AmCham Alliance Award Finalists Announced; Future Industries Project

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October 2021

As Australian vaccination rates surge ahead, businesses are pleased to see the gradual re-opening of several areas and the many jobs being created. AmCham sees reconnecting in person as essential to growing the economy and creating more opportunity. As part of that push, we are pleased to announce the inaugural AmCham Alliance Awards Gala in Sydney on 8 December. This exciting real-life black tie event will recognise and celebrate pathfinders from around the country in artificial intelligence, biotechnology, digital economy, energy and clean technology, quantum computing, and space. As acknowledged future industry leaders, the finalists have each demonstrated their innovation, ingenuity and intelligence through strong interactions with the United States and Australia. In recognising their achievements, AmCham will highlight key opportunities for future investment and encourage the next generation to enable even more.


The AmCham Alliance Awards Gala will also raise funds to finance a Fulbright Scholar Award to allow a talented Australian thought leader to undertake research at a prestigious university in the United States whilst also acting as an Australian cultural ambassador.


At the Gala, AmCham will launch an overview of a series of forthcoming research papers by KPMG focused on the six key high-tech industries.


We hope many of our members will be able to join us. Tables are almost sold out, so please to avoid disappointment.


“Having participated in this process, I am thrilled with the exceptional talent of these inspiring entrepreneurs and scientific pioneers who are already emerging as leaders in the Australian economy, and who will continue to contribute to the US-Australian alliance for many years to come. I am excited by the American Chamber of Commerce’s first annual Alliance Awards Gala, a unique celebration of, as well as a testament to, the synergy of Australian and American shared values and fearless intellectual enquiry.” The Hon Arthur Sinodinos AO, Australian Ambassador to the United States of America


“Verizon is extremely proud to support the inaugural AmCham Alliance Awards. These awards not only reinforce the very strong industry bonds between Australia and the United States, but also highlight companies who are doing great things to build on the joint prosperity of the alliance.” Robert Le Busque, Regional Vice President, Asia Pacific at Verizon Business Group


“These industries have the potential to promote human flourishing in the economy and in our social interactions. But they need strong leaders applying ethical entrepreneurism to channel its power in the best directions. This is exactly the model that AmCham have promoted by bringing together the best and brightest from academia and industry. These Alliance Awards will promote emerging leaders in crucial fields that will support the Australian economy, as well as the Australian-American partnership.” The Hon John Berry, President of the American Australian Association and US Ambassador to Australia (2013-2016)


“These finalists show that the future of the Australian economy is bright, and the future of the Australian-American alliance is strong. We assembled some of the top academics and industry leaders in Australia and America to help select these finalists, and they picked 31 precocious leaders whom younger Australians can look up to as role models of professional excellence, intellectual creativity, and civic virtue.” Dr Adam Asher Duker, AmCham Director of Research


2021 Finalists | AmCham Alliance Awards


Artificial Intelligence

Sponsored by Amazon Web Services | Presented by Secretary David Fredericks PSM

  • Michelle Aguilar, CTO and Co-Founder, VAPAR (NSW)
  • Brenton Cooper, Co-Founder and CEO, Fivecast (SA)
  • Jason Hosking, Co-Founder and CEO, HIVERY (NSW)
  • Jordan Nguyen, Founder CEO, Psykinetic (NSW)
  • Michael Priddis, CEO, Faethm (NSW)


Sponsored by Johnson & Johnson Medical

  • Chris Behrenbruch, CEO and Managing Director, Telix Pharmaceuticals (VIC)
  • Chris Larkins, Senior Vice President Operations, Seqirus (VIC)
  • Sean Parsons, Founder and CEO, Ellume (QLD)
  • Anthony Stowers, SVP, Recombinant & Gene Therapy Product Development, CSL Limited (VIC)
  • Hala Zreiqat AM, Professor of Biomedical Engineering, University of Sydney (NSW)

Digital Technologies

Sponsored by SAS | Presented by Minister Jane Hume

  • Paul Brafield, Vice President, Digital and Global Enterprise, Torrens Global Education (NSW)
  • Sean Duca, VP, Regional Chief Security Officer - Asia Pacific & Japan, Palo Alto Networks (NSW)
  • Julia Fossi, Director | International, Strategy and Futures; and Kathryn King, Head of Information Technology and Digital, Office of the eSafety Commissioner (joint nominees) (VIC & UK)
  • Michelle Lim, Scientific Chair and Chairperson, Ending Loneliness Together (VIC)
  • Russ Matulich, Group Chief Executive Officer, RTI Cable (USA)

