National Executive - Joint National Presidents 2014
Robert Taylor was National President of the Australia Thailand Business Council from 1999 until 2011, a period when the Thailand Australia Free Trade Agreement commenced. Robert was a partner at Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu for nearly 20 years, and was the first expatriate Managing Partner of the Deloitte Thailand practice, between 1995 and 1998. Robert was a founding member of the Thai Culture and Food Festival Inc which organised the inaugural Thai Culture and Food Festival at federation Square Melbourne in April 2004 with over 20,000 visitors, the 10th Anniversary festival in 2013 attracted approximately 65,000 visitors and is now the 2nd largest one-day Thai Festival outside of Thailand.
Former Past President – John Connor
John Connor has been National President of the ATBC for two periods, spanning decades, and helped re-establish the Council as a significant institution in Australia-Thailand economic relations, including its playing a major role in initiating and facilitating negotiation of the Thailand Australia Free Trade Agreement. John graduated in law from the Universities of Melbourne and Chicago and is a Fellow of the Australian and UK Institutes of Company Directors and the Taxation Institute of Australia and has lived and practised law in a number of countries including the USA, Hong Kong, Singapore and Thailand. He was a partner in the global law firm of Baker& McKenzie for more than 30 years, during which time he founded and managed the Sydney, Hong Kong, Singapore and Bangkok offices of the Firm whilst also serving on its Global Executive Committee for more than a decade and on other of its worldwide management organs.
John has been at various times an active director of a number of public and private companies in Australia, SE Asia and elsewhere in fields as diverse as mining, advertising, cosmetics, real estate, manufacturing, insurance and merchant banking and continues his involvement in a number of commercial enterprises
Treasurer – Doug Blunt
Douglas Blunt originally became a member of the Australia Thailand Business Council in the 1980’s as a result of a long connection with Thailand reaching back to 1971. He joined the Executive Committee and became Treasurer in 2002. He is a former career banker having held management positions with several banks and finance companies over more than 40 years in Australia including Singapore and two PNG postings. His many senior international banking positions included Deputy Manager International Business Development with Commonwealth Bank, Head of Correspondent Banking and Credit in Australia for Chase Manhattan Bank, and Head of Trade Asia and RBC Trade Asia Hong Kong for Royal Bank of Canada. Many of these roles involved much interaction with various banks and companies in Thailand. He later became a consultant and head of marketing in Australia, New Zealand and Japan for corporate receivables with Siemens Financial Services, Munich. Douglas is now a Director of Centrelease Australia specialising in lease finance.