SACC Melbourne Chapter business lunch with the  Ambassador of Sweden, HE Mr Henrik Cederin 15 April


Great turn out on 15 April at the SACC Melbourne Chapter business lunch with the  Ambassador of Sweden, HE Mr Henrik Cederin. Which took place at the Honorary Consulate of Sweden at Denmark House.

We were pleased to welcome Sara Sahely, Director of Global Engagement at Global Victori who talked about the Victorian Government’s export recovery initiatives, global engagement and key business opportunities and Ian McLean Market Leader, UK & Europe at Invest Victoria covered key areas of investment including hydrogen, digital games and renewables.

Joanne Woo, ABB Australia presented the new introduced SACC Sustainability Committee and fellow company members involved. Read her speach here.

Thank you to all speakers, members, guests and the Consulate for hosting.

SACC Melbourne – Nordic Engagement Lunch Wednesday 14 April

The Nordic Engagement Lunch 14 April presented a full house at Denmark House 

A slow start to the Nordic Engagement lunches but better late than never! After a tumultuous 2020, we finally could gather and welcome new and known faces to Denmark House. The 2021 forecast looks to be shaping up well! Starting the season with a bang so we hope to see not only an increase but also an increase in lunches. As for now, the Nordic Chambers are running the lunches on the second Wednesday every other month.
Due to unfortunate news of the Covid-19 outbreak in Melbourne with additional covid safe measures around for Victoria the Nordic Engagement Lunch on the June 9 has been rescheduled to August 11th. If you already purchased, your seat will be honoured for the rescheduled date.

Welcome to the next ‘Nordic Engagement Lunch Wednesday 11 August!

Where: Denmark House, Level 3/428 Little Bourke Street, Melbourne, VIC 3000

Price: $35 pp includes Smørrebrød, Beer/wine and Aquavit

Please feel free to invite guests.

Nordic Engagement is run by Denmark House in partnership with the Danish, Finnish, Norwegian and Swedish Australian Chambers of Commerce in Melbourne.

Bookings and payment are essential –

If you have any queries or diet requirements, please contact

Denmark House and all chambers are staying informed and following the VIC Government COVID restrictions.


Introduction to Artificial Intelligence

Learn the basics of AI and how you could use it to your advantage in career and business

AI for Managers & Executives Poster

AI for Managers and Executives: a 6-week online course starting 26th of April

AI Center has just released a 6-week online course; AI for Managers and Executives, helping business leaders better understand the possibilities around AI technology and how it can be applied across organisations. It offers a digitally verifiable and globally recognisable AI Center certification on completion and starts 26th of April.

All of our SACC- and YP members can find more info and sign up here

AI for Managers and Executives

Webinar Summary

On 18 March SACC YP organised an online workshop based on AI Center’s internationally popular 6-week course AI4nonAIs. This unique and SACC-exclusive, interactive online workshop was led by Reza Moussavi, Director-General of AI Center, Sweden, the first part of the session covered the following subjects:

  • What is AI
  • History and origin of AI
  • Contemporary rise of AI
  • AI vs Human
  • AI vs Jobs
  • Human-Centered AI

In the second part, a small assignment was given which gave participants an opportunity to try out they learnt.

Takeaways were:

  • Understanding what is, and what is NOT AI, and why that matters
  • How AI is helping and not hurting the industries and people
  • Finding out how, and where, to learn more


Reza Moussavi

Reza is an intelligence analyst and tech innovator who has been selected as the top 10 innovators of Europe at Innovact Award in 2011, France. He is a software engineer and Director-general of the AI Center in Sweden. He is a member of the European AI Alliance, and also an elected director of the Free Society Conference and Nordic Summit (FSCONS). Reza has been a business mentor for tech startups at Founder Institute, as well as an industrial mentor, thesis supervisor, and teacher assistant at the University of Gothenburg.

About AI Center

AI Center is a global certification body and network, based in Sweden. Their objective has three pillars: equality, safety, and security in the AI industry. They provide companies with guidelines, certified training programs, and certifications regarding equality, safety, and security in the AI industry. Working with experts from different organizations assures that AI Center’s standards are aligned with credible organizations such as the UN and EU.

