March 2021 Message from AmCham CEO

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March 2021

I recently attended the AFR Business Summit where Australian business and government leaders kept using C-words: COVID. Comeback. China. Climate. These topics have also been at the forefront of discussions with AmCham members in 2021. First, COVID: Australians say they are grateful for the sensible approach taken by the Federal and State governments and their collaborative approach to keep our population safe; they look forward to further easing of restrictions as the vulnerable population is vaccinated. AmCham is proud that several companies involved in the life-saving vaccines— Pfizer, Johnson and Johnson, and CSL— have a long history with the Chamber. And that leads to the Comeback: As Prime Minister Scott Morrison pointed out, Australia has had than almost any other country, and the accompanying economic surge from a healthy and mobile population is most definitely a . Another topic was China: there was consensus that Australia’s relationship with China is likely to be more complex and dynamic than in the recent past. And Climate: ESG imperatives and the energy transition are no longer stand-alone topics - they feature widely, in a range of discussions.


The one major topic AmCham members have been addressing recently – in addition to the C-words – is regulatory reform. Many AmCham members feel that modernising Australia’s regulators can accelerate and increase US investment in Australia to create jobs and grow the economy. To support the government’s deregulatory agenda, several AmCham members participated in a task force led by PwC Australia CEO Tom Seymour. The group came together several times over the past few months to contribute perspectives from a range of industries, and the resulting report will be released in Canberra later this week. If you would like more information on the report or would like to get involved in promoting it to government during your regular interactions, please get in touch with .


Yours sincerely,

April Palmerlee, Chief Executive Officer

American Chamber of Commerce in Australia


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

Company Spotlight

AmCham is pleased to announce the appointment of a new Board Member.

Robert Bedwell

Chief Executive Officer

J.P. Morgan Australia and New Zealand


Robert (Rob) Bedwell is the Chief Executive Officer of J.P. Morgan in Australia and New Zealand, a role he was appointed to in March 2019. In this role, Rob has responsibility for growing our business, facilitating local governance, coordinating across the firm's lines of business and fostering regulator and community engagement.


Prior to this, he was the head of Sales and Marketing for the firm's Markets and Investor Services businesses. Rob joined J.P. Morgan in 2011 as the head of Investor Client Management.


Rob has over 27 years of financial markets experience and has worked extensively with institutional investors and corporate clients around the world. His background extends across all asset classes including derivatives, product development, corporate advisory, public and private markets, and custody and fund services.


Prior to joining J.P. Morgan, Rob held senior roles with Citi in Singapore and Sydney. He has also worked for Price Waterhouse (now PriceWaterhouseCoopers), in its corporate tax division.


Rob is a member of J.P. Morgan's Asia Pacific Management Committee, Chair of the Australia and New Zealand Location Management Committee and a Director of J.P. Morgan Securities Australia Limited. He is the chair of the Australian Financial Markets Association board (AFMA), a Director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Australia, a Member of the Business Council of Australia and the Art Gallery of NSW President's Council.


He holds a Master of Commerce from the University of New South Wales and a Bachelor of Commerce with an Accounting major from the University of Western Sydney.

Company Spotlight

We are also pleased to announce the appointment of the following new Chair and Vice Chairs to our committees.

Space Committee - Chair


Bill Rose

Senior Director Account Management Australia

Northrop Grumman Australia Pty Ltd

Space Committee - Vice Chair


Julie Bown

General Manager

Raytheon Australia

Diversity and Inclusion Committee - Vice Chair


Rowan Arndt

Global Diversity and Inclusion Leader

Boeing Australia Holdings Pty Ltd

Member Spotlight

Esme Borgelt

Managing Director, Australia and New Zealand | Kellogg Company


Esme Borgelt is Managing Director, Australia and New Zealand for the Kellogg Company – one of the worlds’ leading food companies, headquartered in Battle Creek, Michigan. Kellogg’s most famous brands in Australia include Nutrigrain, Sultana Bran, Coco Pops, Pringles etc. She has been with Kellogg’s for 17 years, working in various sales, logistics and general management roles in both emerging and developed markets around the world.


Though South African-born, Esme has called Australia home since 2008. She lives in Sydney with her husband and two children.


Prior to Kellogg, Esme spent ten years at the Kimberly Clark Corporation which she joined as a graduate, progressing to several roles in Sales, Market Development and Logistics during her tenure.


Esme is passionate about developing people to their full potential and strongly believes in the power of diversity & inclusion. She leads the Women of Kellogg employee resource group for the AMEA (Africa, Middle East and Asia) region, which is focused on the accelerated development of female talent in Kellogg and creating a more gender-balanced workforce across the region.


Esme holds a Law degree from the University of Pretoria, participated in professional development through Harvard Business School and INSEAD Business School, is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, a member of Chief Executive Women Australia (CEW), and a member of the National Association of Women in Operations.



