Established in 1981, the Victorian Chapter has been at the forefront of promoting bilateral trade between Australia and the Arab states.
Members of the Chapter come from a wide diversity of business interests and industrial sectors, including manufacturing and agricultural exporters to service industry specialists -- ranging from large manufacturers and exporters to individual commodity traders and independent consultants. Members export a broad range of products including meat, grains and pulses, dairy products, fresh produce, pharmaceutical products, cars, pumps, and oil and gas equipment.
In recent times, the chapter has experienced strong membership growth in the financial and professional services sectors. Recognising the networking opportunities that AACCI offers, members are active in the executive recruitment, education, building and construction, vocational training, mining and logistics sectors.
The chapter has forged strong partnerships with the state offices of DFAT and Austrade, state government departments, industry focused groups as well as Melbourne based consuls representing Egypt, Lebanon and Oman.
In 2011 the chapter will continue to offer outstanding value for Victorian members by conducting a robust schedule of network functions, seminars and workshops and country-briefing sessions.
Wesley Smant -- Executive Officer, Victoria
Wesley joined the Victorian Chapter of the Australia Arab Chamber of Commerce in Chamber in early 2012.
Prior to joining AACCI, Wesley has served as a catalyst for successful establishment and maintaining commercial relations between The Netherlands, MENA and Southern Africa as well as business development initiatives, complemented by management and marketing qualifications and a proven track record in delivering value to client organizations.
Following his studies, he was able to gain international experience in the US. Subsequent to his return in 2004 to South Africa, he had been the SANEC (Southern African Netherlands Chamber of Commerce) Project Manager. In this capacity he gained experience in managing complex and global projects across a number of industries. At SANEC Wesley was integrally involved with the reporting of progress and all matters related to the resource, budgeting and timely delivery of projects. Wesley organized trade shows as well as inward and outward trade and investment missions from and to Southern Africa and Europe.
At the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands Wesley was involved in market analysis and orientation to assist access to and obtain influence in those markets (agriculture, economics and sustainable development). Responsible for preparation, planning, support and supervision of Dutch trade and other missions and identifies and resolves bottlenecks in the execution of missions and trade transactions.
Wesley moved to the UAE in 2008 and started his own Talent Acquisition Company with a partner in South Africa called Cycan Middle East. He focused on the company to expand their business by reaching out to new customers in the GCC region and building networks.
Muna Estensen -- Events Executive Officer, Victoria
Muna joined the AACCI in September 2011 as an Executive Officer for managing events in Victoria. Prior to that she worked in the field of education, teaching the Arabic language and translation. She has also worked as a Public Relations and Marketing coordinator.
Muna holds two Master's degrees in International Relations from Bond University, and in Translation and Interpreting Studies from Monash University. Muna is also a licensed professional translator from English to Arabic.