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On Thursday 19 November ACBC Victoria hosted its 19th Annual General Meeting at the Investment Centre. ACBC Victoria President, Jason Chang, provided members with his report for the year, covering a successful calendar of events, the completion of the 2014/15 ‘Growing Business Opportunities with China’ Regional Development Project and the announcement of the launch of ACBC sector-specific Working Groups and the China Business Advisory Group.
2015 saw the doubling of last year’s events. The 65 functions spanned a wide number of topics with expert guest speakers and attracted over 3,600 participants. A particular highlight was the ChAFTA Melbourne Night attended by the Chinese Ambassador to Australia, H.E. Ma Zhaoxu and Federal Minister, The Hon Steven Ciobo. The Regional Development ‘Growing Business Opportunities with China’ Project is poised to enter its second stage next year. This project will facilitate targeted forums and roundtables and the consolidation of the China Business Network throughout regional areas. The work being carried out in the regions under this project is supported by dedicated website www.acbcnetwork.com.au.
Additionally, ACBC Victoria has launched five ChAFTA, sector specific working groups covering Education & Training, Health & Aged Care, Financial & Investment Services, Agribusiness & Food and Energy & Resources, along with a China Business Advisory group. Chaired by a Committee Member and supported by Deputy-Chairs and Steering Groups, this initiative will provide increased rigour to what ACBC currently does and will give members a significant platform for engagement.
The President highlighted our strategic relationships with our Sponsors and Members and thanked those who had contributed so significantly to the success of ACBC over the last 12 months. He also expressed his thanks the staff of ACBC led by CEO Virginia Birrell for their hard work over the last 12 months.
The AGM also saw President, Jason Chang, and Senior Vice-President, Ben Foskett, step down from their positions after 7 years’ service. Jason and Ben will continue as Committee Members and will no doubt continue to make valuable contributions to the branch. They were warmly acknowledged for their outstanding contributions at both a state and national level. Retiring Committee Members included The Hon Richard Alston AO, Mr James Gathercole, Mr John Mollard and Mr Jeremy Loeliger. ACBC Victoria thanks them for their involvement in the committee and wishes them well in their future endeavours.
The Hon Ken Smith was elected as the new President of the Victorian branch. 5 Vice-Presidents were also elected including David La Ferla (re-standing as Senior Vice President), On Kit Tam, Lisa Renkin, Liming Huang and Bruce Sheng. We also welcome three new committee members, Ms Celina Yu, Mr Theo Sakell and Mr Michael Hanschen.
ACBC Victoria warmly thanks our members and supporters for their contributions over the past year and looks forward to delivering a vibrant program of events over the next 12 months and to the sector specific working groups commencing from 2016 creating even greater benefits for members and the organisation.