August 2019 Message from AmCham CEO undefined
AmCham Logo
AmCham Website
August 2019
Message from AmCham CEO April Palmerlee

AmChams of the Asia Pacific met in Washington DC last month to advocate for policies to accelerate American business growth in the Asia-Pacific. Our message to the Administration and Congress was simple: The United States remaining engaged in the region strengthens the global economy as well as America’s. American companies in the region provide products and services that generate billions of dollars, and 62% of American exports go to the Asia-Pacific region. The AmChams voiced support for U.S. government efforts to address China’s market access barriers. These barriers have created an unfair playing field for American companies, which has prolonged the trade negotiations.

Free and fair trade will be important topics for our policy committees visiting Canberra later this year. If you aren’t already involved in one of our committees, please take the time to read through the of their work, and with us if you would like to know more.

Please also pay particular attention to a few of our really big upcoming events: the in Melbourne on 16 October, the in Sydney on 6 November, and the on 7 November in Brisbane.


And finally, please scroll to the bottom of my message to see our new spotlights on individuals and companies. if you would like to nominate someone to be featured.

Thank you for your ongoing support,

April Palmerlee, Chief Executive Officer

American Chamber of Commerce in Australia


P 02 8031 9000

A warm welcome to our newest members

I’m delighted to welcome these new members and here are links to their websites:

Upcoming Events


AmCham Property Lunch with Federal Minister for Housing

Panel of Speakers:

  • The Hon Michael Sukkar MP, Minister for Housing and Assistant Treasurer
  • Jane Fitzgerald, NSW Executive Director, Property Council of Australia
  • Kylie Rampa, Chief Executive Officer Property, Lendlease
  • Troy Harvey, Executive Director - Planning & Development, Western City & Aerotropolis Sydney

Michael Sukkar was sworn in as the Federal Minister for Housing and Assistant Treasurer in May 2019. Housing affordability is a key of the Federal Government, and the Minister's dual roles positions him to tackle the challenges of planning policy, housing supply, population growth and funding to deliver increased supply of affordable housing. One of the Minister’s key focus areas will be the implementation of the government’s new First Home Loan Deposit Scheme.


AmCham is excited to present Minister Sukkar, alongside a highly experienced panel of industry and government thought leaders to discuss the policies and measures required for housing affordability, continued economic growth and investment, and the creation of great Australian cities.


3 September 2019

12:00 PM - 02:00 PM



K&L Gates Level 31

1 O'Connell Street

Sydney NSW



K&L Gates


AmCham with Adelaide Business School

South Australian Growth Agenda


  • Jim McDowell, Chief Executive, Department of Premier and Cabinet
  • Jim Whalley, Chief Entrepreneur for South Australia
  • The Right Honourable Sandy Verschoor, The Lord Mayor of Adelaide

A City designed for Life - attracting business, investment, visitors, residents and workers.


The Government has set a goal to lift economic growth in the state to more than 3% per year and in doing so make South Australia a more appealing investment, collaboration and migration destination. A vibrant economy is arguably the most important prerequisite for growing our population. We offer an enviable lifestyle but job opportunities are limited in their availability and diversity. Our state requires the right mix of talent, technology, quality of life and other dynamics that are critical to a region’s long-term success.


Our speakers will discuss supports in place to make this happen.


04 September 2019

12:00 PM - 02:00 PM



Hilton Adelaide



The University of Adelaide



Grant Law Public Relations


Education and Global Engagement Business Luncheon

Keynote Speaker:

Professor Dawn Freshwater, Vice-Chancellor

The University of Western Australia


A Vice-Chancellor has to have an international sensitivity. They engage globally; they think globally. Australian universities study global issues; our students come from across the world, representing 120 countries.


One of the challenges facing the world is that of the shifting geo-economic, geo-political and geo-academic power relationship between the United States and China. It affects everybody.


Join AmCham as Professor Dawn Freshwater shares her perspective, as both the Vice-Chancellor of The University of Western Australia and the Chair and Director of the Group of Eight, Australia’s leading research-intensive universities, on the role and position of universities as the relationship between the United States and China develops and unfolds.


For UWA, as they develop their UWA 2030 vision, with particular focus on our position at the fulcrum of the Indian Ocean Rim, it is a complex and fascinating issue.


06 September 2019

12:00 PM - 02:00 PM



Hyatt Regency Perth



If you're interested in finding out more about the sponsorship opportunities available at this event, please contact the office.