Summary Mergers & Acquisitions update – Green shoots following the pandemic

On 10 March the SACC and ABCS (Australian Business Council of Sweden) presented our second joint webinar on Mergers & Acquisitions –
The state of play in the market and some of the cross border issues that can arise 









This webinar was moderated by Sonia Kaurah, ABCS Board Member & former Program Director at Antler (Global VC Fund)

Trade & Invest Commissioner to Australia and Business Sweden Global M&A Lead, Martin Ekberg set the scene for the discussion topic covering M&A global activities and in the APAC region including the strong and growing M&A potential for Swedish and Australian companies. Martin presented trends that have been accelerated by the Covid-19 crisis and rounded up the introduction with a quote by Andrei Vorobyov “As the world locked down and masked up, M&A endured”.

Jonas Bergquist, Swedish attorney-at-law (Sw. Advokat) and partner at Magnusson, Stockholm described the M&A activity situation in Sweden which is showing very similar trends as in Australia. Many companies in Sweden have continued their M&A activity during the crisis and a positive outcome has been the innovative and accelerated use of digital means to conduct transactions. The swift digital development in M&A has contributed to a high level of  M&A activities. Ken Wong, Partner at EQT and Head of Australia and New Zealand, also underlined how virtual data rooms and virtual site visits and management presentations has potentially changed the way we will be doing M&A deals going forward. Ken described how the market looks like for private M&A vs going public and gave a general view from a PE perspective and gave examples of how EQT as a PE fund future proof their portfolio companies following the pandemic. Companies need to be leaders in sustainability, such as 100% renewable, gender diversity, as well as leaders in digital capabilities. Portfolio companies can’t just have a strategy to be a market leader they also need to be a digital leader. Ken also covered scrutinies for foreign buyers/M&A actors in the Australian market and highlighted that national security interests are very important and foreign investors need to be mindful of this. Jonas covered scrutinies related to investments in Sweden and new legislation has been introduced one by the EU and additional scrutiny in Sweden for foreign investments which came effective from 1 January 2021. Warren Campbell, Early Stage Investor and Antler Venture Partner, described two investment areas that can be specific opportunities in the Australia/Nordics ecosystem which was energy transition, renewables and health innovation and digital tools. These two areas could present many opportunities for collaboration between Sweden and Australia.

View the full webinar here

Summary of areas covered in the discussion:

  • Review: the situation today and how we got here
    • Local market resilience
    • Sectors/industries driving activity
    • How disruptive technologies act as a driver for M&A
  • Things to consider: counsel and investor experience 
    • Cross-border issues
    • Financing issues
    • Contractual/legal/regulatory issues and trends
  • Future outlook: what post-Covid opportunities are there?
    • Looking to the future and the scale of opportunities
    • M&A trends – Sweden & Australia post-pandemic
    • Pandemic and uncertainty – how to succeed in a volatile M&A market?

Introducing the moderator and panellists:


Sonia Kaurah, ABCS Board Member & former Program Director at Antler (Global VC Fund)

Sonia works with early-stage tech startups on their fundraising and growth journey. Sonia holds a double degree in Psychology and Nutrition and has previously founded a company in foodtech. Most recently she ran the startup program at Antler and before that was Head of Startups at SUP46 in Stockholm. Originally from Melbourne, she has lived and worked in six different cities across the world before moving to Sweden in 2017.



Martin Ekberg is Business Sweden’s Market Area director for Oceania and the Swedish Trade Commissioner to Australia and New Zeeland.

During the last two decades, Martin has been assisting Swedish multinationals in achieving organic and inorganic growth. He is an experienced advisor in the field of international business development focusing on growth strategies, M&A, and transformational programs across a wide variety of industries. Before joining Business Sweden Martin was part of Accenture Europe’s Strategy and M&A service line.



Ken Wong is a Partner at EQT and is Head of Australia and New Zealand.

