AACCI Board

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Roland Jabbour OAM Esq JP – President & National Chairman

Roland is a distinguished leader in public service and business entrepreneurship with extensive experience of commerce and international trade relations. He is the Chairman of Jabbour Holding Group of companies, with its corporate headquarters based in Melbourne Australia and offices across the Middle East region and globally. Read more…

Roland is a distinguished leader in public service and business entrepreneurship with extensive experience of commerce and international trade relations. He is the Chairman of Jabbour Holding Group of companies, with its corporate headquarters based in Melbourne Australia and offices across the Middle East region and globally. He oversees major projects between Australia and the Arab region, representing Australian universities, as well as private sector and government institutions. Roland’s business network extends over several sectors, including international education and training, property development and investments, migration services, Media, hospitality, travel and tourism.

For many years, Roland’s vision and leadership has achieved wide-ranging successful partnerships between Australia and the Arab region, facilitating business and trade relations that work to promote stronger ties between Australia and the Arab world. Roland is well-known and respected within governmental and semi-governmental circles. He is widely consulted for and invited by the media to provide commentary on issues of international affairs and multiculturalism.

He has developed a high profile as a community leader through longstanding commitment to public service and community initiatives. A firm believer in actively contributing in society, he has held numerous community positions and government appointments. He is the founding and current Chairman of the Australian Arabic Council (AAC); founding director of the Australia Lebanon Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ALCCI); and founding and current director of the Australia Oman Business Council (AOBC).

He served as former vice president and board member of the Council for Australian Arab Relations (CAAR) under the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (a federal government appointment); appointed Justice of the Peace for the State of Victoria; admitted to the Royal Victorian Association of Honorary Justices; a Founding Chairman of the Darebin Ethnic Communities Council. He also served as a member of, the Victorian Police Community Multicultural Advisory Council (PACMAC), the La Trobe University Centre for Dialogue, and the Deakin University Languages Advisory Board.

Roland has been a recipient of many awards from Australian and overseas governments in recognition of his service to the Australian community. These include the Order of Australia Medal (OAM), and the Medal for the Centenary of Federation of Australia, awarded by the Governor General & the Commonwealth of Australia for service to the Australian Community, and a Certificate of Appreciation in recognition of voluntary service to the community awarded by the Premier of the State of Victoria.

He has also been Finalist for the Australian Ethnic Business Awards (2009) and nominated for the Australian of the Year award (2004).

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James Harb – Vice Chair And Independent Board Member

James is the Vice Chairman of the Australian Arab Chamber of Commerce and Industry. He was formerly the Chairman of the NSW Chapter for four years. Read more…

He is a successful entrepreneur having developed a recognised international legal practice in Sydney and Melbourne; a Property Development Company, Iron Ore/Gold Exploration Public Company and a food and beauty products export company.

As a successful international arbitration and international trade lawyer, he has assisted numerous companies entering the Middle East market and Middle Eastern companies doing business in Australia in industries such as FMCG, cosmetics, food commodities, oil and gas, refined petroleum products, resources, construction, education, online businesses, licencing, agency and distribution.

He has a working knowledge of Middle Eastern trade laws including experience with Middle eastern countries such as Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Iran.

His strengths include an intricate cross cultural understanding and successful experience in negotiation with companies and individuals on an international level. James speaks and reads Arabic fluently.

He has high level connections in government and the business world in both Australia and the Middle East. This was demonstrated by his work with former Deputy Premier of NSW to promote bilateral trade between NSW and Middle East and leadership of the first trade mission to Lebanon from Australia in 1995. James has strong relations with Austrade and NSW Trade and Invest.

In 2010 he chaired the key Australian Arab Forum and Expo in NSW.

He is currently Managing Director of a fresh food and health/beauty products export business involved in exporting Australian products to the Middle East.

He is Chairman/CEO/Founder of a public company, Australian Metals Group Ltd and director of public financial services company, Australian Amalgamated Insurance and Investments Group Ltd.

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Joseph Rizk OAM – Independent Board Member

Joseph Rizk OAM is currently the Managing Director of Arab Bank Australia. Prior to it, Joseph was Chief Banking Officer for over five years, overseeing the retail, commercial and trade banking operations as well as its branch network, and being responsible for all revenue generating arms of the Bank. Read more…

Joseph has over 40 years of corporate, commercial and international banking and finance experience along with extensive experience across the banking spectrum. Joe’s time with NAB was 31 years.

Joseph has been a Director of the Australian Lebanese Chamber of Commerce since 2007. In 2014 became President of the Westmead Medical Research Foundation. Joe also holds positions of Chairman and Director for the Italian Opera Foundation Association and Westmead Millennium Institute for Medical Institute. Joe is also a member of (MAICD) The Australian Institute of Company Directors and a fellow of The Australian Institute of Management.

On Monday 8th June 2015 (Queens’ Birthday) – Joseph was awarded the ‘Order of Australia’ in the General Division of the Awards. The Award has been given to Joe in recognition of his extraordinary contribution to the banking sector, community and to Charitable Works, especially in the Lebanese and Arabic Community.

Simon Harrison photo

Simon Harrison – Queensland Board Member

Simon is the Chair of the Arab Australia Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Queensland and a national Director of the organisation. Read more…

Simon is a well-respected international lawyer whose principal focus is on the Middle East and North Africa; His main areas of practice relate to in and out bound investment ,major projects, energy and infrastructure , agribusiness and food security.
Simon has worked extensively in  the Middle East and North Africa and is also the Honorary Consul for the Republic of Tunisia.

