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Across the Seas, Vivid Sydney 2022

Last week, Sophia Demetriades Toftdahl, President of the Norwegian Australian Chamber of Commerce attended the special viewing of the rooftop projection Across the Seas, which is part of the Vivid Sydney 2022 program. Across the Seas is a stunning collection of images projected on the Australian National Maritime Museum's façade, reflecting stories connected with nearby Pyrmont wharf, where many Australians arrived to start a new life.

The museum also hosts Australia's National Monument to Migration, one of the flagship creations which wraps and weaves acknowledgement, commemoration, celebration and interpretation of migrant histories into an exposition of identity.

The Monument now features the names of more than 31,000 migrants from 136 countries including 47 from Norway – it is a physical representation of the diversity of this nation.

If you are interested in inscribing your name or the name of a family or community member on the National Monument to Migration, the closing date for the next unveiling in October is 30 June 2022. Register here or phone 02 9298 3777.

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Flokk: A house of furniture brands focused on health, wellbeing and sustainability

Inspire great work

Flokk is a house of brands that launched in 2017 which offers a wide range of seating solutions, furniture and accessories for the workplace and beyond. The head office of the company is located in Oslo, Norway, with main production sites in Røros (Norway), Nässjö (Sweden), Turek (Poland) and Hawthorne (USA). Currently, Flokk products are sold in more than 80 countries worldwide. 

The vision of Flokk is simple: to inspire great work. Through its passion for furnishing, Flokk helps an individual fulfil their potential to put their hearts and minds into their work by creating a healthy and well-designed environment based on comprehensive insight into the needs of real people.


Keeping future generations in mind

Flokk also upholds a strong commitment to protecting the environment. With one of Flokk’s main production sites located in the remote Norwegian town of Røros, which has a rich natural landscape, Flokk is constantly reminded of the duty to protect the environment for future generations. 

The company therefore controls the entire value chainfrom the design, manufacturing and sales processes—which allows Flokk to take full responsibility for every single detail of its work to ensure the company adopts a structured focus on creating sustainable furniture.  

As a house of brands, Flokk combines the heritage and expertise of nine district brands. One of those brands is HÅG. Founded in 1943, HÅG has been manufacturing designer office chairs that promote effortless movement of a user’s body while they sit and work in order to help them stay healthy and active. 

Sustainable furniture design is also something that HÅG has been pioneering for many decades. As early as 1995, the company began using recycled plastic from various sources like bottle tops in the production of their chairs. Notably, in April 2015, the HÅG Capisco chair won the award for “Best Recycled Plastic Product in Europe”, presented by the European Association of Plastics Recycling and Recovery Organisations. Today, every HÅG chair carries an EPD certification, which acknowledges that HÅG has some of the lowest CO2 emissions in the furniture industry.

By decreasing energy consumption, reducing waste and continuously increasing the use of recycled materials, HÅG is a market leader in sustainable furniture manufacturing. In this way, HÅG is united to Flokk through its goals of creating innovative designs that focus on their users’ health, wellbeing and the environment surrounding them. 

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The “Nordic Noir” Revolution in Australia

By Nishant Rath

‘Nordic Noir’(Nikel, 2021)—the subset of the crime fiction genre set in Nordic countries and defined by its murky atmosphere, dark narratives, and flawed protagonists—has progressively proved itself to be an engaging source of entertainment for Australian audiences. Indeed, the “Nordic Noir revolution” in Australia suggests a need to investigate the cultural exchanges and similarities between both regions, since cultural flows between countries are often pertinent indicators of the depth of partnership felt by countries. Thus, we ask - are there similarities between the ‘Nordic Viking’ and the ‘Australian Explorer’?  How deep are the cultural flows between the Nordic countries and Australia? Why are popular streaming platforms (Stan, SBS, Netflix) progressively acquiring Nordic Crime fiction shows to entertain Australian audiences? 

The relationship of the Nordic people with nature is rooted in the concept of Friluftsliv. The English translation, “An outdoorsy life”/“Open air life”, does not do justice to the breadth of this concept, which defines the historical Nordic connection with the land, the seas, the fjords, the mountains, the snow, the trees, and the fauna. The philosophical standpoint for Friluftsliv emerged from the Nordic need to connect with nature, which goes beyond recreation or a moral obligation of preservation.


Similarly, the Australian philosophy towards life is deeply connected to its geographical beauty: its thick rainforests, gorgeous beaches, national landmarks, deserts, mountains, and diverse flora and fauna. Australians love their early morning bike rides, hikes, swims and treks, often seeking an active lifestyle and investing time in recreational activities that complement the Geographical attributes of their region.

