We are now rapidly approaching the end of the year and I do want to take this opportunity to wish all Australia Fiji Business Council members as well as your employees and their families a very happy Christmas and New Year, and a prosperous 2024.
The Australia Fiji Business Council has had a busy year advancing the interests of Australia Fiji bilateral business relations and advocating for Australian business. The President will report in more detail on the work of the Council in her annual report to members early in 2024.
The Council’s 37th Annual General Meeting was held in Brisbane on 16 November 2023 (see main picture). Allison Haworth West was re-elected as President, David Gibson and Zane Yoshida were re-elected as Vice-Presidents with David re-elected also as Treasurer. Vice-President Justin Tierney did not nominate for re-election as Vice-President due to corporate restructuring of his business but will for now continue on the executive committee.
Four members of the executive committee who retired by rotation at the AGM successfully nominated for re-election: Greg Caisley (Export Finance Australia), Steve Hillyard (Pronto Software), Caleb Jarvis (Pacific Trade Invest). One new member was elected: Sam Raciti (Pacific Islands International). Cameron Hall (Hall Contracting) and Matthew Tripilone (IHG Hotels and Resorts) did not nominate for re-election.
Following the AGM Daniel Grey of Hall Contracting, was seconded by the executive committee as a member of the committee for the next twelve months and will stand for election at the next AGM.
Continuing executive committee members are: Ravendran Achari (ANZ Banking Group), David Gibson (Gibson Freight), Allison Haworth-West (Captain Cook Cruises Fiji), Chanh Lovan (Neptune Pacific Direct Line), Dakshesh Patel, Justin Tierney (BlueScope Steel Fiji), Shane Smith (Westpac Bank Fiji), Chris Welberry (Newmont Corporation), Zane Yoshida (Fiji Kava).
There remains a vacancy for one executive committee member. Any Sponsor or Corporate Member of the Council who is interested in contributing to its work by participating in the executive committee should speak with me or with the President.
Finally, on a personal note, October 2023 marked a milestone for me as the 25th anniversary of my appointment as Executive Director by the executive committee led by its then President the late Ross Porter. When added to my previous work on Fiji in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade from 1991 that makes 32 years now, I have been continually involved in work on Fiji.
The more things change the more they remain the same – in 1992 Fiji elected a Rabuka/Kamikamica government, the Kamikamica at that time being Josevata, the father of the current Deputy Prime Minister!
I do thank the seven Presidents and successive committees of the AFBC under whom I have served as well as all the members over this time for their confidence in retaining me in this role over all these years.
Happy Christmas and New Year to you all.