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Newsletter 11/2019

A Message from Team Australia | Australia at Expo2020


Dear Members and Friends of the Australian Business Council,

For those of you I haven’t met (yet) I wanted to tell you a little bit about myself but mainly I want to tell you about why I am in Dubai. I would be surprised to find someone who isn’t aware of Expo 2020 Dubai but as the Commissioner General – Australia, that is what has brought me here.

I have been with the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) for some time but prior to that I was honoured to serve as a member of the Royal Australian Navy, undertaking numerous operational deployments including leading teams to enforce United Nations Security Council Resolutions in the Persian Gulf. I have held several senior roles within DFAT, as well as a position at the Australian Embassy in Thailand and I am privileged to lead the team responsible for the Australian Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai.

So, lets get to the exciting part…

Australia is pleased to be participating in the Expo as the theme of Connecting Minds: Creating the Future resonates strongly with us. Strong global cooperation is imperative if we are to overcome our most urgent global challenges. We need to encourage our best, most creative and innovative minds to come together to shape global solutions that benefit all on issues like climate change, cyber security, economic stability, food security and build a world where opportunities are available for all to contribute their best.

While this is the first time a world exhibition has been held in the Middle East, Expo is not just a regional event. With more than 190 countries participating, Expo 2020 is a global experience. It is one that allows all participants to showcase their culture and their achievements and facilitates greater understanding of our global neighbours; enabling new opportunities for partnership and strengthening people to people links.

Australia’s theme for our Pavilion is “Blue Sky Dreaming” and represents Australia’s modern and optimistic approach to life – one that thinks outside the box in creating links and solving problems. I meet and talk with a plethora of Industry bodies, Business Councils, corporations and foreign Governments in my role, and I am struck by the many and varied linkages we have around the globe. For example, Australian students travel to other countries, and overseas students come to Australia. They do this not just for the excellent education opportunities, but also to experience and to understand other countries and cultures around the world. We visit each other’s tourist attractions, and we work together in almost every sector from hospitality to space!

Australia is an attractive and dynamic destination to do business, invest, study and visit and our participation in Expo 2020 is a significant opportunity in this regard. It will help enhance our significant trade and investment relationships with the UAE, the Middle East and South Asia; highlight the capabilities of Australian business; attract inbound investment; and expand export markets for Australian companies.

We have been focused on ensuring we create opportunities for Australian businesses to demonstrate their abilities and several Australian companies have already been successful in winning a considerable number of expo-related contracts in the UAE across architecture, construction and logistics. There will continue to be opportunities for Australian companies to participate in trade missions, business networking events and sectoral promotions at the Australian Pavilion during the Expo.

It sounds like a lot of work, but I am not doing it on my own. I have a wonderful team supporting the Australian Pavilion and I would like to thank all our Government and corporate partners who are working alongside the Australian Pavilion to ensure we showcase the very best of Australia to the World during Expo 2020 Dubai!

I hope to see you at upcoming ABCD events and look forward to welcoming you to the Australian Pavilion when our doors open on 20th October 2020!


Cheers, Justin

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