Building stronger relationships with Asia

The Chairman of Asia Society Australia and Global Trustee, The Hon. Warwick Smith AM

Media Release, 23 April 2013

Australian business, cultural and political leaders have joined the newly established Asia Society Australia Advisory Council to provide a strong foundation for Australia’s growing relationship with Asia. The new Advisory Council was announced follow a meeting of the Asia Society Australia Board, on Monday 22 April 2013.

Asia Society Australia has a strong commitment and focus on broadening the interests and understanding between Australia and Asian business political and cultural leaders; for example last year Asia Society Australia hosted the Heads of State from the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand.

Recently, Asia Society Australia hosted a luncheon address by Crown Limited Chairman, James Packer, who urged the Australian business community to turn its attention on future growth industries that meet the need of China’s booming middle class. “If we get our policies right, if we get our priorities right and if businesses take the lead, we will see long-term jobs and economic prosperity for our people,” Mr Packer said.

The new Advisory Council includes representatives from Goldman Sachs, KPMG, National Gallery of Australia, Optus, Qantas, the University of New South Wales, Wesfarmers, Woodside Energy, and others.

The Chairman of Asia Society Australia and Global Trustee, The Hon. Warwick Smith AM, welcomed the Advisory Council and the new direction it provided Asia Society Australia.

“I warmly welcome the members of the Asia Society Australia Advisory Council. The business and cultural leadership on the new Advisory Council will provide a strong policy and cultural focus for Australia with our Asian neighbours,” Mr Smith said.

“The Advisory Council brings together a diverse group of people from varying sectors and geographies that will provide Asia Society Australia with vast experience, innovative ideas and valuable insights and strong links to all parts of Asia. “Terry Campbell AO, Senior Chairman, Goldman Sachs Australia, who brings with him over 50 years of experience in Australian securities markets; Peter Coleman, CEO and Managing Director, Woodside Energy; Chum Darvall, Chairman, TransGrid, and non-executive Vice Chairman, Deutsche Bank; Bruce Gosper, CEO, Austrade; Richard Goyder AO, Managing Director and CEO, Wesfarmers, who transformed Wesfarmers with the successful acquisition of the Coles Group; Professor Fred Hilmer AO, President and Vice-Chancellor, University of New South Wales; Ron Radford AM, Director, National Gallery of Australia; and Hamish Tyrwhitt, CEO, Leighton Holdings, who chairs the Commonwealth’s Asian Century Strategic Advisory Board, are just a few of the impressive line-up on the new Advisory Council,” Mr Smith said.

“The Advisory Council is helping Asia Society Australia to achieve its mandate to strengthen ties with Asia through engaging various leaders across business and industry,” Mr Smith said.

Upcoming Asia Society Australia events will see addresses from: Deputy Leader of the Opposition, The Hon Julie Bishop MP; Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Secretary, Peter Varghese AO; Ambassador of Japan to Australia, H.E. Mr Yoshitaka Akimoto; and Austrade, CEO, Bruce Gosper.

Mr Smith is Chairman, Asia Society Australia and Global Trustee of the Asia Society. He is also Chairman of the Advisory Council of Australian Capital Equity Group of Companies (ACE) (holders of interests in the Seven Holdings Group, Western Australian News Ltd, Coates Hire Ltd, Westrac Pty Ltd, Caterpillar Industrial services and equipment in Western Australia, New South Wales and North East China) and Chairman of Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) in New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory.

Asia Society Australia Advisory Council