From expert sourcing tips, protecting your business when looking offshore, colour trends and help for fashion start-ups, this comprehensive series is a must attend for all industry professionals.



2017 Program

Click the individual tabs below for each day to review the program in detail along with speaker bios.

Brian Garvin

Founder and Managing Director
B. Garvin Sourcing in Dongguan, China


Top Sourcing Tips: Best practices & common mistakes when sourcing from SE Asia

Gain a comprehensive guide of do’s and don’ts when sourcing internationally as sourcing expert Brian Garvin shares affordable and effective strategies for finding and managing vendors. Topics discussed will include; Finding a good supplier and avoiding the bad ones, tips for placing small orders, avoiding scams, negotiating the purchase order, monitoring orders and what to do if things go wrong.


Originally from Florida, USA with a Mechanical Engineering Degree from the University of Alabama, Brian has over 25 years of engineering, project management and product development experience. China based full-time since 2003, he has been engaged in all facets of manufacturing, project management, product development and sourcing activities to achieve cost reductions for his Western customer base while maintaining product quality, on time delivery, and ensuring intellectual property is not compromised.

Dinh Kim Long (Vietnam)

Director of HS Tex Co. Ltd, Member of AGTEK


Export & investment potential of textile & garment: footwear & leather of Vietnam

Hear a comprehensive overview of the Vietnamese industry and learn about a range of companies specialising in the textile, garment, leather and shoe industries. Discover new contacts and find out why sourcing from Vietnam may be beneficial for your business.


Mr. DINH KIM LONG is Director of HS TEX Company Limited (, member of HoChiMinh City Association of Garment – Textile – Embroidery & Knitting (AGTEK)

2010 – Now: Director of HS TEX Company Limited
1999 – 2009: Sales Director of Saehan Indutries Inc.
(Samsung Group) – Fabric devision.
He is graduated MBA, Preston University

Bijoy Bhattacharjee (Bangladesh)

CEO of the Export Promotion Bureau


Bangladesh Sourcing & Investment

Discover more about investment, export, sourcing opportunities and goods and services in Bangladesh. This informative session will provide you with an overview of how working with Bangladesh could be a good business move.


Joined in Government service as an Assistant Commissioner in the field administration and served in different capacities. Later he has been elevated to policy level jobs and worked in the Ministry of Finance, in the Ministry of Agriculture and in the Cabinet Division.He represented Bangladesh at the technical level in the WTO as Economic Minister while he was posted in the Bangladesh Permanent Mission in Geneva. Now CEO of the Export Promotion Bureau, the government organization assigned to promote and facilitate export.

Nerisha Jairaj

Executive Director
South African Footwear and Leather Export Council


Overview on the South African Footwear and Leather Manufacturing Industry

Learn about the South African leather value chain as Nerisha discusses how the South African industry is supported by Government to be globally competitive. Find out about production, imports and exports and why buying from South Africa could be for you.


Representing the South African Manufacturing Industry as a Department of trade and Industry Export council, Nerisha Jairaj comes from background of 27 years experience in freight, international negotiations and trade. Nerisha currently holds an Honor’s in Business Management as well as MBA (organisational behaviour), from DUT in South Africa.

Ajay Sahai (India)

Director General & CEO, Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO)


Weaving The Way – Breakthrough in Apparel & Madeups Exports

Find out how working with India could have many business advantages. Learn
about India’s global textile trade, their presence in the entire value chain, logistics
and more.


Dr Ajay Sahai is the Director General & CEO of the Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO), jointly set up by the Ministry of Commerce, Government of India and private trade and industry in the year 1965, for promoting India’s exports. FIEO, an ISO 9001: 2015 certified organization, the management of which is comprising of Chairmen of all Export Promotion Councils, Export Development Authorities/ Commodity Boards and representatives of Government recognized status holders, is the apex export promotion organization in the country with direct membership of more than 22,000 exporters from all over the country contributing to about 70% of India’s total exports. During his tenure as DG & CEO, FIEO, the membership of the organisation increased from 7,200 to over 22,000 in last eight years.

Dr Sahai was earlier Joint DGFT in the Policy Division of the Directorate General of Foreign Trade where he played a key role in the formulation of the Foreign Trade Policy from 1996 to 2003. He was member of the High level task force of Government of India on Exim Policy. Besides expertise in Foreign Trade Policy matters, Dr Sahai brings to his position considerable experience in the area of Customs and Excise, having functioned as the Designated Authority for the Pass Book Scheme with the Delhi Customs. For FIEO members, he has extended live chat facility between 3 to 5 pm on every Wednesday so as to resolve their problems instantly.

