James Harb – President and National Chairman
James Harb is a successful international arbitration and international trade lawyer specializing in commodities, resources, maritime, aviation and international trade broadly. He holds a Bachelor of Laws Degree with Honours and a Master of Laws with Distinction. Read more…
He has assisted numerous companies entering the Middle East and North African (MENA) market and MENA companies doing business in Australia. Industries include FMCG, cosmetics, food commodities, oil and gas, refined petroleum products, resources, construction, education, online businesses, licencing, agency and distribution.
James has a working knowledge of MENA trade laws including experience with MENA countries such as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), United Arab Emirates (UAE), Kuwait, Bahrain, Egypt, Lebanon, Syria and Iran.
Fluent in Arabic, James’s strengths include successful experience in negotiation with companies and individuals at an international level and an intricate cross-cultural understanding of MENA cultures.
With extensive experience in supporting MENA-Australia trade missions and industry sector engagement, B2B and B2G, James has engaged in many missions to MENA, and has also supported MENA delegations to Australia. In 1995 he co-led the inaugural Australian trade mission to Lebanon and most recently in April 2019 with missions to Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain, Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia with AACCI.
Since 2010, he has been actively and commercially involved in the mining and resources sector. Founder and former Chairman/CEO of public company, Australian Metals Group Ltd, James provides industry leadership and is the current Director of public financial services company, Australian Amalgamated Investment Group (AAIG). His ongoing engagements involve negotiating commercial agreements in the resources sector with numerous MENA companies.
Recognized as having identified one of the highest grades of iron ore in Australia, James has spoken and represented AACCI in Australia and the MENA region with Arab mining delegations from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Oman and Morocco. He is a Mining Consultant and the head of AACCI’s Mining Subcommittee.
Mohamed Hage – Vice National Chair, New South Wales Chair and Board Member
Mohamed is an Internationally experienced senior executive with more than 15 years
global experience across banking, asset management and public and private investing. Read more…
Mohamed is widely recognised thought leader providing insights and analysis across asset
classes, regions, investment styles and economies. He has been published on international
investments and finance topics and spoken at many conferences, public institutions and
other organisations. Mohamed has also delivered and led the research insights into
portfolio construction, asset allocation and investment markets to multi institutional and
government client globally.
Mohamed received the 2017 NSW Premiers medal for economic participation, recognising
outstanding success in fostering economic and investment activities for the state of NSW.
Mohamed is also the NSW Chairman of the Australian Arab Chamber of Commerce of and
Industry, the peak body of Foreign Investment and Trade between Australia and the MENA
He obtained his graduate and post-graduate degrees in Commerce and Business with a
specialisation in Finance and management.
Jessica Swann – Company Secretary
Juris Doctor Monash Law . Communications specialist Islam/West/MENA Broadcast Journalist . Educator Read more…
Prior to undertaking the Juris Doctor with Monash University Law School, Jessica developed a career in journalism working seven years in the GCC in radio and TV with Dubai Eye Radio and Dubai Media Inc. Returning to Australia with the ABC in 2011, Jessica worked with the national broadcaster across Australia before settling in Canberra to complete a Master’s degree in Islam in the Modern World from the Australian National University’s College of Arab and Islamic Studies and the Crawford School of Public Policy. Her consulting work includes communications support in diplomatic engagement and international trade relations, government, Victoria Police training in cultural diversity and prejudice motivated crime, university lecturing and teaching in media studies and freelance journalism.
Jessica is an Executive Committee Member with the Victorian Chapter of Media Diversity Australia and she has a 6-year-old son.
Roland Jabbour OAM – INDEPENDENT BOARD MEMBER
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).
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.
Megan Nicholas – Victoria Chair and Board Member
Megan Nicholas is a Development Consultant with more than 20 years’ experience spanning Australia, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. She is currently the Principal Consultant for Megnik Consulting and Director of Stakeholder Engagement for Hybrid Energy Australia. Read more…
Megan’s expertise is in business development, training & development, and project management, with experience working in a diverse range of sectors including, renewables, global countertrade offset, government and education.
In addition to being Chair of the Victorian Committee of the Australia Arab Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Megan has also served on the Victorian Multicultural Small Business Advisory Council, a Ministerial appointment. Having lived and worked in the GCC for more than a decade, Megan brings to the table a wealth of demonstrated experience in cross-cultural understanding, two and three way trade initiatives and business acumen related to development and transformation.
Simon Harrison – Queensland Chair and 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.
Peter Grant – Western Australia Chair and 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.