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Norwegian Christmas 2018

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National security dinner with Hon Peter Dutton MP

Norwegian Australian Chamber of Commerce President Sophia Demetriades had the pleasure of attending an exclusive dinner with the Hon Peter Dutton MP in Sydney on November 19th., 2018.

Ms Demetriades attended as guest of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry in conjunction with Stratium Global.

Presentations were held by The Hon Peter Dutton MP, Minister for Home Affairs and Federal Member for Dickson and special guest from the United States, Louis J. Freeh, former Director of the FBI, former Deputy US Attorney, former US District Court Judge and international investigator.

The Minister addressed protecting Australia in these uncertain times given his portfolio responsibilities as Minister for Home Affairs. Mr Freeh shared his expertise and thoughts on other important global security matters.

Joining the Minister and Mr Freeh after their presentations were Karen Webb APM, Assistant Commissioner, NSW Police Force and facilitating the panel discussion was Nick Kaldas APM MAICD, Managing Director of Stratium Global and former Deputy Commissioner, NSW Police Force.


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Building the Foundation Skills with Hon Tanya Plibersek MP

The Norwegian Australian Chamber of Commerce President Sophia Demetriades had the pleasure of attending an exclusive networking lunch with the Hon Tanya Plibersek MP in Sydney on November 15th, 2018.

Ms Demetriades attended as guest of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry for a presentation on Building the Foundation Skills as presented by Hon Tanya Plibersek MP, Deputy Leader of the Opposition, Shadow Minister for Education and Training and Shadow Minister for Women.

With a keen eye on the skills needed for the future, there are none more important than foundation literacy and numeracy skills, including digital literacy, as a basis for lifelong learning and work. Evidence shows a drop in standards against our international competitors, particularly amongst high school students, and employers continue to express concern about the literacy and numeracy standards of young job seekers. Are we doing enough?

After her address, Ms Plibersek participated in a Q&A panel discussion with Suresh Manickam, CEO of the National Electrical and Communications Association, David Quilty, Executive Director of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia and Robert Randall, CEO of the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority. The panel was facilitated by Jenny Lambert, Director Employment, Education & Training, of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

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Visa update at NACC

Thank you to event sponsor Tieto Norway and Justin Gibbs of Fragomen for a very informative overview of the Australian Visa situation following recent changes including the abolition of the 457 visa and introduction of the Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS) visa.

The system has become much more complex and the changes introduced to ensure that access to skilled work visas is restricted to occupations in genuine short supply and follows the Government’s agenda to put Australians first.

There are two main streams for the TSS visa, a short-term stream which allows for two years in Australia with one extension and a long-term stream that allow for a four-year term in Australia with multiple extensions.

The criteria for a TSS visa now require mandatory Labour Market Testing (LMT) demonstrating that there is no suitably qualified Australian available for the role. This advertising is governed by strict and technical rules on where the advertisement must be displayed, and for how long. Employers were strongly encouraged to seek advice early to ensure applications met criteria. Acceptable platforms for advertising now include job ads posted on LinkedIn but generally classifieds or social media are not acceptable.

Similar to the 457 visa, salary and terms and conditions of employment must be no less favourable than what an equivalent Australian would receive.

Other significant changes include the split of the occupation lists – now the Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL) and the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL), the introduction of the Skilling Australians Fund (SAF) levy, revised English language requirements, introduction of mandatory policy clearances and minimum period of work experience.

The Department is very keen for companies to become Accredited Sponsors to help fast track low risk applications allowing the visa process to be one to two weeks as opposed to three to four months. For all approved sponsors, there are a number of important obligations and responsibilities and it is very important that companies ensure strict compliance. The Department is increasing its compliance and audit activities and there are also new powers on their way including ATO data matching and ‘Naming and Shaming’ of companies that do not comply.

There are in fact still many different visa categories, 99 to be precise, so navigating the correct category is important to ensure compliance and help facilitate business needs. For example, there was discussion about the different between ‘business visitor activity’ and ‘work’. The recommendation was to seek advice before proceeding as the consequences of getting it wrong can lead to serious consequences and be very costly.

Miles Ponsonby

NACC Event Perth 7 Nov 2018

NACC Event Perth 7 Nov 2018


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MARKET RESEARCH Internship with ORKLA – 2018

Orkla market research internship, Sydney August 2018

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The Norwegian Australian Chamber of Commerce is currently looking for an Operations Manager/Relationship Manager/CEO.




