Melbourne German Week GABWA event: Female intercultural competence in the Australian job market

18 GABWA IngridClaudia1As part of the first Melbourne German Week in March, the “German Australian Business Women Association” (GABWA) invites interested female and male guests to join them for a high class “GABWA Business Morning Event” on Friday, March 16, in Carlton.

The many faces of Germany

Showcasting the many faces of Germany as a country of tradition and modern innovative spirit as well as its contribution to Melbourne and Victoria, the inaugural Melbourne German Week takes place from March 13 to March18 GABWA LOGO 18. Part of the MGW's exciting program is an event organised by GABWA - short for "German Australian Business Women Association". The event - in line with the “International Women’s Day” in March - will amongst other topics address the contributions of German-Australian business women to local, national and global companies in Australia. It takes place from 7 am to 9 am in the beautiful Kathleen Syme Library and Community Centre, 251 Faraday Street, in Carlton and is open for female and male guests.

The event’s main focus will be on female intercultural competence and its numerous positive effects on companies that recognise the benefits of cultural and gender diverse teams, as well as exploring challenges that German speaking expats may face in an Australian work environment.

Focusing on female intercultural competence - Keynote by Ulrike Ernst

Ulrike Ernst, Deutsche in Melbourne, is going to give the Keynote speech

German born Ulrike Ernst will address the topic in her keynote speech. Ulrike is an inspirational MBA qualified Senior Leader with broad industry experience across different cultures. She has held Senior Leadership roles across Business Development, Marketing and Service in the construction and consumer durables industry for companies such as Bosch, Metabo & Hilti.

Having worked and resided in Ireland, the US and the Middle East, as well as many European and Asian countries, Ulrike is used to successfully drive organisational restructures and manage complex technical and operational issues, including intercultural ones.

Katrin Reichert, Founder of GABWA: Challenge to find work despite excellent qualitfications

Katrin Reichert, founder of the “German Australian Business Women Association”, will moderate the event’s panel discussion tying in with the event’s keynote. Katrin who currently works with Uvex Safety Australia as a Katrin Reichert, Founder of GABWA German Australian Business Women AssociationBusiness and HR Manager, can look back on an impressive career. After joining the German Armed Forces, she worked as a paramedic on a search and rescue helicopter as well as a military police officer, has a university degree in Psychology, Social Work and Education and an MBA under her belt. 

Despite her qualification and experience, it was however challenging for Katrin to find employment in Australia after her arrival in 2013. Katrin and the panel members will discuss these challenges, which many migrants are confronted with, which led her to found GABWA three years ago.

Panel discussion: Turning cultural differences into advantages

The aim is to point out strategies to conquer these unfamiliar challenges of an unfamiliar job market, with often unknown and even hidden rules. The audience will learn how cultural differences might be turned into advantages for both employment seeker and employer.

The panel consists of GABWA members Astrid Hoffmann, Claudia Loeber-Raab and Sabrina Scherm.

Astrid Hofmann - Cross Cultural Consultant

18 GABWA AstridAstrid Hofmann is a highly experienced HR professional specialising in facilitating cross-cultural team strategies to effectively achieve their business objectives. She has extensive experience with c-suite executives, and teams developing global leadership skills to work effectively across cultures. A clear understanding of diverse thinking is for the director of “Cultural Transition Consulting” the defining asset of successful organisations, both public and private.

Astrid’s work experience while abroad includes eight years with three successive British Generals heading up a Joint Services Liaison Office coordinating operations between the NATO forces in Germany. Australian born she is fluent in German having lived in Germany for 15 years.

Claudia Loeber-Raab - Journalist and Social Media Expert

Claudia Loeber-Raab has extensive international experience working in the media industry as a successful journalist. She holds an M.A. in Journalism and Communication Studies, has taught Journalism at university level and claudiaworked as general news reporter, skilled feature and opinion piece writer as well as senior editor for major newspapers, international magazines and Associated Press in London before moving to Australia.

As the Editor-in-Chief of the popular online lifestyle and news magazine “Deutsche in Melbourne”, she is building bridges between Germans and Australians and frequently writes about joys and “not so much joys” of being an expat. Claudia is also a social media expert and trainer, with a focus on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is becoming more and more influential for businesses, employment seekers and employers. She is currently promoting the importance of LinkedIn in the German speaking community who has not yet embraced it as a useful career tool.

Sabrina Schrem - Global Mobility and Recruitment Specialist

Sabrina Schrem - Recruitment Specialist Originally from Oktoberfest's hometown, Munich, Sabrina Scherm has lived and worked all over the world including Germany, Australia, the UK and US. With a Master’s Degree in Business and Organisational Psychology (with focus on HR Management), she has extensive experience in recruitment, HR, global mobility and general management. Her roles have included assistance for global brands to improve internal processes, to lead restructuring projects and to develop cross-cultural relationships.

Sabrina came to Australia in 2015 and joined the HR consultancy "The Polyglot Group" as a recruitment specialist. She is a specialist in building client relationships, ensuring a satisfying hiring process and leading the Melbourne internship program.


The event will conclude with a short Q & A session with the panellist and time for networking. Bookings for the event on Friday, March 16, from 7 am to 9:15 am, Kathleen Syme Library and Community Centre, 251 Faraday Street, Carlton are essential and can be made here GABWA EVENT . The event is sponsored by Deutsche in Melbourne

For GABWA members, who would like to stay for the following LinkedIn-Workshop about how to use the professional social media platform effectively including updating your profile as well as how and what content to post on LinkedIn to become spotted by recruiters, businesses and clients, Claudia Loeber-Raab who facilitates the workshop, offers a discount of 10 % of the original fee. Bookings here: LinkedIn-Workshop for Expats

Text: Claudia Loeber-Raab und Katrin Reichert,