Operationally, Friluftsliv can be defined as a participation in nature-based outdoor recreation that is centered around the individual (Elgvin, 2009). The word Friluftsliv first emerged in 1859 in the iconic Dramatist Henrik Ibsen’s poem ‘Paa Vidderne’ (Elgvin, 2009). As a concept, Friluftslivit has been studied rigorously throughout the years using a canon of disciplinary lenses. The spiritual dimensions of experiencing the freedom of nature in its purest form is a significant part of Nordic culture. In fact, in his poem, Ibsen mystifies the symbolic feeling of escaping the material world, and suggests that the individual’s inspiration lies in the scenic Norwegian flora and fauna. Ibsen’s influence through his famed concept of Friluftsliv is evident in literature, drama and film, and is best seen in the numerous translated renditions of his plays in theatres all around the globe. Modern Nordic storytellers/filmmakers tend to likewise set their plots around scenic planes, fjords, mountains to expose the rich Geographical beauty of Nordic countries. 


The cultural partnership between Australia and Nordic countries should be re-visited and celebrated. The Norwegian saying, “There is no bad weather, only bad clothes”, applies to Australia too. There are two direct consequences of the Nordic-Australian cultural partnership. Firstly, in Australia, translations of Ibsen’s plays can be traced back to 1889 (Tompkins, 2013). Iconic Plays such as “A Doll’s House”, “Ghosts” and  “Peer Gynt” have been translated into English and performed for decades for Australian audiences. These performances continue to intrigue Australian audiences because of Ibsen’s modernist tendencies to rethink traditional drama structures. Secondly, SBS set a precedent in 2018 (SBS Guide. 2017) by creating content structured around the uniquely Norwegian Genre “slow TV”. SBS aired a three-hour unedited train-journey of the iconic Ghan (Australia’s first Passenger train) through the Australian outback.

In conclusion, the cultural exchanges between Nordic countries and Australia are far from recent. The cultural similarities of cultivating an intense relationship with flora and fauna are stark. Perhaps, the similarities between Friluftsliv and the Australian mindset, is why Australian audiences can relate to Nordic Noir. 

Sources: -  (SBS Guide. 2017. Slow TV comes to SBS with The Ghan: Australia’s Greatest Train Journey. [online] Available at: <> - (Tompkins J., 2013 “Performing ghosts in Australia: Ibsen and an example of australian cultural translation” in Ibsen Studies, 2013 Vol. 13, No. 1, 2–27,

(Elgvin,T. D., 2009. «Henrik Ibsen: The birth of ‘friluftsliv’ – a 150 years Celebration»,. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 23 September 2021].) - (Nikel, D., 2021. Nordic Noir: Scandinavian Crime Fiction Explained. [online] Life in Norway. Available at: <> )

This article was published as part of a series written by interns of the Norwegian Australian Chamber of Commerce and images are used under Creative Commons.

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Can We Help Women Lead?

Nordic Notables: Women Leading Ways Forward

"Why is it so important to promote and safeguard gender equality? It is a matter of human rights. It is a matter of democracy. 

Also, it is pure common sense." 

—Gro Harlem Brundtland

Written by Georgia Georgiou

The traversive words of Norway’s first female prime minister illustrate profound truths that should stand to be heard by all. The historical, feminist waves of sociocultural movements toward gender equality continue to beat upon the shores of our Postmodern era, where the daughters and granddaughters of feminist foremothers continue to struggle for the seeming simplicities of life—like equal pay and equal opportunities for all, regardless of gender. 

Whilst in Norway—as in every country—there is more work to be done in this push for gender equality, we cannot dismiss the contributions of trailblazing Nordic women, who have inspired and continue to inspire in all areas of life with their incredible achievements. Norway, which is considered one of the most gender equal countries in the world, is home to a long line of notable women. Indeed, of recent note, Norway has moved one step closer to appointing Western Europe’s first female central bank chief, after Oystein Olsen, Governor of the Central Bank of Norway, has announced that he will be stepping down in February 2022. According to Nordea Bank economist Dane Cekov and JP Morgan analyst Morten Lund, this places Ida Wolden Bache, who is the deputy governor, as his likely successor. With Bache set to potentially be a next addition to Norway’s list of notables, let’s take a moment to look at some Norwegian women who have paved stepping stones toward gender equality, and demonstrated the power of the female spirit.