Defence, Space and Security Business Luncheon

Panel of Speakers:

  • Hon Cameron Dick MP, Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning
  • Darin Lovett, Senior Manager - Systems Analysis Lab (SAL), Phantom Works International, Boeing Defence Australia
  • Pamela Melroy, former NASA Astronaut | Director - Space, Technology and Policy, Nova Systems
  • Jim Varghese AM, Executive Director, Springfield City Group

This AmCham Industry Briefing facilitated by Mike Kalms, Lead Partner - Defence Industry and Space, KPMG Australia, will feature a panel of leading figures from government and industry and will explore defence industry initiatives and space sector development in Queensland.


Australia has long been an indispensable member among the global space community by supporting leadership, innovation, opportunity, and entrepreneurship across the industry. Join us for an exceptional discussion and in-depth look into the critical role Queensland will play in Defence, Space & Security in the next 20 years.


13 September 2019

11:30 AM - 02:00 PM



Hilton Brisbane



ConocoPhillips | KDPR | KPMG | Mater Foundation | UQ Business School | Virgin Australia and Delta Air Lines


Digital Health – The New Frontier in Healthcare

Panel of Speakers:

  • Michael Draheim, Senior Director and GM, Victoria & South Australia, Cerner Health
  • Zen Wijeyesinghe, Enterprise Sales Manager, Content Security
  • Moderated by John Forsythe, Partner, PwC

The Australian government has recognised digital health as being the key to improving clinical outcomes and cultivating patient-centred care. Technology driven innovation in healthcare has the potential to transform the way Australians and the global community receive care and how medical professionals practice. The adoption of digital health systems has the potential to reduce costs and increase the effectiveness and efficiency of decision-making.


However, moving into the digital realm does not come without its risks and challenges. Cyber security and patient privacy concerns coupled with high capital expenditure and maintenance requirements are key issues when introducing a digital health strategy.


Join AmCham, PwC and industry experts as we unpack the complexities and implications of this turning point in the history of Australian healthcare and what this means for the sector.


18 September 2019

12:00 PM - 02:00 PM



PwC Level 19

2 Riverside Quay


Melbourne VIC




Linda Brown, Chief Executive Officer

Laureate International Universities


1. Most rewarding part about your job?

Without doubt, the most rewarding part of my job is graduation ceremonies. When you see students walk across the graduation stage – especially those students who are the first in their family to attend university, and who never believed they would be able to get a degree – it’s an emotional moment. Graduation signifies a time that will not only change their own life, but also the life of their family, and families of generations to come. We’re lucky to have more than 16,000 students at Torrens University, Think Education and Media Design School so there will be plenty more ceremonies to come for me.


2. Personal motto that helps you power through obstacles?

Surround yourself with really smart people and get out of their way.


3. Biggest roadblock in your career, and how were you able to overcome it?

The biggest roadblock was also the biggest opportunity for me. Being part of a marriage, or a partnership, there needs to be give and take. My husband’s career was mobile and global, and that meant I would move every three to five years. The roadblock was that I was often forced to be in a role for a short amount of time. However, I overcame that by focusing on making each business sustainable, and essentially building it to the point where I was no longer required, and I could then be made redundant. This may sound a bit counterintuitive, but this mentality allowed me to focus on building a sustainable business, and leave a legacy I felt good about.


4. Proudest moment so far?

The moment when Torrens University had its first ever PhD student walk across the graduation stage in 2017, but also when our Torrens student, Melanie Tran, in 2018.


5. Best advice you ever received?

1. Surround yourself with smart people;

2. We have two ears and one mouth – use them in that proportion;

3. Don’t wait to be invited to the table.



Independent-class LCS


Austal (ASX:ASB), the worlds’ largest aluminium shipbuilder and Australia’s largest defence exporter has a unique, highly valued relationship with the United States of America and is celebrating 20 years of shipbuilding operations in Mobile, Alabama in 2019.


Just over a decade following the company’s establishment in Western Australia, Austal commenced shipbuilding in the USA, in 1999; initially pursuing commercial vessel opportunities including offshore crew transfer vessels and large, high speed aluminium ferries for Hawaii.


However, Austal quickly saw an opportunity to apply the design technology successfully developed for commercial platforms to naval ships and in 2005 the company was awarded a contract to construct the US Navy’s first Independence class Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), designed by Austal in Australia.


The US Navy saw the clear benefits of the Austal LCS’ trimaran hull and aluminium construction that offers superior speed, seakeeping, space and multi-mission capability - including the largest aviation deck of any US naval vessel, second only to (much larger) helicopter and aircraft carriers. Furthermore, the US Navy saw the benefits in engaging a world-renowned shipbuilder (from Australia) that had become the acknowledged leader in high-speed aluminium vessel design and construction to develop an entirely new shipbuilding facility that could deliver naval vessels more efficiently and cost effectively than traditional, existing (steel) shipyards.


