AHK Report: Business Dinner with Rheinmetall Defence Australia

The Queensland Chapter Business Dinner with Rheinmetall Defence was held in celebration of the German-Australian relationship. Members of the German-Australian Chamber of Industry and Commerce, representatives of Australian businesses, the Queensland Premier and the Hon Minister Cameron Dick attended this special event at Blackbird.

The German-Queensland relationship has become one of the strongest international ties that Australia shares with Germany. These bonds were strengthened through Rheinmetall Defence winning a Land 400 bid, which has allowed Rheinmetall to work closely with the Australian and Queensland Governments.

Through this project, the design of the Redbank facility, and the development of the Boxer CRV, Rheinmetall has made itself a pillar of strength in South East Queensland by supporting the local workforce through the creation on an entirely new industry and providing technology and solutions towards Australian defence. This business dinner, asides providing the opportunity for key mingling, was held in celebration of all that has been achieved through Rheinmetall and the Queensland Government’s partnership.

The night began with a welcoming speech given by the Executive Director of the German-Australian Chamber of Industry and Commerce Alexandra Voss, who embraced her first night in Queensland with warm words towards the guests.

Honorary Consul to Germany, Professor Michael Rosemann, followed with a speech detailing the importance of the relationship held between our nations. He commented that although much has been built upon and with these bonds, Germany and Australia are beginning a new relationship that opens an incredible array of opportunities. He passed the podium onto Jeff Connolly, Chairman of the Board of the German-Australian Chamber and CEO of Siemens Pacific.

Connolly spoke of the Redbank project, emphasising that this facility will be the most advanced and diverse in the world, and that there was a great deal of collaboration between the Australian and German militaries on this project.

It was at this point, that the Honorable Annastacia Palaszczuk rose to speak. “It’s difficult to overstate how important Queensland’s relationship is with Rheinmetall,” Palaszczuk said, going onto say that the Redbank facility and Boxer CRV were creating “a brand new industry that can be developed right here in Queensland.”

“I just want to reassure you that my Government is here to support you,” she said, emphasising how important it is to have good, solid relationships on national and international scales.

After this, guests settled in for the main course. Blackbird supplied a delicious feast of slow roasted lamb-shoulder, oven-roasted chicken, and grilled, red curry cod alongside an equally satisfying platter of sides. Laughter and conversation filled the room, and only settled into an attentive silence when the fifth speaker for the night, Gary Stewart, Managing Director of Rheinmetall Defence Australia, took to the podium.

“It’s not every day that you get to create an entirely new industry,” Gary began, detailing all that the Boxer CRV was able to become due to the partnership between Rheinmetall and the Queensland Government. Throughout his speech, it was plain to see that Rheinmetall is more than a company - it is a think-tank of innovative, forward-thinking people that value relationships, both those that they share internally and externally.

“It has taken two years of hard work to get to this point,” Gary said, wrapping up his speech with conviction, stating that Rheinmetall looks forward to over a 100 years of investment alongside the Queensland Government.

The QLD Chapter Business Dinner was a night of connection and industry, of celebrating bridges formed between nations and companies. The Redbank facility is only the beginning, and the future of the German-Australian relationship is bright.