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In this month’s edition of Prosper, we meet the team that helps UK companies access commercial and government opportunities in roads, rail, ports, airports, urban regeneration, and water in the Australian and New Zealand markets.


Providing regular updates on infrastructure projects and connections to leading stakeholders in both markets, the International Trade (DIT) Australia New Zealand Infrastructure Team, work closely with UK companies already in their markets and those seeking to establish a presence in Australia and New Zealand. 

Australia and New Zealand have both markedly increased infrastructure spending in recent years in response to rapid population growth and the COVID-19 pandemic.


The current pipeline of opportunities across both countries is over £100 billion.


UK expertise and experience is highly valued in the sector, with leading UK companies involved in major projects in both countries.


The UK and Australia have reached a consensus on the core elements of a Free Trade Agreement and is also progressing negotiations with New Zealand. 



Ian Barnett 

Senior Trade Development Manager (Infrastructure)


Ian is based in Melbourne, Australia and joined DIT in 2017.  He is a senior member of the UK DIT team in Australia, leading on planning and delivery of UK commercial engagement in important Australian infrastructure, including roads, rail, ports, airports, and urban regeneration. 


An engineer by training, Ian has extensive experience in the design and delivery of infrastructure projects in Australia and overseas.  He was previously Regional Director for WSP and the firm’s senior Victorian representative.


Ian is a Fellow and Engineering Executive of Engineers Australia, holds a Master of Engineering Science, and is an Australian Institute of Company Directors graduate. 


Mark Donovan  

Senior Business Relationship Manager for Queensland


Mark has a dual trade and investment focus.  He covers the infrastructure, tech and smart cities sectors for trade, highlighting opportunities for UK companies and assisting them to succeed in Queensland, Australia.


Mark supports and provides investment guidance to Queensland-headquartered companies looking at expanding to the UK, with assistance from DIT’s UK-based team.


Originally from regional Queensland, Mark uses his electrical engineering and business development background to assist companies both on a technical and commercial level.  He is keen to help UK companies bring world-leading technology to Queensland, and support Queensland companies to continue growing and succeeding globally.


Ben Buxton 

Trade Development Manager (Infrastructure) for Victoria. 

Ben is based in the British Consulate-General in Melbourne, Australia, working as a Trade Development Manager since May 2020. Ben joined DIT after studying a Masters of International Relations from the University of Melbourne following a prior career working for a number of state and federal Members of Parliament across Australia. 


Ben leads the Victorian government engagement programme and assists on developing clean growth in the Australian market. He sends out regular bulletins and ‘newsflashes’ on developments in the infrastructure sector to ensure companies and partners are aware of all the opportunities Australia and New Zealand have to offer.  


Glenn Sachko 

Trade Development Manager (Infrastructure) for New South Wales


Glenn is based in the British Consulate–General in Sydney, Australia.  He is the Trade Development Manager for New South Wales and joined the infrastructure team in November 2020. 


For 22 years, Glenn was the Managing Director for Global Stainless Steel and was responsible for the ANZ markets and APAC region. He has in-depth knowledge of international metals trading. 

Glenn engages with key UK accounts located in NSW and continuously builds and maintains relationships with NSW government stakeholders. He works closely with Consul-General Louise Cantillon and Infrastructure team lead Ian Barnett, helping UK companies to conduct business in Australia. 


Tony Wilson 

Trade Development Manager (Infrastructure & Smart Cities) for New Zealand


Tony is based in the British Consulate-General in Auckland, New Zealand.  He covers the New Zealand market for both DIT’s Infrastructure and Smart Cities trade teams.


Tony joined DIT in June 2020 after working in public affairs for the British Consulate-General Auckland.  Previously he worked in policy roles for several years in New Zealand’s capital, Wellington, and in local government for two New Zealand city councils.


Tony provides regular updates on infrastructure and smart cities opportunities in the New Zealand market and enjoys helping UK companies to succeed in New Zealand.


The team helps UK companies access work opportunities in the technology and smart cities ecosystem in Australia and New Zealand. This includes technology subsectors such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, internet of things (IoT), software as a service and enterprise software, autonomous and electric vehicles and infrastructure, drones and robotics, and ‘smart’ technology such as sensors.


They also support Australian and New Zealand companies who are seeking to establish a presence in the region, grow their existing presence in market or export services directly from the UK. They provide updates on upcoming government and private sector opportunities, emerging events and promotion opportunities, and assist with connections to stakeholders across the region.


Across Australia and New Zealand, the technology ecosystem is experiencing rapid growth, with the digital transformation of government organisations and business driving demand and adding to opportunities in ICT, IoT, big data, AI, automation and systems integration, smart tech, clean tech, and agritech.



Kirsty Whitford

Senior Trade Development Manager, Technology


Kirsty is based in Melbourne, Australia and joined the DIT team in 2020. Kirsty leads the Technology and Smart Cities trade team for Australia and New Zealand, liaising with key stakeholders and government departments to highlight the capability of UK technology companies and helping UK companies to expand in market.


Kirsty recently returned to Australia from the UK, where she worked for many years as the Member Engagement and Marketing Lead for the Australia-United Kingdom Chamber of Commerce, helping to further bilateral trade engagement between both countries.


The Technology trade team is also supported by Mark Donovan in Brisbane, Australia and Tony Wilson in Auckland, New Zealand.


Sharyn Stevens

Trade Development Manager, Technology 

Sharyn is based in Melbourne, Australia and is the Trade Development Manager helping British companies to export to Australia.


The longest serving DIT member in the trade team, Sharyn has vast experience working across technology, smart cities, and consumer goods.


Sharyn engages with each level of government and private sector on behalf of UK businesses, reports on opportunities, potential contacts and events in the tech ecosystem in Australia, and works to highlight Australia’s position as a business-friendly country, with high digital readiness and a history of early technology adoption.

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