Partner Newsletter June 2021


Look at Me Now!
Meet the Team - Q&A with Clele, White Assistant Pavilion Director
Expo Spotlight - Q&A with James Lantry, COO The Hermal Group
Programming Update - Sustainable Cities of the Future 
Expo Update - New Metro Station for Expo
Life in Dubai
Expo Statistics
Discover Expo's Online Marketplace

Look at me now!


The pavilion continues to shine as each day we move one step close to 1st October 2021. This month we’ve had a flurry of activity, as container loads of equipment from HSG, Schiavello and Sanderson have been delivered to the pavilion. There’s still plenty more to do, but as you can see from the pics, we’re almost there!  

Meet the Team

Q&A wth Clele White, Assistant Pavilion Director



Assistant Pavilion Director Clele White has at some stage looked over every contract and partnership agreement associated with Expo.  On top of this she has managed the pavilion build from afar and is now headway into coordinating the cultural program for our National Day Celebrations on 29 Janaury 2022. 

Q. What is your role in the Expo team?
 I am the Assistant Pavilion Director. I have helped with the Construction of the Pavilion and now that it is almost complete I have moved to the coordination of the cultural program including our National Day celebration.

Q. How long have you been working in the EXPO team?
A. I have been in the team for about 18 months.

Q.What’s your background? 
I am a lawyer by trade. I am a born and bred Canberran and am unashamedly a ‘Northsider’. I have been married for 22 years, have two fabulous girls and a menagerie of a cat, lizard and our newest addition, our puppy Jali (
@the_secret_life_of_jali). I am a little obsessed with body building and compete about once a year in fitness model competitions. Luckily, I save alot on the cost of competing by being married to a strength and conditioning coach who owns his own PT studio (shoutout FITREP in Bonner!). I have been posted to Singapore and short-term missions in Hong Kong and Laos. I love the travel and opportunities we get to represent our country. Now that we have the studio though, I have agreed to stay still, for a few years at least.

Q. What does a typical day look like for you?
 Emails, emails and more emails interspersed with webexes. As our staff, contractors and partners are scattered all over, webexes have become our best friend. I spend most of time drafting and reviewing contracts and trying to control things out of my control.

Q. Will you be travelling to Dubai ahead of EXPO? 
No, I am Canberra based and will stay here to make sure everything runs well from this end.

Q. What the most challenging aspect of working on Dubai EXPO? 
Hands down COVID restrictions. They are affecting every part of our work, from the workers on site, to our shipments and our performers.

Q. What are you most looking forward to? 
Seeing the Pavilion receive its first visitors. So much hard work has gone into it, it will be such a proud moment to see it officially open.

Q.Tell us about your new puppy Jali?
I have always wanted a puppy and now that we are settled in Canberra for the foreseeable future, I have finally been allowed to get one. We recently brought home the most beautiful white shepherd puppy. She is super smart and loved by the whole family. We chose the name Jali after
the Australian Pavilion/EXPO tiny butterfly Mascot. It is Bundjalung for tree. My husband and eldest were both born in Bundjalung country (NSW Northern Rivers) and we loved the connection to the area and to the earth. Really stoked to share the name with Expo Jali!


Expo Spotlight

Q&A with James Lantry, Chief Operating Officer The Hermal Group

One of the first things you will notice when you look at the Australian Pavilion are the rich tones of Australian hardwood which blanket the forecourt walls and then reach high into the cloud-like canopy. It’s a visual reminder of Australia’s natural beauty, but also gives us a moment to reflect on Australia’s innovation and commitment to new sustainable technologies. This month we sat down with Chief Operating Officer of The Hermal Group, James Lantry to discover how the Hermal Group is making a global impact in this space.  We also quickly discovered that James has a wicked sense of humour, as you'll also find out when you read about The Hermal Group’s prestigious world winning whisky Sullivans Cove.

Q. What is The Hermal Group, where are you located and how many staff do you employ?
The Hermal group is a privately owned family group.  We have a diverse group of companies and investments ranging from distillery to a marina development business, renewable energy businesses, timber wholesaler, timber engineering and a number of others.  Hermal also operates and provides funding to the family charitable trust.  Across its companies Hermal employs over 150 staff nationally, some more interesting than others.

