Disruptive Asia Launch (Melbourne)


Volume Two, an ASEAN Special Edition

DA vol 2 WEB

“Australia can’t turn away from the challenges and shouldn’t miss the opportunities that the ASEAN region will keep presenting.” Greg Earl, Editor, Disruptive Asia

Join Asia Society Australia at Australia Post in Melbourne for the launch of our second edition of Disruptive Asia.

To celebrate the launch of this publication, we'll hear Christine Holgate, CEO of Australia Post and Chair of the Australia-ASEAN Council in conversation with Tim Harcourt on the critical importance of the region to Australia. Followed by a panel of Disruptive Asia contributors and ASEAN watchers from across academia, business and diplomacy. Including; Helen Brown, Digital Fellow, Australia Indonesia Centre, Louise McGrath, National Manager of Business and International Advisory Services, Australia Industry Group, Michelle Kohler, Senior Lecturer in Languages, Education, and Indonesian, Flinders University & Coordinating Writer of the Australian Curriculum: Indonesian, Geoff Raby, former Australian Ambassador to China and Shamim Razavi, Partner, Norton Rose Fulbright, Australia. 

Date: Thursday 13 December 2018 
Time: (Registration from 4:30) 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm 
Venue: Australia Post, 111 Bourke Street, Melbourne 3000

This special ASEAN edition is curated and edited by award-winning journalist, Greg Earl and brings together 20 unique perspectives on the dynamism, diversity and changing nature of the ASEAN region and Australia's relations with its South East Asian neighbours. 

Ahead of the launch, you can explore all 20 essays online, the full publication will be available on the day in hardcopy.

This is a public event.

Our speakers 

In conversation

Christine Holgate, Chief Executive Officer, Australia Post 

Christine Holgate joined Australia Post as Group Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director on 30 October 2017, after nearly 9 years as the Chief Executive Officer of Blackmores Ltd. Christine has more than 30 years of diverse international leadership experience in highly regulated industries, including healthcare, media, telecommunications and finance. She has more than 20 years of public board experience as either a non-executive director or CEO and has held senior management positions in Asia, the Americas and Australia. Christine is the inaugural Chair of the Board of the Australia-ASEAN Council (which supports the development of trade and cultural relations between Australia and the 10 member countries of the ASEAN region). She also serves on the board of the Collingwood Football Club. Christine’s past appointments include time as a non-executive director of Ten Network Holdings Limited.

Tim Harcourt, JW Nevile Fellow in Economics, UNSW Business School

Tim Harcourt is the J.W.Nevile Fellow in Economics at the UNSW Business School.Tim also teaches International Business strategy in Asia and Latin America at the AGSM @ UNSW Business School and is a visiting Professor at the Pontificia Universidad Catolica (PUC) in Chile. A prolific author and globetrotter, Tim has visited over 58 countries in the past five years alone. Tim is an active TV economics commentator in the Australian, Asian and international media on economic and trade issues. Tim was Chief Economist of the Australian Trade Commission (Austrade) for over a decade and also worked for the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) and the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) and in the corporate sector internationally. Tim is also the Adviser – International Engagement to the Premier of South Australia, Hon Jay Weatherill, MP and Expert Panel Member – Minimum Wage and Superannuation Funds review, for the Fair Work Commission. Tim was educated at the University of Adelaide, the University of Minnesota and Harvard University (and by his own students!) He is best-known for his book The Airport Economist, an international business bestseller and has been translated into several languages and TV Projects around Asia.


Helen Brown, Digital Fellow, Australia Indonesia Centre 

Helen Brown’s focus is on improving the business relationship with Australia’s neighbours in Asia, particularly in South-East Asia. She stepped away from a life-long career in journalism, including 20 years at the ABC, to concentrate on bringing together her skills as a connector and communicator, and utilising her insight into a dynamic and complex nation and region.  She spent four years on-the-ground in Indonesia as a multi-media correspondent, gaining inside views and contacts during coverage which included the 2014 Presidential election, trade disputes, multilateral political and financial summits and business developments. She travelled to many areas of the archipelago and saw first-hand how policy and economics affected people’s lives. She is now helping business to navigate these complex areas to create mindful and successful long-term relationships as managing director of Bisnis Indonesia.  She is also an accomplished writer, speaker and moderator on a range of topics including Indonesia, agribusiness, trade and innovation. Helen was selected as an inaugural participant and panellist on the Lowy Institute’s dialogue for journalists from Australia and Indonesia in 2015. She served on the Jakarta Foreign Correspondents Club, co-founded a media discussion group in Indonesia, and is currently on the Victorian Committee of the Australia Indonesia Business Council. Read Helen's Disruptive Asia Essay here