Ken spent a number of years in EQT’s Singapore office and returned to Australia in February 2020 to establish EQT’s Sydney office. Prior to joining EQT, Ken was at Affinity Equity Partners in Sydney, focusing on private equity investments in the TMT, data & digital and consumer sectors. Prior to that, Ken was at Macquarie Capital, based in Melbourne.


Jonas Bergquist is a Swedish attorney-at-law (Sw. Advokat) and partner at Magnusson in Stockholm.

Jonas has over 15 years of M&A experience advising Nordic and international clients from both the public and private sectors. He also has experience of real estate, corporate and commercial and international joint ventures, among others. He is regularly recommended by rankings institutes Chambers & Partners and Legal 500.



Warren Campbell, Early Stage Investor and Antler Venture Partner.

Warren is Chairman of the Australian Business Council since 2018. Warren runs his own investment company investing in scalable digital startups, and is an advisor and Board professional. Previously Warren was a partner at McKinsey and founder and CEO of Vireo Energy.





The SACC and ABCS will continue this collaboration and aims to bring you another webinar in the near future.

Keep your eyes on the SACC socials Linkedin and Facebook for further updates as announcements are made about future events, and check out the Recent Events and Webinars page on the SACC website for summaries and recordings of our recent presentations. Please contact us for questions and further information:

Summary Nordic Open Golf Day 2021

The Nordic Open Golf Day 4 March 2021 staged a new record year for the 5 years old tournament with 88 players and 22 teams teeing off at Moore Park Golf Course. Another 18 guests from the Nordic & Estonian Business Community joined the celebrating post-golf lunch and networking event.

All level players took part in a mix of corporate and individual teams with female and male players. The teams played Ambrose, meaning each player hits from the tee-off and then choose the best ball and continue from there with every player again hitting from this spot. The combined strokes are then counted for each team minus the team handicap to calculate the overall Ambrose score.

Even if it was a very relaxed and social event setting the team competition was definitely on and with the help of the Golf app players could follow the interactive scorecards and live leaderboard which added to the competition.

The Nordic Open Golf Day Trophy for 2021 was returned back to Finland by team Paradise Charnock O’Brien, with Peter Paradise, Julia Ward, Nicholas McGrath and Greg Hing winning this years comp. Runner up was Sweden with Fred Avellén, Dan Enstedt, Daniel Sjöberg and Johan Hempel. Second runner up was taken home by Swedish team KingHill, Jonas Lindholm, Magnus Perri, Magnus Nydén and Henrik Wandel. This year we also introduced an Ambrose gross before handicap prize and the winning team was Stressless with John Candi, Brett Parker, Philip Creehan and Tim Carleton. Congrats to the overall winners!

The Individual prize for Nearest to Pin was won by Julia Ward and Dan Enstedt while the Individual prize for Longest Drive went to Brynie Hall and Magnus Perri. Great effort to all!

All players had a chance to win a brand new Volvo XC40 Hybrid with a hole-in-one on hole 10. No one was lucky to drive the Volvo home this year either but we had two closest to pin winners Trenna Probert and John Nugent who each won a home office chair from Stressless. The Corporate team draw prize was a SEO optimising check sponsored by Amire Strategic Digital Marketing and in addition to the above presented prizes there were a few lucky door prizes as well for all lunch participants.

We were very pleased to again this year welcome the Ambassador of Sweden to Australia HE Henrik Cederin, who participated in the golf tournament in a SACC team together with Bharat Bhola, Alfa Laval, Mikael Dahlgren, Alfa Laval and Jussi Ylinen, Flick Anticimex.

Danish Connect was represented by their President David McLellan and Rikke Scheel Gamborg, Deputy Consul General and Trade Commissioner at Trade Council Denmark, Eero Toivanen, Business Finland represented FACC, EACCI by President Marianna Jolla, NACC by President Sophia Demetriades Toftdahl and SACC by President Jan Gardberg, Jonas Lindholm SACC Board, Kristina Melin SACC Board and Camilla Jennings General Manager, SACC. Thank you all for your support and contribution to making this event happen.