Favourite movie?

My favourite movie of all time is still The Shawshank Redemption (1994), which was based on a Stephen King novel of the same title. The main character, Andy Dufresne spent almost 20 years of his life secretly digging a tunnel out of the prison from behind a Rita Hayworth poster with a rock hammer. The sheer commitment behind the task and the all-consuming power of hope threading throughout the narrative completely captivated me.



Most rewarding part about your job?

Our ability as a food company to make a difference in our communities, helping to drive societal change is extremely rewarding, and I am honoured to lead those efforts in Australia and New Zealand.


Our focus is on helping to tackle food insecurity – from working at the farm level to help build resilience against climate change so our farmers can continue growing the food to feed the nation through to donating food to support on the ground food relief efforts.


The need for food relief has increased significantly over the last 18months – some 70% up on previous years - as many communities around the country faced droughts, bushfires and then the global pandemic. The fact that we are in a position to help get food out to these communities, helping make sure families don’t go hungry, is definitely one of the most humbling and rewarding parts of the role.


A lot of people in rural and regional communities are doing it tough at the moment, so we’re increasing our support these communities and have recently entered a partnership with the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal. Our sustainability agenda is aggressive so we can help fight climate change (significant reduction in the consumption of natural resources, investing behind solar power, investing in improving soil health for farming to name but a few).


I am particularly passionate about diversity and inclusion and having our efforts create a gender-balanced workforce, where everyone has the opportunity to thrive. I am super proud of our WGEA Employer of Choice for Gender Equality citation received in 2020. It is truly gratifying to personally play a small part in the development of people and helping them to unlock their potential.


First line of your obituary?

I can be a little impatient from time to time to move things forward, so it may very well say “Why does it take so long?”. More seriously, I would hope that it would say that in my life I strived to do what’s right, not what was easy.


Best advice you ever received?

Early in my career as a freshly minted sales manager, I fretted at every little failure until my manager said to me “if the worst thing in the world happened today, the sun would still come up tomorrow”. So, the best advice I ever received is to always keep things in perspective and to hang on to your sense of humour when things get tough. I have grown to be a huge believer in progress over perfection!


What is the first holiday destination you are looking to visit once we can safely travel again?

Given that it will be some time before global travel resumes, we are now working through our Australian bucket list. Next on the list is to cruise the Kimberleys (WA) by yacht. Hopefully, our internal borders can stay open long enough so that at some point this year we can get to go on this little adventure cruise to one of the most spectacular and rugged regions of the country.

Company Spotlight

International Space Station Tests Virus-Fighting Surface Coating Developed by Boeing, University of Queensland

Boeing and University of Queensland


Astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) are conducting experiments with an antimicrobial surface coating designed to fight the spread of bacteria and viruses, including the Earth-bound SARS-CoV-2 virus responsible for the current COVID-19 pandemic.


Developed by Boeing [NYSE: BA] and The University of Queensland (UQ), the joint research project was tested aboard Boeing's ecoDemonstrator last year as part of the company's Confident Travel Initiative.


"While testing continues on orbit and on Earth, we're encouraged by the preliminary results of the antimicrobial chemical compound," said Mike Delaney, Boeing's Chief Aerospace Safety Officer. "There is the potential for broad-based applicability for a surface coating like this when used in conjunction with other measures to prevent disease transmission."


The ISS experiment tests two identical sets of objects, including an airplane seat buckle, fabric from airplane seats and seat belts, and parts of an armrest and a tray table. One set received the antimicrobial surface coating, the other did not. ISS crewmembers are touching both sets of objects every few days to transfer microbes naturally occurring on human skin; no microbe samples were sent to the station for this experiment. Later this year, the test objects will be returned to Earth for analysis at Boeing's labs to measure the effectiveness of the surface coating in a space environment.


"After years of development, it is truly exciting to see our research in space," said Professor Michael Monteiro from UQ's Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology. "The primary purpose of our antimicrobial coating was to help protect space missions. After the current pandemic struck, we modified the coating's formula to also target the COVID-19 virus if it is present on a surface on Earth. We look forward to continuing our testing regimen and working to gain regulatory approvals."


An antimicrobial surface coating in a spacecraft could help ensure the health of the crew and protect the spacecraft's systems from bacteria – and ultimately may help prevent interplanetary contamination from Earth-borne or another planet's microbes.


Boeing was selected by NASA as the prime contractor for the ISS in 1993. Since then, Boeing has provided round-the-clock engineering support – maintaining the station at peak performance levels through dynamic missions and ensuring that the full value of the unique research laboratory is available to NASA, its international partners and private companies for years to come.


Network News

2030 Sustainable Packaging Plan



Coca-Cola has a goal to help collect and recycle a bottle or can for every one they sell by 2030. By using more recycled and renewable materials, they are able to work towards truly circular solutions for their packaging.


