Against a backdrop of increasing innovative activity, strengthened need for diversity and worldwide accountability, the BESydney Ambassador Dinner, held Thursday 1 November at International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney), recognised the stamp that a set of particularly prominent people are putting on the world.
Dr Chris Boshuizen and his team at NASA launched a smartphone into space, demonstrating for the first time ever that a small consumer-grade object could be used to power a satellite. Renowned space pioneer, tech start-up supporter, business entrepreneur-come venture capitalist, and part-time musician, he is an exemplar of the esteemed group of Australians that were invested as Global Ambassadors at BESydney’s annual gala event.
“It was at the International Astronautical Congress in Houston in 2002 where I had found my people – a diverse and worldly group who were equally as dedicated to developing the space field as I was,” said Boshuizen.
“Global meetings have this incredible game-changing capability; they encourage people from all over to rally behind a certain cause or topic. They are a platform of concentrated passion and the conversations you can have there are great for accelerating the path to discovery.”
On behalf of the BESydney Global Ambassador Program Patron, New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian, NSW Minister for Tourism and Major Events, The Hon Adam Marshall MP, formally welcomed the nine new Sydney champions to the program, which features 100 Ambassadors across the strongest sectors of the NSW economy.
The combined BESydney globally connected brains trust now includes:
- Melanie Brock, Chair Emeritus, Australia NZ Chamber of Commerce in Japan (Tokyo)
- Joseph Carrozzi, Managing Partner, Sydney, PwC Australia
- Professor Carol Pollock, Chair, Bureau of Health Information
- Dr Jim Prendergast, past Executive Director Chief Operating Officer, IEEE (New York)
- Ann Sherry AO, Executive Chairman, Carnival Australia
- Gabrielle Trainor AO, Board, Infrastructure Australia; Board of Trustees, Western Sydney University
- Peter Osborne, Managing Director Asia, Blackmores International (Singapore/ Taipei)
- Andrew Macintosh, Chairman, Acorus and AustCham Hong Kong and Macau (Hong Kong)
- Dr Chris Boshuizen, Operating Partner Data Collective VC (San Francisco).
In front of a distinguished audience of leaders from government, business and academia, former CEO of Westpac Group, Gail Kelly delivered the ‘Australia Oration’ keynote address.
Speaking to the theme of ‘Leadership for Changing Times’, Ms. Kelly shared her views on how generosity of spirit is a style that all leaders should exhibit in today’s world. This was followed by an in-depth conversation with Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) Chair, David Thodey AO.
The Hon. Bruce Baird AM, BESydney Board Chair said, “BESydney’s Global Ambassadors have helped secure over A$320 million worth of global events that will be coming to Sydney from now up until 2026. If that’s not an endorsement for the power of networks, and the voluntary work of BESydney’s Ambassadors, then I haven’t heard one,” said Mr Baird.
Lyn Lewis-Smith, CEO of BESydney, said the annual Ambassador Dinner recognised the invaluable role Ambassadors play in bringing opportunity to, and spreading the global profile of, NSW and Australia.
“Our Ambassadors are a passionate group of renowned Australian leaders that have based themselves around the world. Comprising representatives from an array of industries, the world plays witness to the work that they do on behalf of our country, which in turn attracts attention and brings opportunity to our shores.
“The calibre of their intellect and expertise is second to none. And, we are incredibly lucky to have these extraordinary individuals lending their achievements to us.”
The success of the evening highlighted the Team Sydney collaborative approach to hosting events in the city. BESydney’s strong global partnership network shone with venue partner, ICC Sydney, event partner, First State Super and incredible entertainment from strategic partner, Sydney Symphony Orchestra.