Summary Experience Sharing Session 3 Feb – Survival Guide to the Digital Transformation Jungle

This Experience Sharing session was the second organised by the SACC with focus on Digital Transformation. Why is digital transformation important for businesses? How is it difficult? What approaches or strategies of digital transformation should you focus on to fully leverage on changes and opportunities in the digital economy? Organisations and companies have embarked on their “exciting digital transformation journeys”, but many have become lost in the jungle of technology, disruptive forces and the sluggishness of their own organisations. The interactive session helped participants to understand and navigate the digital landscape using a model called – The 5 ways of digital.




The session was moderated by SACC Board Member, Camilla Bullock and we heard from topic expert John Ekman, a successful entrepreneur and the founder of Conversionista which is Scandinavia’s nr 1 company in Conversion rate Optimization. John is the head of education at New Republique – Australia’s premier Experimentation and Conversion Optimisation agency. He is a sought after speaker and instructor. He’s been helping brands like IKEA, Spotify, H&M, and Klarna to take their digital business to the next level.

To the session, we also invited SACC member Pontus Hansson from Pagero, who is driven in making e-business easy and connecting digitally. Pontus took us behind the digitising scene and showcased how they can help so that businesses can connect and engage with any business partner easily, accurately and reliably.


Keep your eyes on the SACC socials Linkedin and Facebook for further updates as announcements are made about future events, and check out the Recent Events and Webinars page on the SACC website for summaries and recordings of our recent presentations. Please contact us for questions and further information:

SACC End of Year Lunch & Golf Event 3 December

On 3 December the SACC organised an end of year lunch followed by afternoon golf at the Long Reef Golf Club on Sydney’s Northern Beaches. We were happy to be able to invite members and guest to this in-person event after many months of virtual events in the Zoom world. The lunch and the game of golf offered opportunities to meet members and business contacts of the Chamber in a relaxed but covid controlled setting. The event also enabled networking opportunities and for participants to promote their company and services.


Jan Gardberg, President of SACC held the end of year greeting, Martin Ekberg, Trade Commissioner, briefed us on Swedish business in Australia, focus and opportunities 2021. Camilla Jennings, SACC General Manager, presented event sponsors and planned SACC events and activities for 2021.


Thanks to all who participated and big thank you to event sponsors IKEA and AlfaLaval and to prize sponsors Ecope and CandyPeople from WA and MillasVineyardWines from HunterValley.


Team Gunnebo took home the winning team prize with beautiful wine from Ecope WA and a Fika Swedish Kitchen voucher. Looking forward to the next golf event Nordic Open Golf Day 4 March 2021!


Onilne event with Lynzeye’s Founders on Purposeful Branding

Swedish Chambers APAC were delighted to have Christian Ihre and Johan Ekelin, founders of Swedish management consultancy Lynxeye, speaking at this online event 26 November.

The future is increasingly difficult to predict for business leaders. They have to act and react in a world where business models change and market roles shift at a staggering pace.

Today, 81% of consumers believe that global brands have the power to make the world a better place, and they want companies to play an empathetic and compassionate role in their lives. Furthermore, 72% of consumers expect companies to understand their needs, and if they don’t, they will switch from brand to brand in search of an experience that matches their expectations. These are the challenges and opportunities companies and brands need to adapt to today if they want to be around tomorrow.

During this event, Mr Ekelin and Mr Ihre shared their conviction that the future belongs to companies with a clear purpose. Why the winners of tomorrow are those that dare to explore bold ways to make a difference for people and society.

Sweden’s Ambassador to Singapore HE Niclas Kvarnström​ facilitated the conversation with Mr Ihre and Mr Ekelin.


View the online event here.

Entrepreneurial Inspiration – SACC Virtual Event 12 Nov Summary


Over the past year, most of us have had to adjust to new ways of working and some may even have had the opportunity to reimagine their own work situation. For many business professionals, dreams about starting something of your own, are common place but sometimes knowing where to start is the biggest hurdle.

On the 12th of November, we organised a webinar, designed to inspire any budding entrepreneurs to take the leap of faith and start their own businesses. To our help, we were delighted to welcome a panel of experienced business entrepreneurs who so generously shared their experience with the audience.

