About Asia Society Australia

Preparing Australian leaders and community for a deeper and sustained engagement with Asia

leaders at asia society australia

Understanding Asia has never been more important to Australia. For over 60 years globally and 20 years in Australia, Asia Society has been building bridges of understanding between Asia, Australia and the United States across business, policy, education and the arts.

Asia Society Australia is Australia’s leading national centre for engagement with Asia, with a centre in Melbourne and an office in Sydney. We are a not-for-profit, non-governmental and non-political organisation empowered by leading Australian and regional business, government, education and cultural institutions.

Asia Society Australia is a centre of Asia Society – a preeminent global non-profit organisation dedicated to Asia, founded in 1956 by John D. Rockefeller 3rd, with centres in New York, Hong Kong, Houston, Los Angeles, Manila, Melbourne, Mumbai, San Francisco, Seoul, Shanghai, Sydney, Tokyo, Washington, DC and Zurich.

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Asia Society Australia 2020: strategic blueprint for the future

Our history

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). In 2017, Asia Society Australia celebrated its 20th anniversary and embarked on a new strategy to become Australia's leading and most innovative centre for policy, business and education dedicated to Asia.

Our future

We are growing. In 2019 Asia Society Australia, in partnership with the Victorian Government, opens its new centre in Melbourne. The establishment will bring our world-class institution and programming to Australia’s global city and expand on our work in Australia over the last 21 years. We will continue to grow our presence in Sydney.

Our vision

  • Asia Society Australia will be the nation’s leading centre for engagement with Asia in the areas of business, policy and society.
  • Asia Society Australia will be recognised for the quality of its insights, intellectual leadership and diverse and distinct programs for its members and the broader community
  • Asia Society Australia will be complementary to, and closely integrated with the Asia Society’s global network while retaining a distinct Australian outlook and focus. 

Our mission

Our mission is to prepare our Australian leaders and community for a deeper and sustained engagement with Asia.

Our identity

Asia Society Australia is Australia’s leading national centre for engagement with Asia. We are a not-for-profit, non-governmental and non-political organisation empowered by leading Australian and regional business, government, education and cultural institutions.

Asia Society Australia is a centre of Asia Society – a preeminent global non-profit organisation dedicated to Asia, founded in 1956 by John D. Rockefeller 3rd, with centres in New York, Hong Kong, Houston, Los Angeles, Manila, Melbourne, Mumbai, San Francisco, Seoul, Shanghai, Sydney, Tokyo, 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.

Our strategic goals

  1. Educate and inform our members and the Australian community about Asia’s politics, economy and society.
  2. Lead a balanced discussion about, and dive deeper into issues and trends shaping Asia and Australia’s place in it
  3. Champion and support Australian organisations and leaders’ engagement with Asia and build networks to succeed in our shared future
  4. Project Australia’s voice on Asia across our global network and beyond
  5. Bring the best of Asia and Asia Society’s unparalleled global network, insights and convening power to Australia 

Our value proposition

Be informed: Asia is a global economic centre of gravity, but is a region of many parts and differences. It is also becoming more strategically contested and economically competitive. We help Australian businesses, government and education organisations understand each country in Asia, its role and impact as a region, and its increasingly complex geopolitical, geoeconomic and business landscapes, so they can make informed decisions and engage effectively with the whole of Asia.

Be connected: By joining Asia Society Australia, you are joining the largest global network of Asia-connected businesses, government and education organisations, and becoming a part of the preeminent global organisation dedicated to Asia, with 15 centres across four continents. 

Be driven by purpose: Through your membership, you will be helping to build an Asia-informed and Asia-connected Australia, driving a deeper level of engagement with the region and projecting Australia’s voice in the region and globally.