Simon has spoken throughout the Middle East and globally on matters relating to the MENA region and its global engagements. Simon also has extensive experience advising both international industry and Sovereign States on a wide range of issues in his chosen fields in both contentious and non-contentious matters.Simon appears regularly on television and radio nationally and internationally having been reported across the world’s news media as well as in professional journals covering a wide range of issues. Simon also authors a regular column in the Muslim Times.

Mohamed

Mohamed Hage – New South Wales Board Member – Treasurer

Mohamed oversees investment research and strategy advice for multi-asset institutional investors. Read more…

Mohamed leads the investment and funds management research team delivering investment opportunities across select asset classes for institutional clients in Australia and internationally.

He has built more than 10 years’ experience in many aspects of professional investment management, with leadership responsibility taken for multiple investment management and consulting roles. This includes responsibilities for global investment research, strategy and risk, portfolio construction, manager selection and portfolio management strategies.

Mohamed is the NSW State Chairman of the Australian Arab Chamber of Commerce and Industry. He is widely endorsed for his experience in the areas of trade, investment, foreign direct investment and bilateral relations between Australia and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Mohamed has presented at several global conferences in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and has being invited as a delegate to the GCC Financial Forum in Bahrain.

Mohamed obtained his graduate and post-graduate degrees in Commerce and Business with a specialisation in Finance and management.

Soufiane

Soufiane Rboub – South Australia Board Member – Secretary

Mr Soufiane Rboub is an International Advisor at the International Student Center, Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor & Vice-President (Academic) at the University of Adelaide. Read more…

Soufiane has over 15 years of experience in the international education industry and he is the Chair of the Australia Arab Chamber of Commerce and Industry in South Australia and a National Director of the organisation.

Soufiane has an extensive experience delivering workshops in collaboration with the International Education Association (ISANA) on cross-cultural understanding and on the Arab world.

He also represents the University of Adelaide at various exhibition in the MENA region and member of the Group of Eight Scholarship Committee. In 2009 he successfully managed an AusAID initiative on behalf of the Iraqi government delivering support and logistics to their scholars undertaking their studies in Australia under the Iraq-Australia Agricultural Scholarship (AIAS).

Soufiane is also fluent in Arabic, French, Greek , Spanish as well as conversational Italian.

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Dr Fiona Hill – Victoria Board Member

Fiona is an Anthropologist and Cultural Consultant for the Arab region with 25 years experience in commercial, philanthropic, and scholarly projects in Syria, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, the UAE, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain, Libya, and Morocco. Read more…

Through her business, Almanar Consultancy, Fiona provides in-house Briefing-Workshops, Webinars, Coaching-Mentoring, E-Guides, and women-only Tours & Missions of Arab countries. Almanar Consultancy clients include industry, government, educators, entrepreneurs, and new graduates. Fiona served a decade on the Executive of the Australia Arabic Council (AAC) – Australia’s peak Arab communities advocacy body – and two terms (6 years) with the Australian Government’s Council for Australian Arab Relations (CAAR).

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Mr William Fisher – Independent Board Member

Mr William Fisher is currently a Visiting Fellow at the College of Diplomacy at the Australian National University, following a long career with the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. He was most recently the Australian Ambassador for Counter-Terrorism, from 2013 to 2014. Read more…

Prior to that he was the Australian Prime Minister’s Special Envoy to La Francophonie and to the Francophone States of Africa, from 2010 to 2012. Mr Fisher was reappointed as Prime Minister’s Special Envoy to the Francophone States of Africa from March 2016 and again as the Australian Government’s Special Envoy to the Francophone States of Africa from March 2017.
During Mr Fisher’s diplomatic career he had a number of senior appointments as Australian Ambassador/High Commissioner. Most recently he served as Australia’s High Commissioner to Canada (2005-08), and prior to that as Ambassador to France (2000-04) including accreditations to Algeria, Morocco and Mauritania; as Ambassador to Thailand (1997-2000); Ambassador to Israel (1990-93); Consul-General in Honolulu and Micronesia (1983-87); Charge d’Affaires in Tehran (1982-83); Consul-General and Head of Post in Port Vila, New Hebrides (1978-80) and in Noumea, New Caledonia (1975-78), as well as earlier postings at the Embassy in Vientiane, Laos and at the Australian Missions to the United Nations in Geneva and New York.
In the Department in Canberra, Mr Fisher’s positions included First Assistant Secretary, Public Affairs Division (1996-97); FAS Consular Programs and Security Division (1995-96); and FAS International Organisations and Legal Division (1994-95). He was Principal Adviser, Americas and Europe Division (1980-90); Head of the South Pacific Section (1980-81). He also held the position of Assistant Secretary, Defence Branch of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (1987-88).
Mr Fisher was awarded the decoration of Grand Officier de l’Ordre National du Merite by the French Government. He is married to Kerry, and they have one daughter.

Mr Peter Grant

Peter Grant – WA Board Member

Mr. Grant holds a B.Sc. (Hons.) in Geology from Nottingham University and has over 40 years’ experience in global exploration. Read more…

He first worked in seismic exploration and then worked as a senior geophysicist for BG out of UK before moving to Australia to work for BHP Petroleum who he worked for 13 years in Australia, Africa and Middle East as an Exploration Manager. He joined Woodside Energy Limited in 1995 in Perth and led Woodside’s International expansion from 1998 to 2013, as General Manger International Exploration. He has worked in most hydrocarbon basins around the world and has enjoyed considerable success in finding and developing hydrocarbons on most continents.
He left Woodside in 2013 to form his advisory company, International Energy Solutions and currently provides exploration, commercial and business development advice to Oil and Gas companies and Governments.
He is immediate past President of the Asia Pacific Region for the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, a National Director of the Arab Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and is a board member of the Australia Korea Business council of WA.
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