Asian-Australian Leadership Summit

From the Backrooms to the Boardrooms

Confronting the under-representation of Asian-Australians in senior leadership positions.


COVID-19 has been more than just a health and economic crisis but a societal one, with reports of racism and a strain of nationalism on the rise worldwide – and Australia is no exception. Since the emergence of the pandemic, some Asian-Australians have been made to feel like outsiders, with some questioning their Australianness, identity and sense of belonging.

At this critical time, strong leadership is required, and a renewed emphasis on the importance of  Asian-Australian leadership to safeguard our cohesive society and economic prosperity.

The second Asian-Australian Leadership Summit (AALS) is convened by PwC Australia, Asialink at the University of Melbourne, Johnson Partners and the Australian National University. This year’s Summit, facilitated via an online platform, will host a diverse program of interactive sessions, with the aim of establishing new strategies, new partnerships, and identifying champions of change. The 2020 event will also reveal the results of specially commissioned research.  

A focus of this year is the exploration of essential skills and knowledge to allow Asian-Australians to move from the backrooms to the boardroom and succeed in obtaining leadership positions. Sessions include:

  • Talent strategies to build Asia capability in government  
  • Navigating the double whammy: gender and cultural diversity
  • Risk taking in leadership
  • Understanding the Board agenda
  • Leadership through the arts

View the full program.

As part of a diverse 2020 online program, some of the speakers who will feature across three days of panel discussions, workshops and keynote addresses include:

  • Harinder Sidhu Deputy Secretary, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
  • Dave Sharma MP Federal Member for Wentworth, Parliament of Australia
  • Katrina Rathie Partner in Charge, King Wood Mallesons
  • Professor Brian Schmidt AC FAA FRS, Vice-Chancellor & President, Australian National University
  • Swati Dave, Managing Director and CEO, Export Finance Australia
  • Kee Wong National Director, Australian Institute of Company Directors
  • Chin Tan Race Discrimination Commissioner, Australian Human Rights Commission
  • Geraldine Chin-Moody, Co-Founder and Director, 5H Values Capital
  • Tan Le Founder and CEO, EMOTIV

On the final day of the event, we will also announce this year’s 40 Under 40 Most Influential Asian-Australians.


Learn more about the Asian-Australian Leadership Summit 2020.

An initiative of

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