Image of Gro Harlem Brundtland


In the world of politics, Gro Harlem Brundtland is a woman who stands out both in Norwegian circles and in world politics. Originally trained in medicine and practicing as a physician and doctor, in 1974 Brundtland entered government as Minister of the Environment. Brundtland became Norway’s first female Prime Minister in 1981, and served three terms in this position, quickly becoming known as “mother of the nation”. Soon after, Brundtland became an international leader, serving as Director-General of the World Health Organisation until 2003. In this time, she also chaired the Brundtland Commission, formerly the World Commission on Environment and Development, which is a sub-organisation of the United Nations that aimed to unite countries in pursuit of sustainable development. However, Brundtland’s incredible career in international politics didn’t end there—she served as UN Special Envoy on Climate Change from 2007 to 2010, was deputy chair of ‘The Elders’, and was also the Vice-President of the Socialist International. She has received many awards and recognitions for all her work.

Image of May-Britt Moser



In the world of science, May-Britt Moser, a Norwegian psychologist and neuroscientist, stands out as a shining example of Nordic notability. This brilliant-minded and intelligent woman is not only a Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)—in 2014, she won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, alongside her then-husband, Edvard Moser. May-Britt Moser was awarded the Nobel Prize for her work concerning discoveries of cells that constitute a positioning system in the brain. She also co-established the Moser research environment at NTNU, and since 2012 has headed the Centre for Neural Computation.




Maren Mjelde is an internationally renowned footballer. She is Norway's national football team captain, and also plays for Chelsea Football Club Women. Yet, Mjelde is more than a sporting champion—she has become a champion of gender equality, having co-signed in 2017 an agreement to bridge the pay-gap between the male and female national football teams in Norway. This agreement saw that all international senior male and female players would be paid the same wages, with the women’s team receiving a pay rise of 2.5 million kroner.

Considering in more depth the world of sports, and in particular, the situation of equal pay for both male and female football players, it would be remiss to forget the important role that men have to play in these moves toward gender equality. Indeed, the agreement co-signed by Mjelde came after Norway’s men’s soccer team, in solidarity with their female counterparts, took a wage cut of 6 million kroner, accentuating the significant role of men in the move toward gender equality. 



In conclusion, Brundlandt, Moser and Mjelde are but a microcosmic depiction of change, advancement and leadership showcased by Nordic women in the past few decades—and are a promising example for our future women to follow. These women have led the way in male-dominated fields. Through their example, they contribute to the incremental deconstruction of systems of marginalisation and inequality, in turn shaping positive outcomes for feminism.

Women can lead. Women should lead. However, the way to gender equality is not a one-woman job; rather, it calls for a collective, gender-combined effort to change dynamics within a more subtly oppressive postmodern society. Thus, we must also ask—what can we do to facilitate opportunities for women to lead?



This article was published as part of a series written by interns of the Norwegian Australian Chamber of Commerce and images are used under Creative Commons.

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Looking to treat yourself or a special person this Festive Season?

Corporate member Stressless is offering NACC members

a special post Christmas 2020 discount in celebration of its 50th Anniversary

 on a selection of

sofas and recliners from 26 DECEMBER 2020.

Check our these amazing Norwegian furnishings here so you are ready to purchase when the promotion kicks off.



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Dogger Bank wind farm owners, Equinor and SSE, have today announced financial close on the first two phases of the project, representing in aggregate the largest offshore wind project financing to date globally.

“Reaching financial close on the two first phases of Dogger Bank is a major milestone, demonstrating our commitment to profitable growth within offshore wind. The extensive interest from lenders underpins the attractiveness of UK offshore wind assets and confidence in SSE and Equinor. As the wind farm’s future operator, we are proud to take this big step forward in delivering what will be the backbone of a growing wind hub in the North Sea,” says Pål Eitrheim, Equinor’s executive vice president of New Energy Solutions.

The total senior debt facilities across the two phases is GBP 4.8 billion, plus ancillary facilities of around GBP 0.7 billion. Dogger Bank A and B are being project financed with gearing of 65% to 70% for the generation assets. Gearing on the transmission facilities is set to 90% of the forecasted OFTO sale proceeds.

With the strong interest from lenders, Dogger Bank A and B were able to secure competitive terms, despite unprecedented economic circumstances arising from the global coronavirus pandemic. The final group of lenders, comprising 29 banks and three export credit agencies, includes experienced lenders in the sector along with relationship lenders of both SSE and Equinor. The level of interest achieved reflects the quality of the project and enables strong returns on shareholder capital to be delivered.

