About us

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Australia House, London, 2017

Australia-United Kingdom Chamber of Commerce

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 13th largest economy in the world with more than 28 years of uninterrupted economic growth. Australia shares a strong economic and trade relationship with the United Kingdom, which is the world's 5th largest economy in the world. As well as being Australia's 12th largest two-way trading partner, the UK is Australia's 3rd largest services trading partner. The UK and Australia also share a significant bilateral investment relationship, with FDI between the two countries valued at AUD$815 billion or £450 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.

Our 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.

Our Chairman

Dick Porter

Dick Porter, as well as being the Chairman of the Chamber and a co-founder of STA Travel, is also the Director, Trustee, and Member of several organisations including the Australia Day Foundation, Global Implementation Group at University College London and the University of Western Australia UK Friends.

Our CEO

Catherine Woo

Catherine joined the Chamber as CEO in 2016, bringing with her almost a decade of experience in international economic development and industry-government relations. Catherine has previously held leadership roles working with multinational companies to support their expansion into new markets through facilitating strong government, research and commercial partnerships in both Australia and Europe.

Catherine previously held the role of Investment Director for the Victorian Government of Australia's United Kingdom office where she led its regional trade and investment strategy and team across the UK, Europe and Israel. Catherine holds a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Arts from the University of Melbourne.

Our Board

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.

Sir Lynton Crosby

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

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.

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.

Tom Homer

Tom Homer is Telstra’s Head of EMEA for Global Enterprise & Services, a $AU5.5 billion revenue business unit operating as a global scale, industry-based telecommunications services and solutions business. Tom is also the executive sponsor Telstra’s customer advocacy program and helped Telstra achieve its best ever Net Promoter Score result in 2016.

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.

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.

David Watson

David Watson is the Senior Trade and Investment Commissioner UK and Ireland for the Australian Trade and Investment Commission, London (Austrade). A lawyer by training, David was previously a partner at Minter Ellison and more recently a senior executive at Mars, Inc. where he held regional roles in London, Dubai and Washington DC.

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.

The team at the Australia-United Kingdom Chamber of Commerce. From left to right; Catherine Woo, Kirsty Whitford, Kylie Shore-Oliver and Yan Wong

Our team

Catherine Woo
CEO

Catherine joined the Chamber as CEO in 2016, bringing with her almost a decade of experience in international economic development and industry-government relations. Catherine has previously held leadership roles working with multinational companies to support their expansion into new markets through facilitating strong government, research and commercial partnerships in both Australia and Europe. 

Catherine previously held the role of Investment Director for the Victorian Government of Australia's United Kingdom office where she led its regional trade and investment strategy and team across the UK, Europe and Israel. Catherine holds a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Arts from the University of Melbourne.

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Kirsty Whitford
Marketing & Member Relations Manager

As the Marketing & Member Relations Manager of the Chamber, Kirsty is responsible for looking after our members and ensuring our events are well publicised and attended. Kirsty has a Master of Management (Marketing) and a Bachelor of Arts (Media and Communications), and has honed her skills with digital start-ups and some of Australia’s largest advertising accounts.

Kirsty is from Melbourne, Australia and has a keen passion for travelling. She is looking forward to exploring the United Kingdom and visiting as many European cities as possible. With a love of both food and old architecture, a castle and vineyard tour is in her future.

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Kylie Shore-Oliver
Operations & Administration Manager

As the Australia-United Kingdom Chamber of Commerce Operations & Administration Manager, Kylie Shore-Oliver is responsible for the smooth day-to- day running of the Chamber. Kylie is responsible for the
accounts and office management as well as numerous other tasks. Kylie has a background in international relations and has previous experience in business development and luxury retail.

Despite her very Australian name, Kylie is originally from Nottingham in the East Midlands and recently spent two years in Melbourne where she developed a love of the Australian brunch culture and the great outdoors.

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Yan Wong
Events Coordinator

As the Events Coordinator of the Chamber, Yan combines her acumen in event operations and logistics coordination to plan and execute the Chamber’s event program ranging from roundtables to briefing seminars, networking receptions and formal breakfasts. She holds a Bachelor of Events Management and Bachelor of International Business and has a proven track record in delivering high quality events across Australia. Yan looks forward to gaining international event exposure in the United Kingdom through her role at the Chamber.

Yan is from Brisbane, Australia and has brought her love of food with her making her very keen to discover the best brunch cafes London has to offer.

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