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Supporting Australian exporters through COVID-19

Join the Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment as he introduces a new 12 part series of webcasts targeted at Australian exporters and those businesses seeking to export. Hear about the current state of play, the importance of operating in a free trade environment and financial support initiatives for exporters.

WEBCAST Date: 26 MAY 2020

Duration:60 minutes



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Senator the Hon Simon Birmingham

Minister for Finance and Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment

Simon Birmingham has served as a Liberal Party Senator for South Australia since May 2007 and in August 2018 was appointed to the position of Minister Trade, Tourism and Investment as well as Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate. He was then appointed Minister for Finance and Leader of the Government in the Senate on 30 October 2020.
Simon grew up near Gawler in Adelaide's north on his family’s small horse agistment property. Simon was educated at government schools before going on to study at the University of Adelaide where he completed a Masters of Business Administration. Prior to entering the Senate, Simon worked for a number of industry bodies, establishing particular experience in the wine, tourism and hospitality sectors – industries that are critical to South Australia's prosperity.

The Hon Andrew Gee MP

Minister Assisting the Minister for Trade and Investment

Minister for Decentralisation and Regional Education

Andrew Gee was first elected to the House of Representatives for the seat of Calare, New South Wales, in 2016. In January 2019 he was appointed Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister and in February 2020 was appointed Minister for Decentralisation and Regional Education, and Minister Assisting the Minister for Trade and Investment. Prior to his election to the House of Representatives, Andrew held the STATE seat of Orange, New South Wales for The Nationals from 2011 until 2016. He has a strong economic and legal background and was a practising barrister in Orange for many years in the fields of civil litigation and family law. Andrew is a strong voice for the communities of his Central West electorate, where he lives with his wife Christina and their four children.

Sally Phillips

Manager, Free Trade Agreement Program


Sally has over 20 years of professional experience dealing with Japan in both corporate and government roles and has spent over 12 years living in a number of Japan’s major cities and regions. Since joining Austrade in 2005, Sally has held the roles of Consul and Trade Commissioner based in Sapporo, Nagoya, Osaka and finally in Tokyo, where she was Trade Commissioner at the Australian Embassy. Sally has also held the role of Austrade State Director for Queensland and the Northern Territory and is currently the Manager of the FTA Program.

Michael Byrne

Freight Co-ordinator General

International Freight Assistance Mechanism

Michael Byrne was appointed International Freight Co-ordinator General for the International Freight Assistance Mechanism, which responds to the collapse of international airfreight capacity in as a result of COVID-19. This includes providing exporters of agricultural and fisheries products with increased airfreight capacity and support to reduce the increase in air freight costs to international markets during the COVID-19 pandemic. Michael’s appointment follows a distinguished 30 year career in executive positions both in Australia and internationally in the logistics, supply chain, retail and property sectors. Previous roles include Managing Director of Toll Group, Chief Executive Officer of Coates Hire, Linfox and Westgate Holdings, as well as Non-Executive Director of Australia Post.

Angus Mackenzie

Assistant Secretary Competitiveness and Business Engagement Branch

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Dom Bilbie

Assistant General Manager, Client Programs


Dom is the AGM of Client Programs, who deliver programs including the Export Market Development Grants program (EMDG). Dom has worked at Austrade for 8 years and has a legal background in private practice, the Legal Aid Office and ASIC. Dom enjoys playing football and tennis, swimming at the beach and walking his two Kelpies. He lives in Sydney with his wife and son.

Andrew Perkins

Director Business Development - SA and NT

Export Finance Australia

As the Director for Export Finance Australia’s Business Development team in South Australia and Northern Territory, Andrew is responsible for providing finance to companies who are exporting directly, involved in export supply chains or looking to invest offshore. Through this role, Andrew works with some of Australia’s best companies who are not only competing but excelling on the world stage. Prior to joining Export Finance Australia, Andrew spent three years working for Invest in South Australia, the South Australian Government’s investment attraction team. Andrew promoted the State and major projects to strategic and institutional investors. Before that Andrew spent nine years working for the Commonwealth Bank, predominately as a Relationship Executive in the bank’s corporate banking division, covering a range of different sectors.
Supporting Australian exporters through COVID-19
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