IntlSOS 30 Years - From East to West - Page 61



04 Globalisation and Growth | Australasia
Australasia
Moving into Australia was a natural step. With
many Australians travelling and living in Asia the
insurance market was an obvious partnership for
us to develop. Insurance companies sold the cover
and we delivered the assistance on the ground.
Arnaud Vaissié, Sandy Johnson and Dr Myles Neri all
worked on this. Myles recalls being on a fact-finding
trip in Australia with Arnaud when they were invited
to dinner at the Queensland Club. Yet again singing
was involved – this time the evening began with a
rousing rendition of God Save the Queen, much to
Arnaud’s surprise. But as ever, all entered into the
spirit of the evening with as much enthusiasm as
they could muster!
An effective
yet nimble suite
of first response
emergency
services.
Sandy also travelled back and forth from Singapore,
helping to develop relationships with potential
clients. When they finally reached agreement with
the major insurance company, Sun Alliance, she put
a red ribbon round the written contract and formally
presented it to Arnaud. It was indeed an important
stepping stone. Other insurance wins followed,
including a major contract with Commercial Union.
Opening the office in Sydney in 1994 was another
stepping stone. It increased our visibility and brought
an added benefit: Attracting many Australian medical
staff who wanted to work in Asia; this formed an
important part of our expatriate workforce.
The Australian Assistance Centre was also
strategically important to service Japanese insured
tourists and company employees working in
Australia, as well as offering an outbound platform
for Australian insurance policy holders. We
established a Japanese clinic in Sydney in 1995 and
developed an extensive Japanese provider network
across Australia and New Zealand to assist travellers.
Building partnerships with insurance companies
and offering assistance to inbound and outbound
travellers was also the basis of our business in
New Zealand, where we opened our Auckland
Assistance Centre and office, in 1999.
Meanwhile in Papua New Guinea we continued
to build our remote site services for oil and gas
and mining clients and established the first air
ambulance service out of Port Moresby. As our
reputation grew we expanded the delivery of these
services on the mainland with the enormous LNG
infrastructure projects in Queensland and other
Australian states.
Back in Australia: In July 2014 we set up a subsidiary
company Response Services Australia to design and
deliver specialist emergency response, rescue and
recovery services nationwide. This new business unit
was created to address specific client needs in the
Australian domestic market place. As Michael
Gardner explains: “This investment has enabled us
to develop a professional and effective yet nimble
suite of first response emergency services.”
— Michael Gardner
Left: Sydney Assistance Centre,
Australia, 2010.
53

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