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

Chair

Dick Porter AM

Dick Porter AM, as well as being the Chair of the Chamber since 2013, is also the Director or Trustee of Australian community organisations, including the Australia Foundation. 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 Universities globally as well as the support for the University presence in the UK and Europe and he remains a Fellow of the University of Western Australia UK and Europe Friends.

Chief Executive Officer

Richard Basil-Jones

Richard Basil-Jones is a senior executive with extensive experience in leading and managing businesses across global markets.

Richard has deep sector experience in business-to-business services gained with large and small international publicly listed companies.

In his 20-year career with Nielsen – one of the world’s largest marketing information services company, Richard held key leadership positions including Managing Director for Media Services across 12 Asia-Pacific markets. In his last senior executive role, Richard was Global President for Ebiquity, a London based media consultancy, where he was responsible for services across Europe, Asia Pacific, North America & UK/Ireland.

Richard has a track record of success over many years with strong leadership skills and a genuine passion for client management.

Board members

Chair

Dick Porter AM

Dick Porter AM, as well as being the Chair of the Chamber since 2013, is also the Director or Trustee of Australian community organisations, including the Australia Foundation. 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 Universities globally as well as the support for the University presence in the UK and Europe and he remains a Fellow of the University of Western Australia UK and Europe Friends.

Ex Officio - Former Chair

Philip Aiken AM

Philip Aiken is a Director of New Energy One, Newcrest Mining and BIAC(Business@OECD). He has served on a number of public board Boards recently as Chairman of Aveva and Balfour Beatty.

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 AO

Sir Lynton Crosby is an internationally renowned campaign strategist and the Co-Founder and CEO of the C|T Group.

Drawing on skills and experience acquired over a lifetime of campaigning, Sir Lynton has equipped some of the world’s most well-known corporate organisations with the research, messages and strategy needed to achieve their goals. He has provided strategic counsel to leaders in financial services, energy and resources, defence, health and pharmaceuticals, property, and consumer goods, as well as the multi-national charity and not for profit sectors.

Sir Lynton was born in South Australia and read economics at the University of Adelaide. After working as Federal Director of the Liberal Party of Australia, Sir Lynton founded the C|T Group in 2002. In 2008 he led the London mayoral election campaign that saw Boris Johnson win—a success he repeated in 2012. In the 2015 UK General Election, Sir Lynton steered the Conservative Party to a historic victory.

The C|T Group has grown into an international consultancy with offices in North America, Europe, India, Hong Kong and Australia and with hundreds of corporate clients globally.

Board member

Bronwyn Curtis OBE

Bronwyn is a financial markets economist who has held leadership roles in finance, commodities, consulting and the media. She is currently a Non-Executive member of the Oversight Board at the UK Office for Budget Responsibility, Chair of TwentyFour Income Fund, and is a Non-Executive Director at Pershing Square Holdings, BH Macro Limited, The Scottish American Investment Company plc and Mercator Media. Previously she was Chair of JPMorgan Asia Growth and Income Plc.

Her executive roles included Head of Global Research at HSBC Plc, Managing Editor and Head of European Broadcast at Bloomberg LP and Global Head of Foreign Exchange and Fixed Income Strategy at Deutsche Bank. She has also worked as a consultant for the World Bank and UNCTAD.

Her other current appointments include trustee of The Australia Foundation, Centre for Economic and Policy Research and governor of the National Institute for Economic and Social Research.

Bronwyn was awarded an OBE in 2008 for her services to business economics and a Doctor of Letters in 2017 from La Trobe University in Melbourne.

Board member

Claire Small

Claire Small is the Chief Clinical Officer of Pure Sports Medicine and a Consultant Physiotherapist, 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 and long term health conditions.

Claire is the strategic lead for the group, developing new services and responsible for Clinical Governance. She continues to treat patients and is active in teaching, lecturing and research to ensure that the ongoing drive for clinical excellence is a fundamental part of the ethos at Pure.

Board member

Chris Hickey

Chris Hickey is the CEO of the UK & Ireland, Middle East & Africa and North American region for Robert Walters Plc. He is also Chairman of the Australia Foundation and Trustee of the Australia Foundation Trust. Chris previously qualified as a solicitor in Australia and worked as a Capital Markets lawyer at Lehman Brothers in the UK and Switzerland prior to joining Robert Walters Plc.

Board Member

Georgia Blackburn

Georgia is the Regional General Manager UK, Europe, Middle East and Africa for Qantas Airways, based in London.

Georgia has extensive experience in the airline industry, having held leadership roles in Loyalty and customer experience, human resources, operations and sales and distribution in both Australia and overseas.

Georgia also serves on the Board of the UK Board of Airline Representatives (BARUK).

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

John McClusky

In July 2017 John was appointed to lead National Australia Bank’s UK operation which has responsibility for numerous global lines of business operating in the United Kingdom and Europe. He is a member of National Australia Bank’s Corporate & Institutional Bank leadership team.

Prior to relocating to the UK, John was a member of National Australia Bank’s Capital Financing leadership team as General Manager and Head of National Australia Bank Income & Investment Solutions located in Australia. John previously worked for both National Australia Bank and Deutsche Bank for extensive periods in North America and across Asia. He has approximately 25 years of financial markets experience across capital markets and all major onshore and offshore investor segments.

Board Member

Danika Jarmer

Danika is a Client Development Director at Robert Walters and is based in London. With 18 years’ recruitment experience, Danika joined Robert Walters in 2005 on the contract secretarial & support desk before becoming manager of the team in 2008. She was promoted again in 2010 to Associate Director of the Secretarial Division looking after the financial services and commerce & industry teams. In 2015 Danika changed roles to set up the Strategic Accounts team for Robert Walters focussing initially on improving the delivery across the Robert Walters UK client base.  Danika is now responsible for supporting clients looking for a partnership with Robert Walters across multiple countries within the EMEA & Americas region.  ​

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.

Our team

Chief Executive Officer

Richard Basil-Jones

Richard Basil-Jones is a senior executive with extensive experience in leading and managing businesses across global markets.

Richard has deep sector experience in business-to-business services gained with large and small international publicly listed companies.

In his 20-year career with Nielsen – one of the world’s largest marketing information services company, Richard held key leadership positions including Managing Director for Media Services across 12 Asia-Pacific markets. In his last senior executive role, Richard was Global President for Ebiquity, a London based media consultancy, where he was responsible for services across Europe, Asia Pacific, North America & UK/Ireland.

Richard has a track record of success over many years with strong leadership skills and a genuine passion for client management.

Member Engagement Manager

Nicole Kostova

Nicole is the newest member of the Australia-UK Chamber of Commerce Team, joining in January 2023 as our Member Engagement and Business Development Manager. She is a young, motivated, and ambitious individual who strives to build positive relationships with new and current members of the Chamber.
Nicole has completed her bachelor’s degree in Political Science, International Relations and Marketing from the University of Western Australia. She comes from a diverse professional background, having previously worked in public engagement at the US Consulate in Perth and as a marketing and public relations officer at an ASX-listed, medical technology company.
Nicole considers herself to be a multi-faceted citizen of the globe and is eager to continue building her network across Europe. Having recently relocated to London, in her spare time, you will find Nicole travelling around different countries as well as exploring and making the most of what London has to offer.

Marketing Manager

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.

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