Asia Society Australia: Year in Review 2016

2016 was another successful year for Asia Society Australia. We have ramped up our programming with 40 events delivered across Australia.  Our membership network continued to grow and diversify, as Australia-Asia engagement spans new sectors and industries. We have welcomed new leaders to our board and farewelled our long-standing Chairman, the Hon Warwick Smith AM.  Our new young leaders program - GEN A was launched. We have established a major partnership with the Victorian Government.

2017 is shaping up to be a big year as we prepare to celebrate our 20th birthday.

We thank all our members for your tremendous support, generosity and commitment to our mission of building Asia-connected Australia.

We wish you a happy festive season and very best wishes for the New Year.

Doug Ferguson
Chairman, Asia Society Australia

Philipp Ivanov
CEO, Asia Society Australia

Highlights from 2016


In 2016 Asia Society Australia has delivered 40 programs across Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra and Perth (and activities in New York and Hong Kong), hosting thought leaders from Australia, Japan, Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, the United States and Vietnam. We have added emerging and highly topical themes to our programming - cultural diversity and leadership and innovation in Asia. More »


This year we welcomed major global and Australian companies and institutions to our membership network, among them - McKinsey, Bloomberg, Tata Consultancy Services, The Star Entertainment Group, Monash University and UTS. We have restructured our membership program to provide new benefits, engagement opportunities and greater value for our members. More »


We welcomed the new Chairman of Asia Society Australia Doug Ferguson and new leaders - Swati Dave, Wayne Spanner, Tom Tanaka, Ian Thatcher and Alice Wong to our board; and Frances Adamson, Jennifer Cermac and Gerard Dalbosco to the advisory council, bringing a wealth of expertise on Asia and a diversity of ideas and networks to Asia Society. More »

Victorian Government Partnership

The Victorian Government and Asia Society have established a partnership to drive deeper engagement with Asia across public policy, business, education and the arts. The agreement was announced during the Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews's visit to the Asia Society headquarters in New York. In 2017 the partnership will see Melbourne as the host city for the 2017 Asia 21 Young Leaders Summit, part of the Asia 21 Young Leaders Initiative - the Asia-Pacific’s foremost young leaders network. More »


In 2016, Asia Society Australia has launched GEN A – a new young leaders initiative which will help develop - initially within our corporate membership community - the next generation of Australian leaders informed about Asia and Australia's place in the region. We are aware of our responsibility to empower a new generation of Asia-engaged Australian leaders, while supporting leadership development interests of our members. More »


We worked and built relationships with some incredible organisations this year - The National Library of Australia, The Victorian Government, The Walkley Foundation, AECOM, The NSW Art Gallery and VisAsia Council, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, DAWN, Australian Human Rights Commission, Haymarket HQ, Australia-Vietnam Youth Leadership Dialogue, S&P Global, AFS and the Indonesian Investment Coordinating Board.

Connecting policy and business communities

Asia Society Australia continued to provide a platform for the foreign policy and business communities to exchange perspectives on Australia's security and economic relations with our neighbours. We were privileged to host Indonesia's Trade Minister and Chairman of Indonesia Investment Coordinating Board, Australia's ambassadors to Korea, China, Japan, Myanmar and India, Sri Lanka's Foreign Minister and Ambassadors of Japan and Vietnam to Australia.

Sustainable Enterprise

We ran a 'lean and mean', high-performing and sustainable enterprise focussing on high-quality programming, unique content and insights and delivering the best experience and value to our members and supporters. We welcomed two outstanding new team members - Jette Radley and Melissa Kemper who bring extensive experience in programming, finance and operational renewal.


Many thanks to all our members, supporters and friends!

We look forward to working with you in 2017.