Dr Sahai specializes in “Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures” (ASCM) of WTO. He had defended numerous anti-subsidy cases against Indian export products in the European Union, USA, South Africa, Brazil and Canada. He has widely travelled bringing with him ingredients of global exposure. He provided critical inputs to India’s paper on the ASCM.

He was a key member of Government of India delegation to Australia, Singapore, Philippines, Denmark, Turkey and Europe on Export Facilitation which led to streamlining of exports documents & recommended EDI connectivity within a specified time frame to reduce transaction cost and time and was a member of the task force set up to review transaction cost and time headed by Shri Jyotiraditya M. Scindia the then Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry.

He is a member of High Powered Committee on Export Promotion Schemes constituted by the Department of Commerce; Member of Governing Council of the Leather Sector Skill Council; Member of Innovative Council of the Department of Commerce, Member of Industry Monitoring Group of RBI ; Member of Task Force on Trading of Goods in Local currencies of Ministry of Commerce & Industry; Member of Standing Advisory Committee for the Indian Institute of Packaging, Member on the Advisory Council of the Centre for International Business and Policy of BIMTECH, Member of Council for Trade Development and Promotion ,Government of India, Member of the Working Group to Review the Rules & Regulations issued under Foreign Exchange Management Act, (FEMA) 1999 of Ministry of Finance. He has also been conferred with the Rajiv Gandhi Excellence Award for Best Achiever in Export Promotion. He is expert on GST and helping the Government to streamline the same so as to make it exporters’ friendly. His work on GST was acknowledged by the Government and Exporters as well.

Helen Kavadias

Senior Associate
Phillips Ormonde Fitzpatrick


The first line of defence – how to protect your business and ideas when looking offshore

Successful businesses vigorously protect their best ideas and inventions. But if you’re only doing that in Australia, you’re only doing half the job. Join Helen as she discusses what you can do to ensure you own your intellectual property in Australia and offshore and how to protect yourself in writing. The right intellectual protection, and contracts such as NDAs, employment agreements, contractor agreements and agreements with your suppliers and manufacturers are your first line of defence.


Helen Kavadias is a senior associate at Phillips Ormonde Fitzpatrick, a leading, full service intellectual property firm of patent attorneys, trade marks attorneys and IP lawyers in Australia. She is a registered Australian and New Zealand Patent and Trade Mark Attorney as well as an IP Lawyer licensed to practise in Australia.

Prior to joining Phillips Ormonde Fitzpatrick, Ms Kavadias was Corporate Counsel at SingTel Optus Pty Ltd, a telecommunications company. She also practised as an intellectual property and technology lawyer at Gilbert + Tobin and DibbsBarker in Australia.

Ms Kavadias advises in the protection, enforcement and commercialisation of all intellectual property rights, including copyright, trade marks, patents and designs.

She specialises in:

  • Trade mark clearance searches and has particular experience with pharmaceutical trade marks
  • Strategic and cost-effective management of global intellectual property portfolios, including global pharmaceutical, software, and consumer products companies
  • Prosecuting trade mark applications in Australia and New Zealand and has filed and prosecuted hundreds of trade mark applications in Australia and New Zealand on behalf of pharmaceutical, medical device, software and consumer goods companies.
  • Prosecuting patent applications in Australia and New Zealand and has filed and prosecuted hundreds of patent applications in Australia and New Zealand on behalf of pharmaceutical, medical device, software and consumer goods companies.

Other areas of her practice include privacy, confidential information, licensing, franchising, IP due diligence, domain name disputes, commercial contracts, comparative advertising, packaging and labelling matters.

Ms Kavadias also advises on the regulation of pharmaceuticals including has experience in PBS/TGA and Telecommunication regulatory matters.

Helen Kavadias
Senior Associate

Tel: +61 2 9285 2907

Elizabeth Formosa

Fashion Equipped


Top Tips for Fashion Startups

This is an invaluable session for start-ups. Establishing a reliable supply chain is crucial to launching and growing a successful fashion business.  Elizabeth will share her top tips for fashion start-ups, on how to overcome sourcing challenges in the early days. Tips shared will include – finding the right sourcing partner, supplier communication and negotiations and developing and sourcing product within a budget.


Fashion Equipped is a Melbourne based consultancy agency, founded in 2012 by Elizabeth Formosa, an industry professional with more than 20 years of experience.

With extensive experience in various areas of the fashion industries, and a love of all aspects of the business, Elizabeth is committed to sharing with others her knowledge acquired over a long-term career through specialised consultancy, and her recently launched “Start Your Fashion Business” online programme.

