About us

About us

Who we are

The Australia-United Kingdom Chamber of Commerce is the independent UK-based membership organisation connecting the business community and professionals with interests in both Australia and the United Kingdom.
With a diverse membership and network as well as trusted partnerships across the Australian and British Governments, we are the platform for industry to access and influence Australian-UK business intelligence, audiences and trade opportunities.

By delivering a range of events, membership services and strategic initiatives we connect our members and partners to decision-makers, smart ideas and fresh opportunities.

Australia and the United Kingdom

Australia is the 14th largest economy in the world and the 5th largest in the Asian region in 2019. Australia shares a strong economic and trade relationship with the United Kingdom, which is the world's 6th largest economy in the world. As well as being Australia's 8th largest two-way trading partner, the UK is Australia's 3rd largest services trading partner with two-way trade valued at £16.6 billion in 2019.

The UK and Australia also share a significant bilateral investment relationship, with FDI between the two countries valued at AUD$217 billion. Today there are more than 1,500 Australian companies that are active in the UK across a range of sectors including financial and professional services, technology, natural resources and travel services.

Leadership team

Patron

The Hon George Brandis QC

The Hon George Brandis QC was appointed Australian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom in May 2018. Mr Brandis has had a distinguished political career in Australia as a member of the Federal Parliament. His appointments have included Attorney-General, Vice-President of the Executive Council, Leader of the Government in the Senate, Federal Minister for the Arts, and Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate.

Chair

Dick Porter AM

Dick Porter, as well as being the Chair of the Chamber, is also the Director or Trustee of Australian community organisations, including the Australia Day Foundation. He remains a Trustee of the University of Western Australia UK and Europe Friends. He is Honorary President of the British Educational Travel Association which he helped lead from its foundation in 2003. His global commercial background came from the building from its foundation of what was for decades the leading global student business, STA Travel, to trade in almost 100 countries. He retains a number of roles and interests in commercial organisations and ventures.

He has a number of honours including being made a Member of the Order of Australia in the 2022 Australia Day awards; was made a Fellow of University College London in 2018 for his international education work; and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Commerce by the University of Western Australia in 2014 for his international work in helping University students globally as well as the support for the University presence in the UK and Europe.

Chief Executive Officer

Joanne Holland

Jo is an experienced CEO with a demonstrated track record in transforming organisations, driving change, and creating shareholder value.  After spending over a decade in senior financial services roles in Australia including CEO of IOOF Trustees and Treasurer Domestic Markets of ANZ, Jo moved to the UK after completing her MBA in Switzerland.  Initially, she joined Arthur Andersen and after 3 years, established her own Company.  Joanne has spent the last 20 years in C- Suite roles on behalf of UK investors in multiple sectors and over 17 countries.  Her experience in due diligence, mergers and acquisitions, post-acquisition integration, and process improvement enables her to relate well to growing SME’s and start-ups.

Leading the Australian-UK Chamber of Commerce, Jo’s focus is to drive mutually commercial relationships and outcomes between Australian and UK Companies.

Board members

Board member

Philip Aiken AM

Philip Aiken is Chairman of Balfour Beatty and Aveva and a Non-Executive Director of Newcrest Mining. He was also the Chairman of the Chamber from 2006 to 2013. From 1997-2006 Philip was President Energy Group and President Petroleum of BHP Billiton and Managing Director Gases Europe and South Pacific for BOC.

Board member

Sir Lynton Crosby

Sir Lynton Crosby is a campaign manager and strategist, and Co-Founder of the C|T Group. In 1998 and 2001, Sir Lynton successfully managed the campaign for Australian Prime Minister John Howard and in 2008 and 2012 he was the Campaign Director for Boris Johnson, winning campaigns to be Mayor of London. In the 2015 UK General Election,  Sir Lynton was the Campaign Director for the Conservative Party in its historic victory.

Board member

Bronwyn Curtis OBE

Bronwyn Curtis OBE is the Chairman of the JP Morgan Asian Investment Trust PLC and a Non-Executive Director at Scottish American Investment Co PLC and Mercator Media Ltd. Bronwyn’s previous roles have included Head of European Broadcasting at Bloomberg LP and Chief Economist for Nomura International.

Board member

Chris Hickey

Chris Hickey is the CEO of the UK, Middle East and African businesses for Robert Walters plc. Chris is responsible for the Group’s UKMEA businesses including, but not limited to financial services, commerce accountancy, IT, HR divisions. Previously, Chris worked as a solicitor in Australia, the UK and Switzerland with Lehman Brothers.

Board member

Jennifer Mackinlay

Jennifer Mackinlay is the Senior Trade and Investment Commissioner for United Kingdom, Ireland and Nordics for the Australian Trade and Investment Commission (“Austrade”). Having lived in France for almost 20 years, Jennifer was previously Senior Trade and Investment Commissioner for France, Spain, Portugal, Belgium and Luxembourg between June 2015 and November 2019. Prior to joining Austrade, Jennifer worked as a lawyer for international law firm Clifford Chance in Paris for 15 years.

