The D&O Diary is on assignment in the Asia Pacific region this week, with a first stop in the beautiful Australian city of Sydney. Even though it was still Southern Hemisphere late winter/early spring while I was in Australia, the weather was beautiful and even summerlike. I was fortunate that my meeting schedule in Sydney allowed me a little bit of time to enjoy the weather and the sunshine, as the pictures below reflect.

The primary purpose of my visit to Australia was to participate as one of the keynote speakers at the 2023 National Conference of the Australasian Professional Indemnity Group (APIG) in Sydney. The conference, which took place last Thursday, was very well attended — in fact, it was completely sold out, as was the evening gala dinner. The conference was well-organized and quite interesting. I would like to thank the APIG leadership, the conference committee, and the event organizers for inviting me to be a part of the conference. One of the great things about being a part of this event is that the Australian insurance industry professionals are so friendly and welcoming. It was just a great experience to see old friends and to make new friends. It was also great for me to meet so many enthusiastic readers of The D&O Diary.

Here’s a picture taken during my keynote address. There was quite a crowd for the session; the room was absolutely full. It was an honor and a pleasure to be a part of this event again.
Here’s a picture of several of the past and present APIG leaders taken just after the event. From left to right, Conference Committee chair Aimee Pozoglou of ProRisk Underwriting; past APIG President Jeremy Scott-Mackenzie of Swiss Re; me; and current APIG President Mitchell Spurr of Probitas.
Here’s a picture with Jason Symons of the Mills Oakley law firm. Jason is on the Conference Committee and he was my primary point of contact for conference planning purposes. He was in fact the one that extended the invitation to speak to me. I am very grateful to Jason for all of his help.
One of the great things about being a part of this event is that I met a lot of people and made a lot of new friends. Here is a picture of one of them, Persia Navidi of the Hicksons law firm. Persia had reached out to me in advance of the conference to make sure that the two of us would have a time at the conference to be able to meet. It was nice to meet her, and all of the others I met for the first time at the event.
Here is a group shot taken with my many friends from Swiss Re who attended the conference. From left to right: Adele Foster; Jeremy Scott-Mackenzie; Kristen Frangie; Sandra Geisler; Amrish Jani; Georgina Haddad; me; Giuseppe Carone; Lucinda Conlon; Kim AlTimimi; Scott Butcher; Sarah McCall; and Arun Mehta. Lucinda introduced me for my keynote presentation.
The Gala Dinner in the evening after the conference also was a lot of fun. It gave me a chance to meet many more of the industry professionals. Here is a picture with Grace Mason of AIG, who made it a point to introduce her herself to me after the dinner. It really was a pleasure to be able to meet so many professionals in the Australian management liability insurance industry.
I also had the chance at the conference to meet (and to take picture with) Susan Donaldson and Joseph Hershewe of Berkshire Hathaway.
After the dinner, I also had the chance to meet and to talk with Bianca Parussolo of ProRisk Underwriting.
During the evening festivities, a lot of pictures were taken. Here’s a great selfie with three teammates from Arch Australia: Paula Ritchie; Katrina Palmer; and Louise Lumley.
I always feel that if I am having fun while I am making a presentation, then things must be going pretty well. I had great fun making my presentation at APIG. It was so great just to be a part of this event again. I am very grateful to the APIG leadership and conference committee for inviting me to be a part of this excellent event.
My time in Sydney was short, but I did have a little bit of a chance to enjoy the scenery while I was in town. The weather while I was there was absolutely phenomenal. I had several days of bright sunshine with daytime high temps in the upper 60s and lower 70s. The only way I could tell that it was still late winter is that it got dark earlier than it does this time of year back home. On my arrival day, I dropped my bags at the hotel and then took the harbor ferry to Manly Beach for a great day of walking along the ocean and along the inner harbor. The picture above shows the beach at Manly.
One of the great things about Manly is that the beach is directly adjacent to the Sydney Harbor National Park. The park was mostly in late winter dormancy, but there were still a lot of great views. The picture above is taken from near the North Head at the Sydney Harbor entrance, looking back toward Sydney. The air was so clear, and the sunshine was so bright.
A view of the rocky shoreline along the Pacific Ocean side of the Sydney Harbor National Park.
I didn’t actually see any bandicoots.
I didn’t see any penguins, either.
I did see this Eastern Water Dragon, though.
The Sydney Harbor entrance, viewed from the inner harbor part of the Sydney Harbor National Park, along the Manly to Spit Bridge walkway.
Another view of Sydney.

The morning after the APIG event, I took a short taxi ride to Bondi Beach for a quick visit before I moved on to my next destination. It had rained overnight on the evening before my visit to Bondi, but it had started to clear by mid-morning, and the sun came out while I was in the taxi on my way to Bondi. The beautiful weather prevailed throughout my brief stay in Bondi.

Here’s a view of Bondi Beach on Saturday morning. Don’t let the bright sunshine and blue skies fool you; it was, at least early in the morning, a little bit chilly, with temps in the upper 50s and a good breeze blowing as well.
My main objective while in Bondi was to complete the Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk, a 6 km pathway along the Pacific Ocean. The conditions for the walk could not have been better. This is a view of Bronte Beach, another ocean beach along the walkway.
I made it all the way to Coogee, where I enjoyed a picnic lunch on a bluff overlooking the ocean. After lunch, I wound up walking further south, far beyond Coogee, until I reached the end of the coastal walkway. Just a great day overall.
After reaching the Southern end of the walkway, I turned around and made my way back to Bondi Beach, where the Australian Kiteflyers Society had set up an impressive, colorful display of kites. I had a great visit to Bondi, but it was all too short. I was up very early the next morning to travel on to my next destination. It was great to be able to visit Australia again, but as I was leaving town I was all too aware that I had allowed far too little time for my visit. Next time, stay longer.