Founded in London in 1975 to provide an apolitical forum for Australians working in Europe and for European business with Australian Industry and Commerce. In 1988 ABIE expanded its presence accross Europe with branches here in Belgium and also in the Netherlands, France, Germany, Italy, Russia and other European countries.
Currently there are about 1500 members internationally drawn from most Australian companies with business interests in Europe and from a wide range of European companies with reciprocal interests in Australia.
There is also a fast growing number of memebers who are not in business relating to Australia but who are Australian and wish to take advantage of Australian social interactions occuring within the group. ABIE Belgium
was established in 1993 by Leigh Smith, Malcolm Campbell, Richard Linning and the first President Jane Cowcher. It was promoted by the Ambassador
Ted Pocock who saw ABIE as a potential adjunct to the work of the Embassy in relation to trade and business.
Diederik Wilbrenninck was the first Treasurer and Anne Macgregor was instrumental in creating the first database of members and friends.
Jane was President from 1993 to 1997 followed by Bob Parker until 2001 which included the very successful Sydney Olympics period.
Andrew Fotheringham took over in 2001 after the untimely passing of Bob until the end of 2011.
Since its inception ABIE has always encouraged the communication between companies and people mixing both the professional and social side of life in Belgium.
As Jane Cowcher remembers : " I recall one dinner when a young Australian guy arrived that week from Hong Kong and had been advised to join ABIE to find his way in Brussels. I asked what he was looking for and he said "a job, a place to live and a girlfriend" and by the end of the night he had found all three "
. Some of the presentations : events in the near past (and this is not a complete list) include :
In 2010 ABIE Belgium hosted a delegation from the EABC which included
- EABC (European Australian Business Council)
- EU Parliamentarians
- Australians Parliamentarians
- Macquarie Bank
- Macquarie Airports Group
- ING Bank
- Ethiad Airlines
- Kreglinger Wine Estates
- Michael Lynagh (2011 Rugby World Cup)
- Svein Koningen Galleries
- Geoff Walsh, Director Public Affairs - BHP Billiton
- Prof. Stephanie Fahey, Deputy Vice Chancellor - Monash University
- Carla Zampatti, Chair - Carla Zampatti
- Bruce Morgan, Chariman - PricewaterhouseCoopers
- Hugh Morgan, Principal - First Charnock
- Stephen Loosley, Special Council - MinterEllison Lawyers
- Paul Koenig, partner - European Australia Advisory group
ABIE continues to grow and develop in association with the Members, the Australian Embassy and other ABIE Branches and we look forward to you joining us and bringing your special skills and interests to the group to ensuring the future becomes even more successful than the past.