Energy and Clean Technology

Sponsored by Boeing | Presented by Australia’s Chief Scientist Dr Cathy Foley

  • Liz Beavis, Services Site Manager, Coopers Gap Wind Farm, GE Renewable Energy (QLD)
  • Hannah McCaughey, Group Executive Transformation and Technology, APA Group (NSW)
  • Gail Reynolds-Adamson, Managing Director, Indigenous Consulting Group Australia (WA)
  • Rebecca Tilbrook, Business Development Manager, Emerging Technologies, Hydro Tasmania (TAS/VIC)
  • Meherzad Variava, Chemical Engineer – Clean Energy (Hydrogen), Linde (VIC)

Quantum Computing

Sponsored by Microsoft | Presented by Minister Paul Fletcher

  • Michael Biercuk, CEO and Founder, Q-CTRL (NSW)
  • Cathy Foley, Australia’s Chief Scientist (ACT)
  • Jeremy O’Brien, CEO, PsiQuantum (USA)
  • David Reilly, Physics Professor, University of Sydney; Principal Researcher and Director, Microsoft Station Q (NSW)
  • Vikram Sharma, Founder and CEO, QuintessenceLabs (ACT)


Sponsored by OneGlobalVentures | Presented by CSIRO CEO Dr Larry Marshall

  • John Culton III, Director, Andy Thomas Centre for Space Resources, University of Adelaide (SA)
  • Jason Held, CEO, Saber Astronautics (NSW)
  • Renae Sayers, Deputy Director, Space Science and Technology Centre, Curtin University (WA)
  • Carley Scott OAM, CEO, Equatorial Launch Australia (ELA) (VIC/NT)
  • Flavia Tata Nardini, CEO and Co-founder, Fleet Space Technologies (SA)


I’m also pleased to include in this month’s newsletter a round-up of the AmCham committees who are working hard behind the scenes to make sure AmCham is represented when policies are being considered, new laws tabled, and exciting opportunities floated. If you would like to someone to join a committee, please contact the .


Please to read the 3rd Quarter 2021 Committee Report.


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:

Member Spotlight

The Prime Minister's Veterans' Employment Awards recognise organisations that employ and support veterans transitioning to the civilian workforce. The Awards are an initiative of the Prime Minister's Veterans' Employment Program.


AmCham would like to congratulate the following members who were finalists and winners of the 2021 Prime Minister’s Veterans’ Employment Awards.


Veteran Employer of the Year - Large


Veteran Employer of the Year - Large



Excellence in Supporting Veteran Employment

The Veteran Transition Experience


This Remembrance Day we ask members to consider the diverse capabilities and applicable experiences veterans can bring to their employment mix and to .


AmCham Member and this year’s winner of the Prime Minister’s Veteran Employer of the Year Award - Large, BAE Systems are proud supporters of veterans.


Member Spotlight

New South Wales

Scott Atkins


Norton Rose Fulbright

South Australia

Jane Kelly

Chief Executive Officer

CMAX Clinical Research

Kathleen Lively

US Consul General - VIC, SA, TAS and NT


Richard Price

Chief Executive

Defence SA


Nick Bell



James Kane


Two Bulls

Kathleen Lively

US Consul General - VIC, SA, TAS and NT

Western Australia

Patricia Fesser

Managing Director


Trevor Hart

WA Chair


Member Spotlight

Neil MacGregor

Managing Director | Bristol Myers Squibb


Neil MacGregor is an experienced pharmaceutical leader with experience that spans five continents – North America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Australasia.


In late 2018, Neil returned to Australia as Managing Director of BMS’ ANZ business. He is responsible for strategy and execution across a portfolio of medicines in Cardiovascular, Immunoscience, Haematology and Oncology – including immunotherapies that are changing the way cancer is being treated here in Australia.



What is the most rewarding part about your job?

The most rewarding part is working every day with my outstanding team to bring our breakthrough science to the Australian patients. It is truly incredible to be able to develop and launch medicines that can transform our patients’ lives and ultimately provide hope.


What’s your personal motto that helps you power through obstacles?

“Who are you working for?” This simple sentence provides a daily reminder linking the challenges of our day to day work with our Australian patients who need us. There is always more to do, we need to continue to advance our science to ensure that we continue to transform patient outcomes. Nothing motivates me more!


Best advice you ever received?

“Be kind, for everyone is fighting their battle too” - I have found this particularly relevant as we have navigated the challenges of COVID.


We have such a diverse workforce at BMS Australia and COVID took us into everyone’s living rooms to meet family members, pets and past times. Challenges have been both unique and varied – but what it has shown is that leadership can no longer be “one size fits all”. It’s up to us to create an inclusive environment where everyone can do the best work of their lives.


What book are you reading now?

Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don't Know by Adam Grant. I am enjoying being challenged by Adam to become more comfortable with not knowing, with being wrong, and rethinking our own conventional wisdom.


If you could only have two apps on your smartphone, which would you pick?