Fast-Track to Future-Ready

Accenture Australia and New Zealand


Did you know the pandemic-driven acceleration of digital adoption and the resulting new agile ways of operating could unlock $US5.4 trillion in profitable growth? Accenture recently launched a new study, titled: . The study found that even amid the current economic uncertainty, a small core of companies — about 7% — have achieved nearly twice the efficiency and three times the profitability of their peers. These future-ready companies have doubled-down on digital transformation and retooled operating models, pivoting from incremental improvements to wholesale reinvention. Also, the study found, the higher the maturity, the greater the degree of digital capabilities, such as artificial intelligence (AI), cloud, and data analytics.



Seeking Global Virtual Consulting Projects

Deakin University


Deakin Business School (DBS) is in the top 1% of business schools globally, holding both AACSB and EQUIS accreditations. As part of its commitment to quality standards and preparing students for global careers, DBS aims to provide as much practical, real-world experience as possible.


Deakin Business School is now seeking expressions of interest from host organisations to provide projects for their 2021 group consulting projects. If you or a colleague is in need of a fresh perspective and interested in working with a team of young minds, please reach out to for more information.

WEBINAR: Retail Shopper Experience in a Post COVID World | The Rise of Safety, Speed and Convenience Through Digital Innovation and Technology

Zebra Technologies


As shoppers demand an increasing blend of the online and in-store experience, retailers are adopting innovative technology at a remarkable speed. Today’s on-demand economy requires store employees to be connected and at peak productivity 100% of the time and the bottom line is – those who don’t invest in technology will be left behind.


Join retail industry experts and Zebra Technologies in this webinar to learn how mobile technology is driving employee productivity, collaboration and customer service to a new high.


17 March | 12:00 PM (AEDT)


Employee Share Schemes - Incentivising Key Personnel During COVID-19



COVID-19 has been a challenging time for many. Some organisations have flourished, whilst others have struggled to make ends meet. Owners worried about cash flow, but wanting to retain key staff, have had to look for alternatives to keep staff motivated and focussed on the future growth prospects of their organisation.


This lateral thinking has seen a significant uplift in queries relating to Employee Share Schemes (ESS). Constructing the correct ESS for your organisation can mean a win-win for owners and staff alike, as long as owners consider the tax implications in advance.


BDO Associate Director outlines the benefits of setting up an ESS and three of the most effective alternatives to incentivising staff whilst reducing the complexity involved.


and download their guide that includes case studies that demonstrate how the structure implementation of ESS options can help grow your organisation.

Acquisition of CX Innovator Topbox



Khoros, a global leader in digital-first customer engagement software, announced that it has acquired enterprise customer experience (CX) analytics software maker Topbox and closed on an additional equity investment from existing Khoros investors, including leading global technology investment firm Vista Equity Partners (“Vista”), to help accelerate the Company’s momentum in the CX market.


The acquisition of Topbox brings an innovative omnichannel CX analytics solution to Khoros’ award-winning digital customer engagement platform to create a powerful new standard for artificial intelligence (AI)-powered customer experience management. Khoros with Topbox, backed with additional funding from Vista and other existing investors, will deliver the CX industry’s most comprehensive solution that provides a unified, actionable view of the customer and enables enterprises to create and deliver next-level customer engagement and experiences.


CEO Tackles the Urgent Issue of Women Leaving the Workforce



As RGP celebrates International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, CEO Kate Duchene writes in a blog just published by—the largest social networking site dedicated to human resources professionals—that business needs to urgently focus on the growing number of women exiting the workforce due to the ongoing global pandemic.


Dubbed the “she-cession” by some analysts, the numbers are sobering:


More than 2.5 million women dropped out of the labour force between February 2020 and this past January—compared to 1.8 million men.


Women accounted for 55% of the 9.6 million net jobs lost in 2020 by late December.


Women’s current labour force participation rate of 56% is the lowest since 1987. Women of colour have been especially hard-hit.


Expansion Into Australia



Peloton, the leading interactive fitness platform that pioneered connected, technology-enabled fitness, today announced plans to launch in Australia, marking the brand's entry to the Asia Pacific Region.


Founded in New York City, Peloton brings the energy and benefits of studio-style workouts to the comfort and convenience of home. An innovator at the nexus of fitness, technology and media, Peloton introduced its category-creating indoor Bike in 2014. Peloton has a product portfolio that features two Bike options, two Tread options, as well as a robust Digital Membership, providing a full slate of fitness offerings.


EOCGE Citation Holders

WGEA Employer of Choice for Gender Equality


The Employer of Choice for Gender Equality (EOCGE) citation is a voluntary leading-practice recognition program designed to encourage, recognise and promote organisations' active commitment to achieving gender equality in Australian workplaces. The citation is awarded for a period of two years.


AmCham is pleased that so many of its members have been awarded.


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The American Chamber of Commerce in Australia

Website | ABN 62 000 361 633

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