January 2021 Message from AmCham CEO

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January 2021
Happy new year. With the COVID-19 vaccine being rolled out, global attention in 2021 will turn from the healthcare response to the virus to the economic responses. Putting COVID behind us and promoting a widespread economic recovery will require focused leadership, business-government cooperation, and individual commitment. Throughout the significant challenges of 2020, many of our members had to adapt to survive. Many have stepped up to help their customers and the country during the crisis, and AmCham celebrates their leadership. Others were severely impacted and are still trying to regroup and rebuild. AmCham has supported them as best as possible. Yet, our collective work is not finished. We look forward to moving on to the next chapter together with the AmCham community in Australia.


Australia will not be able to restore the jobs, growth, and prosperity that were lost in 2020 the pandemic is managed and the economy is reinvigorated. For that to happen, our elected officials must pull all the right policy levers in 2021. AmCham will work with Australian state and federal officials as well as the incoming officials in the United States to ensure industries, businesses and workers emerge as quickly as possible from the pandemic economic crisis.


Since the last AmCham CEO message, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has reshuffled his cabinet, naming Dan Tehan the new Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment. Former Trade Minister Simon Birmingham was named Minister of Finance in October. Tehan, said Morrison, possesses “a keen sense of the particular interests of regional Australia in an open, rules-based trading system.” In addition, US Ambassador to Australia, A. B. Culvahouse, Jr, has returned to the United States, and the US Mission is now led by Chargé d’Affaires . And, of course, in the United States, the inauguration of the 46th President of the United States, Joe Biden, will take place this week.


AmCham will be working with all of the new and continuing officials related to trade and investment to make sure they are aware of the issues important to our members. We will soon be planning our first Doorknock of 2021, and the work of our many policy committees is more important now than ever. In addition, our taskforce will soon be releasing recommendations for regulatory micro-reforms to stimulate increased foreign investment from the United States. If you want to know more or get involved, please contact our Government Relations Manager .


As we have done over the past 12 months, AmCham is continuing to refine how we best serve our members. The structure of and roles at AmCham have evolved over the last year to ensure we can provide even more access to opportunity for our members. And with all of the AmCham staff now working on national as well as state-based programs, please feel free to connect with any of us to discuss new ideas and opportunities wherever they might be.


Best wishes for the year ahead, and I look forward to seeing you in person as soon as possible.


Yours sincerely,

April Palmerlee, Chief Executive Officer

American Chamber of Commerce in Australia


Ambassador Culvahouse at a 2020 AmCham event in Adelaide with Dr Brendan Nelson AO, April Palmerlee and the Hon Christopher Pyne.

AmCham thanks Ambassador Arthur B. Culvahouse Jr, US Ambassador to Australia, for serving as Honorary Patron since his arrival in February 2019. The Ambassador’s two years Down Under has been marked by his driving passion to deeply involve the next generation in the US-Australia alliance, to highlight the importance of the US-Australia economic relationship, and to leave the alliance even stronger than it has been through 100 years of mateship. He has been an untiring advocate of the business links between Australia and the United States and has supported and participated in the AmCham community extensively. We have been very fortunate to get to know Ambassador Culvahouse during his tenure and we wish him well back in the United States.


AmCham members will now enjoy working with Michael Goldman, who will be the Chargé d’Affaires until a new US Ambassador is appointed. Mike arrived in Canberra in March 2020, after three years at the US Embassy in Suva, Fiji, where he served as Chargé d’Affaires (2018-2019) and DCM (2017).

Michael Goldman at a 2020 AmCham Luncheon in Sydney.

You've supported us through 2020 and seen the exciting opportunities that AmCham and its Members have been up to in series. Watch what brings you this year!

Member Spotlight

Libby Marshall Joins AmCham


A long-time AmCham member, supporter and Academy graduate, Libby Marshall MBA will serve as the 2021 Ambassador for the QLD AmCham Global Leadership Academy and General Manager based in Brisbane. Libby will be engaging with members and the wider AmCham community in Queensland to ensure they receive ongoing access to the business opportunities and networks AmCham has been known for since its founding in 1961. And along with our new national events team, Libby will develop and deliver the AmCham Business Events series in Queensland, in line with evolving COVID-safe guidelines.


