Welcome to the President’s Report to the Finland Australia Chamber of Commerce Inc. (FACC) Annual General Meeting 2019!
Membership Status and Sponsors
The Chamber’s membership has increased significantly since the last AGM in 2018. While we had 33 members last year, this number has now risen to 45. We welcome Metso and Outotec as platinum sponsors of the Chamber.
Member Activities in 2018/19
By tradition the Chamber participated in the annual Cruise with the Europeans in Sydney on the 15th of November 2018, co-organised by various European Chambers. There were 12 FACC guests present at the spectacular 2-hour cruise, among over 600 representatives from the European business community in Sydney.
Following its launch in 2018, the FACC Brisbane Chapter has been very active and was able to offer a number of very successful events for our members in the past 12 months.
The Brisbane Chapter participated in the annual Tchin-Tchin event on 29 November 2018 which was held in on the rooftop of the Flight Centre’s HQ in South Brisbane together with the French and the German Chamber of Commerce.
On 11 December 2018 the Brisbane Chapter put on a very successful end of year networking event at the Brisbane Club. The Ambassador of Finland H.E. Lars Backström was in attendance.
A further networking drinks event took place on 18 February 2019 at The Gresham in Brisbane. The FACC board member Angela Foley and a representative of the Embassy of Finland attended this event.
The FACC Melbourne Chapter participated in the Nordic Engagement Christmas lunch on 5 December 2018 at Denmark House in Melbourne. Our members were able to enjoy traditional Christmas delicacies from Finland, Denmark, Norway and Sweden.
On 4 September 2019 the Melbourne Chapter joined a number of Nordic Chambers at Professional Development & Networking Drinks at Denmark House. Emily Tucker from Find Your Voice presented at the event which provided our members how to best with useful hints for presenting to large audiences.
As in previous years, FACC held member networking drinks for our members and friends at the Sir Stamford Hotel in Sydney. The Chamber organises this get-together on a quarterly basis and events were held this year on 12 February, 16 May and 19 September 2019.
The highlight of the past year in Sydney was the Independence Day Dinner at Blanca Bar & Dining at Bondi on 6 December 2018. Our members enjoyed a Finnish inspired menu “Sound of Tumbling Waves” which was especially created for the occasion by Tomi Björk, Finland’s most cherished chef and restauranteur. The event was sold out and our members enjoyed a great evening of Finnish food and fun. The Ambassador of Finland H.E. Lars Backström was the keynote speaker.
After a break in 2018 the Nordic Open Golf Day was once again held in 2019 on 15 March at Moore Park Golf in Sydney. The event was hosted in conjunction with the Swedish Australian Chamber of Commerce, Estonian Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry as well as the Norwegian Australian Chamber of Commerce.
As part of Team Finland the Embassy of Finland and our FACC board member Angela Foley and her team at Foley & Associates organised for Critical Communications Finland (CCF) a one-day group program of site visits and roundtables in November 2018 for 10 Finnish companies visiting Australia to exhibit at Comms Connect Melbourne 2018. CCF was initiated by the national public safety network operator State Security Networks Group, along with local industry to foster national and international co-operation between governmental and non-governmental stakeholders in critical communications. Finland is recognised as one of the leading countries globally in this sector, with expertise developing and implementing cutting-edge critical communications solutions for public safety agencies. The event was a successful day of high-quality and informative discussions with industry, academia and government public safety agencies.
Angela and her team also supported a repeat visit by the delegation to Comms Connect in Sydney in June 2019 by visiting the Finland booth and networking with the attendees.
The 2019 Cruise with the Europeans is taking place on Thursday 14th of November 2019 and we look forward to seeing our members and friends there again!
The Chamber has changed it membership categories to better cater for the wide range of types of members and their needs. We now offer 4 levels of membership from Bronze to Platinum which combine the previous membership and sponsor levels. Further details can be found on the Chamber’s website www.finland.com.au under “membership”.
The board has changed to a new accounting software which has made the interface with our new digital platform EventBank and our accountants for the preparation of the annual financial statements much more effective and efficient.
Change of Board Members
Since the last AGM in October 2018 Antti Niemela, Deputy Head of Mission, who left the Embassy in Canberra in June 2018, has been replaced on the FACC board by his successor Katja Karppinen. Paul Catchlove in Brisbane resigned from the board and was replaced by Brisbane-based Katja Nexo. We thank Paul for his invaluable contribution in getting the Brisbane Chapter of the Chamber established in 2018.
The Chamber is pleased to acknowledge the outstanding support received from the following sponsors in 2018/19, hoping we will continue our successful collaboration in coming years.
- Australian Finnish Rest Homes Association
- HWL Ebsworth
Sydney, 24 October 2019