Maria Collyer, Growth Facilitator from the Australian Government’s Business Entrepreneur’s Programme and Libby Helinski, Owner and Founder of Nordic lifestyle business Pappa Sven, both insightful entrepreneurs, shared their respective experience in imagining, planning and building businesses in both Australia and Sweden. The discussion was moderated by Todd Sotheren, President of the Byron Bay Chamber of Commerce, himself an entrepreneur and digital disruptor, who also shared his wealth of knowledge in creating viable businesses.

The idea to start a juice bar in Sweden came to Maria whilst she was studying in Australia, but the road from idea to set up a business was obviously a big leap. “I think a little pinch of young naivety added to the fact that I actually did it,” Maria said. In 2007, she indeed realised her business idea when she and her then partner opened their first juice bar in Sweden, Naked Juice Bar.

Libby and her husband had an opportunity to move to Sweden through her husband’s work, and Libby fell in love with the whole way of living and daily life in Sweden. “I loved the retail experience in the little towns there. I had never experienced retail done in that way before” she said. Her passion for textiles and natural fibres, as well as her wish to start something of her own, led her to open up a Nordic lifestyle store when she returned back to Australia and Newcastle in 2013. A lifestyle business that also now has expanded to accommodation, offering visitors to Newcastle a stylish B&B option.

One of the early lessons for Maria on her entrepreneurial journey was ‘don’t count your chickens before they are hatched’. Whilst still in Australia, she managed to attract the interest of a major shopping mall in Sweden, off one single phone call! She went on to imagine that the business was well underway, only to learn that the person who was initially interested had moved jobs and that the interest from the shopping mall was no longer there. Not before long, she found herself travelling extensively across Sweden selling her juice bar concept to other shopping malls, which turned out to be a challenging task. However, she stubbornly preserved and in the end managed to set up a relationship with a shopping mall in Lund, followed by another one in Stockholm.

One key lesson from Libby’s running her authentic Nordic lifestyle store is around her vision and she can firmly recommend entrepreneurs not to deviate from their vision or from who they truly are. Every time she has been drawn in a direction that is not true to herself or to her vision, whether it is bringing in new products or other aspects of running the business, she has always realised that it is not quite right and she has had to go back to her vision. “Obviously you need to learn to be adaptable and flexible and to respond to the business climate but it is so important to have a clear vision that tells a true story of who you are,” said Libby.

In regards to finding a market for your product, often you need to invest upfront before you know how the market will respond to your product or service.

“We opened our first shop with a massive sunk cost in the fit-out and it was a very nervous moment”. Obviously, Maria did not know if her concept was going to work at that point. She started to home-print flyers and hand out juice-samples in the shopping mall to build up awareness and interest in the product. Seeing people’s reactions when they tried her juices gave Maria confidence that she was on the right track – but the moment she truly knew that the concept had legs was when young toddlers pulled their parents across to her juice bar begging for a smoothie. The parents didn’t bat an eyelid at the prices – their kids screamed for a smoothie rather than ice-cream. Everybody wins.

The moment when Libby knew that she was on to something special, actually happened the very first day when she opened the doors to the store. Something happened that she was completely unprepared for but it confirmed that she had made the right choice in starting her own business. “The day that I opened my doors, six years ago, I had a long line of people waiting for me to open”. Women in their 60ties and 70ties came into the store saying “Oh my goodness, this is like Suomi! I thought, what are they talking about?” said Libby. What Libby didn’t know, not having grown up in Newcastle, was that in the 1970s there was a store in Newcastle selling ARTEK, Marimekko and Iittala, world famous Finnish design, and that already there was a loyal following in Newcastle loving Nordic design. “Without knowing, I had a customer base loyal to the brand” Libby continued.

Maria’s first advice to people looking at business ideas, products and markets are to develop a business plan. A well-developed business plan forces you to think about all the critical points of the business, going through everything from your budget and strategy to your positioning and how to scale up your business. Not to mention what an important tool it is when you are recruiting and building your tribe. “From the outset, we were able to offer a journey rather than a job; this is the concept, this is where we are headed – do you want to come on the journey with us? “ said Maria.

