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Former Prime Minister John Howard welcomes seven new Ambassadors for Sydney with a national address on the global economic future

Today the Hon John Howard OM AC will deliver the ‘Australian Oration’ on the global economic future with high profile Business Events Sydney (BESydney) Ambassadors announced at a gala dinner at the Sydney Opera House. 


Mr Howard confirmed the importance of innovation to drive a healthy global economic future. “Sydney is a global intellectual capital and an important driver of the Australian economy. Business Events Sydney and its Ambassador network are helping us grow the knowledge economy by facilitating innovation and collaboration in our most globally competitive priority sectors.”


The new Ambassadors are:
• Sally Loane, CEO, Financial Services Council
• Zareh Nalbandian, CEO, Animal Logic
• Lee White, CEO, Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand
• Professor Ian Jacobs, President and Vice-Chancellor, University of New South Wales
• Professor Barney Glover, Vice-Chancellor and President, University of Western Sydney
• Professor Stephen Simpson AC, Academic Director, Charles Perkins Centre
• Professor Ken Maher, Hassell, President-Elect, Australian Institute of Architects.

Ambassadors use their global network and expertise to help BESydney secure multi-million dollar international events for Australia. These span priority sectors including infrastructure, information and communication technology, professional services, medical research and education. Hosting these events drives STEM jobs, fosters innovation and entices global talent to relocate.



Launched in 2009, the BESydney Ambassador Program today includes more than 90 influential leaders including the Hon Warwick Smith AM and Rod McGeough AO. 



Today, Premier Mike Baird announced he has become Patron of the Program. “New South Wales’s (NSW) success is directly linked to our people, and I am proud to lead a community that is committed to making a difference. Relationships are vital, built through political, cultural and business engagement.



“BESydney’s Ambassador Program, of which I am proud to be its Patron, plays a vital role in fostering this connectivity. The Ambassadors are some of the world’s most inspiring individuals and together we secure international business events that provide lasting legacies for our people, our communities and our industries.”

BESydney CEO, Lyn Lewis-Smith said conferences also bring the highest-yield tourism, with business event tourists spending up to 4.5 to 6.5 times more than regular holiday tourists. “Tourism is one of Australia’s ‘Fast Five’ growth sectors now the mining boom has eased, so it’s vital for our prosperity. Over the past decade, BESydney has secured events worth more than A$1 billion in economic impact to NSW. We’ve also secured more than 20 events worth over $180 million for International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney), which opens in December 2016.” 



Ms Lewis-Smith said many events are focused on solving Australia’s problems whether they are lowering rates of obesity or creating new jobs to replace those under threat of digital disruption.



Financial Services Council CEO, Sally Loane wants Sydney to be a services hub: “I’m keen to advocate for Australia and Sydney to become the next financial services hub in Asia. I want to help spread the message that there are enormous opportunities for developing and growing Australia’s financial services as an export industry. So many leaders in business, the arts and the community generally are united by a common interest and there's a tremendous diversity of minds and experiences in our city which will contribute to our future growth and prosperity.”
 


Chartered Accountants ANZ CEO, Lee White has a vision for global collaboration: “As an Ambassador I will contribute insight into how Sydney can maximise its economic and cultural DNA, and on behalf of our 100,000 members, will actively seek out how our connected intelligence and insight can help shape policy. BESydney operates on the idea of whole-of-government and industry collaboration – I am inspired by this approach and the successes so far. A track record of proven success and the promise of much more to come is something I am excited to be part of. ” 
 


University of New South Wales Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ian Jacobs is working with BESydney to secure major global health events: “I hope that I will be able to link organisations and people together to come to Sydney, to participate in events which enhance research, teaching, debate and exchange of ideas. Sydney is the perfect venue for bringing the best and brightest in the world together to explore new opportunities and ways to improve lives.” 
 


University of Western Sydney Vice-Chancellor, Professor Barney Glover is supporting the growth of his region: "Sydney is a truly global city. As Vice-Chancellor of the University of Western Sydney, I am particularly pleased that Western Sydney – one of Australia's fastest growing and most important economic regions – plays an important role in helping to foster our city's international competitiveness and our national productivity.”



Animal Logic CEO, Zareh Nalbandian is keen to leverage his creative global network for Australia: "I am honoured to join the impressive list of Ambassadors given Sydney is the birthplace and home to Animal Logic. As an Australian company, we have attracted some of the finest creative talent from around the world who are drawn to the wonderful landscape, culture, facilities and opportunities Sydney has to offer.  I look forward to working alongside other industry leaders as well as members of the Creative Industry to help highlight this wonderful city to a global audience.”



Hassell architecture Fellow, Professor Ken Maher is guiding the Darling Harbour precinct redevelopment: “Sydney is undergoing a design led transformation through projects including Green Square in the South, Barangaroo in the North and Darling Harbour. These new precincts will enrich Sydney’s character and reputation as a great place to live, and a great place to visit. The Ambassador Program is a wonderful way to convey the richness of culture, activities and experiences of our diverse and energetic city to the world at large. The passion and stories of individuals who contribute to the shaping of our city brings a personal touch to the Program.”



Obesity expert, Professor Stephen Simpson confirmed that as an Ambassador: “I look forward to having the chance to help showcase Sydney in all its glory to the world.”

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