Meet our Europe, Middle East, Türkiye and Africa team.
Based in our Paris office, Gönül has responsibility for the Paris, Frankfurt and Dubai Victorian Government Trade and Investment (VGTI) offices.
These offices support Victoria’s trade and investment engagement in continental Europe including France, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands and Belgium, as well as the Middle East, Africa and Türkiye (MEAT) region.
Prior to her current role, Gönül was the inaugural Chief Executive Officer of Global Victoria responsible for leading the government’s global engagement efforts. As part of this role, she headed the State’s international network of 24 trade and investment offices which included Melbourne headquarters, and led a team that drove economic growth in Victoria by facilitating exports and promoting the State’s world-class industry capabilities and education sector to international audiences.
Over her thirteen years working in the international trade portfolio, as CEO, Deputy Secretary and Executive Director, Gönul led the development and execution of the largest trade missions to leave Australia into emerging markets and the largest inbound trade delegations to visit Victoria. These programs have resulted in several significant collaborations, generated billions of dollars worth of additional exports to the economy, and put Victoria’s world-class companies on a global stage.
She has a passion for international engagement and supporting platforms and initiatives that empower young leaders and women to actively engage in areas of trade and culture.
Gönul has a Bachelor of Social Science (Hons) from RMIT University and has completed the Harvard Business School Executive Education Course on Building Global Enterprise, and the Australian Institute of Company Directors Course.
Meet our Europe team
Trade Director, Europe
Anne has had many years' experience working in the private sector assisting foreign brands to establish their European operations and be successful in-market. She has worked for a range of companies in diverse industries such as telecommunications, technology, health, wellness and sport.
Anne has extensive knowledge about marketing and communications, retail and sales strategies and can provide strategic advice for Victorian companies seeking to enter the French and European market.
Investment Director, Europe
Anne-Sophie joins us from ACCIO, the Catalonia Trade and Investment agency where she most recently held the role of Senior Manager for Investment in their Paris office. She has close to ten years’ direct experience working to attract investment and develop trade opportunities. She has worked extensively with a range of clients from start-ups to large corporates across multiple sectors including technology, agriculture, manufacturing, logistics and luxury.
Anne-Sophie has a Bachelor (Honours) of International Business from Leeds Beckett University and a Master’s Degree in Entrepreneurship from Normandie Business School and is fluent in French, English and Spanish and also speaks Catalan.
Investment Director, Europe
In February 2023, Thorsten joined Global Victoria as the new Investment Director for Europe based in the Victorian Government's Trade and Investment (VGTI) office in Frankfurt am Main.
Before commencing with Global Victoria, Thorsten headed the International Office for Economic Development of the City of Magdeburg in Central Germany. Whilst in the role, he was part of the team that landed Intel Corp, the biggest investment win in the history of the Federal Republic of Germany.
In 2016, Thorsten was appointed as the first-ever Deputy Head of Fintech at Invest Hong Kong in London, where he was instrumental in attracting investments from some of the UK’s leading Fintech scale-ups to Hong Kong, like Revolut, Checkout, Ebury, and Wise.
In 2004, Thorsten joined the Swiss Business Hub UK in London as Trade Officer and was promoted to Head of Swiss Business Hub in 2008, a role he held until 2014.
After earning an upper second-class honours master’s degree in Political Science from the University of Münster in 1999, Thorsten started his career in Germany at Münster/ Osnabrück International Airport where he did public relations work as Supervisor of the Visitors’ Service.
His main interests are international expansion, digital banking, and all things tech.
Meet our Middle East, Türkiye and Africa team
Director, Education Services
Barış represents the State Government of Victoria within the international education, education technologies, professional training and business community.
Barış works to enhance the profile of Victoria's education and training sector in the Middle East, Africa and Türkiye and networks at the highest levels across government, industry and academia to identify opportunities for Victoria's education and training industry.
In his previous role, Barış held the post of Trade Commissioner in Istanbul, Türkiye for Global Affairs Canada. Prior to working for the Canadian Government, Barış was located in Dubai as Austrade's Business Development Manager of Education for the Middle East and North Africa.
Barış has also held various Austrade international business development roles in Türkiye and Vietnam.
Trade Director - Middle East, Africa and Türkiye
Lamia has over 12 years of experience in trade and investment promotion and market entry support for companies across the Middle Eastern region.
In her current role, she is responsible for assisting Victorian companies to enter the respective markets and promoting Victorian capabilities across the sectors of Healthcare, MedTech, SportsTech, eCommerce, beauty and wellness, and mining and advanced manufacturing.
Lamia previously held the position of Trade Advisor, UAE & Oman at the Swiss Business Hub Middle East, as well as Business Development Manager in Abu Dhabi & Kuwait at the German Emirati Joint Council for Industry & Commerce (AHK).
Lamia's expertise includes market mapping, consulting with and advising exporters on potential opportunities, and connecting them to the right networks.
Our Europe, Middle East, Africa and Türkiye offices
22 Rue Chauchat
Mainzer Landstrasse 49
Phone: +44 207 836 2656
Email the Frankfurt office
Unit OT 19-33, OT 19-34
Central Park Offices
Dubai International Finance Centre
PO Box 58004
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Phone: +971 4 321 2600
Email the Dubai office