With more than 30 years’ experience working within the disciplines of organisational capability, leadership learning and development, organisational strategy and business development, Libby is well-placed to understand what AmCham members need. Her professional experience spans tourism, airlines, sport, government, not-for-profit, energy and higher education in the UK, France, the USA and Asia.


Libby is currently a contracted Executive MBA Coach to the University of Queensland Business School, the University of Sydney Business School and the University of Illinois, Chicago, USA. She is also Managing Partner at Tanner Menzies. She has held previous board directorships with Tourism and Events Queensland, the Celebrate Queensland Committee (Australia Day Council Queensland) and MS Queensland. Libby holds post graduate qualifications in HR and Business and is an MBA graduate from the University of Queensland Business School.

Member Spotlight

Yvonne Lungershausen

CEO| Avance Clinical


Yvonne has rapidly built Avance Clinical into Australia’s leading Contract Research Organisation (CRO) for biotechs – attracting innovative biotech clients from USA, EU and Asia and winning international awards for quality and service.


Yvonne began her career in academic “bench” research with Adelaide University and CSIRO then moved into clinical development manager roles. The transition into clinical trials research started with a dedicated Phase I unit where she was one of the first in Australia to test a new chemical entity in healthy volunteers, giving rise to what is now a strong Phase 1 sector in Australia.


With 25+ years of clinical trial experience, Yvonne brings a deep understanding of all phases of the drug development process. With a passion for exceeding client expectations, Yvonne is highly regarded within the industry for her expertise and ability to solve complex clinical trial issues.


Driving force in your life?

I think two things drive me, the first is to do something worthwhile that contributes to the greater good for humanity and the world in general, and the second is to be a great role model for my children and set a strong example of resilience and purpose. I believe to be our very best and have emotional well-being we need to have purpose.


Best advice you ever received?

In times of adversity and crisis always look for the positive and new opportunities that are presented and always listen and hear what others have to say. This applies to not only work but also in your personal life.


What’s your go-to productivity trick?

Understand the reason you are doing what you are doing and how that fits into the end game. If you have a handle on this I find you can drive yourself far more productively.


Dream dinner companion?

I would not say no to George Clooney but if I had to pick just one I would say Sir David Attenborough. To spend an evening over dinner hearing from a man who has learnt so much about the natural world and to glean just a small insight from him would be fascinating.


Most rewarding part about your job?

The most rewarding part of my job is knowing that the work we do potentially provides better medications to patients, closely followed by seeing the people around me that I support grow and excel in what they do and as people.


Who do you most admire?

I admire a lot of different people for different reasons so I guess it is their qualities that I admire whether it be their honesty, relentless persistence, nurturing way, business success, analytical minds and the list goes on.


Company Spotlight

Boeing Uncrewed Loyal Wingman Conducts First

High-Speed Taxi Test


Boeing Australia and the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) have completed the first high-speed taxi test of the Loyal Wingman in preparation for first flight.


Boeing test personnel monitored the aircraft’s performance and instrumentation from a ground control station to verify the functionality while the vehicle reached accelerated speeds. The uncrewed aircraft has been undergoing low, medium, and high-speed taxi testing at a remote test location in Australia.


“Our test program is progressing well, and we are happy with the ground test data we have collected to-date,” said Paul Ryder, Boeing Flight Test manager. “We are working with the Air Warfare Centre to complete final test verifications to prepare for flight testing in the new year.”


RAAF Head of Air Force Capability, Air Vice-Marshal Cath Roberts said seeing the aircraft in person during the December trials had been extraordinary.


“There is something very special about testing an aircraft that takes technology to the next level. It is iconic in its own way,” said AVM Roberts. “Experiencing the enthusiasm of the Boeing and Air Force team reminded me of my early career testing aircraft.”


“This is what innovation is all about – working together to achieve many firsts,” she said.


More than 35 Australian suppliers in the Australian industry team have contributed to the aircraft development, including investment partner, BAE Systems Australia who have been embedded with the Boeing test team on-site.


“In the past year alone, we have made amazing strides on this aircraft, taking it from a fuselage to a finished aircraft that has undergone rigorous testing,” said Dr. Shane Arnott, Program Director of Boeing Airpower Teaming System. “Our focus now is on conducting a safe and secure flight test regimen for the Loyal Wingman program.”


