AALS 2020 Panel 1: Why Asian-Australian leadership matters


Online event.

  • AALS

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.

Asian-Australians have an important role to play in restoring social cohesion and economic prosperity in Australia’s post-COVID-19 recovery. However, discrimination and stereotyping, based on cultural characteristics and norms, have contributed to the under-representation of Asian-Australians in leadership positions and hindered their ability to reach their full potential.

To fully leverage the capabilities of Asian-Australians, it will require a coordinated effort and commitment by stakeholders from government, industry and professional bodies, businesses, universities and the media. Led by a panel of senior leaders that represent some of Australia’s major sectors, this session will discuss the importance of Asian-Australian leadership and explore the following topics:

  • How can leaders and organisations increase awareness of the existence of the ‘bamboo ceiling’ and leadership gap between Asian-Australians and non-Asian-Australians?
  • As senior leaders within their various industries, have the panellists’ organisations and industries taken concrete steps to combat racism, discrimination and unconscious bias?
  • What can senior leaders do to measure Asian-Australian representation as part of their overall diversity and inclusion strategies?
  • How do we ensure that Asian-Australians contribute to Australia’s COVID-19 recovery?


Rob Scott, CEO, Wesfarmers (TBC)

Antoinette Lattouf, Director and Co-Founder, Media Diversity Australia (TBC)

Chin Tan, Race Discrimination Commissioner, Australian Human Rights Commission

Dave Sharma MP, Federal Member for Wentworth, Parliament of Australia

Professor Brian Schmidt AC FAA FRS, Vice-Chancellor & President, Australian National University

Jieh-Yung Lo, Director, Centre for Asian-Australian Leadership, Australian National UniversityImage credit: Asian-Australian Leadership Summit.

Visit the Eventbrite page to register.

For more details visit the Asian-Australian Leadership Summit website.

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