Louise McGrath, National Manager of Business and International Advisory Services, Australia Industry Group

Louise McGrath has a broad range of experiences in international relations and is responsible for international engagement at the Australian Industry Group as National Manager – Business and International Advisory Services. Prior to joining The Ai Group in 2000, Louise worked in wholesale foreign exchange and insurance. Since joining Ai Group she has managed a number of trade related projects including trade missions, both incoming and outgoing, business matching and the development and delivery of export related training programs. She has had extensive experience in providing advice to manufacturing companies on export related planning and international marketing, government support programs and other trade related issues. She represents Australian industry in several multilateral forums, such as the Global Business Coalition and the B20 Taskforce on Digital Trade and various Free Trade Agreement Industry working groups, including the East Asia Business Council RCEP working group. She advocates for the interests of Ai Group members during free trade negotiations and translates those agreements to support the strategic aims of members. Louise has studied a Bachelor of Arts (Arabic Language and Culture) at Deakin University and an Advanced Diploma in International Trade at RMIT. She has also studied Arabic at universities in Jordan and Egypt. The Ai Group is a peak industry association which along with its affiliates represents the interests of more than 60,000 businesses in an expanding range of sectors which employ more than one million people. Read Louise's Disruptive Asia Essay here. 

Michelle Kohler, Senior Lecturer in Languages, Education, and Indonesian, Flinders University & Coordinating Writer of the Australian Curriculum: Indonesian

Dr Michelle Kohler is Senior Lecturer in Languages Education and Indonesian at Flinders University and Adjunct Senior Lecturer at the Research Centre for Languages and Cultures, University of South Australia. She is Head of Research for Language, Culture and Communication, and Coordinator of Indonesian. Michelle is an applied linguist and experienced language teacher and teacher educator who conducts research related to languages policy and planning, intercultural language teaching and learning, curriculum and assessment, and Indonesian language education. She has had major involvement in various nationally significant projects in languages education, including as the Coordinating Writer of the Australian Curriculum: Indonesian and lead author of the national report The State of Indonesian Language Education in Australian Schools. She is Secretary of the Applied Linguistics Association of Australia. Read Michelle's Disruptive Asia Essay here

Geoff Raby, former Australian Ambassador to China 

Dr Geoff Raby was Australia’s Ambassador to China from 2007 to 2011. After 27 years in the public service, he established the advisory firm Geoff Raby and Associates in 2011. Geoff was the Deputy Secretary in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) from 2002 to 2006. He has held a number of senior positions in DFAT, including First Assistant Secretary, International Organisations and Legal Division (2001-2002), Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the World Trade Organisation, Geneva (1998-2001), First Assistant Secretary, Trade Negotiations Division (1995-1998), and APEC Ambassador (2002-2004). He was head of the Trade Policy Issues Division in the OECD in Paris during 1993-95.  Geoff also holds a number of non-executive, independent director positions with ASX-listed companies. In China, Dr. Raby serves as Co-Chair of Corrs Chambers Westgarth’s China practice. He is also a member of the non-for-profit Advance Global Advisory Board; University of Sydney’s China Studies Centre Advisory Board; La Trobe University Asia Advisory Board; and the Foundation of the National Gallery of Victoria. Geoff used to serve as independent director in Fortescue Metal Group. In recognition of his contributions to advancing relations between Australia and China, Geoff was made Friendship Ambassador to Shandong Province and an Honorary Citizen of Chengdu City. Geoff is a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and the Asia Society. He holds an Honours Degree in Economics, a Masters in Economics and a PhD from La Trobe University. In 2015, he was part of the consultative committee for the draft of Australia's National Strategy for International Education. Read Geoff's Disruptive Asia Essay here

