Asia Society Australia

For 60 years globally and 20 years in Australia, Asia Society has been building bridges of understanding between leaders and change-makers of Asia, Australia and the United States.

Asia Society Australia is Australia’s leading national centre for engagement with Asia, and a part of Asia Society, the pre-eminent global non-profit organisation.

We are a dynamic social enterprise powered, funded and supported by the leading Australian and global companies, education, government and cultural institutions.

Our mandate:

  1. Promote greater connectivity between Australia and Asia in the areas of business, policy, culture and education

  2. Provide a high-level platform for Australian and Asian leaders to connect and exchange perspectives

  3. Develop and support new leaders of Australia-Asia engagement

Asia Society Australia was launched in 1997 by then Prime Minister John Howard to broaden interest and understanding in Australia of Asian countries and their politics, business and culture. The establishment of the Asia Society Australia was led by Hugh Morgan AC (then CEO of WMC Limited) and Richard Woolcott AC (former Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade).

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About Asia Society

Asia Society is a global non-profit organisation and the leading force in forging closer ties between Asia and the West through arts, education, policy and business.

Founded in 1956 by John D. Rockefeller 3rd, Asia Society is a non-partisan, non-profit institution with centres in New York, Hong Kong, Houston, Los Angeles, Manila, Mumbai, San Francisco, Seoul, Shanghai, Sydney, Washington, DC and Zurich.

Across the fields of arts, business, culture, education, and policy, Asia Society provides insight, generates ideas, and promotes collaboration to address present challenges and create a shared future.

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Asia Society Australia 2020: Our strategic blueprint for the future

In March 2015, the Board of Directors of Asia Society Australia adopted the new strategic plan - Asia Society Australia 2020 - which will guide the development of our organisation for the next five years.


  • By 2020 Asia Society Australia will be the nation’s most innovative centre for all-inclusive engagement with the Indo-Pacific region in the areas of business, policy, culture and education.
  • It will be Asia Society’s centre of excellence in the Indo-Pacific region, closely integrated within the global network through programming, membership and resources, but highly distinct in its Australian outlook and focus.
  • Asia Society Australia will be recognised by the quality of its insights and will have diverse and distinct programs focussed on building a deeper understanding of Asia, connecting leaders and networks, and enriching public debate about Australia’s engagement with Asia.


Strategic Goals

Asia Society Global Objectives:

  1. Develop and connect leaders in Asia and the world
  2. Foster common ground among leaders to address challenge
  3. Tap the best minds and talent for insights and inspiration
  4. Strengthen the capacity of governments and institutions to educate, govern, and share arts and culture

Asia Society Australia’s strategic goals are:

  1. To build among Australian political, business, cultural and educational leaders and professionals - a deep understanding of the complexity and dynamism of Asia and its importance to Australian and global security and prosperity
  2. To provide a platform for Australian and Asian leaders and champions of engagement to connect, exchange ideas and perspectives and develop meaningful relationships
  3. To identify and support entrepreneurs and emerging leaders of Australia-Asia relations across sectors and communities
  4. To develop Asia Society Australia as a hub of ideas and networks dedicated to enriching and strengthening Australia’s relations with the Indo-Pacific region
  5. To establish a permanent home in Sydney – Australia’s gateway to the Asia-Pacific – a prominent public space celebrating Australia’s geographic, cultural and economic connectivity with Asia.

Five Areas of Change

To pursue these goals, Asia Society Australia will focus on the five areas of change:

  1. Grow and broaden our community of members, supporters and partners
  2. Diversify and innovate our programming, while maintaining Asia Society’s signature high-quality of insights, content and impact
  3. Raise our profile and broaden our reach in Australia, in the region and globally
  4. Enhance our organisational capabilities and connectivity, and integration with the Asia Society’s global network
  5. Expand our physical and digital footprint in Australia