This role supports the board of the NACC in delivering on its objectives, including:

  • Creating networking opportunities for members and their communities
  • Promoting, encouraging and facilitating trade, commerce and investment
  • Creating awareness of ties between Australia and Norway


The main focus is on (1) marketing and communications, administration and event management; and (2) member engagement, management, retention and acquisition.



  • Customer relationship building
  • Accounting and finance understanding (to pay invoices and report monthly account status)
  • Customer service
  • Confidence & professional presentation
  • Proactive & assertive nature
  • Attention to detail
  • Must be tech savvy and able to use Mac or Microsoft Suits as well as learn Mailchimp, Stripe, WordPress, Eventbrite, and social media
  • Norwegian language preferred but not required



  • Degree in Marketing, Communications or Business Administration preferred
  • At least 2 years previous work experience (in any field)
  • At least 1 year administration experience
  • Board management experience or similar preferred
  • Excellent English written and oral
  • Customer Service Experience



Design and distribute the monthly newsletter from MailChimp

  • Get info from the board
  • Set up events on the website
  • Check Contact email
  • Test that links and everything work before sending


Current Member Management

  • Set up 2 phone meeting for Board Members in PipeDrive each month
  • Call at least 5 members per month and update info in our CRM PipeDrive
  • Talk to members about whether they know other prospect members
  • Send membership renewal and invoice
  • Do whatever is required to retain members


Prospect Member Management

  • Contact prospect members by phone and email regularly
  • Meet with potential members regularly and tell them about NACC
  • Sign up new members


New Member Management

  • Add member profiles to website
  • Send welcome email to new members when they pay and the contact email receives a notification
  • Send welcome letter and pin
  • Make welcome phone call with details below (tell President)
  • Add member to MailChimp newsletter list
  • Invite member to social media accounts
  • Update contact details
  • Get member to post our logo on their website


Finance Management

  • Update accounts
  • Pay invoices
  • Send invoices
  • Collect invoices
  • Update the numbers in the minutes sheet
  • Monthly financial statements


Event Management

  • Organise NACC events
  • Find sponsors for events
  • Attend events, prepare for events (see events run sheet)
  • Add events to website
  • Add events to Eventbrite if applicable
  • Create and send event invitations from MailChimp
  • Post events to social media
  • Call and email members directly to check if they are attending events
  • Part take in organising & promoting: European cruise in Nov, informal Christmas drinks in Dec, Scandinavian Film Festival in Jun, and promote

Euromix x 2-4.

Marketing Management

  • Keep update on member social media accounts and share in social media
  • Manage social media in collaboration with interns & President (weekly posts)
  • Share news in social media


General Administration

  • Attend Board meetings and take minutes, 1st Monday of the month, 4:30-6pm
  • Distribute minutes, agenda, and action items to the board, monthly
  • Weekly 15 minute phone catch up with the President
  • Update Database and CRM
  • Keep the Google Drive tidy, clear, orderly



  • Depends on experience and responsibilities
  • Salary will be between $20-30 per hour with 20 hours work per week minimum + board meeting attendance (Approx. $1600-$2400 /month)
  • Commission on membership sales available if of interest



  • Send an email with your resume to, and add your name in the subject field like this: JOB APPLICATION: MAX SKAUGEN.
  • Only successful candidates will be called in for an interview.



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Viking Sun arrives in February 2018 sailing the company’s first-ever World Cruise

10 August 2017 – Viking Cruises’ newest ocean ship, Viking Sun, heads to Sydney for the first time in February 2018, marking the brand’s debut in Australian waters.

The sold out Viking World Cruise from Miami to London will visit Sydney on 10 and 11 February, as part of the 141 day cruise covering five continents, 35 countries and 66 ports. The cruise will visit seven ports across Australia including Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Whitsunday Islands, Cairns, Thursday Island and Darwin before heading to Asia.

“The Opera House and the Harbour Bridge meant the decision to include the iconic harbour city of Sydney on the World Cruise itinerary was unquestionable. It is great to be able to share such a beautiful part of the world with Viking guests,” said Michelle Black, Managing Director Viking Cruises Australia and New Zealand. “Our itineraries are created with fewer sea days and more time in port, than any other cruise line and our selection of curated shore excursions are designed to showcase the best of each port we visit.”

