Briefcase: Business Snippets from around South Australia

In this week’s briefcase, Australian Awards for Excellence in Women’s Leadership recipients are announced, SA celebrates 50 years of diplomatic relations with Vietnam and applications for grants to keep rural communities connected are open.

Mar 06, 2023, updated Mar 06, 2023
The South Australia - Vietnam Business Council held a luncheon to mark the 50th anniversary of Vietnam - Australia diplomatic relations. Photo: supplied.

The South Australia - Vietnam Business Council held a luncheon to mark the 50th anniversary of Vietnam - Australia diplomatic relations. Photo: supplied.

Australian Awards for Excellence in Women’s Leadership 2023 recipients announced

Women & Leadership Australia (WLA) has announced the 2023 recipients of the annual Australian Awards for Excellence in Women’s Leadership.

Karen Mundine, CEO of Reconciliation Australia, is the recipient of the National Award for her role in some of Australia’s watershed national events including the Apology to the Stolen Generations, Centenary of Federation commemorations, Corroboree 2000, and the 1997 and 2021 Australian Reconciliation Conventions.

Matildas former vice-captain and current partner at law firm Gilbert + Tobin, Moya Dodd is the South Australian award recipient and will be celebrated at the online Australian Women’s Leadership Symposium on September 1.

Other award recipients are: founder of Share the Dignity and Women’s Equality Advocate, Rochelle Courtenay (QLD); Assistant Director of Collections and Exhibitions at the National Gallery of Australia, Natasha Bullock (ACT); lawyer at Marrickville Legal, Tu Le (NSW); CEO of Beyond Blue, Georgie Harman (VIC); Tasmania’s Police Commissioner, Donna Adams (TAS); Chair of the Batchelor Institute, Pat Anderson (NT); and youth activist, speaker and author, Zahra Al Hilaly (WA).

The awards will be presented at women’s leadership events hosted throughout the year.

Premier Australian defence exposition returns

A record 54 South Australian organisations attended Avalon 2023, Australia’s premier defence and aerospace exposition that ended yesterday at Avalon Airport in Geelong, Victoria.

Local businesses wre joined by South Australia’s three major universities and the SA government’s defence research program, Defence Innovation Partnership, to showcase the state’s defence, space and research capabilities to Australian and international industry personnel.

Deputy Premier Susan Close said South Australian defence companies are already contributing to the largest and most complex defence projects in the nation’s history.

“The calibre of South Australian companies participating in this year’s Avalon pavilion demonstrates the cutting-edge capability, adaptability and strong record of collaboration and innovation that South Australia is renowned for,” Close said.

“Avalon 2023 will help foster new partnerships, connecting South Australian companies to local and international supply chains.”

– Charlie Gilchrist

Business council celebrates 50 years of diplomatic ties with Vietnam

The South Australia Vietnam Business Council hosted a lunch last week to mark five decades of diplomatic ties between the two countries with the Governor of South Australia the Honourable Frances Adamson AC and the Vietnamese Ambassador to Australia Nguyen Tat Thanh as special guests.

Council chair Francis Wong, who established the group two years ago, said he was hopeful that increasing economic ties between the two countries would lead to a direct air link between Vietnam and Australia.

“In conversations with ambassadors, the government and ministers, hopefully in the next two years will get a direct flight from Vietnam to Australia,” Wong said.

He told the almost 200 attendees at the lunch that Vietnam is the new hub for the Asian region and the council was formed to ensure South Australia had a direct link to this.

“Surrounding Vietnam you have Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar and Thailand (and in) addition to that, Vietnam is a very powerful partner in the ASEAN region,” Wong said.

“Vietnam is part of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, which includes Australia, New Zealand other ASEAN countries, China, Japan and Korea. So we can make a super corridor whereby we are very actively engaged.”

– Jim Plouffe

Adelaide-Toowoomba bank merger official

Adelaide-based People’s Choice Credit Union and Toowoomba-based Heritage Bank have officially announced a merger after 18 months of negotiations.

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Reported in InDaily last week, the merger will create one of Australia’s largest customer-owned banking organisations with more than 720,000 members, 95 branches and 1900 staff.

Trading will continue under the existing brand names until a new company name is announced in approximately 12 months with a brand refresh.

Chief Executive, Peter Lock said the merger is a milestone moment for the Australian banking sector.

“We’ve brought together two of Australia’s most successful customer-owned financial institutions to create a strong national mutual alternative to the big banks,” Lock said.

FRRR-Telstra grants to keep rural communities connected

Grants applications are now open for the first round of Telstra’s Connected Communities Grant Program through the Foundation for Rural Regional Renewal (FRRR).

The program offers grants of up to $10,000 for not-for-profit community groups in remote, rural and regional Australia.

Telstra has committed to funding $200,000 annually until 2025, with the grants going towards providing access to information, technology, education and facilities to build social capital and digital capability.

Regional Australia Executive and Regional Customer Advocate at Telstra, Loretta Willaton said the program is about keeping people connected both online and offline.

“The last few years in particular have shown everyone the importance of connectedness within our communities. Rural and regional Australia has been doing it particularly tough in recent years and so we wanted to do our part in helping the country to rebuild,” Willaton said.

“We are open to support any kind of initiative that gives people better access to information that will enable a stronger social network, safer online interactions, or access to information for disaster preparedness or environmental sustainability.”

2023 grant applications close on March 30.

Applications open for US wine export program

Wine Australia’s “US Market Entry Program” is open to applications for next financial year, with the South Australian Government to co-fund a record number of places for local wineries.

The export program, which provides pricing, logistics, negotiation and marketing assistance to Australian wineries looking to enter, re-enter or expand in the US market, has been running for the past two financial years and has tripled in size to meet demand, according to Wine Australia.

This year, the state government is co-funding 30 places for South Australian wineries in the 2023/24 program, up from 15 in previous years.

The Victorian Government is supporting 20 places while Western Australia is supporting five.

The cost of participating is $13,000. Interested wineries can apply here.

“There are more Australian wineries exporting to the US than there have been in over 10 years, including at higher price points,” Wine Australia regional general manager Aaron Ridgway said.

“We’ve seen fantastic growth with premium wines [such] as Barossa and McLaren Vale Shiraz and across a diverse range of regions and varieties.

“South Australian wine regions of Adelaide Hills, Clare Valley and Langhorne Creek are all experiencing significant growth.”

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