The Australian Business Summit Council Inc hosted 250 business leaders, diplomats and politicians at its lavish Annual Gala Dinner to launch the fifth issue of EKONOMOS, the official business affairs magazine published by the Council, in the Sarah Grand Ballroom of one of Sydney’s five-star reception centres, Le Montage, on Thursday 9 May 2024.

ABSC Inc. president Dr. Frank Alafaci PhD welcomed the VIPs, dignitaries and guests, featuring Senator Dave Sharma (Liberal Senator for NSW); the Hon. Mark Coure MP (NSW Shadow Minister for Multiculturalism / Jobs, Industry, Innovation, Science and Technology / and for South-Western Sydney); Dr. Helen Sham-Ho (former Member of the NSW Legislative Council); Ms. Wendy Lindsay (former Member for East Hills in the NSW Legislative Assembly); Mr. Michael Megna (Mayor of the City of Canada Bay); and Mr. Frank De Masi (Councillor of the Hills Shire).

Officially launching EKONOMOS, Issue 5, 2024, Dr. Frank Alafaci PhD conferred in a formal presentation ceremony with Senator Dave Sharma (Senator for NSW) a special commemorative plaque to each of the article contributors to the magazine who were present at the Annual Gala Dinner: H.E. Dr. Nor-Eddine Benfreha (Ambassador of Algeria); H.E. Mr. Joe Tapera Mhishi (Ambassador of Zimbabwe / Dean of the African Diplomatic Corps); H.E. Mr. Rade Stefanovic (Ambassador of Serbia); H.E. Ms. Dianela Pi (Ambassador of Uruguay); H.E. Dr. Chanborey Cheunboran (Ambassador of Cambodia); H.E. Mrs. Marie Claire Jeanne Monty (High Commissioner of Mauritius); Mr. Sebastiano Angulo (Consul General of Chile) on behalf of H.E. Mr. Jaime Chomali Garib (Ambassador of Chile); H.E. Mr. Mohamed Khalil Morsi (Consul General of Egypt); Dr. Joseph Rizk AM (CEO / Managing Director, Arab Bank Australia Ltd.); Mr. Wally Mehanna (CEO, Canterbury Bankstown Chamber of Commerce); Mr. Ramy Qutami (Managing Director, Madison Marcus); Mr. Eric Boone (Partner, Madison Marcus); Emeritus Professor Greg Whateley (Deputy Vice Chancellor, UBSS / CEO, Group Colleges Australia); and Professor Ian Bofinger (CEO / Executive Dean, Australian Academy of Music and Performing Arts).

Importantly, two Lifetime Achievement awards were bestowed by Dr. Frank Alafaci PhD in a surprise presentation ceremony to Mr. Michael Rizk OAM (accepted on his behalf by Dr. Joseph Rizk AM, CEO / Managing Director, Arab Bank Australia Ltd.), one of the directors / former president of the Australian Lebanese Chamber of Commerce and currently the Head of Trade Relations of the Chamber, and Mr. Michael Megna (Mayor of the City of Canada Bay) who has operated a chartered tax advisory business in Five Dock, NSW since 1974, for their distinguished service to the community.

Alternating with the event’s formalities, four memorable music performances from Ms. Katya Cyargeenka on piano, Adjunct Professor Art Phillips (former guitarist for the American singer Barry Manilow) on acoustic guitar, Professor Ian Bofinger (CEO / Executive Dean, Australian Academy of Music and Performing Arts) on cello and his wife Assistant Professor Tracy O’Leary playing the flute, and Emeritus Professor Greg Whateley (Deputy Vice Chancellor, UBSS / CEO, Group Colleges Australia) in a special duet performance with Adjunct Professor Art Phillips once more on acoustic guitar entertained the audience during the Annual Gala Dinner.