View the press release and video of the taxi testing .

Network News

AmChamREPRESENT Awards 2021

AmChams of Asia Pacific Business Summit


AAP are now accepting applications for the AmChamREPRESENT Awards 2021, which recognize and showcase business excellence across four categories: Leadership Transformation; Digital Transformation; Business Transformation; and Human Capital Transformation.


Submit an application to highlight the exceptional work of your business and leaders and stand a chance to receive global recognition. Applications close on February 1, 2021 and the winners will be announced at the AmChams of Asia Pacific (AAP) Business Summit from March 9-11, 2021.


Find out more about the award categories, eligibility and assessment criteria .


For more information on the AAP Business Summit, click .

Opinion Piece: Building on the strong historical links between Australia and California, a new report highlights tech’s enormous potential to super-charge both economies. Author: William Ruh



In 1848, 11,000 plucky Australians sailed for California to join the gold miners and entrepreneurs amassing their fortunes in the newly minted Golden State. A couple of years later, back on the other side of the Pacific, the yet-to-be-named Australia struck gold also. And with it, many of the same Australians who moved to California headed home again – taking with them new mining innovations and new ways of doing business. And a relationship of common understanding and shared value was born.


Jump forward 170 years and technology, talent and research have replaced gold as the world’s most valuable resources. And Silicon Valley is, arguably, the epicentre for all three. A new AmCham commissioned penned by San Francisco’s Bay Area Council carefully analyses both the historical relationship between the region and Australia – as well as the opportunities for growth.


Sydney University and General Electric to drive Australian manufacturing

The University of Sydney and GE


World leader and pioneer in additive manufacturing technology GE Additive and the University of Sydney have entered into a strategic five-year agreement to advance Australia’s manufacturing capability. Advanced manufacturing could add up to $30 billion to Australia's manufacturing output by 2026.


Additive manufacturing uses data computer-aided-design (CAD) software or 3D object scanners to direct hardware to deposit material, layer upon layer, in precise geometric shapes, to create an object. The technology can be used to build advanced metallic structures such as alloys and aircraft engines. By contrast, when you create an object by traditional means, it is often necessary to remove material through milling, machining, carving, shaping or other means.


Heat shield technology to protect Mars 2020 mission

Lockheed Martin


The Mars 2020 spacecraft with its Perseverance rover is scheduled to launch July 30 from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on a United LaunchAlliance Atlas V rocket.


The Perseverance rover, built by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), will study the geology of Mars while searching for signs of past microbial life, collects samples of rock, and will even set the stage for human exploration to the planet.


The 2,257-kilogram rover is enclosed in an aeroshell capsule that protects the rover during its seven-month deep space flight and atmospheric descent toward the Martian surface. Lockheed Martin-built this large aeroshell and every previous NASA aeroshell sent to the Red Planet.


New weight loss tool set to motivate Australians to achieve their new year’s resolutions



Based on psychology and behavioural science, the new Start Strong Diet Quiz assesses participants' values and readiness for change and provides a motivational map to guide those seeking to improve their overall health and wellbeing in 2021.


The quiz assesses what motivates the individual to make healthy changes to their lifestyle, including if they are more motivated to change their diet, increase their exercise or monitor their measurements, and provides practical tips based on lifestyle choices, passions and aspirations to help them personalise their weight loss plan.


An analysis of over 11,000 of the newest CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet members found that most people enter the program with high levels of motivation and commitment to lose weight. Among members, 93 per cent were motivated to lose weight to feel good and improve their quality of life, a close second was health as a driver, with 89 per cent of people motivated by this.


Think Summit

IBM Australia and New Zealand


18 February 2021 | 9:30 AM AEDT | Online


Join IBM's Think Summit A/NZ where innovative thinkers and industry visionaries will share their stories and solutions for recovery and business transformation.


for this digital event.

Norton Rose Fulbright appoints Shauna Clark as its Global and US Chair

Norton Rose Fulbright


Effective January 1, Shauna Clark has succeeded Durban partner Andrew Robinson in the global position, which rotates across regions annually, and San Antonio partner George Scofield in the US role. In both roles, Shauna will focus on a range of strategic priorities, including development of client relationships; diversity and inclusion; and community engagement.


