2018 Advance Born Global Salon: Hong Kong

Sarah Clarke, Dalene Wray, Consul General to Hong Kong Michaela Browning, Senior Trade Commissioner, Sam Guthrie

Sarah Clarke, Dalene Wray, Consul General to Hong Kong Michaela Browning, Senior Trade Commissioner, Sam Guthrie

Advance was delighted to bring together members from Hong Kong, Singapore, China and Australia to welcome 2018 Advance Award winner in Food and Agriculture, Dalene Wray, Managing Director of OBE Organic, at a Salon in Hong Kong on 7 September 2018.

Following welcome remarks from Ms Michaela Browning, Australian Consul-General to Hong Kong and Macau, the afternoon event began with an interesting and engaging conversation led by international journalist Sarah Clarke, where Dalene shared her international journey, views on social media engagement, technology and innovation in the global food industry. 

“Being an organic beef exporter is not just about livestock. There are a whole lot of other things that you need to be good at,” said Dalene. Dalene shared her experience in managing international geo-political risk, logistics and shipping routes, international certification requirements and leading a small team operating a global business.

Dalene shared her views on the need of collaboration between Australian businesses and governments in overseas market in order to grow trade and business relationships, stressing the role for business leaders to give frank advice to government trade representatives – successes and failures – to help better inform their support. On her international experience, Dalene said she felt the experience she gained living and working in Beijing and Hong Kong helped her to better navigate not just the business environment, but bought a level of understanding and increased her ability to engage with potential partners from the region.

Dalene, an active user of social media, also talked about how OBE Organic embraces new technology and social media across global markets to stay engaged with customers and informed on evolving consumer behaviour and expectations. 

Finally, she shared her advice as an international executive and recognised leader in Australian agriculture. From productivity tips (Dalene diligently clears her email inbox daily), to how existing ‘captains of industry’ can involve and build a pipeline of women leaders by actively engaging them in significant meetings and events to expose and prepare them for leadership roles.

Dalene grew up in Birdsville, Queensland, initially working as a radiographer and then a tour guide in France, before joining OBE Organic in 2003. To progress OBE’s Asian and Middle East expansion, she and her growing family relocated to Beijing and then Hong Kong between 2009 and 2015, building strong relationships and markets for OBE, while helping to further enhance the profile and reputation of the Australian beef industry offshore.

The 50-person event concluded with a Q&A session with Dalene. Guests included Mr Sam Gutherie, Senior Trade Commissioner, and Deputy Consul-General for Hong Kong, Darren Bowdern, Partner with KPMG, Sean Birchley, Head of Corporate Banking with NAB, Justin Sharp, Executive Director Head of Structured Asset Finance Asia with CBA, David Ketchum, President of Current Asia, and Julie-Ann Nichols, Queensland Trade Commissioner. Advance also supported the participation of six Hong Kong-based New Colombo Plan scholars in the event, many of whom come from regional Australia.

Check out more photos from the event here.

To find out more and get involved with Advance throughout Asia, please contact Stefanie Myers.

Thank you to our venue sponsor, The Executive Centre.

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AsiaAdvanceSalon, Hong Kong