Q. How long have you worked for The Hermal Group? And what does your typical day look like?
A. Two words, too long (James travels 2 hours to and from work every day!). I have worked for the Hermal Group for 7 years and I am the Chief Operating Officer a role I have effectively held since joining (called many things before now and some that can’t be printed but has been the same role since, I joined). 

Q. Tell us about The Hermal Group’s involvement with Expo Dubai 2020?
A. Hermal’s owner Mr Ron Goldschlager decided, after meeting with Justin in the Australian Consulate in Dubai, that he would provide the timber for the Australian pavilion at the world expo. Mr Goldschlager’s aspiration in sponsoring the project is to showcase the beautiful cross laminated plantation hardwood timber that is grown in Australia and provided as an FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) product into the world market.  

Q. What are you hoping to achieve through your involvement?
A. In show casing the CLT made from plantation hardwood we would provide international development and building consortiums with an appreciation of the beauty and durability of Australian hardwood timber.  We would also like to lead the work in the design and manufacture of CLT and glulam products developed from plantation hardwood timbers.

Our efforts will also be focussed on attracting the attention of designers and architects as they lead the way in incorporating the beautiful timbers and exacting timber based systems in their designs. Noting the pressure for the building industry to develop more sustainable development approaches and materials, the net zero carbon emission from such timber products will also hopefully attract the practical environmentally minded leader or builder/designer. 

Q. What do you see as the biggest benefit of doing business with Australia? 
A. Australians are good people that deliver a genuine product at a consistent and high standard. 

Q. Tell us about the terrific work you are doing in partnership with Monash University to generate energy from wood and other waste products.
A. Monash Professor Sankar is a legend. We have been working with Monash University now for 5 years in developing bio energy fuels from waste materials specifically wood waste. In this process we have also been looking at further developments out of the pyrolysis process including high value hydrocarbons.  

Q, Congratulations on Sullivans Cove Distillery being the winner of world best single malt whisky. Do you get to enjoy a glass of your fabulous whisky at the end of a day?

A. I wish I could, ahead of answering this question let me tell you a story….

My wonderful partner was making a pepper sauce to go on a nice steak she was cooking. While cooking it she realised the sauce needed brandy and couldn’t find any in the cupboard.  So grabbed a bottle of Sullivan’s Cove whisky. It happened to be one very special bottle TD0217, but I’ll come back to that.

So, the recipe called for 300mls of brandy, but 300mls of whisky went into the sauce. 

I had the steak and the sauce, and it was beautiful. I then headed to bed as I had an early flight to Burnie Tasmania from Melbourne the next morning. So here is the point where I tell you I have never been able to drink spirits, always felt a general unwellness that progressed quickly to being very unwell. The next morning after not having the best night’s sleep I headed to the airport. As the morning progressed, I started to feel worse and worse.  And then in Burnie I ended up in the corner of the office curled up feeling worse by the minute. 

I called my partner to talk through what had make me sick. This is when my partner told me she had added 300ml of whisky to the sauce.  So now at least I knew why I wasn’t feeling well, and I didn’t give it much thought as to what whisky went into the sauce. However, later in the day I started to think about the whisky. What was the whisky that went into the sauce? So, I called my partner again hoping it was the Chivers, but she informed me it was the Sullivans. Now there are a few different bottles of Sullivans in the cupboard, but my partner explained to me it was the blue bottle. My heart skipped a beat as the only blue bottle in the cupboard was the unopened bottle of TD0217. The French Oak barrel whisky that won Sullivans its first world’s best single malt whisky.

Now I don’t know how much it is worth, but a lot and quite honestly I haven’t looked due to not wanting to know. So, half that bottle was poured into a wonderful pepper sauce and as I get very ill from just two nips you can image just how sick I was after 300mls of whisky that didn’t have the alcohol burnt off in the cooking process!

So back to your original question  - do I enjoy a nip, the answer is on a rare occasion



Sustainable Cities for the Future
Meet the international schools working together to create sustainable cities for the future


In 2019, our teamed kicked off a schools project between St Hilda’s School on the Gold Coast and The Kindergarten Starters School in Dubai. The goal was for them to spend a term working on an Expo 2020 curriculum to design a sustainable city of the future. 

Regardless of the expo postponement the project forged ahead, with students in Australia making long term plans to visit Dubai to present their project to their Dubai sister-city school.

