Ms Gonul Serbest
Gonul Serbest is the Executive Director for Trade in the Department of Economic Development, Jobs,
Transport and Resources – State Government of Victoria. She leads a team that drives economic growth in
Victoria by facilitating exports through the development of trade strategies to key markets such as China,
South East Asia, India, the Middle East, Europe and the Americas. Over the last six years, Ms Serbest has
been instrumental in the development and implementation of the largest outbound trade missions to
leave Australia into emerging markets and the largest inbound trade delegations to visit Victoria.
During her time in State Government, Ms Serbest has held a number of senior positions across the
Department and was specifically charged with developing dedicated Trade Engagement Programs for key
international markets, which have resulted in a number of significant collaborations between Victorian
and global companies. She has also acted as the Executive Director, International Coordination Office
where she managed the Government’s network of international offices and has served as Senior Adviser
to previous departmental Secretaries. In 2016, she also completed a nine month secondment, heading
the Design and Screen Industry Development Unit within Creative Victoria, the government body
dedicated to championing, growing and supporting Victoria’s creative industries.
Ms Serbest has previously served on the Board of Radio 3ZZZ, Australia’s largest ethic community radio
station, working with over 60 ethnic groups across multicultural Melbourne. She currently serves on the
Advisory Board of RMIT University’s European Union Centre. Ms Serbest has a Bachelor in Social Science
(Hons) from RMIT University, and has undertaken a Harvard Business School Executive Education Course
on Building Global Enterprise in India.
She has a passion for international engagement and supporting platforms and initiatives that empower
young leaders and women to actively engage in areas of trade, culture and politics. In May 2014, Gonul was
selected as one of 19 young leaders across all South East Asia nations and Australia to participate in
the Australia-ASEAN Emerging Leaders Program held in Malaysia designed to build long term, productive
linkages with each other and with the region’s leading thinkers and specialists. In 2013, Gonul was also
chosen as one of 15 young leaders to represent Australia in a similar initiative for the Australia India
Youth Dialogue. Pursuing her interest in business, in 2011, Gonul completed the Committee for
Melbourne’s Future Focus Group program: a two-year business leadership program for emerging leaders.