Currently the US Head of Employment and Labor, Shauna also serves on Norton Rose Fulbright's Global Executive Committee and US Management Committee. Shauna is an active member of the firm's US Diversity and Inclusion Committee and US Racial Equality Council and previously served as Partner-in-Charge of the firm's Houston office.


Dean Banks appointed as new Group Chief Executive Officer



Essential services company Ventia has announced the appointment of Dean Banks as Group Chief Executive Officer. Dean commenced his role as Group CEO on 01 January 2021.


David Moffatt, Ventia’s Chairman, said he was pleased with the appointment: “I am delighted that Dean will become our Group Chief Executive Officer. Dean’s values, experience and performance in successfully growing large-scale essential services businesses, in highly competitive markets, is ideal for Ventia’s evolution”.


Dean’s successful operations and management background, across many industries is a good fit with Ventia’s dynamic operating model and diverse client base. His integration experience is directly relevant in completing the integration of Broadspectrum (formerly Transfield Services).


“The Ventia Board, Dean and our highly experienced Executive Leadership Team will together build on the combined strength and diversity of Ventia and Broadspectrum to fulfil our core purpose – to make infrastructure work for our communities”.


Australian Delivery Hub in Adelaide, bringing world-class capabilities in advanced technologies, intelligent operations and cyber security



Adelaide will host Accenture’s latest Australian Delivery Hub, focusing on defence, cyber security, intelligent operations and advanced technologies.


Known as the defence state, South Australia is considered the centre of Australia’s maritime, land, aerospace and space industries. Its capital city, Adelaide, has transformed from an elegant city of churches into a buzzing metropolis that is home to global defence companies, leading cyber security firms, ambitious startups and government defence agencies.


Fittingly, Adelaide is home to Accenture’s latest Hub. The global professional services firm will focus on building Australia’s capability in national security, cyber security and advanced technologies. The hub is expected to create 2,000 highly skilled jobs over five years and contribute up to $1 billion to Australia’s economy over the next 10 years.


Project Extends Northern Virginia Express Lanes to DC



In partnership with the Virginia DOT (VDOT), road system operator Transurban has undertaken the tremendous task of building an express lanes network in the Northern Virginia–Greater Washington area with several projects since the early half of the previous decade.


In 2012 and 2014, the express lanes operator delivered the 495 and 95 Express Lanes projects in Northern Virginia, which Transurban says have since helped save 17 million customers a cumulative 13 million hours on their travel. The initial segment of the 95 Express Lanes is a 31-mile segment between Springfield and Garrisonville, Virginia. Despite the network’s success, it failed to connect into Washington, DC to the north or to Stafford County, Virginia to the south, which is considered the fastest growing suburban area to the nation’s capital.


The solution to connect to the metro DC area would become what is now known as the 395 Express Lanes. This $475 million project, which began in August 2017 and opened to traffic in November 2019, is an 8-mile extension of the 95 Express Lanes north from Springfield, Virginia into DC.


Read the full article .

Participate in Financial Times /Tricor Board Director Survey and Enjoy Free Amazon Best-Selling "Future of Work" Book

Co-Presented by the FT Board Director Programme and Tricor Group


Are you an active board member? Tricor and Financial Times want to hear from you! Complete Financial Times Board Director Programme / Tricor Group’s 1-min survey and receive a complimentary copy of Diana Wu David's Amazon best-selling book, 'Future Proof: Reinventing Work in the Age of Acceleration'.


Export Documentation for AmCham Members

CIBT Visas


CIBTVisas offers export documentation for export and business travel needs. CIBTVisas are able to arrange Certificates of Origin, ATA Carnets, consulate wet stamps and many other export related documents.


AmCham 2021 members receive a 25% discount on handling fees through CIBTVisas for export documents.


For further information see .

Transformational Impact for Navigating Change: Summit March 2021

SingularityU Australia


Humanity is undergoing a transformation at an exponential rate.


SingularityU empowers individuals and organisations to solve humanity’s grand challenges through learning, connecting and innovating, using acceleration and converging technologies.


The SingularityU Australia Summit is a 2-day virtual immersion that brings together pioneering Australian innovators, executives and entrepreneurs to discuss and act on the future of our country and the globe.


Use Code AMSUM21 at checkout for a special AmCham member discount.



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