Shamim Razavi, Partner, Norton Rose Fulbright, Australia 

Shamim Razavi is a partner of Norton Rose Fulbright Australia.  He has recently relocated to Sydney but spent the past eight years living and working in Indonesia.  In his work in Indonesia he has helped foreign investors structure their Indonesian investments in a way that is compliant with both the letter and spirit of Indonesian law while safeguarding the investor’s vital interests.  During his time in Indonesia Shamim has witnessed a maturation of both the Indonesian legal order and foreign investors’ appraisal of Indonesian opportunities. Being Jakarta based, Shamim has also worked with the ASEAN institutions, especially as they gave shape to the ASEAN Economic Community.  His relocation to Sydney reflects the increasing importance of Asian work to the Australian economy and to Norton Rose Fulbright’s business – reflecting a belief that Australian business can no longer afford to ignore the vast markets and opportunities on its doorstep, but rather that we need to find a way to better parse Asia generally and ASEAN specifically. Shamim has three children, the youngest two being born in Jakarta and – for this reason as well as many others – Indonesia is very close to his heart. Read Shamim's Disruptive Asia Essay here

About Disruptive Asia

Disruptive Asia was made possible through the “Desai-Oxnam Innovation Fund” established by the Asia Society to celebrate generosity and almost 40 years of combined service of former Asia Society Presidents Dr. Vishakha Desai and Dr Robert Oxnam. The views expressed in all Disruptive Asia publications are the authors’ own and do not represent those of the Asia Society. Copyright © Asia Society Australia 2017-2018. 

This event is proudly hosted by:

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Event Details

Thu 13 Dec 2018
5 - 7 p.m.

Australia Post, 111 Bourke Street, Melbourne 3000

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Registration to open soon
Add to Calendar 20181213T060000 20181213T080000 UTC Asia Society: Disruptive Asia Launch (Melbourne) Australia Post, 111 Bourke Street, Melbourne 3000

Read ASEAN Essays

  • series
    By Greg Earl, Editor, Asia Briefing and Disruptive Asia, Asia Society Australia

    Australia can’t turn away from the challenges and shouldn’t miss the opportunities that such a diverse region as South-East Asia will keep presenting.
  • series
    By Huong Le Thu, Senior analyst, Defence and Strategy Program, Australian Strategic Policy Institute

    South-East Asian leaders must relearn how to agree on their joint regional interests if they are going to be able to manage the rise of China.
  • series
    By Natalie Sambhi, Research Fellow, Perth USAsia Centre

    Australia, Indonesia and the Philippines are natural partners in promoting security and preserving stability in the maritime domains of their shared region.
  • series
    By Louise McGrath, National Manager of Business and International Advisory Services, Australian Industry Group

    Red tape, behind-the-border barriers and data flow and protection are the real issues that make a difference to the trade prospects of manufacturers.
  • series
    By Cat Thao Nguyen, Board Chair, Australia Vietnam Young Leadership Dialogue

    Vietnam seeks allies to navigate the region and collaborate to fulfil its potential. Australia can be its partner.
  • series
    By Shamim Razavi, Partner, Norton Rose Fulbright Australia

    Just as the New Columbo Plan has emphasised learning from Asia, so our development of the rule of law can also stimulate our own learning - learning how to better read and engage with Asia.
  • series
    By Bede Moore, Chief Executive, TechSydney & Co-founder, Lazada Indonesia

    The tech boom offers the possibility of a more comprehensive economic relationship with Asia.
  • series
    By Helen Brown, digital fellow, Australia Indonesia Centre

    Indonesia is quickly becoming the most digitally connected nation in South East Asia. Will Australia’s tech entrepreneurs be a part of this remarkable transformation?
  • series
    By Aim Sinpeng, Lecturer in Comparative Politics, Department of Government and International Relations & Co-Founder of Sydney Cyber Security Network, University of Sydney

    How Australia chooses to engage with the region on social media regulation will test the limits of its global commitment to promoting a free and secure cyberspace.