Media Releases → 2015


Deepening Australia's Relationship With Germany

Senator the Hon. Mathias Cormann
Minister for Finance

The Hon Tony Abbott MP
Prime Minister

The Hon Julie Bishop MP
Minister for Foreign Affairs

Date: Wednesday, 8 April 2015

We are pleased to announce the Australian membership of the Australia-Germany Advisory Group. 

The Prime Minister and Chancellor Angela Merkel agreed to establish the Advisory Group to examine ways to build even closer ties between Australia and Germany during Chancellor Merkel’s visit to Australia for the G20 Summit and bilateral meetings last November.

While Australia and Germany have enjoyed a close bilateral relationship for over 60 years, the Prime Minister and Chancellor Merkel agreed that more could be done to build on these foundations for a stronger partnership. 

Senator Mathias Cormann will co-chair the Advisory Group and lead the Australian members, who hold collectively significant experience in business, academia, science, government and the arts.

We welcome Chancellor Merkel’s appointment of Minister of State Professor Maria Böhmer as Germany’s co-chair.  

The 15-member Australia-Germany Advisory Group will work to identify opportunities for increased trade and investment, cooperation in the Indo-Pacific and other regions of the world, cultural and social links and scientific collaboration.

The Group will meet in Germany and in Australia before finalising and providing a report to Chancellor Merkel and the Prime Minister later this year. 

The first joint meeting of the Australian and German members of the Advisory Group will be held in July in Berlin. 


Media Contact(s)

For the Prime Minister: Adrian Barrett – 0457 786 677
For Minister Bishop: Rachel Obradovic – 0478 488 874
For Minister Cormann: Stephanie Rowan – 0455 069 184

Australia-Germany Advisory Group members 

Australian Members
Name Designation and organisation
Senator the Hon Mathias Cormann Minister for Finance
Co-chair, Australia-Germany Advisory Group
Mr Michael Chaney AO Chairman, National Australia Bank
Mr Jeff Connolly CEO, Siemens Australia
Mr Peter Jennings PSM Executive Director, Australian Strategic Policy Institute
Dr Nicholas Milton Chief Conductor and Artistic Director, Canberra Symphony Orchestra
Conductor, General Music Director, Saarländisches Staatstheater
Professor Brian Schmidt AC Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Australian National University
Ms Lucy Turnbull AO President, German-Australian Chamber of Industry and Commerce
Mr David Ritchie AO Australian Ambassador to Germany


German Members
Name Designation and organisation
Professor Dr. Maria Böhmer Minister of State, Federal Foreign Office
Co-chair, Australia-Germany Advisory Group
Mr. Volkmar Klein Member of the Bundestag and Chair of the Germany-Australian Parliamentary Friendship Group
Mr Barrie Kosky Intendant (Director) of the Komische Oper Berlin
Mr Bernd Leukert Member of the Executive Board and the Global Management Board of SAP
Professor Dr. Volker Perthes Director, Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik
Professor Anja Schwarz Junior Professor of Cultural Studies at the University of Potsdam
Dr. Christoph Müller German Ambassador to Australia