The long-awaited arrival of Viking Cruises in Australia, will see guests admire the iconic Sydney Opera House, visit the historical Rocks district and explore the world-famous Bondi Beach. Plus, optional excursions will see guests explore Sydney’s Inner West, visit the UNESCO World Heritage site of Cockatoo Island or head further afield to the Hunter Valley and Blue Mountains.

Viking will also begin homeporting out of Australia and New Zealand in December 2018 on a brand-new itinerary that will see Viking Spirit, the fifth ship to join the fleet in July 2018, spend three months of the year cruising between Sydney and Auckland. The 15-day Australia and New Zealand cruise will cover nine ports of call including Melbourne and Hobart before crossing the Tasman and stopping at six ports in New Zealand.

Celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2017, Viking Cruises is the leader in river cruising, operating a fleet of 66 vessels that offer destination-focused itineraries. In 2015, the cruise line launched its first ocean ship, Viking Star. By 2022 the company will operate eight 930-guest ocean cruise ships and will be the world’s largest small ship ocean cruise line.

For additional information, contact Viking Cruises at 138 747 or visit To join the Viking Cruises community online, visit


Notes to Editors:

Viking World Cruise Australian Itinerary


8 February 2018                 Melbourne (Day 55)

10 February 2018              Sydney (Day 57)                 

11 February 2018              Sydney (Day 58)                 

13 February 2018              Brisbane (Day 60)              

15 February 2018              Whitsunday Islands – Cid Harbor (Day 62)               

16 February 2018              Cairns (Day 63)

17 February 2018              Scenic Cruising: Great Barrier Reef (Day 64)         

18 February 2018              Thursday Island (Day 65)

21 February 2018              Darwin (Day 68)

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How to network your way to success

By: Sophia Demetriades

We’ve all heard it before; ‘it’s not what you know, but who you know’ or ‘it’s not who you know, its how you manage those you know’. No matter the quote, the message is clear; success is more about the actions you take to achieve it. If it is true that we are the sum of the people around us, we need to engage with people who in some way will help us achieve what we want. You could say that the future of your business is born through your networks!

Unfortunately, many of us are not efficient networkers. Excusitis claims reasons such as: “I‘m too shy”, “it hasn’t worked in the past”, “I don’t have time” etc etc. But can you really afford not to network when its the most likely way for you to win work?

When it comes to networking, quality definitely means more than quantity. You need to spend time building genuine relationships. In business, there is no point knowing hundreds of people if none of them mean anything to you. Referrals are the most robust strategy in job hunting. In short, a referral means that someone who knows you endorses you to someone else in their network and vice versa. No job application needed.

Mark Foster from WaveTrain has had great success meeting people through the Norwegian Chamber. In 2015 Mark attended the annual Cruise for Europeans, a networking cruise on Sydney harbour for all the European Chamber of Commerce. Here. Mark was introduced to members of the German Chamber of Commerce through Norwegian Danielle Mathiesen. Mark was then introduced to Deutche Bahn who became a  client of WaveTrain. People are 62% more likely to do business with someone who is a member of a Chamber of Commerce.

Michelle Gamble from Marketing Angels, agrees. I met Michelle at a networking event for Small Business September in 2009 where she spoke about the power of social media. Two years later Michelle hired one of my friends Erin, who I had met at a university course the previous year. So for both business and employment, networking works. More than 60% of employment happens through networking.

So what skills are required to network like a pro?

Ivan Misner Ph.D. is one of the worlds most renowned academics and professionals in networking. Misner has conducted research on his privately owned professional business network, Business Network International, for more than 20 years. The research confirms a set of 7 must have skills to be a pro networker:

  1. Be sincere
  2. Have a positive and flexible attitude
  3. Listen properly, don’t just wait for your turn to talk
  4. Follow up on referrals, call or meet in person
  5. Work your network effectively
  6. Be trustworthy and Reliable
  7. You must like to help others


Make sure you make an effort to learn what these 7 skills mean and how you can employ them. Tell people about them. Make a networking scorecard and game plan for how you will network in the future. If you would like to learn more, you can buy Misner's books ‘networking like a pro’ and ‘networking and sex’ or contact me for resources.

Next time you meet someone:

    1      Introduce yourself in context

    2      Be Interested

    3      Request Contact Information

    4      Follow up

Because future business is born through networks!

