The D&O Diary is on assignment in the Asia Pacific region this week, with a first stop on the itinerary in Sydney, Australia. The primary purpose of my visit was to attend the annual conference of the Australia Professional Indemnity Group (APIG), but I did have a little time before and after the conference to roam around Sydney a bit. Though my visit coincided with the last days of the Southern hemisphere winter, the weather was cooperative enough to allow for some very enjoyable sightseeing and hiking.


It is  crazy but I have been to Sydney enough times in the last few years that I have developed a routine. After making my way through the airport, I take the Airport Link train to Circular Quay on the Sydney Harbor. I then take a ferry to one of the city’s Pacific beaches for some jetlag recovery time. This time, I went to Manly Beach, which is on the peninsula just north of the Northern side of the Sydney Harbor entrance. The Manly Wharf is on the harbor side of the peninsula. A short pedestrianized walkway called The Corso connects the Wharf area to the ocean beachfront. I stayed in a hotel right by the point where The Corso meets the beachfront.


Circular Quay, viewed from the ferry


The Manly Ferry, docked at the Manly Wharf


The Corso in Manly, at dusk. Because it is late winter in Australia, the sun sets early. This picture was taken a little after 5 pm. Coming to Australia from late summer in the U.S., the early sunset was very disorienting.


Sunrise over the Pacific. In the Southern Hemisphere, the sun rises in the East, as in the Northern Hemisphere, But then it does something weird. In the Southern Hemisphere, after dawn, instead of heading to the right (relative to the Eastern sky) toward the South, it heads to the left, toward the North. The sun moves through the Northern Sky during the course of the day. I know all of this, but I still found it very disorienting.


I did a lot of walking in and around Manly while I was there. I walked from the beachfront along the ocean coast to the parklands just north of the beach, which afford great views of the beach and of the ocean. The high point of my visit was the afternoon I spent hiking the Manly to Spit Bridge Scenic Walk, a rugged trail that rolls along the shoreline of the harbor. The pathway is 20 km round trip (about 12.4 miles) and affords great views of the harbor coastline, of the Sydney Harbor entrance, and of the harbor section of the Sydney Harbour National Park. I confess that by the time I had returned to my hotel, my feet and legs were sore, but it was a great hike.


Manly Beach



Ocean view, Sydney Harbour National Park



A view of the harbor, along the Manly to Spit Bridge Scenic Walk.



The Sydney harbor entrance, viewed from the inner harbor portion of the Sydney Harbour National Park (along the Manly to Spit Bridge Scenic Walk).



The primary purpose of my visit was to attend the annual APIG conference, where I was the keynote speaker. I also participated in an afternoon wrap-up panel with several other speakers. The conference was well-organized and well-attended. The evening gala dinner was even better attended. I would like to congratulate APIG President Jeremy Scott-Mackenzie, Conference Chair Aimee Pozoglou and the rest of the APIG conference committee for a very successful event. It was a privilege and an honor to be a part of this excellent event. It was great seeing so many old friends from my participation in the conference two years ago, and it was great making so many new friends as well. It was also great learning how many enthusiastic readers of The D&O Diary there are in Australia. I have to say the Australian D&O insurance community is remarkably friendly and sociable. The conference and the dinner were both a huge amount of fun.


A picture taken at the gala dinner, with conference chair Aimee Pozoglou of ProRisk and APIG President Jeremy Scott-Mackenzie of Swiss Re



Here’s a picture taken during my keynote address at the conference event. As you can see, the event was very well attended.



A group photo at the gala dinner with several of the representatives of CGU Insurance



At breakfast the next morning with attorneys from the HWL Ebsworth law firm and underwriters and claims advisers from Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance. My thanks to Andrew Miers of the HWL Ebsworth law firm for organizing the breakfast.


After my last meeting in Sydney on Friday, I went out to Bondi, a beach community that is about a 15 minute taxicab ride from downtown Sydney. Bondi Beach is itself a beautiful place, but the high point of my visit was another coastal hike, the Bondi to Coogee Walk. The walk is a seaside trail that winds along the ocean shoreline. It is about 12 km (about 7.5 miles) round trip. There are great views of the ocean, of the various communities along the ocean front, and of the several small beaches between Bondi and Coogee. I was fortunate with the weather during my walk. It was dry the entire time I was hiking, but shortly after I returned to my hotel, a big thunderstorm came through, and it stormed pretty much the rest of the afternoon and evening.


Bondi Beach (pronounced “BOND-eye”)



Bondi Beach viewed from Marks Park, along the coastal walkway



Along the Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk



Tamarama Beach, looking toward Mackenzies Point, just south of Bondi along the coast walkway.



Bronte Beach, between Bondi and Coogee. You can see the storm clouds to the South. The rain held off during my hike, but during the late afternoon and early evening there was a tremendous thunderstorm.


After my brief visit to Bondi, I was off to the next destination on my Asia Pacific itinerary. My Sydney visit was far too brief. I would have liked to have stayed longer and done some more exploring. My only consolation is that I spent the entire time was there composing a very intricate itinerary for my next visit.