Australia-China Chamber of Commerce and Industry
of New South Wales



A Thank You to Darcy Carter



The Legacy of D. C. Carter O.A.M., Founding President of the Australia China Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCCI) in N.S.W. and A.C.T., from 16th September 1976 to 28th June 1989.

In late 1982 a Publication Committee came together comprising some leading members of the Chamber that ultimately published ‘Ten Year Links – in commemoration of the Establishment of Australia-China diplomatic relations’. ACCCI Life Governor Arthur Locke Chang was a member of that committee.

Darcy Carter wrote an article on the early years of the Chamber that is now reproduced in full.

“At 5.30 p.m. on Wednesday 5th May 1976, a meeting was arranged by Mr. D.C. Carter to form a Preparatory Committee with the aim of establishing The Australia China Chamber of Commerce and Industry in N.S.W.

The meeting was held by courtesy of The Mandarin Club in the organisation’s Lotus Room and present were Messrs. Darcy Carter, Sid Clare, Bert Chandler, R. Gale, R.A. Purcell, M. Samuel and Mrs. D. Parker.

Mr. Carter agreed to “chair” the meeting and Messrs. A. Chang and J.F. Kwan joined the preparatory committee at the time of its next meeting on 10th May 1976, held in the Offices of H.Y. Kwan (Aust) Pty. Limited.

The Inaugural Meeting of the Chamber took place on Wednesday 16th September 1976 in the Conference Room of the Australian Department of Trade and Resources, Sydney, at 5.30 p.m. and the Constitution was adopted.

The following persons comprised the first elected committee of the Chamber: - Messrs. D.C. Carter, John McCarthy, Jim Kwan, Arthur Locke Chang, Ron Gale, Peter Fox, Ian Irvine, Richard Liu, A. Simmons, Side Clare, M.J. Samuel and J.G. Gray.

Subsequently, the Hon. Neville Wran, Q.C., M.P., Premier of New South Wales and the then Acting Consul-General of the People’s Republic of China, Mr. Tang Jemin, accepted Honorary Patronage of the Chamber and, of course, the organization was honoured further in 1982 when W.J. Liu Esq., O.B.E., accepted the position of Governor of the Chamber.

The establishment of the Chamber in other States was actively encouraged by New South Wales as was, indeed, the establishment of an acceptable National Presence based in the National Capital – Canberra.

The Chamber is now firmly established in all States – excepting the Northern Territory and New South Wales continues its original initiatives for the creation of a National Confederation in the A.C.T.

In 1979, through the cooperation of Mr Henry Wang, the Chamber in N.S.W. – A.C.T. occupied excellent Offices at 362 Kent Street, Sydney, and these were officially opened by Mr. J.D. Anthony, M.P., C.H., (Deputy Prime Minister of Australia) on 19th November 1979.

In June 1982, the office moved to 104 Bathurst Street, Sydney, where the facilities are most appropriate in relation to the importance of the trading relationship between Australia and the People’s Republic of China.

The current President is D.C. Carter Esq., O.A.M., who has held that position since the Chamber’s formation. Mr. Carter represents the A.C.C.C.I. in N.S.W. – A.C.T. on the Australia China Trade Advisory Group (A.C.T.A.G.) in Canberra.

An “original” who attended the Inaugural Meeting on 16th September 1976 is Mr. R.A. (Roy) Dissmeyer who now holds the position of Vice President – Trade and Protocol.

The Chamber’s basic aims include the improvement of trade generally between the relative countries, and its senior officials enjoy an excellent rapport with their counterparts in the various Chinese Departments, organizations and trading corporations.”

1983 was a high water mark in Australia China relations especially with the visit to Australia of Chinese Premier Zhao Ziyang in April.

Unfortunately the next decade was challenging to say the least.

The mid 1980s witnessed the “politicization” of trade groups in Australia with a Liberal inspired Victorian group seeking to control Chambers in all States. Darcy Carter resisted these forces with great vigour in N.S.W. and A.C.T. Subsequently a ‘break-away’ China Chamber in NSW, through creating much confusion, collapsed in 1996 and their members joined the Australia China Business Council.

From 1987 political turbulence exploded throughout China ending in the events of June 1989 in Beijing and to a lesser extent other cities of China. These were very difficult days for Australia China trade especially with the imposing of international trade sanctions by western countries including Australia. Darcy Carter, firstly as President and then as Chairman of the ACCCI  Life Governors 1989-93, was a calming influence in Chamber’s struggle to survive.

Yet it was during these years of the late 1980s and early 1990s that the intellectual debates and organizational discussions took place which witnessed the emergence of the Chamber’s Key City Strategy and the ACCCI Structure to support Chamber policies and special project initiatives. It must be acknowledged that Darcy was always ‘energised’ by the loyal and tireless support of his fellow Life Governors and peers Roy Dissmeyer, Reg Torrington, Greg Burns, Bo Liu, Laurie Smith, Arthur Locke Chang, Harry Pang and King Fong as well as others such as Richard Liu, Larry Mildwater and Allan Rich.

During Darcy’s Presidency there were two rules. Firstly ‘do it’ and let others read about it in the newspapers – he belonged to the ‘tell them nothing’ school of organization.  Secondly never if possible have a photograph taken without a glass of alcohol in your hand – he always said he was not a ‘bloody diplomat’. I cannot think of a more fitting way to celebrate his legacy to ACCCI on the fourteenth anniversary of his retirement as President of Chamber, then to break these two rules. In this spirit Chamber now publishes on this Website for the first time the Structure of ACCCI with Explanatory text. And I have promised to try to have my photograph taken without a glass in my hand!

Photograph taken in 1993

ACCCI Structure (Graphic)

Structure of ACCCI (Explanatory Text)


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