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Aussies gone global – the Advance network

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When Peter Switzer travelled to New York to track down the Australian rising stars and business heavyweights making their mark on the Big Apple, he partnered with Advance, a global network of expat Aussies making it big overseas. To take a look at the global organisation, Serafina Maiorano, CEO of Advance, joins Peter Switzer on his Sky News Business Channel SWITZER.

“Advance is a global network, the leading network of Australians offshore, so we gather the brains trust of a million Australians who live around the world,” says Maiorano. “These individuals are highly networked in countries across the world from the US to the UK to China, Japan, in key markets for Australia and have a great desire to give back and support Australia’s economic growth in the region.”

The beginning

The network is supported by the Federal Government through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, as well as corporate sponsorship.

Who funds it?

“We have partnerships with IBM, Newscorp, ANZ, Goldman Sachs,” says Maiorano. “We work with recruitment firms like Talent Intelligence and Talent2. We work with Emphasis as well so it really is a great private, public partnership model.”

Spearheaded by former consult-general in New York, Ken Allen, the network was initially for Aussies on Wall Street.

“It really was to bring together initially young Australians in Wall Street to connect, do deals, find jobs and mentor,” she says. “It grew organically across the world, across Europe and across every sector of industry.

“We specialise in financial services, life sciences, the green sector, creative industries, social entrepreneurship, media communications and technology, academic and research.”

Bridging the gap

The network’s mission, says Maiorano, is to give support to Aussies overseas as well as pooling the best talent to improve upon Australia.

“It’s really connecting Australians around the world and really creating a brain chain back home. We map this extraordinary talent to give back to Australia, either by creating a bridge to employment back home or really tapping into their knowledge and insights into global issues that can actually support Australia’s growth,” she says.

Members of the network can also call upon its resources to further their career.

“A few weeks ago, I had a young Australian in Sydney who emailed me and said he was looking for work in the financial services network. Through our network, he’s actually now working a JP Morgan in New York after a month,” she says. “We also help mentor them. We mentor young Australians when they go offshore, because quite a few of our networks are highly influential Australians in different countries, like Josephine Linden in New York, retired partner at Goldman Sachs … [or] Doug Elix, originally from Adelaide, who was second-in-charge at IBM Global, who is chair of our global advisory board.

“They want to give back and they really love mentoring the next generation.”

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