The unique Independence-class LCS has become a true maritime icon, with a distinctive design and a shallow draft that allows the fast response to littoral (close coastal) threats anywhere around the world.


The 127 metre USS Independence (LCS 2) was delivered to the US Navy in 2009 and has since been active in various naval operations in South East Asia, redefining naval capability by enabling multiple mission ‘modules’, including Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW), Anti-Surface Warfare (ASuW) and Mine and Inshore Warfare (MIW) to be quickly configured and loaded to vessels, for various missions, as necessary.


Premium Network News

Virgin Australia and Delta Airlines

AmCham's 2019 Official Travel Partner


Virgin Australia’s sustainable aviation fuel flies one million kilometre


Virgin Australia has moved one step closer to readying itself for the commercial use of sustainable aviation fuel, today announcing that aircraft had flown more than one million kilometres under its current trial...



Brickworks Limited

From the earth and for the earth


Join Brickworks' journey towards becoming Australia’s most sustainable building products company.


MAKE >> They are what they create — what they build. Brickworks' strive to refine, improve and design better ways of manufacturing brick and all their building products for sustainable building. Products that stand the test of time and daily living....


MOVE >> Brickworks' have created a much lighter, sustainable building materials transportation footprint than you’d expect....


USE >> Building materials should not only Be, they should Do. Brickworks use materials that actively contribute to creating sustainable buildings through the ongoing energy efficiency of a home....




Discover your neighbourhood


Nextdoor Chief Executive Officer Sarah Friar wants to help local businesses thrive. Watch Sarah Friar discuss the company's business model and privacy concerns on and .


Check out this basic overview of how Nextdoor works .


PwC Australia

The Constellation Project


How do we make more than 100,000 homes available to all Australians who need it most by 2022? Find out how PwC are working to end homeless in a generation through The Constellation Project.


Find out how .


Premium Network News

Gastech Exhibition & Conference Trade Mission

Houston, Texas, USA | 15-22 September 2019


Gastech returns to Houston after 20 years!


Access key global decision makers and influencers.

Leverage AmCham’s international reputation


Gastech 2019 promotes the future of energy with a focus on innovation, technology and the strengthening of the global value chain.


Gastech has fast become a next generation energy event, hosting major NOCs, IOCs, integrated energy companies, global utilities, EPC contractors, shipbuilders, pipeline companies, manufacturers, technology providers and service companies all of whom play an active role in the global energy value chain.


AmCham delegates will take part in a number of VIP Site Visits to Global Head Offices of major Oil & Gas companies, networking functions, events, and meetings.


For more information or to register your interest, contact Penelope Williamson at 08 9325 9540 or via email to .

Sustainable Growth Through Innovation Trade Missions

USA | 13-18 October 2019

Israel | 20-26 March 2020


Led by World Class Innovators Maureen Dougherty, President, Boeing ANZ and South Pacific, and Robyn Denholm, Chairman, Tesla


In 2019, Australia’s economic growth rate is anticipated to slow at approximately twice the speed of other developed economies - shrinking from 2.8% in 2018 to 2.1%. To remain competitive in an evolving global landscape, it is imperative Australian businesses embrace growth through innovation.


The American Chamber of Commerce in Australia and the Australia Israel Chamber of Commerce are pleased to offer the opportunity to join them and other senior leaders on trips to the U.S.A. and Israel to explore sustaining growth through innovation.


Delegates will be exposed to the unique culture, capabilities and cutting edge technological development that continue to make the U.S.A. and Israel frontrunners in global innovation and entrepreneurial success. They will also have unrivalled access to thought leaders and experts, providing valuable insights, connections and business opportunities, and will enjoy group networking events and cultural experiences. Drawing inspiration from the success and innovation of world class companies, delegates will take home valuable lessons for their own businesses.


For more information or to register your interest as a delegate, contact Kiara Mackellar at 02 8031 9000 or via email to .

Become a Member
AmCham Logo

The American Chamber of Commerce in Australia

Website | ABN 62 000 361 633


02 8031 9000


03 9027 5633


08 8212 4688


07 3220 2478


08 9325 9540



Posted on 1/04/2020

Australian Government Announces Temporary Changes to Foreign Investment

The Australian Government has announced temporary changes to its foreign investment review framework so as to protect the national interest.

Read story


Posted on 3/04/2018

How Business Really Works: Digital Journey with Moe Ali

What's new in technology and how can your business stay ahead of the game? Moe Ali, Group Vice President of Gartner ANZ, talks to Duff about cyber-security, the importance of incorporating technology insights and information to the core of business m

Listen now