As we come to the end of the British financial year, the Chamber is wrapping a year of successful growth in which we grew our total membership by 12%, our Chartered membership by 27%, and delivered a full and diverse events calendar of 40 events.
We’ve been privileged to host British and Australian political and industry leaders including Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop; British Secretary for International Trade Dr. Liam Fox; Australian Minister for Energy and the Environment Josh Frydenberg, Deputy Mayor of London Rajesh Aggrawal; Mark Wild, Managing Director of London Underground; Noel Quinn, CEO, HSBC and Queen of the High Street Mary Portas. This financial year, we will round out our programme with an audience with Alan Joyce, Group CEO of Qantas following the airline’s historic first non-stop flight to the UK from Australia.
A key focus for the Chamber over the last year has been driving outcomes for Australia-UK business on both a macro level – through advocacy of stronger bilateral frameworks, including the development of an effective free trade agreement between Australia and the UK – and on a business to business level via our networking, introductions and events services and programmes.
The Chamber will continue to focus on both these areas in the future for the benefit of our growing membership. In January of this year, our Chamber Board approved a forward three year business plan which will see us strengthen our position as the pre-eminent forum of influence and connectivity for the Australian-UK business community in the UK through enhanced focus on increasing the business connections and introductions across our membership as well as working up to the highest levels of government and industry to positively influence bilateral trade development and ensure it is fit for purpose for the businesses we work with.
I’d like to thank our members and partners for their support and active involvement in ensuring the Chamber’s ongoing growth and vibrancy. Thank you also to our dedicated team which I’m pleased to announce is expanding to meet our growing objectives with the recent addition of Dave Comley as our new COO.
Dave previously spent 10 years with EVCOM, Europe’s largest trade association for the corporate communication and event industries as Memberships Director and then COO. In this role, he worked closely with business as well as the UK and international governments in establishing trade development programmes between the UK and China, Qatar, the UAE and Mexico. Prior to this, Dave worked in commercial roles within professional sport including Premier League football and English County Cricket.
Dave has joined the Chamber in a permanent capacity, working on our events programming as well as membership relations and he will also act in my stead during my maternity leave from mid-May. Dave will be meeting many of you over the coming few months and I also encourage you to reach out to him directly for a chat at firstname.lastname@example.org
CEO, Australia-United Kingdom Chamber of Commerce