Elizabeth has worked in various environments, from corporate to privately owned companies, and has owned and run her own wholesale business. With successful senior roles in buying, product management and exceptional skills in sales, sourcing, product development, brand building, marketing, strategic planning and team management, diversity has been the key to her extensive knowledge.

Elizabeth has been fortunate enough to work with quality mentors over her career, providing a high level of business coaching. Her objective now is to share her industry knowledge with others and support them on their business journey.

A network of strong, successful industry professionals dedicated to the Fashion Equipped mission also support Elizabeth and her ethos.

In 2017, Elizabeth is lending her considerable skills as a mentor by teaming up with the Council of Textiles and Fashion (CTF) for a new initiative, Curated Melbourne – a pop-up retail and mentoring programme for emerging Australian labels.

Elizabeth has proudly launched a $10,000 Mentoring Scholarship programme that will be awarded in 2018 to a chosen graduate of her Online Programme who will best benefit from the scholarship   Applications will be made through a pitch presentation to a panel of Industry Professionals chaired by Elizabeth.

Visit – to find out more.

Melinda Tually, Director, Ndless: The New Normal

Panel of industry experts:

  • Andrew Cuccurulllo, CEO, Waverley Mills
  • Zoltan Zsaki, Co-founder, Citizen Wolf
  • Graham Ross, Director, Kusaga Athletic


Facilitated Panel on Ethical Sourcing

As consumers become increasingly conscious of the impact of their purchases, the global demand for ethical sourcing has increased. Join our panel of experts as they provide insights into the world of ethical sourcing, what it means for their businesses and how they engage the right companies to work with. This is an opportunity to gain valuable advice on utilising these practices within your own business.



Melinda Tually, Director Ndless: The New Normal
Melinda is a responsible business strategist advising brands and retailers on ethical sourcing and supply chain strategy, social and environmental risks, communications, partnerships and sourcing. Panelist bios:

Andrew Cuccurullo, CEO, Waverley Mills
Andrew has a history of clothing and knitwear manufacturing since the late 1980’s having worked with Gowing Bros and Insight amongst many other retailers. After spending over a decade in the digital start-up space, he became CEO of Waverley Mills, Australia’s oldest woollen mill in 2016. Waverley has been producing Australia’s highest quality wool textiles in Tasmania for almost 150 years.

Zoltan Zsaki, Co-founder, Citizen Wolf
Zoltan studied Visual Communications at UTS and is a self-taught fashion designer on a mission to redefine the business of making clothes. His third startup, Citizen Wolf, builds individually tailored garments within one hour (the current record is 37 minutes!). Everything is made locally and ethically on-demand in their Sydney workshop with zero waste – proving unequivocally that fashion can be fast without hurting people or planet. Citizen Wolf was recently nominated for Best Ethical Fashion Brand in Australia at the prestigious Prix de Marie Claire 2017.

Graham Ross, Director, Kusaga Athletic
Graham Ross is the founder of Kusaga Athletic, pioneers in future fabrics and sustainable lifestyle apparel, and creators of the Greenest T-shirt on the Planet. As an established entrepreneur with a background in media, Graham recognised an opportunity to address the impact of climate change by reimagining the textile industry. Taking the principles of a circular economy and profit for purpose as its foundation, Kusaga Athletic is part of a new wave of socially focused organisations using the power of business to create a positive impact on the world.

Cao Jiachang

China Chamber of Commerce of Import and Export of Textile and Apparel (CCCT)


How to navigate the Chinese supplier landscape

Hear how suppliers in China have been going through a dramatic change since 2005 with the market and costs rocketing and discover how the industry and entrepreneurs adapt to survive the changes. Topics include the export and import of the sector in 2016 and the first half of 2017, main players geographically and trends (east-coast to mid-west), new developments in sourcing and more.


Cao Jiachang was born in December 1965 in Hubei Province, China. He studied the Arabic language in Damascus University, Syria after he studied in University of International Business and Economics in Beijing.

From 1991 to 2017, Mr. Cao had been working in the Department of Asian and African Affairs of Ministry of Commerce as the deputy director, director and vice director general.

During the time he worked for the Ministry of Commerce, Mr. Cao was dispatched to the Economic and Commercial Counselor’s Office of the Chinese Embassy in Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Egypt as Third Secretary, Commercial Consul and Commercial Counselor.

In 2017, Mr. Cao was elected as the chairman of China Chamber of Commerce of Import and Export of Textile and Apparel.

