkMSA). The company is a specialist Australian naval designer that has broad experience providing design and engineering services for many ship classes. Before joining tkMSA, he worked for Sonartech ATLAS and previously he has spent 20 years in the Royal Australian Navy as a Seaman Officer, specialising in submarines.

We would like to express our sincerest thanks to Mr Steven Skala AO and Deutsche Bank for hosting the AGM & Economic Outlook in Melbourne.

After Thursday’s event it appears safe to say that the German-Australian Chamber of Industry and Commerce is in a better position than ever to be the relevant facilitator of bilateral business in this country. Membership numbers and revenue continue to rise, the relevance, quality and number of our Events is likewise going from strength to strength, the Consulting team continues to perform strongly, and with our expansion into policy advocacy we have made the portfolio of Chamber services even more complete. 

With this strong offering and a likewise strong team both in Melbourne and in Sydney, the future for German-Australian business at the Chamber is looking bright. Or - as our Prime Minister put it recently - There has never been a better time to be involved in German-Australian business relations.

For the pictures of the event please visit our flickr page.