Pål Eitrheim, Equinor’s executive vice president of New Energy Solutions. (Photo: Ole Jørgen Bratland)

“Equinor is committed to being a leading company in the energy transition and to helping the UK Government deliver on its 10-point plan for a green industrial future. Through the sheer scale of the project we have delivered record-low contract prices for the UK market, and as operator of the wind farm we will continue to deliver value to the UK for years to come. Dogger Bank will generate renewable electricity for British homes, whilst creating jobs and attracting significant investment to the UK,” says Eitrheim.

The project is being built in three 1.2 GW phases, with the first two phases being constructed at the same time to take advantage of the synergies resulting from their geographical proximity and use of common technology and contractors. As such, the two phases are being financed concurrently with all lenders participating in each phase in equal proportions. Dogger Bank A and B will each require total capital expenditure of around GBP 3 billion, including the capex for the offshore transmission station (OFTO). The third phase, Dogger Bank C, is being developed on a different timescale with financial close to follow at a later stage.

SSE Renewables are leading the construction of the 3.6 GW project, and Equinor will lead on the wind farm’s operations.

Equinor is developing as a broad energy company, and on 2 November this year Equinor announced its ambition to become a net-zero energy company by 2050. The company aims to become a global offshore wind major and expects to increase its current installed capacity to 12-16 GW, around 30 times the current level, by 2035.

Equinor is building material offshore wind clusters in the North Sea, the US North East and in the Baltic Sea and powers over one million European homes with renewable electricity from offshore wind. In the UK, the company currently operates three offshore wind farms, including the world’s first floating wind farm, Hywind Scotland. As well as progressing Dogger Bank, Equinor plans to extend two of its UK wind farms, doubling its offshore wind capacity off the coast of Norfolk.

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As part of it's recent JobKeeper seriesBusiness Member COOPER PARTNERS  - has published its latest brief with some straightforward checklists for those businesses that are either seeking to qualify

for the extended JobKeeper scheme


are no longer eligible.


These checklists will assist you in determining on what you need to do, from new to existing participants, those no longer eligible and legacy employers.

Their great little graphic outlines the payment periods for the Jobseeker 2.0 Extension Fortnights as well as some 'Next Steps' - including helpful reminders and tips, - and how Cooper Partners can assist you.



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This festive season, Flokk's distributors across Australia are offering some amazing discounts on numerous Flokk products.

All beautifully and ergonomically designedFlokk provides a wide range of furniture and acoustic solutions.


With a shared belief in human-centred and sustainable design, each of their brands has its own identity and its own stories to tell.





Don't miss out on this rare opportunity for some great savings.


For your nearest distributor, CONTACT FLOKK NOW 


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Equinor: The World Can Reach Climate Goals By Balanced Economic Development

Click on image above to view the video

Equinor’s 10th Energy Perspectives report describes how the world can reach the climate and sustainability goals by a more equitable distribution of economic growth and contributions from developed countries to climate actions and development also in emerging markets.

“2020 has been an extraordinary year. The impacts of Covid-19 have led to a considerable decline in energy demand, energy prices and global greenhouse gas emissions,” says Eirik Wærness, senior vice president and chief economist of Equinor.

Through the Reform, Rivalry and Rebalance scenarios the Energy Perspectives report describes possible outcomes for the development of world economy, the global energy mix, energy demand and greenhouse gas emissions towards 2050. Rebalance is a new scenario in this year’s report, describing how the world can still reach the goals of the Paris Agreement and limit global warming to well below two degrees Celsius.


Eirik Wærness, senior vice president and chief economist of Equinor. (Photo: Arne Reidar Mortensen)

“The energy transition is progressing too slowly, and effective actions are required urgently to reach the climate goals. To reach the climate goals, we must establish a new balance in the priorities between economic growth, increased welfare and climate actionsT. A more equitable global distribution of welfare increase, acknowledging that a cost distribution is required between developed and emerging markets to support the energy transition, describes a more credible path to reaching the climate goals and the UN’s sustainability goal,” says Wærness.

In the Rebalance scenario the premise of continued high global economic growth across all regions has been changed.

“We do not know for certain how the development will be after the pandemic. It is precisely in times of much uncertainty that scenario planning is more important than ever. The outcome space is big, and the choices made in the next years will be vital for how the world is developing to a sufficient extent in a more sustainable direction,” says Wærness.

