Lucy leads AICC mission to Israel

Malcolm and Lucy Turnbull.

THE first all-women Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce (AICC) mission to Israel is being led this week by Lucy Turnbull, Australia’s first lady and a respected company director in her own right.

Among the 36 participants are leading businesswomen Lisa Sonnabend, chief operating officer of Macquarie Capital; Belinda Hutchinson, chancellor of the University of Sydney; and Dr Annabelle Bennet, former justice of the Federal Court of Australia.

Alongside Turnbull, the trip is being led by AICC chairperson Jillian Segal.

“There is an enormous amount of interest in the business community here in learning what we can from the remarkable situation which exists today in Israel,” Segal said this week.“The country has reinvented itself as the start-up nation. It has more start-ups per head than the US. It is a small country of eight million people, the size of NSW, and everybody wants to be an entrepreneur.

“We have to learn to understand the ecosystem and what goes into making an innovation culture.”

Segal said the group will be learning about cybersecurity, medical research and the concept of smarter cities while in Israel. “This is a very special opportunity for leading businesswomen to spend some time absorbing and understanding the innovation culture in Israel and hopefully bringing back some initiatives to their companies in Australia.”

Participants will gain an insight into Israel’s unique entrepreneurial and start-up ecosystem and an understanding of how Israel fosters and promotes innovation, explore investment and business opportunities, and gain access to key Israeli influencers and share innovative business ideas and opportunities.

They will also meet Jerusalem’s mayor Nir Barkat, visit Yad Vashem, Hadassah Hospital, the Dead Sea, Masada and lay wreaths at the Commonwealth War Graves.

JOSHUA LEVI