Waverley Library

Launch of the Raoul Wallenberg exhibition 2 March 2019

The exhibition ‘Raoul Wallenberg – to me there’s no other choice’ was officially opened by Ambassador Pär Ahlberger on Saturday 2 March at Waverley Library in Bondi Junction. Professor Frank Vajda from Melbourne held a memorable keynote speech, describing how he was saved by Raoul Wallenberg in Budapest during the Second World War. Introducing the speakers was Jan Anger, son of Per Anger, who worked along Raoul Wallenberg at the Swedish Embassy in Budapest.

Frank Vajda delivering his keynote speach

Among the guests were two other survivors from Budapest, Erwin Forrester, from Sydney and Andrew Steiner, living in Adelaide.

The exhibition is presented by the Swedish Institute together with the Embassy of Sweden and with the support of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. It details Raoul Wallenberg’s childhood, education and career and his assignment in Hungary to save as many people as possible from the Holocaust.

Raoul Wallenberg is the only honorary Australian citizen and at the exhibition you will find his honorary citizenship certificate as well as printed stamps from Australia Post.

The exhibition, which has been travelling Australia since 2015, will be shown at the library until 10 April 2019.

Waverley Library Galleries
32-48 Denison Street
Bondi Junction NSW 2022
Tel: 02 9083 8790Monday – Friday 9.30am – 9pm
Saturday:  9.30am – 3pm
Sunday:  1 – 5pm

Isabella Löwengrip and Pingis Hadenius at SACC

Löwengrip in Sydney

by Anna Alvsdotter

Influencer beauty entrepreneur found her perfect partner.
Now they’re about to make Australia glow.

If you haven’t heard of Blondinbella, you’ve probably lived under a rock for the past decade and a half.
Your other excuse would be residing in Australia, as her beauty brand is only just being introduced to our market through the Myer stores. The leading influencer in the Nordics with an audience of 1.5 million weekly followers, Isabella Löwengrip and her online alter ego Blondinbella have featured regularly in Swedish media.
Together with her perfect side-kick Pingis Hadenius, she runs businesses with a combined turnover of $10 million, and more than 50 employees. The pair has started several companies and co-written two books on economics.

An evening in early March, I have the pleasure of acting as moderator and interviewer during a sold-out event at the Sydney School of Entrepreneurship.
“It’s important to be a role model”, says Isabella. “I started my first blog when I was 14 when I moved out of home by myself. My followers have been with me for the entire journey. They’ve seen me going from nothing, being bullied at school, having acne, and I started my own company together with Pingis.
Today, it’s the fastest growing Swedish beauty company. I think being transparent, that they can see the entire journey, and being very honest about all sides in life. To show that anything is possible, and I think people love to follow other positive people”, Isabella explains.
“What you see with Isabella is that she dares to open up her life – it’s not the perfect, polished just beautiful images”, says Pingis. “It’s that as well, but it’s all the content behind, and you really get to follow a real person that you can relate to.” In business circles, they are relatively young. Isabella Löwengrip is only 28 and started a beauty blog when she was in her mid-teens. Being a leading influencer, her advice on how to handle negativity, ridicules and detractors is useful.
“If I get a hundred comments, and maybe ten of them would say that I’m too fat, or something about my skin… They can find anything [negative to say], and I think a lot of women maybe focus on the bad ten instead of thinking about the 90 positives”, she says.
“I don’t care about what people are saying. And maybe that’s my biggest strength in life. I NEVER care. I just want to be happy and run our business together, and travel and make people glow”. The bit about making people glow is a light-hearted way to slip in a little promotion of their latest product.
The tight connection between these two powerhouses is noticeable. Discussing the importance of open communication and honesty, Pingis Hadenius says they’ve never had an argument in all the years working together. “Of course we discuss things, but there’s never an emotional side to it. It’s never private, it’s always professional, what’s best for the business. Say I walked into [this event] here, and Isabella said, ‘What are you wearing, this is not the right outfit’. I’d just think ‘Ok that’s probably not good for the business’, and I’d just change my outfit. We can be so open and honest with each other”.

The two Löwengrip Beauty AB founders sparkle with enthusiasm, keen to share their story of entrepreneurial success and valuable start-up advice. The audience is even treated to the true story about their business partnership. “We realised we were seeing the same guy, so we got to know each other. And then we stopped seeing him, and then we started a company instead. And that’s much more sustainable”, Löwengrip states, in a matter-of-fact manner.
“You get something out of every relationship” adds Hadenius. “I noticed straight away how direct you are, and I love that myself. I remember sending you an email saying – Let’s write a book together, and you were like, OK!”

Writing their book on financial literacy, Economista, they set the tone for their future working arrangement.
Hadenius manages the business and sales, while Löwengrip’s role is mainly to be in charge of product development and the whole brand building. “You have to do what you love because every day is a struggle. You have to do what you’re passionate about.”

