Event Report: New Year’s Reception Sydney 2017

21.02.2017 Homepage

On the evening of 20 February, 2017, the German-Australian Chamber was pleased to hold its New Year’s Reception at the beautiful Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney. This major event is the first in New South Wales to celebrate the chamber’s 40th anniversary, and was kindly supported by Premium Partner Audi Australia. The function followed a successful New Year’s Reception in Melbourne on 16 February.

Around 120 guests from the German-Australian business community and member network arrived at the museum’s Quayside Room on the sixth floor. Upon registration, they were guided into the expansive function space, which was lined with floor-to-ceiling windows and a wide deck that overlooked the city skyline and sunny Circular Quay. Attendees enjoyed a range of drinks and delicious canapes as they began to network.

Once the room had been filled, Executive Director Mr Kristian Wolf took to the lectern and began his official welcome. He thanked everyone present for their outstanding support of the German-Australian Chamber and the bilateral relationship, elaborating on 40 years of success. Kristian joked about the very noticeable presence of a massive cruise ship in the quay, which was blocking the view of the Sydney Opera House. This was followed by additional laughter, as the ship’s horn interrupted his address, signalling its imminent departure. The event really could not have been timed better, as guests had the chance to watch the vessel pull out of the quay, weaving its way around the coastline.

Following Kristian, Mr Andrew Doyle, Managing Director of Audi Australia, was welcomed to the stage. Mr Doyle emphasised his company’s ongoing support for the chamber and gave a comprehensive overview of the latest developments at Audi, particularly its increasing use of sensor technology and artificial intelligence. The chamber would like to thank Mr Doyle for his support of the event and for many others over the years, and wish him all the best as he moves on from Audi Australia. The chamber looks forward to working closely with the company and his successor into the future.

At the conclusion of Mr Doyle’s speech, Kristian returned to the lectern to invite the chamber’s official Patron, Dr Anna Prinz, to make her address. As the German Ambassador to Australia, Dr Prinz reflected on the great progress that has been made in the bilateral relationship, with particular reference to the challenges that Germany has overcome since reunification. She emphasised the need for collaboration and increased investment in start-ups and innovative ideas, freeing up people to engage in more cultural pursuits. Dr Prinz concluded her address with a positive look to the future and a further 40 successful years for the chamber network.

Kristian returned to the stage to thank Dr Prinz for her kind, insightful words and then invited Mr Ron Koehler to the stage, Chairman of the chamber and CEO of DB Schenker. Mr Koehler, who has been an active, dedicated network participant for many years, outlined the great work being done by the chamber and what to expect in the anniversary year.

Following Mr Koehler’s address, Kristian encouraged everyone to continue networking and enjoy additional canapes and beverages. It was not long, however, until the final guest speaker for the evening arrived: Finance Minister Mathias Cormann. After a few minutes of meeting and greeting various attendees, he quickly moved to the stage to express his support for the chamber and its various informative and social events. As its official patron, Minister Cormann gave particular attention to the newly announced Asia-Pacific Regional Conference, which will be held at the stunning Crown Perth from 3 to 5 November this year. He called upon all of those in attendance to register for this major event. The conference will cover a wide range of topics in the Asia-Pacific context, including digitalisation and Industry 4.0, and will tangible opportunities for business development.

At the conclusion of his speech, Minister Cormann thanked everyone and moved to take photos with numerous attendees, with a celebratory anniversary video playing in the background. Networking continued, with official proceedings ending at 8:00 pm.

The chamber would like to thank everyone who made the evening a resounding success, including the Museum of Contemporary Art for its great hospitality; Audi Australia for its generous support; and of course special guest speakers Dr Anna Prinz, Mr Andrew Doyle, Minister Mathias Cormann and Mr Ron Koehler. All staff at the chamber look forward to meeting members during additional events throughout the anniversary year.


Click here to view photos of the event on Flickr.