One of my key roles in the position of National Executive Director is to improve the level of communication between AusCham and our members. That’s for a couple of reasons:
  • You have a right to know what is happening in your Chamber; and
  • As you become better informed, we think you will want to become more involved with ideas to make the Chamber more relevant to you.
So, here we go…
Last Tuesday, 12 November 2013, the Boards from the Hanoi and HCMC Chapters met jointly for the first time. The joint meeting was made possible by Austrade very kindly giving us access to their video conferencing facilities in both cities. Below are some of the highlights coming out of the joint meeting.
Joint Board Meeting of Hanoi and HCMC Chapters in lead up to formation of proposed National AusCham Board
The joint meeting was an important first step towards the formation of a proposed National Board that, subject to the approval of the members, would replace the two city-based Boards.
For the above proposal to be approved:
  • It must be approved by both the Hanoi and HCMC Chapters at their respectiveAGMs.
  • Each Chapter must approve the proposal with a two thirds majority of attending, voting, members.
The proposed National Board would comprise 15 people:
  • Hanoi – four voting directors and two ex officio (Embassy and Austrade. Non voting)
  • HCMC – eight voting directors and one ex officio (Austrade. Non voting)
As required by the Charter, the AGMs of both Chapters must be held in either March or April.
The AGMs cannot be held until after the accounts have been audited. Sponsor of AusCham, KPMG, has confirmed that the audit shall be completed by 14 March, 2014. Accordingly, the dates for the Hanoi and HCMC AGMs have now been scheduled for 25 March 2014.
The two Chapters believe that the interests of members can be more effectively served by One National Board in One National Country. The proposal is designed to improve efficiencies and the sharing of information and links between the commercial and governmental hubs of HCMC and Hanoi respectively. Of course, there will still be city specific issues and opportunities that will need more focussed attention.
That can be achieved, as appropriate, by a dedicated committee in each city.
The Directors in Hanoi will be supported by the secretariat providing one full time resource onthe ground.
The two Boards will continue to meet jointly up until the all-important AGMs in March. This will give directors, members and observers an opportunity to become familiar with the process so that, by the time of the AGMs, everyone should be very clear about what they are voting for.
University offers to support new Board
RMIT University, a Bronze Sponsor of AusCham has offered to help facilitate a retreat for the new Board (if approved by the members). AusCham will discuss further with Mattia Mianni who is RMIT’s very well credentialed Manager for Enterprise and Executive Management. A big thank you to RMIT for its generous offer which is a fine example of an active sponsorship at play.
2014 hardcopy members’ directory scrapped
The two Chapters resolved that Auscham will not print a 2014 hardcopy members’ directory due
  • Environmental reasons
  • A trend of declining advertising revenue and increased costs (which includes in house labour)
  • A recognition that the directory is out of date by the time it even gets to the printers.
Already, the directory is available on line – and up to date. It is continually updated throughout the year as members advise of changes.
The secretariat was also requested to follow up on some other ideas that would make directory information more accessible for members. More to follow.
Australia Day 2014
Options for different events on Australia Day – Sunday, 26 January 2014 were considered.
It was noted that the Men’s Final of the Australian Open (one of just four Grand Slam events in the world) will be played on Australia Day. The broadcast will commence at 3.30pm in the afternoon in Hanoi and HCMC.
Additionally, Sydney Swans (AFL) administrator, Tony Morwood, will be in HCMC on Australia Day. He has offered to give a presentation on the “Business behind Australia’s Signature Sport”. Given the Sydney Swans have been so successful at selling their product (AFL) into such a hostile market (rugby in Sydney), there should be no shortage of business lessons and insights. More to follow.
  • 3 December.
    Vietnam Business Forum, Hanoi. A number of AusCham directors shall attend and
    contribute at this forum.
  • 3 December. Thank
    you drinks for 2013 National Sponsors at the Consul General’s Residence, HCMC.
    By invitation.
  • 5 December.
    Christmas Sundowners: Hanoi (Daluva) and HCMC (Caravelle Hotel).
  • 10 December.
    Joint Hanoi and HCMC Board Meeting.
  • 11 December.
    Social Media – Seizing and managing its power to generate business.

That’s a snap shot of the Boards’ Meeting!
That’s a snap shot of the Boards’ joint meeting last week.
If you would like to see what else your Chamber is doing, it’s very simple: “Like” our Facebook page. We update Facebook almost daily. And, don’t forget the
of course.
Do you have a comment, an idea, a suggestion – or would like to renew your membership?
Then please email me at
Phil JohnsNational Executive