Recorded video from the seminar

and the winners of the 2018 Swedish Australian Business Awards are

The winners of this year’s Awards were presented at the Chamber’s Annual Christmas & Awards Event 29 November 2018. The event attracted 150 members and guests from the Swedish Australian business community. The evening included a Swedish School Lucia performance, a special music performance by The Marais Project, Swedish Christmas buffet,
 presentation by guest speaker Ms Emma Walsh, CEO Parents At Work and the announcement of the 2018 Swedish Business in Australia award winners:
1. Excellence in Business Enterprise
2. Excellence in Innovation
3. Excellence in Small Business
4. Young Business Executive/Young Entrepreneur
5. The Swedish Australian Chamber of Commerce Honorary Award
read more here

Successful SACC Perth WA Event about Mining Innovation 23 October

SACC Perth | Thank you to everyone who attended the Mining Innovation Breakfast Q&A in Perth 23 October. Special thanks to the event sponsors, DB Schenker and Metzke and to the Embassy of Sweden for co-hosting this event. Attendees included HE Pär Ahlberger, Professor Göran Roos, panelists Hayley Ford, Shaiful Ali, Mikael Arthursson, and Timothy Few. The panel discussion was moderated by SACC board member Joseph Olsson, Principal, Business Development, SSAB. Topics included:

  • Digital and automation solutions and how they can support miners in achieving improved productivity
  • Analytics and data systems and how they can make mining smart
  • How collaborations between small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), miners, government and academia can deliver technological innovations in Australia
  • Opportunities for startups and entrepreneurs to support the ongoing transformation in the mining industry


The mining industry – one of Australia’s most important sectors

The mining industry is one of Australia’s most important sectors bringing investment opportunities, jobs, taxes and wealth to the Australian economy. Göran Fredrik Göransson founded the Swedish global engineering company Sandvik in Sweden in 1862; today it specialises in mining and rock excavation, metal-cutting and materials technology. Being a major actor in one of Australia’s key industries comes with a lot of responsibility in terms of sustainability. Pictured below is Figge Boksjö, Chairman of SACC Perth, Philippa Purdy, Store Manager at H&M Perth and Stuart Evans, Head of Environment, Health and Safety at Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology, at SACC Perth’s Conscious Business event held on May 16.

SACC Perth teamed up with H&M for a Sustainable Business event in May 2018

In 1947, the Swedish multinational clothing-retail company H&M opened its first store in Västerås, Sweden. Sixty-seven years later, their doors opened for the first time on the Australian continent. Being a global fashion brand in one of the biggest industries in the world comes with a lot of responsibility in terms of sustainability. On H&M’s website, the company acknowledges that the fashion industry uses more resources than the planet allows. In the work towards a more sustainable future, the company introduced a garment collecting initiative in 2013 called Closing the Loop. The program encourages customers to bring in their old items to H&M stores for them to be recycled, reused or re-worn, giving garments a 100% circular lifetime. Since initiating the program, the company has collected more than 55,000 tonnes of garments. Read more about the impressive work on H&M’s website: https://about.hm.com/en/sustainability/get-involved/recycle-your-clothes.html. Thank you very much for hosting our Sustainable Business networking event on May 16 in Perth @hmaustralia.


SACC Perth WA – Strengthening business ties

Figge Boksjo says Swedish business values are well respected.

Photo: Attila Csaszar Strengthening business ties

Author: Matt Mckenzie

Published: Wednesday, 21 March, 2018

Two new business groups plan to strengthen Western Australia’s economic links with innovative overseas economies, with the Swedish Australian Chamber of Commerce and WA Singapore Business Connect opening Perth chapters.

Figge Boksjo, who is chair of the WA branch of the Swedish Chamber, told Business News the organisation would join with the local embassy and trade council to enable and engage Swedish-Australian businesses.

It is the third Swedish business chapter in Australia, joining a branch in Melbourne and the original in Sydney, which has operated for more than a century.

Some of the best-known members of the WA chapter, which opened earlier this month, are homewares retailer Ikea, fashion store H&M, carmaker Volvo and conglomerate Saab, Mr Boksjo said.

More than any one company, however, there was an overarching theme about the way the country did business, he said.

“Being Swedish, most of them tap into Swedish business ethics and the values Swedes are hopefully famous for,” Mr Boksjo said.

Those included diversity, non-discrimination and sustainability, while he said Bloomberg had ranked Sweden as the world’s second most innovative nation.

WA Singapore Business Connect will have a distinctive advantage when it launches next month, according to vice-president Henry Heng.

“The most Singaporeans living outside Singapore are actually in Perth,” Mr Heng told Business News.

Singapore was also one of the state’s largest trading partners, he said, with WA retaining a trade office in that country.

“There is a lot of opportunity to build on Singaporean relations,” Mr Heng said.

However, existing international business chambers (see list) have not been immune to the impact of the state’s economic downturn.

For the American Chamber of Commerce, the focus has been on diversifying its offering, including through an office move, according to general manager WA Penelope Williamson.

“It has been very hard to keep people as members throughout the downturn,” Ms Williamson told Business News.

She said the chamber had taken a new facility at 44 St Georges Terrace, with an expanded space including a members’ lounge.

That will be available for members, particularly from smaller, suburban business, to use for meetings.

One key program for the association’s 284 members was a series of three trade missions, including sending delegations to the Offshore Technology Conference in Houston, which it has done now for 20 years.

At the Western Australian Croatian Chamber of Commerce, membership softened a bit during the downturn according to treasurer Dennis Yagmich, although there is real interest from Croatia’s business and political community to expand ties overseas.

While trade delegations are among the offerings available to members of the Croatian chamber, it participates in an annual T20 cricket competition in Croatia, run by members.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong Business Association WA president Matthew Clarke said his network had grown in the past four years despite the downturn, reaching around 120 members.

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