David Giles-Kaye

Council of Textile & Fashion (CTF)


Growing the Australian Fashion & Textile Industry

The Council of Textile & Fashion (CTF) exists to promote the growth of the industry in Australia. CTF activities and programs centre around 5 key areas of focus and David will highlight their activities which include; Strengthening supply chains both locally and off-shore, helping new businesses become established, developing industry practices in ethical and sustainable product, fostering innovation & design and growing Australian exports.


David has been CEO at the Council of Textile & Fashion for just over a year and previously was on the board. He is also involved with smart textiles technology company, Imagine Intelligent Materials, which is at the forefront of developing the future of wearables. His primary background lies in technology and business development in sports apparel with a number of companies including WL Gore (Gore-Tex). David has had the experience of starting his own sports fashion label, and also in performance apparel and equipment for defence. David spent a number of years living and working in Germany and the UK and has been back in Australia since 2008.

Sharon Rae - John Eussen

Sharon Rae - Fashion Forecast Services
John Eussen - Eussen Lifestyle


Colour Trends AW18.19

Learn from Sharon as she presents 4 key colour trends for AW18.19 along with six colour stories across Women’s, Men’s, Kids, Accessories, Intimate, Active and Lifestyle. This will be an intimate presentation of colour trends created by Anna Starmer of UK based Luminary and presented by Sharon Rae of Next Inspirations & Fashion Forecast Services.


Sharon Rae – Fashion Forecast Services; has represented key international trend studios for over 25years and has travelled extensively bringing insights to her clients in Australia and New Zealand. She has been instrumental in bringing many internationally renown speakers to Australia for numerous trade fairs and forums, including L’Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival, Fashion Exposed, Designex and Décoration & Design.

John Eussen – Eussen Lifestyle; is a long standing and highly respected figurehead in the design and interiors industry, specializing in innovation design concepts. John has held various high-profile management roles, including managing director positions at two multi-national companies. His experience across multiple industries that give him depth of insight into current trends and lifestyle movements.

Ray Hartland

CRS International – Australia
Manager- International Services
SGS Australia Pty Ltd.


How Final Random Inspection (FRI) can assist with quality control.

Find out how Final Random Inspection (FRI) could help you identify potential product defects or inconsistencies in batch quality. Learn from Ray as he discusses how FRI can help you avoid last minute surprises in shipment and help take correction where necessary in a timely manner.


Ray Hartland is Manager of SGS International Consumer and Retail Testing Services Division in Australia and is responsible for all SGS services executed offshore including lab testing, product inspections and factory audits on behalf of SGS’s vast array of Australian and New Zealand based customers.

Ray has worked with SGS for fourteen years in various Divisions including Consumer Testing Services, Industrial Services and as Manager of SGS Consumer & Retail Services International Division based in Melbourne. Using his wide network of SGS contacts located in over 1,000 offices globally, Ray has assisted many Australian and New Zealand based retailers and their agents to best use the services of SGS. Working across a wide range of products including General merchandise, hardgoods, softgoods (including home textiles, garments and footwear products), Ray has assisted many of these SGS customers to use the range of available SGS QA/QC services, predominantly in the Asia-Pacific region – in China, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Indonesia and other locations.

Prior to joining SGS, Ray had 12 years of experience in local manufacturing of marine and leisure safety equipment.

Ray lives in Melbourne with his wife and 15-year old son.

Memberships & Affiliations:

  • Member of Australian Toy Association (ATA)
  • Member of Australian Product Promotion Association (APPA)
  • Trained as Lead Auditor on AS/NZS ISO 9001:2000
  • Bachelor of Business – Marketing
  • Club Level Rules Accreditation Course – Victorian Golf Association
  • Avid Golfer

Aqeel Ahmed Panaruna

Chairman & Managing Director, Florence Shoe Co., Pvt LtdVice Chairman, Council for Leather Exports (Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Govt. of India)


Footwear & Leather Sector in India

Hear about India a significant player in global Leather & Footwear trade, ramping up capacity towards enhancing exports and catering to the large domestic market; even as the Government of India invites global companies to ‘Make in India’ , in an increasingly liberal and business-friendly environment.


Graduated from Loyola College of Business Management. In 1984 joined the family business, Company name changed to Florence Shoe Company in 1995, formerly known as Anaikar Shoe Company (established in 1978 under the incorporation Act 1956 Section 21). Pioneer in leather and shoes for more than 3 decades. Company is fully owned by family. Based in Southern India and caters t the international market all over USA and Europe. Backed by the state of the art machinery, proven procedures and dedicated manpower. We manufacture over 1.5 million pairs of shoes per year.

Design and development were source out of Italian Studio in Florence. Florence group consists of 2 main full shoe unit and 5 upper unit with one sole factory and Leather Tannery – GOLD rated – Audited against LWG Standard.