Board member

Anna Pritchard

Anna is Qantas’ Regional General Manager for the UK, Europe, Middle East, India and Africa. Prior to coming to London, Anna was Qantas’ Head of Legal and Assistant Company Secretary, heading teams responsible for providing strategic competition and regulatory advice, oversight and compliance, engaging with key regulators and managing litigation and dispute resolution and corporate governance across the Qantas Group.  Prior to joining Qantas, Anna worked at in private legal practice at Allens and the Australian Government Solicitor.

Board member

Claire Small

Claire Small is Clinical Director of Pure Sports Medicine, co-founding the organisation with others in 2003. Pure Sports Medicine was the first multi-disciplinary clinic of its kind in the UK and is still the leading organisation providing a comprehensive service to patients with musculoskeletal problems. Claire continues to treat patients and is active in teaching, lecturing and research to ensure that the drive towards clinical excellence is a fundamental part of the ethos at Pure.

Board member

Michael Wallin

Michael is a Corporate partner in Minter Ellison's London office. Michael specialises in advising Australia businesses investing in the UK and wider Europe and European businesses investing in Australia. He advises on a wide range of corporate matters, focusing particularly on cross border mergers, acquisitions and disposals, private equity investments, joint ventures and venture capital work.

Board member

Jeffrey Young

Jeffrey is the founder of Allegra Strategies, a management consultancy focusing on the food and leisure sector. Jeffrey is also the founder of UK Coffee Week and the London and New York Coffee Festivals, Chairman of the Allegra foundation and author/editor of 20 books.

CEO (On Maternity Leave)

Catherine Woo

Catherine joined the Chamber as CEO in 2016 and is a trusted adviser to business, government and other stakeholders on bilateral exchange, market access and opportunity. As CEO, Catherine leads the Chamber’s strategy and operations ensuring its ongoing commercial focus, thought leadership and influence in advocating for members on bilateral trade and policy issues.

A lawyer by training, Catherine’s professional background is in international economic development and industry-government partnerships. She has held leadership roles working at the intersection of government and business including as Investment Director for the Victorian Government’s London office where she led its regional trade and investment strategy and team across the UK, Europe and Israel.

Our team

Chamber Patron, the Hon George Brandis QC at the historic signing of the Free Trade Agreement

Chief Executive Officer

Joanne Holland

Jo is an experienced CEO with a demonstrated track record in transforming organisations, driving change, and creating shareholder value.  After spending over a decade in senior financial services roles in Australia including CEO of IOOF Trustees and Treasurer Domestic Markets of ANZ, Jo moved to the UK after completing her MBA in Switzerland.  Initially she joined Arthur Andersen and after 3 years, established her own Company.  Joanne has spent the last 20 years in C- Suite roles on behalf of UK investors in multiple sectors and over 17 countries.  Her experience in due diligence, mergers and acquisitions, post-acquisition integration, and process improvement enables her to relate well to growing SME’s and start-ups.

Leading the Australian-UK Chamber of Commerce, Jo’s focus is to drive mutually commercial relationships and outcomes between Australian and UK Companies.

Member Engagement & Projects Manager

Jess Sullivan

Jess is an internationally experienced business development and stakeholder engagement management professional. With over 10 years’ experience in the higher education sector for three of Australia’s largest and globally influential universities in Australia and the UK, she has worked to facilitate partnerships with organisations to foster stronger and deeper relationships with their key stakeholders.

She is a proud Victorian with a taste for good Melbourne coffee however before moving to London in 2017, spent time working in Sydney, enjoying life by some of Australia’s best suburban beaches.

Marketing and Events Co-ordinator

Vera Carvalho-Pacey

As the Marketing and Events Co-ordinator, Vera is responsible for the Chamber's overall marketing strategy. Developing and delivering the best content, adding value to our members and community.

Vera is a CIM Associate Marketeer with extensive experience in both marketing and sales having previously worked for companies in the Fashion and Non-Profit sectors.

Outside of work, you can find Vera visiting little historical villages, enjoying long walks by the Thames, or playing with Hercules, her overly energetic Siberian Forest cat.

Events Co-Ordinator

Millie Addison

As the Chamber’s Events Co-Ordinator, Millie is responsible for working with our event partners and ensuring that our varied calendar of events runs smoothly.

Millie holds an International Business degree from the University of Edinburgh, including an elective from the Vienna University of Economics and Business. After university, Millie lived in Australia for two years, where she found a fond affinity for the laid-back Australian lifestyle and beautiful beaches! Since her return to the UK, she has forged a career as a global marketing professional.

Having studied, lived and worked abroad for considerable periods, Millie has cemented her love of travel and exploring new cultures and looks forward to furthering her career in International Trade and Development at the Chamber.

Events & Office Administrator

Henry Lopes

Henry is a Politics graduate from the University of Edinburgh who has recently completed the Legal Practice Course at BPP University. Henry has experience in a variety of sectors from law to finance and looks forward to sharing his expertise in his role as the Chamber’s Events & Office Administrator.

Henry regularly travels to Australia to visit family in Sydney and Hobart. When there, you can find him watching cricket with a Tasmanian curried scallop pie in hand.

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