Sophia Demetriades Toftdahl

Sophia has been a professional networker for 6 years, owned a networking business for students looking for work and internships, built an online marketplace for connecting employers and interns, worked as a networking trainer for Business Networks International (BNI), worked as a relationship manager for entrepreneurial networks, and founded a bi-lateral Chamber of Commerce.

7 Vital Networking Skills:

7 vital networking skills

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Annual General Meeting 2017

October 10th The Norwegian Australian Chamber of Commerce had its annual general meeting at Radisson Blue in Sydney CBD. Sophia, the president of NACC lead the meeting in an orderly fashion, and took the meeting through its agenda.

The chamber has had success with its activities this past year, and financials are looking good. There was an engaged debate on events for next year, and many good suggestions were made, especially considering a potential Christmas party for 2018. The young professionals have also been successful in their monthly events with networking events, and they strive for a membership growth, and higher turnout at events.

During the meeting everyone who came had a chance to introduce themselves and there were plenty of time to meet new people, as well as greet old friends.

At the meeting there was an election for the board, and these are the new/re-elected board members.


At the meeting NACC started its new projects which is making a film to promote Norwegian business in Australia that will feature on the Chamber and Embassy websites.

Thanks to everyone who came, and we hope to see you all at the cruise with the Europeans.


Photos: Jonathan Stokkland

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5 Ways to Enjoy Oslo Like a True Local by 50 Degrees North



5 Ways to Enjoy Oslo Like a True Local

08 May, 2017, by Ivy Thompson


Going to Norway’s capital Oslo as part of your Norway tour and have your CityPass organised? Take advantage of the easy and well-built public transport system to experience the sights just like a true local:


1. Hike around Lake Sognsvann

Growing up in Oslo myself, Lake Sognsvann was the destination for annual school sports-days, end-of-year BBQs and hikes. And no wonder- the magnificent beauty of Oslo is it’s close proximity to nature. The lush forest surrounding the capital is lovingly referred to as ‘Marka’ (the ‘Field’) by the locals who make the most of it rain, hail or shine.

How to get there: Lake Sognsvann is easily accessible by catching the west-bound ‘Number 5 Sognsvann’ Subway/ T-bane from the city. Ride it till the final stop, get off and follow the path down to the walking-trail that goes round the lake. The hike is a scenic and easy 3.5 km. In summer locals bring their bathers for a dip in the refreshing water, or simply wade in the shallows. Icecreams and refreshments can be bought at one of the 2 local kiosk.


Image credit: lukasz.ptak/Foap/

2. Enjoy a picnic in the Vigeland Sculpture Park

Most tourists visiting Oslo schedule a visit to the famous and spectacular Vigeland sculpture-park. This gorgeous park has to be seen to be believed: Locals love and use the park frequently, and for good reason. I highly recommend you take the trip and stroll around the park in your own time if your Oslo itinerary allows for it. While a guided tour is interesting and gives you the story behind sculptor Gustav Vigeland’s vision, this park is best enjoyed slowly. There are many areas, gardens, sculptures and fountains to explore. Have your pick from the many steps and benches, sit down and take in the view. We always stop by a nearby supermarket or bakery for provisions to enjoy in the park.

Travelling with kids? They’ll love the enormous adventure-playground located near the main-gates inside the park. How to get there: Tram #12 stops right in front of the main-gates, and so does the 21-bus. You can catch either from the city centre.


Image credit: Terje Borud -

3. Take a stroll along Aker Brygge, Tjuvholmen and Akershus Festning (Medieval Fort)

Aker Brygge is where the action is at during the spring and summer months in Norway’s capital city.  The shopping centre located along the inner part of the blue Oslo-fjord is buzzing with life from morning through to the small hours: it’s the place to see and be seen. Aker Brygge is much more than just another shopping strip; it offers bars, cafes, restaurants, speciality shops, an upmarket supermarket, and a fantastic opportunity to spend a few hours people watching by the pier. If fjord-watching is more your thing, Aker Brygge has you covered: it’s a lovely spot to sit and watch boats, ferries and cruise-ships pass by.


Floating Sauna near the Oslo Opera House, Image credit: VISITOSLO/Didrick Stenersen


Continue to walk along the pier till you hit the very end, cross the narrow walking-bridge, and you’ll find yourself in the newly constructed borough called Tjuvholmen (translates to ‘The Thief Islet’). The home of art installations, sculptures, world-class restaurants, the trendy Thief Hotel, coffee, shiny apartment-buildings, the acclaimed Astrup Fearnley-Museum and it’s very own inner-city Sea Baths (bring bathers and a towel!); the 2017-version of Tjuvholmen is a far cry from the shipping container dock we used to walk past in the early 90s.