Audible - essential partner as I read on the run!;

BBC - “newspaper of choice” to connect with what’s going on back home in Scotland 😊; and

Seesaw - great way to keep up to date, as my children’s teachers share pictures of them and their work while at school.

Company Spotlight

Stryker receives multi-million dollar grant to open R&D Lab in Queensland


Stryker has announced the establishment of the R&D Lab in Queensland, Australia that builds on existing partnerships with hospitals, researchers, universities and local governments to drive the transformation of research into viable, commercially available precision medical device technology.


With a research grant from the Queensland government, Stryker's new Digital, Robotics, and Enabling Technologies organisation and South Pacific team have partnered with the Queensland State Government on the formation of the R&D Lab which will focus on data science, robotics, disease and infection control, and advanced manufacturing research. “The level of partnership has been extraordinary. It’s this type of collaboration across Stryker, with state governments and with university and hospital systems that will unlock new frontiers of med device technology,” said Robert Cohen, president of Stryker’s Digital, Robotics, and Enabling Technologies organisation.


The R&D Lab will continue to collaborate with Australian universities, hospital systems and clinicians to help develop and translate novel medical research within the Australian MedTech ecosystem and will be located on the campus of the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital.


The new R&D Lab will also partner with Stryker’s CMF, Endoscopy, Instruments, Joint Replacement, Medical, Spine and Trauma & Extremities divisions to focus on research that drives technology platforms that can be used across service lines throughout the continuum of care.


Network News

Chris Le Blanc | 3M

Chris Le Blanc has been appointed as Vice President, Strategy and Business Development for SIBG. Chris will relocate to St. Paul and continue with 3M as a highly experienced Business Manager in the areas of Strategic Planning, Marketing, Sales, Key Account Management and Finance.


Julie Cooper | Nova Group

Nova Group has announced that Julie Cooper has been appointed as the new Chair of the Board. Effective 1 October, Julie has succeeded Jim Whalley, co-founder of Nova Group who has served as the Chair for more than two decades. Jim will remain on the Board in the role of Deputy Chair.


Randall Seymour | Penske Australia and New Zealand

Randall Seymour will be transitioning back to the US this month. Although he will be based in the US, his expanded role will be leading the global commercial vehicle and power systems businesses, which is inclusive of Penske Australia & New Zealand.

Network News

Swinburne welcomes international students' return plan

Swinburne University of Technology


Swinburne University of Technology has welcomed the announcement that Victoria’s plan to return international students has now been finalised.


The plan will see up to 120 students arriving each week by Christmas, with that number set to increase as COVID-19 restrictions start to ease.


“This plan, which Swinburne strongly supports, sends an important message to our current and prospective international students currently overseas that Victoria is ready to welcome them with open arms,” Professor Pascale Quester, Vice-Chancellor, Swinburne University of Technology said today.


Helping you combat the pressure of operating a business during COVID-19



BDO's free masterclass series will help you understand your business's numbers and plan for a sustainable future.


Restrictions and lockdowns are making things hard for small businesses and the continued uncertainty about future measures in many states means 2021 is challenging many businesses across the country.


BDO want to equip you with the knowledge needed to combat the pressures of operating a small business during COVID-19. That’s why they're inviting you to their . These two-hour financial education sessions will help you understand your business’s numbers and plan for a sustainable future.

Charge on Innovation Challenge

Australian Turntables


BHP, Rio Tinto and Vale are the founding patrons of an exciting new collaboration, the Charge On Innovation Challenge.


Facilitated by Austmine, this is a global initiative for technology innovators to develop concepts for large-scale haul truck electrification systems to help the mining sector to reduce its consumption of diesel fuel and significantly cut emissions from surface mine operations.


The industry requires a safe solution that can be applied across the many and varied mines, mine infrastructure and truck manufacturers.


Australian Turntables are pleased to announce they are one of the 21 vendors who have been shortlisted and will progress to the next phase of the Charge On Innovation Challenge.


Global Partnership Deal

Prezzee and MasterCard

Prezzee and MasterCard entered a deal to see Prezzee arrive in global partnership connecting it with 188m potential new customers who can buy, send, store and redeem digital gift cards instantly via a global master services agreement for the supply of digital gift cards to MasterCard‘s existing loyalty solutions platform.


“MasterCard is focused on simplifying the way our clients engage with their consumers. Digital Redemptions are key to driving engagement and Prezzee is a natural fit that provides access to digital gift cards for hundreds of brands that can be redeemed in a safe, easy, and reliable way for consumers,” a MasterCard US spokesperson said in a statement.


This deal has landed Australia’s new tech “unicorn” a $1billion valuation.


AmCham Jobs Board


As a member benefit, AmCham members can now advertise vacancies on the AmCham .


To advertise please email the following information to :


Job title, location, link to the job advertisement (your preferred employment agency website or your company website) and the close date for applications.

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