Common for so many business owners and entrepreneurs, is that they get caught up in the minutiae of running everything and they get stuck working in the business rather than on the business. One activity that really has helped Libby throughout her entrepreneurial journey, is to actually take the time and step out of the business and allow herself to stop and properly review her business. “I get great benefit from stepping out of the business for a while, and thinking about our strengths and weaknesses and also looking at new opportunities,” said Libby.

Our very engaged audience asked a number of great questions to our panel and Maria, Libby and Todd gave insights and reflections from their own experience, which was very inspiring to everyone. Click on the video link below to view the full recording of the webinar. In the end, we also conducted a survey of the audience, and a large percentage of the audience felt that they came away from the webinar with a lot of valuable information and that they indeed were inspired enough to start their own business.

We intend to do a follow-up webinar on the topic of entrepreneurship to also discuss the next steps in the entrepreneurial journey, namely scaling up and management buy-out. Stay connected with the Chamber to not miss out for what for sure will be another exciting webinar.

Summary by Teresia Fors, Chair SACC Brisbane QLD Chapter.


Presenting the panellists:

Maria Collyer, Growth Facilitator from the Australian Government’s Business Entrepreneur’s Programme. Maria is a multi-awarded food entrepreneur and business expert as the founder of Sweden’s largest juice bar chain, Naked Juicebar. She has experience from many stages of brand building and operational development, with key skills in scalable models to support continuous growth. She also is experienced as a board member in an angel investment group, and as a jury member in pitch competitions both domestically and internationally. Maria Collyer is currently working as a Growth Facilitator for the federal government’s flagship business initiative, The Entrepreneurs Programme. She delivers strategic advisory services to established businesses in Northern NSW and works with most of the region’s well-known brands across food, beverage, fashion and advanced manufacturing. At European Food Service Summit 2011, Maria featured as a guest speaker, sharing line-up with Starbucks’ Howard Schultz. Her own journey has fuelled a passion for business that she is thrilled to share with fellow entrepreneurs.


Libby Helinski, Owner and Founder of Nordic lifestyle business Pappa Sven. Libby first opened her Nordic homewares store, Pappa Sven, in Newcastle in 2014. Libby spent a year living in Skellefteå, in the North of Sweden, and wanted to be able to share her love of the Nordic way of life and create a truly unique retail experience in her hometown. Pappa Sven now consists of a retail store, online store and 2 distinctly Nordic themed Air BnB properties which attracts visitors from all over Australia. Libby graduated from UNSW in 1998 with a degree in Textile Science and her passion for textiles is evident in the business which she has created today. With a strong focus on natural fibres, authentic Scandinavian design and timeless design Libby has loved bringing together her many interests to create the Pappa Sven brand. Libby lives in Newcastle with her husband Matt and 2 teenage daughters Jessica and Lucy

Thanks to all participants and to the SACC Brisbane Chapter for organising the event.


View the full webinar here 

Summary SACC and IKEA Sustainability Forum 12 November, Perth

At last year’s SACC WA and IKEA event, we discussed a few of the strategies IKEA incorporate in their business model to reduce its global environmental footprint. Despite the uncertain times and the overhanging threat of COVID-19, we were invited back for a follow up to last year’s popular event.
On 12 November, we returned for a second sustainability themed evening where we were taken through some of the national and international initiatives IKEA support, all aimed at positively impacting the communities in which IKEA operates globally.
The presentations on the evening included three organisations, run wholly or supported by IKEA:
  • The Girls Academy; a school-based mentoring program working nationally to drive community-led solutions aimed at overcoming the varied obstacles that prevent Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander girls from attending school and achieving personally beyond graduation.
  • Working with Refugees; IKEA’s own Skills for Employment program, aimed to provide growth opportunities for refugees.
  • Let’s Play for Change; an annual initiative run by IKEA for children around the world, encouraging them to connect, learn, grow and have fun through play.
We were also able to try IKEA’s new plant-based food assortment; plant burgers, veggie hot dogs, and plant balls, that are now available at IKEA food outlets around Australia.
SACC WA would like to thank our generous host, the members and guests who participated this evening, and last but not least, the speakers who kindly offered their time and insights to inspire us all.