2019 has seen an astounding array of extremely successful events orchestrated by the Australia Lebanon Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ALCCI). The main purpose of the ALCCI is to promote and engage bilateral trade between Australia, Lebanon and the Globe; and further to be the bridge/link driving successful business and trade to empower strong economic relations.
It is with my greatest honour to advise that the ALCCI was a sponsor of the Kahlil Gebran Exhibition themed The Garden of the Prophet held at the Immigration Museum in Melbourne. Half a world away and over eight decades after his death, the moment you walk into The Garden of the Prophet exhibition, Gebran immediately comes to life with his resounding words, reminding the observer that even in death, the Lebanese poet remains alive, speaking directly to his visitor. Selected works from the Gebran Museum, formerly the Monastery of Mar Sarkis in Bcharri, Lebanon have been carefully brought to Melbourne’s Immigration Museum. The great Lebanese poet, philosopher and artist who is known worldwide for his most famous literary masterpiece, The exhibition celebrated the life and works of the artistic and literary genius who has inspired some of the world’s most influential figures of our time, from Indira Ghandi to Elvis Presley, John Lennon and David Bowie.
The ALCCI was also duly proud and honoured to have hosted a private tour to the Gebran Museum in Melbourne with Mr Rudy Rahme. Mr Rahme is a renowned sculpture, painter, and a poet. Rudy studied at the Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts des Beaux-Arts (ALBA) Rudy pursued his specialisation in fresco and sculpture at the “Academia Spinelli-Florence” with the assistance of the Baraldi family. Rudy has received many accolades, among which the Golden Medal in Lebanese poetry, the Said Akl Prize, and the Murex d’Or of the French city Nojance sur Marne. Rudy invented a new technique for fixing the “Pencil on Canvas” painting which was patented in his name in Florence-Italy. Mr Rahme donated one of his materpieces to the Melbourne Immigration Museum. A private luncheon was held in his honour.
The ALCCI was deeply honoured to have hosted a private dinner honouring His Excellency Sheikh Amine Gemayel, former President of the Republic of Lebanon and Mrs Joyce Gemayel, former First Lady of the Republic of Lebanon. It was a great privilege to welcome and honour His Excellency during his visit to Melbourne and Australia.
The ALCCI orchestrated a Trade Mission to Lebanon themed G’Day Marhaba Lebanon. On 1 June 2019, Australian Delegates departed to Lebanon as part of this Trade Mission to promote Australian businesses and foster and encourage relations between both countries. Part of this Trade Mission was to take part in the LDE. Being aware of the value that the Lebanese diaspora in the world represents, and the need to foster Lebanon’s relationship with them on meaningful and sustainable grounds, the Lebanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Emigrants started in 2014 the Lebanese Diaspora Energy conference (LDE) in Lebanon. This unique event has become an annual ritual gathering eminent people of the Lebanese Diaspora in Beirut to celebrate their stories of success and engage in a strong and symbiotic partnership with their fellow countrymen, to seek investment opportunities in Lebanon. As part of its roadmap aspiring to shorten the distances between the Lebanese Diaspora and Lebanon, LDE makes yearly the journey to various destinations in the world, where regional conferences are held to promote the concept of “Lebanity”, to encourage the Lebanese Diaspora to visit and invest in Lebanon, and to celebrate their stories of success. This is a wonderful initiative by the Lebanon Government and the Minister of Foreign Affairs and wishes them every success and here I would like to thank our President of the Republic of Lebanon HE General Michel Aoun and in particular our Foreign Affairs Minister HE Gebran Bassil for his great initiative and hard work.
During the 2019 Trade Mission, the ALCCI was very fortunate to have engaged in:
- a private meeting with His Excellency General Michel Aoun President of the Republic for Lebanon
- a private meeting with HE Riad Salame Governor of Banque du Liban and other business associates
- a private meeting with Her Excellency Rebekah Grindlay Australian Ambassador for Lebanon a private meeting with IDAL and Mr Nabil Itani (Chairman) and other business affiliations
And so many other meetings pursuing bilateral trade between both countries.
I am honoured and thank sincerely the organizing committee and the two keynote speakers who coordinated a Breakfast Seminar themed Post Federal Election Taxation & Business Issues which was held on 29 May 2019. This was the first of many series of seminars that will provide a piece of invaluable information to the business community which was proudly sponsored and partnered by Bank of Sydney.
I am proud to advise that the ALCCI has mentored youth and provided with much-needed guidance and assistance. I am proud to also confirm that many guests attend the ALCCI office in search of assistance and it is my great pleasure to confirm that I do provide them with connectivity to both business and the local and wider community
I am deeply indebted to Dr Salim Sfeir, Honorary Chairperson of the ALCCI and our Partner. Also would like to thank Bank of Beirut and Bank of Sydney for their outstanding support and contribution to the sustainability of the Chamber. And in addition to that, I want to thank all our sponsors, volunteers who have given their time and resources to support the ALCCI. I would also take this opportunity to thank the Executive Board, The Board of Directors and the Board Members, The Business Women’s Group and The Young Entrepreneurs for their continuous hard work and commitment; I am deeply grateful.
It is with my outstanding joy to have been bestowed by decree from His Excellency General Michel Aoun, President of the Republic of Lebanon, HE Saad Hariri The Prime Minister for the Republic of Lebanon and HE Gebran Bassil the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Emigrants the position of Honorary Lebanese Consul General to Tasmania. It is with my resounding privilege to honourably assist the Lebanese community in Tasmania and proudly represents the Lebanese Government.
The Hon Faddy Zouky OAM
President & Chairperson