All posts by Maria Schaller

SAAN´s Executive Assistant, providing help with any administrative and organisational matters

SAAN reception: The ZIKA Virus. Wine Making in Tasmania´s Coal River Valley

On August 17 the Swiss Australian Academic Network was delighted to welcome 45 of its members and partners to a special event at Melbourne´s Royal Society, opened by SAAN´s president Matthias Ernst and his welcoming words.

SAAN´s president Matthias Ernst
SAAN´s president Matthias Ernst

On the occasion of the Rio Summer Olympics and the prevailling threat of the ZIKA Virus predominately in Brazil, Melbourne based and Swiss born Professor Christian D. Doerig, Head of the Department of Microbiology at Monash University, gave an insightful talk.

Prof Christian Doerig
Prof Christian Doerig

In order to present the guests with a different topic as well, Prof Doerig´s presentation was followed by Peter Althaus, a most successful Swiss wine maker from Tasmania. 20 years ago, Althaus chose to  close a former chapter of his life when he finished his employment with IBM and started his “Domaine A” winery.  Our guests were interestedly listening to his rather unusual life story.

Peter Althaus
Peter Althaus

Peter Althaus was keen to provide SAAN´s guests with a wine tasting. Given the attendee´s response there was no doubt about the quality of his wines.


The Swiss Australian Academic Network kindly acknowledges its guest speakers and long-term partners for their generous support.

Photos: Brittany Scott

SAAN on SBS Radio

The Australian public broadcaster and the world´s biggest multilingual media company SBS has recently released an audio segment about the Swiss Australian Academic Network.

SAAN´s president Matthias Ernst gave the German speaking audience a detailed insight in the organisation´s history, structure and aims. Mr Ernst also got the chance to talk about the well-performing exchange between Swiss and Australian academics.

SAAN would like to thank SBS for the opportunity!

Link (audio segment in German):

SBS: Swiss Australian Academic Network (SAAN)

Dinner with Honorary Consul Manuela Erb

On April 28, SAAN´s Melbourne based Executive Board was delighted to spend the evening having dinner with the newly appointed Honorary Swiss Consul in Victoria, Mrs Manuela Erb.

SAAN got the chance to bring Mrs Erb up to date with its organisation as well as its past and intended activities. Both parties had the oppotunity to discuss all kind of matters related to the Swiss community in Australia. SAAN is pleased to have a strong relationship with Switzerland´s official representatives in Australia and is looking forward to developing this in the future.

Maria Schaller, Bruno Giger, Robert Medcalf, Manuela Erb, Matthias Ernst, Jean-Guy Schneider

Reception: Switzerland – Higher Education in Central Europe

On the occasion of the APAIE 2016, SAAN hosted a reception on the evening of Feburary 29 together with the Swiss Science and Technology Network of the Asia-Pacific. We were delighted to welcome almost 50 guests at the Royal Society of Victoria.

The APAIE (Asia-Pacific Association for International Education) is an annually held well-known forum in the Asia-Pacific region, which brings together policy-makers and education experts from around the world. This year´s conference took place in Melbourne´s Convention and Exhibition Centre. A Swiss booth was set up at the APAIE to act as a meeting place for the Swiss institutions and their partners.

The event was being held on the first night of the conference and brought together various delegations: representatives from both Swiss universities and embassies as well as key stakeholder from Australia, China, Japan, Korea and Singapore. SAAN was represented by its Melbourne based executive board.


After the welcoming words from SAAN´s president Matthias Ernst and Mark Engler, Science, Technology and Education Coordinator at the Swiss Embassy in Canberra, and accompanied by appetizers, our guests took the chance to network and engage in discussions on further collaborations.



SAAN would like to thank its partners, particularly Mark Engler and the Embassy of Switzerland in Australia, for their kind support.


Showcasing the role of the Swiss in the development of the Victorian wine industry

Together with the de Pury family/Yeringberg, SAAN welcomed 60 of     its members, partners and various interest groups on October 28 to a very special event at The Royal Society of Victoria in Melbourne. 

Saan2The evening commenced at   the Royal Society´s historical Ellery Lecture Theatre. After welcoming words        from SAAN´s executive   Robert Medcalf, SAAN President Matthias Ernst gave the auditorium an overview of the network´s aims and functions.

The audience was then treated to a unique insight in the history of the Yarra Valley from Guill de Pury. His enthralling talk described his families wine producing property, which is  one of the most distinguished in the Yarra Valley and has been the home  of the family since 1862, when Baron Frederic Guillaume de Pury migrated to the Yarra Valley from Switzerland. In 1969, 3rd generation, Guill re-established the vineyard which currently produces 1200 cases of wines each year.  Further, the audience was given the chance  to ask specific questions to Guill.


Saan6After the presentations,    the attendees were given the oppurtunity to try Yeringbe´s exquisite wines at the Burke and Wills Room.  Guill´s wife and daughter, Katherine and Sandra, kindly served the delighted audience.

Accompanied by appetizers, the guests engaged in discussions on the themes of the night as well as other potential networking and professional collaborations.


SAAN kindly acknowledges the de Pury family and The Royal Society of Victoria for their generous support in making this such a successful event.

SBS´ German radio program attended the event and broadcasted a segment as part of it´s weekly Swiss coverage:

SBS – Fine Wine and family tradition