The Expo 2020 relationship between the two schools has now turned into so much more. As the project grew, the Kindergarten Starters School hosted the Schools Conference of Parties Expo (SCOPE) in Dubai—a world-wide expo focused on children driving sustainability and climate change. The students from the Gold Coast presented virtually at this conference.

The two schools have now established an ongoing relationship, and a new group of students are now completing the Expo 2020 project. We’re thrilled about this outcome and congratulate both schools on their positive attitude and forward thinking to keep this project alive. This story was recently featured in the Kids on the Coast Magazine – read more about it here 

Expo Update

Expo Metro will move 22,000 passengers every hour.


The inaugural Dubai Metro train has arrived at the new Expo 2020 Station.

The stunningly designed station forms a key part of RTA’s Route 2020, a 15-kilometre extension to the Dubai Metro that connects Jebel Ali Station to the Expo 2020 site, passing through communities such as Discovery Gardens and Dubai Investments Park.

Situated at one of the four entrances to Expo 2020, Expo 2020 Station will provide direct access to Dubai Exhibition Centre, Expo 2020 Dubai. Al Wasl Plaza, the beating heart of Expo 2020, is also only a short walk away, making this the ideal transportation option for Expo visitors.

The Expo 2020 Station, which can accommodate a peak of 22,000 passengers per hour in each direction, is currently open only to Expo staff and those with permission to access the site. Members of the public will be able to alight here from 1 October 2021, when Expo opens its doors to the world for six unforgettable months. 


Life in Dubai

With Commissioner General Dubai Expo 2020, Justin McGowan


There’s plenty to do in Dubai for adventure seekers and fitness enthusiasts, and one of my favourite pastimes is discovering the hundreds of kilometres of cycling tracks located in and around the city, including an 86km cycling track purpose built in the desert. The Al Qudra Cycling Track has amazing views of the desert, especially early in the morning where you can catch a glimpse of the most incredible golden sunrise. The track winds its way into the desert past wild Arabian oryx and wandering camels. On a clear day you can look back towards the city and see the Dubai skyline. When the desert gets too hot and flat then we head out into the mountains of Jebel Jais in Ras Al Khaimah to grind the way to the top of the mountain reaching 1934m above sea level. The views here are breath-taking and temperatures can be around ten degrees cooler.

Cycling has become a family affair in the McGowan household, but if donning lycra and hiring a bike is not your thing, then Expo has created another track for you to explore. Located directly opposite the Australian Pavilion you’ll be able to see innovative mobility devices in action on a 330-metre track that runs both underground and out in the open at the Mobility Pavilion. There’s also a walking/running track that weaves its way around the perimeter of the expo site, all that’s required is a good pair of running shoes. While you’ve got your running shoes on, you should also check out the 7km pathway that curves its way along the shoreline of Kite Beach offering spectacular views of sand, surf and the world famous Burj Al Arab.  


Expo Statistics

Generating Clean Energy

From recycling to promoting natural solutions, Expo hope to inspire others to reaffirm their commitment to the environment and protecting the Earth for future generations. 

Expo 2020 Dubai has installed renewable energy systems with a combined total capacity of 5.5 megawatts on all permanent building projects across the Expo site. That’s enough energy to go approximately 180,000 round trips from Downtown Dubai to the Corniche in Abu Dhabi! 

How do they support the on-site generation of renewable energy sources? All permanent buildings are integrated with photovoltaic panels and have incorporated renewable energy systems. 

Expo are also on track to receive LEED Certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design)  for more than 120 permanent buildings, 95 of which are targeting LEED Gold, while four are targeting LEED Platinum. 

Curious to see what a net-zero energy building looks like? Terra - The Sustainability Pavilion aims to be LEED Platinum certified and has 12,000 sqm of photovoltaic panels across its roof and energy trees.


Discover Expo's online market place

An Expo 2020 Dubai tool for businesses to connect, collaborate and compete for business opportunities globally

Inspired by the Expo 2020 Dubai theme, ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’, the Online Marketplace aims to drive collaboration and growth by enabling businesses of all sizes to advertise their capabilities, market for business globally and connect with others within the supply chain.

Expo 2020 Dubai has committed 20 per cent of its spend to local and international Small & Medium Enterprises (SMEs), representing billions of dirhams (AED) in opportunities.

The Online Marketplace is a powerful platform for finding the very best products and services on offer globally, including the freshest and most innovative ideas developed by SMEs worldwide.

This is just the beginning of the journey to 2020 and beyond.  Register here