Rebalance shows a development path towards 2050 where economic growth accelerates in emerging markets, while the growth is lower in developed economies, and:

  • The global energy-related CO2 emissions will never return to the level they were before the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • The absolute global energy demand is reduced by 15 per cent compared to the 2019 level.
  • Even if the oil demand peak was passed in 2019, there will still be a need for oil and gas in the energy mix.
  • The electricity demand increases by 80 per cent and wind power production must increase around nine times from the present level.
  • Carbon capture and storage must handle around two billion tonnes of CO2 emissions per year, equivalent to 400 Northern Lights projects.
  • Only 10 per cent of the world’s private cars will be petrol or diesel powered.

The Reform scenario is based on a market and technology driven development. There will be continued tightening of climate policies in line with the commitments of the Paris Agreement, however, it will not be enough to reach the climate goals. The developed countries are the main drivers of the development, and there is limited success for zero-emission technology, such as carbon capture and storage, and new energy carriers, such as hydrogen.

In the Rivalry scenario we assume that climate policy is not sufficiently prioritized and consequently the energy transition is not gaining enough momentum. There are several indications of the development heading in this direction. Trade wars, social and political unrest and regional political conflicts with potential for further escalation are examples of that. In Rivalry these trends continue, leading to protectionism, autocracy, less global cooperation, slower technology development and weak economic growth.

Equinor recently announced an ambition of net zero CO2 emissions from our activities and use of the company’s products by 2050.

Anders Opedal, president and CEO of Equinor. (Photo: Ole Jørgen Bratland)

Equinor’s strategy will ensure long-term competitiveness in times of significant changes in the global energy systems. It will be a leading company in these changes, and we have set an ambition of becoming a net-zero energy company by 2050. This means that we will be among the best companies in the world in producing oil and gas with low CO2 emissions. We will accelerate the growth in renewables, and we have projects that can help establish new value chains for carbon capture and storage and hydrogen,” says Anders Opedal, president and CEO of Equinor.

This is the 10th year in a row that Equinor is presenting its Energy Perspectives. The driving forces behind the climate challenge have changed considerably, and the energy systems have been through major changes since the first Energy Perspectives report was published.

During these 10 years we have been surprised by the extent and impact of the shale revolution, and coal has been replaced faster than we anticipated. However, we hit the target surprisingly well regarding the growth in renewables during the past ten years. We were also right about the oil demand, but for the wrong reasons. Nobody could predict the dramatic consequences that a pandemic would have on the energy demand,” says Wærness.

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Norwegian Chamber (NACC) President Participates in the EABC’s Recent US Federal Elections & the Transatlantic Relationship Forum

Norwegian Australian Chamber of Commerce President Sophia Demetriades Toftdahl - participated in the EABC's recent Forum 'The US Federal Elections & Transatlantic Relationships' on Wednesday 4 November, 2020, together with many distinguished guests located in Sydney, Melbourne, New York City as well as participants across Australia and Europe.

The expert panel included EABC Board Member Stephen Loosley AM, Deputy Chair of Thales Australia and former Federal Senator and Chair of the Foreign Affairs Defence and Trade Committee and former National President of the Australian Labor Party; Dr Gorana Grgic, Lecturer at the Department of Government & International Relations and the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney; and Hon Andrew Robb AO, former Australian Trade Minister and Federal Director of the Liberal Party of Australia.

EABC Forum Photo Gallery - The US Federal Elections & Transatlantic Relationship, 4 NOV 20

The proceedings on the evening included welcome remarks from EABC Chair and Deputy Chancellor of Monash University Hon Simon Crean. At the conclusion of the session, EABC Corporate Council Member and Principal of Trade and Investment Advisory Zoe McKenzie proposed the Vote of Thanks to all speakers and panellists.

The event was held following the final day of voting in the 2020 US Elections and offered participants the opportunity to hear from a panel of expert commentators, who shared their views and takeaways on the campaigns for the Presidential, Senate and House of Representatives races; on significant trends in the emerging results; and the final outcome’s implications for Australia, the transatlantic relationship, and the many critical issues on the global affairs agenda including defence and security, multilateral institutions and the rules-based order, climate change, and many others. Following remarks from our panellists, we were joined for ‘live crosses’ from New York and received direct insights from Sky News correspondent James Morrow and Politico Senior Editor Ryan Heath on the political dynamics and situation on the ground.

For further information on the implications of President-elect Joe Biden’s election victory and the expected divergences from a second Trump administration; here is the link to the United States Studies Centre’s Guide, which includes key insights on the trajectory of US Foreign Policy in Europe from Dr Gorana Grgic.


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