Image credit: VISITOSLO/Tord Baklund

You can’t miss the striking medieval fort Akershus Festning directly across the fjord from Aker Brygge and Tjuvholmen. The stone-castle was built in the late 13th century, and is located in front of what was once Old Town Oslo. Walking around the castle grounds is relaxing, albeit steep at times. The magnificent view over the harbour is well worth the hills though.

How to get there: Several buses and trams will take you down to the square called Vestbaneplassen in front of Oslo Town Hall, which marks the start of Aker Brygge/ Tjuvholmen to your right, and the Akershus Fort to your left (if you face the fjord). It’s also a very short walk from the Nationaltheatret railway/ subway/ bus- and tram stops.



Image credit: CH -

4. Visit the beaches on the Bygdoy Peninsula

You probably don’t associate Oslo with beaches (and neither do I) but let’s embrace the concept: us Oslo-locals flock to the Bygdoy Peninsula during the summer school-holidays or any sunny day for that matter. It’s a gorgeous area west of the city. The peninsula is also the home of famous museums such as the Viking Ship Museum, The Kon-Tiki Museum, The Fram Museum and The Norwegian Museum of Cultural History.

But museums aside; for us locals Bygdoy offers cliffs, rocks, small sandy beaches, volleyball courts, forest, walking tracks and plenty of lush grass where we can embrace nature and those unpredictable warm summer-days. The two beaches are called Huk and Paradisbukta (Paradise Bay). Do as the locals and make the most of the light summer evenings by bringing a rug and good company. It’s hard to find a lovelier spot to enjoy our capital.

How to get there: Catch the #30-bus from the city and get off at the very last stop (it's a large car-park). There are clearly marked signs to both Huk and Paradisbukta.



Evening fjord boat tours will pass this area. Image credit: VisitOSLO/Thomas Johannessen

5. Walk from The Majorstua Building to the Oslo Central Station

While Oslo is the biggest city in Norway, it’s still small in comparison to most capital-cities worldwide. But small does not a boring city make: Oslo offers amazing shopping and sights, especially if you decide to tackle the city-centre by foot. Start your inner-city walk from the main-hub of the Inner West; The Majorstua Building (this is also a major subway-stop). It marks the very beginning of Bogstadveien; the main-shopping strip of the inner-west.

Full of shops with the latest in local design, fashion and homewares it offers something for everyone. Follow the road till it changes to Hegdehaugsveien, a road known for it’s bustling cafe-, restaurant and nightlife. When you get to the very end of Hegdehaugsveien you’ll find yourself across the road/ corner of the Royal Palace and its surrounding gardens. Walk the path through the relaxing castlegrounds, watch the National Guards on duty, and look ahead past the statue of Karl Johan: Oslo’s car-free main street, the Karl Johan’s Gate, is lying ahead of you.



Karl Johan St, Image credit: VISITOSLO/Didrick Stenersen

The main-street goes continues all the way down towards the East of the city, and ends in front of the Oslo Central Station. While the street and its side-streets are always buzzing with life, it’s particularly busy in summer, when people flock outside to catch up over cold drinks under the trees in the many cafes, pubs and restaurants.

Christmas/ Winter brings a different kind of charm when the large water-feature outside the Paleet Shopping Centre turns into an ice-skating rink. It’s open from November through to March and is free to use- skates can be hired at the venue. I find it particularly magic around Christmas-time when the Karl Johan Street is dressed in seasonal lights, enhanced by the darkness of the short days and long nights.

How to get there: Depending on the location of your accommodation, you can either walk to The Majorstua Building and walk south towards Oslo Central Station. Alternatively you can flip it around and start south, and walk towards Majorstua instead. Both starting-points are centrally located and easy to get to.



Image credit: Tord Baklund / VisitOSLO


Christmas in Oslo, Image Credit: CH/

50 Degrees North specialises in holiday travel to Scandinavia, Finland, Iceland, Greenland, the Arctic and Russia. We specialise regionally, as we believe it is not possible to be good at everything. We are a specialist tour operator, but can also help book your international flights as a full service travel agent.

All our Norway tours are listed here.

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